The positive developments in Europe and Turkey enabled the division to nearly offset the market contraction in Brazil, but they could not prevent an overall six-percent decline in sales to 132,500 units for Trucks EU/LA from January through November (Jan.-Nov. 2011: 141,200)
Daimler Trucks isn't just the benchmark when it comes to conventional drive systems. This fact was impressively demonstrated, for example, at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show, where the division presented the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid to the European public. The new model's fuel consumption is up to 23 percent lower than that of a comparable conventional Canter. Moreover, given the relatively moderate additional cost for the hybrid technology, the Canter Eco Hybrid can pay for itself in just three to four years, assuming normal annual mileage and operating conditions.
Daimler Trucks also made major advances with its activities in emerging markets in 2012. The division expanded the partnership it launched in Russia in 2008 with that country's market leader for heavy-duty trucks, Kamaz. The two Russian joint ventures, Mercedes-Benz Trucks Vostok (MBTV) and Fuso Kamaz Trucks Rus (FKTR), are gaining momentum. I
Daimler Trucks will set up and expand a component network in Russia. Last June Daimler and Kamaz also signed a licensing agreement for the supply of Mercedes-Benz Axor cabs and the gradual localisation of the related production activities. These cabs will be used in a new Kamaz truck generation that will be launched on the Russian market next year.
This Billy Cart doesn't need pushing
Haulage and excavation specialist Enzo Morabito sees its new Isuzu FRR 500 factory tipper as ideal for the timely transport of small to medium material and equipment loads.
Affectionately known as Billy Cart – a name emblazoned on the truck’s front panel – the new addition (pictured left) provides the get up and go power that Enzo’s excavation company, Boss Haulage, needs.
Established in 1998, the ACT-based Boss Haulage is a multi-faceted operation built around a team of professional specialists in haulage, earthmoving, road maintenance, equipment hire and materials supply.
Enzo said the tipper’s SiTEC Series III 205 engine, rated at 151 kW @ 2600 RPM and with 637 Nm @ 1600 RPM, provided that extra ‘oomph’ to transport heavy loads of various materials and equipment up to 6000 kg.
This is Enzo’s first Isuzu and from all accounts it won’t be the last.
Enzo, said the truck drove seoce like a car despite its size.
“The easy control provided by the truck’s steering (power assisted recirculating ball) makes the drive quite pleasurable,” he said.
“The ride is smooth and comfortable (double acting hydraulic shock absorbers on the front axle).”
The truck is painted in the Boss Haulage company colour – an audacious red with orange and white pin striping – which makes it an impressive looking vehicle. Complementing the cab is a dark grey tipping body also with pinstripe highlights.
Capping off the visual bonanza are chrome rims, tinted windows and a checker plate toolbox which all help to turn heads around town and advertise the Boss Haulage brand along the way.
While Boss Haulage has six other non-Isuzu trucks in its fleet ranging from medium and heavy duty vehicles, the Isuzu is a welcome addition due to the truck’s nimbleness and easy-handling; it is used in all sorts of conditions, both on and off road, with the majority of the time delivering various materials to construction sites.
Enzo’s tipper trucks provide the flexibility needed for doing asphalt works and delivering landscape and quarry products.
In addition to haulage, the company also specialises in earthworks, excavator and equipment hire, road maintenance and asphalt works.
Two top makers celebrate milestones with show displays
Two of Australia’s premier truck brands are celebrating significant milestones.
This year Mack Trucks and Western Star are preparing to give fans memorable displays at the Brisbane Truck Show held from May 16 to 19 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC).
“Mack trucks will be very focussed on the celebration of 50 years of local production of Australia’s premier truck brand,” said Mack brand manager Clare Simmons.
“We will be looking back at the history and all the things that make up the special DNA of the Mack brand in Australia and why the bulldog has become a beloved icon to so many in the industry.”
She said Mack would not only be reflecting on the past but would “also look forward to new technologies and innovations within the product and the services offered to customers.”
She said: “There will also be a special product display and, of course, the ever popular Mack merchandise and fashion parades.” .
Western Star general manager marketing Don Hanson said:. "Western Star has been in Australia for 30 years and is finitely celebrating the achievements.: “2013 is a historic year for Western Star as we celebrate our 30 year anniversary of doing business in Australia.
“Western Star Trucks Australia and the dealer group are proud of the milestone and we look forward to the year ahead and the release of our new products and the roll-out of the communications program.”.
Western Star is tight lipped at the moment about what it has in store but history says Western Star will bring in a truck that will excite the crowd.
