IRU secretary general Umberto de Pretto recently attended the first Caspian Economic Forum in Turkmenistan, where he called for nations to continue working together to advance transport links across the world’s largest inland body of water and beyond.
Meritor, Inc. has opened a new US$36.5 million axle assembly facility at Automotive Axles, its joint venture with Kalyani Group along with a state-of-the-art research and development centre in Mysore, India.
Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced 29 low-emissions vehicle projects are being granted funding through the latest round of the government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund.
PEOPLE AND TRANSPORT
Spraying bitumen and emulsion is known to be dirty, hot, and hard work … and certainly not usually seen at the glamour end of the trucking industry. Higgins Contractors Ltd has put an end to that with a machine they are rightly proud of. A hot summer’s day, men dressed in what looks like space suits, the heat haze rising rapidly from the road, the treatment being applied, and the spray bar on the back of a truck. Driving slowly past, most people feel compassion for the lads and ladies working in such conditions; layering a thick coat of bitumen or emulsion on a prepared surface – a road is born.
Motorways, tunnels, winding mountain passes, and impossibly narrow Italian streets. Paul O’Callaghan does it all with a Magnum in hand. The big Renault Magnum was really growing on me as I made my way along the French A40 autoroute from Geneva to the Italian border. In tow was a Krone Euroliner trailer loaded with a variety of Irish-made products from horse feed to computer parts, all destined for five locations in the north of Italy.
Some six years ago when NZ Fishing News editor, Grant Dixon, was in the market for a new tow vehicle, the corporate constraints of the time limited his spend, although there was a concession on safety – it had to tow three tonnes of braked trailer and boat! The selection process was an interesting one. I went down the utility route and was able to tow-test drive four of the more popular models, including a last generation Nissan Navara. Being an older model at the time it didn’t win first prize and wasn’t even on the podium.
A great show with a better buzz and energy than ‘15 or ’17, full of lots of stuff you couldn’t quite get your hands on, and lots of stuff you could. But one thing’s for sure, there are battle lines being drawn everywhere. It was a great Brisbane Truck Show and numbers through the gates at the city’s Convention and Exhibition Centre support that, with attendance up about 10 percent on recent years at 36,921. If you were there for 2015 and 17, the change in vibe was palpable, and as always New Zealand must have been at a standstill because everyone appeared to have made the pilgrimage. This year the show extended its tentacles well outside the doors with OEM displays at the Queen Street Mall and Reddacliff Place, as well as the hugely popular South Bank Roadhouse. The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) held its conference on site, and Mt Cotton was opened up for use by exhibitors and stakeholders. Of course, most of the OEMs used the event to host all manner of functions and bashes
Could the UK learn anything from New Zealand’s HPMVs? After driving one for a day, Will Shiers thinks it could. In my humble opinion, the UK is about to piss £8.1m ($15.5m) into the wind, by embarking on a truck platooning trial. In an attempt to prove that the technology can save fuel and increase productivity, a trio of DAFs will travel 50,000km on UK motorways, linked in a wirelessly connected convoy. They will be piloted by specially trained DHL drivers, as part of the parcels firm’s day-to-day delivery operations. When safe to do so, the lead driver will take control of all three vehicles, while the other two drivers will remain on standby in case they need to regain control at short notice. Richard Cuerden, head of Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) Academy, who is overseeing the trial, believes platoons could become a commercial reality on UK roads within the next five years, and is advising British hauliers to embrace the concept. That’s all well and good, but we seem to be ignoring the elephant in the room – namely that the benefits of platooning have already been disproved.