During the last Brisbane truck Show the RM Williams' Western Star took centre stage on the Western Star stand and was a people magnet.
This year's show will have a few new exhibitors, including one of the toughest side tippers - the AZMEB trailer.
“AZMEB Bulk Transfer Systems is excited to be exhibiting for the first time at Brisbane Truck Show 2013,” said Ash Vague, marketing services manager.
“The side tipper king will be displaying their Door Side Tipper model, designed to tip anything from blast rock to concentrate.”
The full list of exhibitors is now on the Brisbane Truck Show website www.brisbanetruckshow.com.au and a spokesman said the show's progress could be viewed on Facebook with weekly prizes being offered..
Starting on a hill is now so easy
The provision of aids for trucks starting on inclines has improved in leaps and bounds.
An example is today's Scania trucks which have a hill-hold feature integrated in the braking system.
Trucks which started on an incline 100 years ago could use a metal rod controlled by a steel wire to facilitate the takeoff, preventing the truck from rolling backwards.
Today's hill-hold was introduced to Scania in 2009 in vehicles equipped with the electronic braking system (EBS) in conjunction with the launch of s new version of Scania's Opticruise.
The Scania Museum takes a look at the past with a vehicle from the early 1900s (pictured left) fitted with a hill-support device - a metal construction pin-jointed to the chassis at one end while the other end is shaped to grip the road surface, preventing the truck from moving backwards
The hill-support device was managed from the driver's seat via a steel wire. The driver did not have to use the brake pedal and starting on inclines was made easier.
.As soon as the vehicle reached enough speed the device could be raised to the up position parallel to the chassis frame.
This solution was used on many vehicles, but over time engine power increased and the need for this device was reduced.
Drivers used a combination of the parking brake and the brake, clutch and accelerator pedals to start the truck on inclines.
Scania took its big step forward in this area in 2009
Now the interaction between the automated gear changing system Opticruise and the hill-hold feature, which engages on a stationary truck when the brake pedal is pressed, has made starting an an incline easy.
Aided by an inclination sensor, the gearbox automatically selects the optimal starting gear, resulting in minimised wear and tear on thee clutch and gearbox.
Automatic DAF trucks keep area clear of waste
The Aurich district on Germany's North Sea coast took over waste collection for its 200,000 inhabitants in mid-2011 and since then the municipality has invested in 11 new DAF trucks with Allison fully-automatic transmissions and hired 16 new drivers to handle refuse collection
The Aurich district is a popular North Sea destination covering almost 1290 sq km in the north western-most part of Germany.
By carrying out its own waste collections the district of Aurich was able to reduce garbage fees by about 9.5 percent in 2011 and an additional 2.6 percent more in 2012, for a total decrease of close to 12 per cent for the 100,000 homes in the popular seaside cities of Norddeich, NeÃŸmersiel and Greetsiel, as well as the East Frisian Island of Norderney.
For this refuse collection effort Aurich hired 19 people - 16 of them drivers - and invested about 2.1 million euro in 11 new DAF vehicles with Allison 3000 Series fully-automatic transmissions.
The fleet's technical director, Carsten Appelhoff, had two important criteria during the tender: a really robust transmission and proximity to the workshop.
""Every truck empties an average of 800 refuse bins daily. Therefore, we need robust vehicle drivetrains, capable of enduring 1000 stops per day, even with a trailer. Additionally, quick reachability and a good cost-benefit ratio for routine maintenance are crucial so vehicle downtime and costs are as minimal as possible," he said.
With DAF truck sales and service dealer Rudolf Bohlje Kraftfahrzeuge from Hesel, Appelhoff found the perfect partner. The dealer offered him vehicles which met the tender's demands exactly and the workshop is only 15 km away from his depot.
Ten DAF CF 75s with 228 kW (310 PS) and side-loader bodywork from HS Fahrzeugbau now service the mainland in one-man operation.
Seven trucks feature a loader with a permanent mounted container and three are equipped with "CWS," a container loading system. Each vehicle has covered about 48,000km with 1700 operating hours on average, the numbers varying slightly depending on operating area.
For Norderney, a DAF LF 55 with 165 kW (220 PS) and rear-loader bodywork was bought since a smaller vehicle was needed for the island's narrow alleyways. The waste is loaded in bulk containers and shipped on a container ship to Norddeich on the mainland and alater transported to the treatment plant of MKW GmbH & Co. KG.
We are very satisfied with the vehicles,and there have been no objections or huge repairs to date," said Mr Appelhoff.
"Our drivers especially like the trucks with fully-automatic transmissions because they don't have to worry about the clutch and can have both hands on the wheel. That's an enormous relief..," .
Vehicles equipped with Allison fully-automatic transmissions are ideally suited for refuse collection because they ensure an efficient operation cycle and reduced maintenance cost. Allison's Continuous Power Technology features a patented torque converter and uninterrupted shifts for superior vehicle productivity.
The torque converter offers not only excellent vehicle startability, but also eliminates costly starting clutch repair and provides drivetrain protection against torque shock and vibrations. As clutch replacements are not necessary fully-automatic transmissions save operators money while reducing vehicle maintenance downtime.
Trailer sale helps ATA work
ou now have the chance to bid on a state-of-the-art curtainsider trailer with unique promotional artwork, thanks to the 2013 ATA trailer tender.
The trailer was donated to the ATA by CIMC Vehicle Australia, Marshall Lethlean Industries and a host of OEM suppliers. CIMC and Marshall Lethlean also donated trailers to the ATA in 2011 and 2012.
All the sale proceeds will go to support the ATA’s work.
The curtain artwork features a crossword game with places familiar to every trucking operator and driver, such as Clybucca, Goondiwindi, Marulan and Port Hedland.
It repeats the industry’s reminder to motorists to share the road safely and reminds them that trailers like this bring us the goods we use every day.
The trailer donation continues CIMC’s strong support for the ATA and the trucking industry.
“CIMC Vehicle Australia fully embraced the commitment to support the Australian Truckling Association a few years ago and 2013 has demonstrated the pledge continues,” said the managing Director of CIMC Vehicle Australia and Marshall Lethlean Industries, Hector Ojea.
The OEM suppliers who donated equipment or support for the trailer are: Jost Australia, Alcoa Wheel Products, Fuwa K Hitch, Double Coin Truck Tyres, Polyweld, Reliable Signs & Refinishing, Ten-24 Tyre Emergency Service, Tenacitex Load Restraint Curtains, WABCO, Watson & Chalin, VivadSider, Razor International, LED Autolamps, Prime Mover magazine, Trailer magazine and CIMC/PSI.
Bids for the trailer close on May 19, 2013.
Overview of the trailer tender
Tender process details
HiLux makes mark in Dakar Rally
Toyota HiLux has scored a podium finish and class victory in the world's toughest motor sport event, the Dakar Rally.
The specially prepared HiLux 4x4 (pictured left) of South African driver Giniel de Villiers and German Dirk von Zitzewitz finished second overall behind the outright winning Mini of Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret.
The HiLux is a non-production model powered by a 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine, delivering more power and torque than the 4.7-litre engine they used last year in claiming third place in the Dakar rally.
This year is the fourth time in five outings the Dakar has been held in South America that de Villiers and von Zitzewitz have finished in the top four.
HiLux performed strongly across the board, with five finishes in the top 20 overall, including 11th place to Australian Geoffrey Olholm and his British co-driver Jonathan Aston.
As a result Toyota HiLux took the top four places in its class for petrol 4x4 improved cross-country vehicles.
This year's Dakar was run over 8500km through the deserts of Peru, Argentina and Chile. This included two passes through the Andes Mountains at a competition altitude of more than 4000 metres.
De Villiers said the HiLux performed faultlessly throughout the event.
"Our reliability enabled us to not only beat the Dakar, but also made the decisive difference," he said.
"Toyota's three-year program got off to a first-class start. We can now move on and maybe do even better next year."
.A Hino took out the Dakar challenge for trucks with an engine capacity under 10 litres.
Father and son Hino factory team drivers Yoshimasa and Teruhito Sugawara took part in the event in separate trucks..
Isuzu tops Australian truck sales again
Isuzu Trucks has extended its reign atop the Australian truck market sales charts, achieving its 24th consecutive year of total market leadership following strong 2012 sales results.
According to official T-mark industry reports, Isuzu finished the year with a total of 7190 truck sales, surpassing last year's sales of 6617 units.
This result provided the brand with 23.4 percent market share, almost 10 percent clear of its closest rival, which trailed with 13.7 percent for a total of 4216 units.
As well as taking out overall sales honours, Isuzu continued to dominate the light market with 37.3
percent share for a total of 3367 units while extending its medium market leadership with a 42.9 percent share and 2883 units.
In the heavy market Isuzu finished fifth with 8.3 percent share, a standing that is expected to improve this year following the recent introduction of its heavy duty FY Series 8x4 range.
Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) director and chief operating officer Phil Taylor said Isuzu trucks remained a popular choice for new and existing truck buyers across the country.
“We’d like to thank our loyal truck customers for their continued support in helping us achieve these excellent sales results,” Mr Taylor said.
“The customer is at the forefront of everything we do and we focus on providing them with a truck line-up and associated support services that will closely meet their requirements, whether they are a small retail customer right through to a large corporate fleet.”
Mr Taylor said he expected truck sales to further improve in the next 12 months in line with the economy.
“The total truck market should again experience modest improvements in 2013,” he said.
“The heavy duty market was strong in 2012 and will likely continue in that manner this year – with our new heavy duty FY Series 8x4 range we are confident of taking advantage of this in 2013
These trucks are peak performers in their mine duties
A copper and gold mine at Cobar in New South Wales runs seven Isuzu trucks; four of which are used underground transport men, equipment and explosives to service its 24-hour-a-day operation.
Located about 700 kilometres northwest of Sydney, Cobar is a famous old mining town.
Found just a short eight kilometre drive south from the town centre, Peak Gold Mines employs 340 staff on site and has a seven=-year mine life, up to 2018.
To keep its around-the-clock schedule, Peak Gold Mines relies on a range of reliable equipment, including modern development jumbo boom drills, load-haul-dump loaders, and 55 trucks and utility support vehicles.
Mobile maintenance planner,Ben Trudget said the Isuzus easily coped with the rock road bases and 1:6 gradient in the decline mine.
One of the Isuzus which works underground is pictured on the left.
Mr Trudgett said two of the company’s Isuzu trucks were registered, with the remaining five unregistered.
“Our Isuzu NLS 200 crew cab is used underground by the mobile maintenance team. It also transports the team to other workshops,” he said.
“We also have four FTS 750 Isuzu trucks which are used as stores trucks. One of these is a registered truck and is used for town store runs. The other three are unregistered and are mainly used underground.
“Our fleet also includes two FTS 800 4x4s – one is a fuel truck and the other an explosives truck.”
Mr Trudgett said both the FTS 800 4x4 fuel truck and explosives truck required some extra body work to fit the mine’s application.
“The fuel truck has a double skin road transport fuel body, which is capable of carrying 7000 litres. This body was purpose built for safety and practicality,” he said.
“The explosives truck has a reinforced headboard for additional safety of operators.
“All of the other Isuzu trucks are as built and simply have tray bodies.”
The Peak Gold Mines operate constantly and the trucks are used on a daily basis.
“The registered stores truck does two runs into town Monday to Friday. The other registered truck is utilised 24/7 to transport logistics in the underground workings,” Mr Trudgett said.
“The explosives truck is also used every day by the charge-up crews.”
Mr Trudgett said not everybody could take the trucks underground.
“Any operator who is ‘ticketed’ to operate the trucks can drive them. We have our own in-house trainers who train and accredit each operator who is competent to operate the machines in the mine,” he said.
“Apart from the registered stores truck, all other Isuzu trucks go into the mine. The conditions are harsh, the roads are rock base with a 1:6 decline. However the Isuzu trucks have no issues with the conditions – they do everything that we ask of them, and sometimes more.”
Mr Trudgett said he believed the most favourable features of the Isuzu trucks were their reliability and operator comfort.
“The Isuzus offer more than enough power. They have no trouble driving up steep declines at about 20km/h when they are loaded,” he said.
“We chose to purchase Isuzu trucks because they offer a fleet of standard service trucks that meet our specification and the product’s reliability is fantastic. We also can’t go past the back-up parts and service from the Isuzu dalership, Tracserv in Dubbo – we have had very good experiences with them.”
Peak Gold Mines replaces trucks on an as-needs basis, based on their condition, age and life hours.
“We select the best truck that suits the application required. We purchased one of our underground stores trucks in 2000 and the other two in 2008; we purchased our above-ground stores truck in 2005. The explosives truck, fuel truck and NLS 200 crew cab were all added to our fleet in 2011,” Mr Trudgett said.
“We would definitely consider purchasing more Isuzu trucks when we require replacement vehicles. We have a good relationship with Tracserv and the trucks’ reliability and performance in the mine are unsurpassed.”
Two mining fields are run from the Peak Gold Mines site, one hosting a processing plant and administration buildings.
Peak Gold Mines is operated by Peak Gold Mines Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of a Canadian company, New Gold Incorporated. It brgsn production in 1992.
A visit to wild animals thanks to IVECO
When the Werribee Open Range Zoo in he Australian state of Victoria called for designs and concepts for unique safari buses to transport visitors around the grounds, IVECO designed an Australian-made range of buses to meet the zoo’s requirement for strength and security which still allowed visitors clear views of the wild animals.
The Werribee Open Range Zoo provides a wildlife experience like no other. With rhinos, giraffes, hippos and antelopes freely roaming the grounds it could easily be mistaken for an African safari rather than a suburban zoo. Attracting more than 350,000 people each year, visitors marvel at the magnificent wildlife enjoying their natural surrounds in the open range landscape.
Located on the Werribee River, the open range zoo is situated on approximately 560 acres. With such vast distances to be covered, visitors take a guided safari tour to discover the open savannah. Vvisitor numbers increase each year and Werribee Zoo officials decided to invest in new-look transportation that was capable of meeting the increased demand.
“The zoo put out a tender in looking for designs and concepts to run something different that still meets the functional requirements of the zoo,” said Cameron Millen, sales manager at IVECO Bus & Coach. The manufacturer worked with Rambler to design a prototype to meet the requirements.
Based on the IVECO Delta Graduate bus chassis and customised to look like a safari truck, the design was selected by the Werribee Zoo. Four buses were built in Dandenong and each has the capacity to tow three trailers and transport about 160 people around the grounds.
The vehicles were designed and built in Australia with the bodywork and trailers built by Rambler. The design features glassless windows in order to provide a close experience with the animals. bars to ensure that the buses were capable of towing the trailers.
The rear tyres also had to be changed to an aggressive tread pattern to provide more traction for travel on the dirt roads of the zoo grounds. For safety, the speed of the trucks is limited to 30 km/h around the zoo but they have been built with a lockable switch to allow maintenance staff to drive it up to retarder 100 km/h for service requirements.
Scania retarder adds safety to braking ability
The Scania retarder has been holding heavy loads back for 20 years, using a dedicated piece of mechanical equipment attached to the rear of the gear box.
It reduces braking system wear and tear and boosts safety by keeping the service brake cold for full emergency performance when a driver needs it most.
The way to slow down a moving standard truck - in addition to applying the wheel brakes - is to shift down and use the engine brake.
Scania trucks also have the retarder which, together with downshifting, can be considered a third auxiliary braking system.
Tomas Selling, a control system development engineer at Scania, said: "Scania retarder is capable of dealing with 90 percent all braking on long -haul work so it substantially increases the service life of the wheel brakes."
He said the saved costs of downtime, materials and work for changing the linings and brake pads on a prime mover and semi-trailer meant that a Scania retarder might pay for itself within a few years - and that was before the additional safety features of keeping the safety brakes cold was considered.
The retarder was launched in 1993. Together with Scania Opticruise (automated gear changing) i the retarder was s able to automatically choose the gear that needed to be engaged in line with the cooling and braking performance required.
Both shared the same control lever on the steering column.
Mr Selling said:: "The Scania retarder distributes the braking power in a vehicle to as many different systems as possible, keeping the brake pads and livings as cool as possible."
He said that in a Scania truck the driver could use the retarder either in fully automatic mode (activated by the brake pedal) or in a manual mode (activated by the lever on the steering column.
In automatic mode the brake pedal activated the retarder, automatically alleviating the disc brakes.
However, there was a surprising additional benefit to the retarder.
"Because a safer downhill speed can be maintained trucks fitted with Scania retarder can achieve a higher average speed on undulating roads compared with trucks only equipped with exhaust brakes."
Ian Bulter, Scania product and application support, new trucks, said: "In Australia we have demonstrated frequently the value of the Scania retarder.
"For instance, a highly competent driver heading into Adelaide should be able to run down the Mount Lofty Road quite safely using only the Scania retarder, leaving the service brakes untouched and ready for emergency activation.
"The same could be said for the run down the Toowoomba Ranges and many of the other steep descents found on Australia's main highways."
Mining trucks that are full of action
A major West Australian-based mine engineering company has endorsed Allison automatic transmissions as the best driveline configuration for its Hino mine service trucks destined for mines across Australia.
Action Mining Services operates a large engineering and service facility at Hazelmere near Perth, where it builds a variety of mine service modules and water carts based on the 26-ton, 280hp Hino 500 6x4 chassis.
One of the mine vehicles is pictured on the left.
The company's business development manager, Barry Cook, said the Hino fitted with an Allison automatic was perfect for working the demanding mine sites across outback Australia
He said: "Action had historically purchased Hinos, but we felt it was time to widen our view and make sure we were specifying the best truck package for the job,..
"As it turned out, the spec for the Hino 500 series with an Allison automatic was the truck that was best suited to the task. It carries two tons more than its nearest competitor and in a water truck that's an extra 2000 litresers (528 gal) we can get on the ground where it's needed before a refill."
The company has taken delivery of 140 new Hinos equipped with Allison 3500R automatic transmissions. Action then adapts these vehicles to site-specific requirements and fits each with either water tank modules or mine-site service modules before they are bought by mining companies, rental groups or site-specific servicing contractors.
"The Allison automatic offers some significant advantages in a mine environment that makes it the ideal choice for the vehicles we are selling. The trucks are often loaded to maximum GVM, particularly in water tank mode, and the Allison automatic delivers better starting torque and climbing ability with the often quite steep grades out of the mine pits, thanks to the torque multiplication that is delivered by the Allison torque converter," Mr Cook said.
The water tank and service modules are designed and manufactured by Action at its Hazelmere facility and the Hino models the company prefers are fitted with Allison 3500R fully automatic transmissions as a standard factory specification.
Once Action takes delivery, a number of Hinos are then sent to Allison distributor Heavy Automatics to be re-gearehe maker's free extended powertrain warranty during the sale.
d with a 3500R Series transmission with retarder, which better equips those trucks for operation in particularly steep entries to large open-cut mines.
"The Allison hydraulic retarder is often specified because it increases safety when the truck is descending down into the pits while also reducing brake wear and increasing service intervals., said Mr Cook.
"Automatics also prevent any driveline abuse, eliminating clutch and gearbox wear,ensuring the vehicle and the rest of the running gear has a longer service life," he added.
Along with the Allison hydraulic retarder, the Action Hinos also have a power take-off (PTO) provision, which draws energy from the truck's running engine in order to power attachments and accessories in a variety of applications.
Hinothon brings range of sale deals
All Hino light, medium and heavy duty trucks are now available with substantial factory bonuses as part of the Hinothon end of financial year sale.
Hino 300 Series light duty models and selected 500 Series medium duty trucks also come with Hino's free extended powertrain warranty during the salr.
The company's divisional manager product strategy, marketing and dealer development, Alex Stewart, said now was the perfect time to buy a new Hino or upgrade from an existing truck.
"From the class-leading 300 Series, the proven quality of the 500 Series - now with Proshifrt 6 automated manual transmissions on some models - to the comfort and reliability of the heavy duty 700 Series Hino has a truck for just about every application," he said.
"If that's not enough of an incentive the addition of a free extended powertrain warranty on all 300 and many 500 Series trucks makes the deal even better.."
Hino's extended powertrain warranty operates after the standard warranty expires and is fully transferable to a new owner, adding to the truck's resale value.
All Hinos now come with a free roadside assist service designed to get drivers back on the road as soon as possible should there e a breakdown, flat tyre or the truck simply runs out of fuel.
Mr Stewart said: "The peace of mind of roadside assistance just makes the Hinothon end of financiail year the ideal time to get into a new Hino."
The Hinothon end of year sale finishes at the end of June.
LDV cargo van range available in Australia
The launch of the LDV V80 cargo van range signals the first entry into the Australian market for China's largest automotive manufacturer and promises to be a game changer in the hotly contested van market.
One of the vans is pictured on the left.
Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation or SAIC is not only the largest automotive company in China, but also the most accomplished and experienced with long standing joint ventures with two of the world's largest automotive companies, GM and VW.
SAIC is actively engaged in manufacturing, sales, R&D and investment in passenger cars, commercial vehicles and components registering annual sales of more than four million vehicles generating more than $A51 billion in 2011.
Neil Bamford, chief executive officer of WMC, the Australian distributor of LDV, said SAIC brought vast resources and expertise to the market delivering high levels of build quality, specifications, standard features and comfort.
“No manufacturer in China has as much expertise and ability as SAIC and with the LDV's established European design and engineering we have a package that will go toe to toe with any of the established European, Japanese or Korean vans on the Australian market.
SAIC bought the British commercial vehicle operation and intellectual rights to the van from the company in 2009 and has invested in further R&D and engineering to ensure it meets the latest European standards.
WMC will initially launch a three model range of LDV V80 cargo vans followed by a number of passenger vans and cab chassis models later in 2013.
The initial line-up will include a single short wheelbase variant as well as long wheel base cargo vans with the choice of either a mid roof height or a high roof version. The range will feature load capacity of between nine and 12 cubic metres and a payload of up to 1.8 tonnes.
The LDV vehicles will also come with a high level of standard features which are not available or are options on other brands.
These standard features include rear barn doors; 16-inch alloy wheels, dual sliding side and wide opening 180 degree rear barn doors.
LDV vans meet European crash and safety standards and the VM Motori diesel meets the latest emission standards. The LDV van suspension and handling has also been tuned by MIRA, one of the leading automotive design and engineering consultants in Europe.
Young at heart go touring with comfort and a cuppa
A specialist Australian coach tour operator has switched to Higer's versatile 8.5 metre Ryder midi-bus, having determined it was the perfect fit for its luxury coach tours aimed specifically at the seniors market.
Young at Heart Tours has a fleet of four Higer 8.5 Ryders all of which are specially configured to make touring easier for its customers whose average age is around 80.
One of the Higers is pictured on the left.
Young at Heart Tours general manager Craig Heath said the Higer 8.5 metres were a perfect fit for the company and had enabled it to replace smaller mini buses with a more luxurious and efficient bus that was more comfortable and attractive for its customers.
"We operate a premium service and the Higer Ryders enabled us to replace a fleet of mini buses that were about the right size passenger wise but had to tow luggage trailers and had less interior space," said Mr Heath.
"The Ryder is slightly larger but gives us the luxury of being able to take some seats out to provide more room for the passengers while its under-floor load through luggage bins mean we no longer have to tow luggage trailers," he said.
"The Higer was the right size and specification with Cummins engines and Allison transmission providing added confidence..
Mr Heath said that while price was an issue it wasn't the major factor in choosing Higer .
"Obviously we look for value in any vehicle purchase we make and while the Higers were very attractive price-wise it was the entire package that made them a compelling business case for us," he said.
"Having more interior space than the mini buses has allowed us to remove some seats, install a small kitchenette for coffee and tea making and provided a storage area for walkers and other gear our passengers might require on tour."
Young at Heart has configured three of its Higer Ryders with just 20 seats, removing a row of seats on one side of the aisle as well as installing the kitchenette to maximise comfort for its elderly passengers.
"The Higers have attracted very positive comment from our customers who love the extra room, the smooth ride and the fact that they can have a cup of tea on board when we stop during the day at various places on our tours," said
Young at Heart has also forged a strong relationship with Melbourne dealer Prestige Higer in Dandenong, where the company's four Higers are based when they are not touring..
"Prestige look after them, service them and store them outside our normal touring period and in between tours," said Mr Heath.
"The system we run sees three of the Higers virtually in a constant tour around the country with our passengers flying in and out of regional centres to tour a certain part of the country.
"The other Higer has been based on Kangaroo Island off South Australia at times, handling tours of the island for our passengers who fly in with our other company, Australian Air Holidays, but is currently back at our base in Melbourne.
"The Higers can leave Melbourne and be away touring around the country for four months at a time so we have to be confident of their reliability and dependability which they have been save for a few teething problems early on, although these were quickly sorted.
"When the Higers first came on fleet we had a couple of issues with steering and air conditioning but Prestige and Higer distributor WMC made sure they were quickly sorted and they caused us no real inconvenience.".
Young at Heart's oldest Higer joined the fleet in 2009 while the remaining three came on line in 2010 and Craig Heath says the company would be happy to buy more Higers in the future as and when the need arose..
The answer to keeping polar airports open
Isavia, the company that handles the operation and development of Iceland's airports, has taken delivery of 11 Scania G440 4x4 trucks equipped with the Allison 4000 Series fully automatic transmission.
These vehicles feature a 7m wide Schmidt snow plough attachment and a sweeping machine, which is towed behind a trailer attached to each truck.
The sweeping machine, also 7m wide, consists of a sweeping roll powered by a separate engine.
During the winter a line of these trucks can be found ploughing and sweeping the landing strip while in summer the vehicles are used for sweeping other airfield premises
The ['icture on the left shows some of these vehicles in operation.t.
Seven of the 11 units operate at Keflavik International Airport; the rest are based at other Icelandic airports managed by Isavia. The vehicles are equipped with Allison fully automatic transmissions.
Keflavik International Airport was run by the US Navy until 2006 when it was handed over to the Icelandic government and public company, Isavia Ltd, for operations.
"When we took over the responsibility for the airport we also inherited a large fleet of vehicles; most were equipped with Allison fully automatic transmissions," said Hjörtur Hannesson, service manager at Isavia Keflavik.
"The oldest is a 1957 Oshkosh snow plough with underbody scraper, equipped with an Allison TG-602 which is still in operation after 55 years of service..
"We have learned to appreciate fully automatic transmissions, so when we order new vehicles we obviously equip them with Allison fully automatic transmissions. These 11 new Scania vehicles have been delivered over a three-year period and the order is now complete," said Mr. Hannesson.
The vehicles are part of Isavia's airport maintenance activity and the company's most important demand is high reliability and quality.
"We take good care of our vehicles and maintain them to a level beyond the manufacturer's recommendation.
"It has proven to be a profitable strategy. I'm very pleased with the quality and reliability of Allison's products. Furthermore, they are appreciated by the drivers for the good driving comfort they bring and the fact that the drivers do not have to think about gear changes and a clutch pedal," said Mr.Hannesson.
Allison's direct dealer in Iceland, Velar EHF Ltd, has a long and close history of co-operation with the Scania dealer, Klettur, which has delivered the multi-purpose snow vehicles to Isavia.
"Refuse trucks, fire-fighting and municipal vehicles in this country are often equipped with Allison fully automatic transmissions and they have a very good reputation," said Ragnar Karlsson, managing director at Velar.
"Allison transmissions are recognized for low maintenance costs and offer very reliable operation in all weather and terrain."
Volvo innovation makes steering safer, more comfortable
Just a couple of months after the launch of the new FH series in Europe Volvo Trucks is presenting another world-class technical innovation.
Volvo Dynamic Steering combines conventional hydraulic power steering with an electronically regulated electric motor fitted to the steering gear. The result is precise steering that gives the truck driver a safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable working environment.
"This patented technology benefits the truck driver in all operating conditions. On the highway the dynamic steering system offers unbeatable directional stability. At low speeds even a heavily loaded truck is so easy to steer that you can do so with one finger," said Volvo Trucks president Claes Nilsson.,.
An electronically controlled electric motor attached to the steering shaft is the big new technological innovation in Volvo Dynamic Steering. The electric motor, which works together with the truck's hydraulic power steering, has a maximum of 25 Nm of torque and is regulated thousands of times per second by the electronic control unit.
"The task of the electric motor is to deliver perfect steering feel for every single moment of operation. For instance, the system's sensors note that the driver wants to drive straight ahead and automatically ensures that no interference from the road surface is allowed to filter up through the steering wheel," said Gustav Neander, project manager for Volvo Dynamic Steering.
"At low speeds the electric motor's assistance makes the truck exceptionally easy to steer. Even a heavily loaded construction truck operating off-road on a rough surface can be steered without the slightest effort. Truck drivers who've tested the system during the development process have all been highly impressed."
The system's benefits can be summarised in four points:
- At low speeds the electric motor takes over the work from the driver's muscles. Instead, the driver can relax and steer without having to strain his or her shoulders and arms. Another benefit is that Volvo Dynamic Steering centres automatically also when reversing.
- Irregularities in the road surface, such as cracks and holes, are dampened by the system. This means that the steering feels more stable since the driver does not have to compensate with constant minor adjustments of the steering wheel.
- On the highway this precise control leads to increased directional stability, which in turn gives the driver a more relaxed driving experience with full control at all speeds. The dynamic steering system eliminates virtually all those small steering wheel movements that are unavoidable on today's roads.
- A steeply cambered road surface or a side wind is quickly detected by the self-learning system, which automatically compensates so the driver can steer straight ahead without having to tug the steering wheel to counteract any sideways movement. A significant improvement of road safety and driver comfort.
Volvo Dynamic Steering addresses the most frequent occupational injuries suffered by heavy goods vehicle drivers. Official figures from the Swedish Work Environment Authority reveal that truck drivers are over represented in occupational injury statistics.
"Almost four out of 10 truck drivers complain every week of pain in the back, neck, shoulders or arms. Our improved steering system offers a more relaxed driving experience that should counteract this kind of problem in the working environment," relates Gustav Neander.
"Volvo Dynamic Steering elevates the steering of heavy vehicles to an entirely new dimension. The technology makes the driver's working conditions more relaxed and controlled."
Gary Bone, vice-president of Volvo Trucks for Australia sales, said while the date for release was not locked in truck drivers in Australia and New Zealand could look forward to experiencing this world-class technology in 2014.