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National Report on PBS fleet performance coming out
For the second year running, Trailer and Prime Mover have partnered with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and Volvo Trucks to produce Australia’s only National Performance-Based Standards (PBS) Fleet Report.
According to Managing Editor, Sebastian Grote, the Report will once again serve as a guide to Australia’s world-renowned high productivity vehicle design scheme and take stock of the year gone by.
“Our upcoming PBS Fleet Report will provide Australia’s transport industry with a complete overview of what the PBS scheme has achieved in 2016,” he said.
“It will look at how many PBS-approved units are currently in operation and in which configuration, and give fleets a realistic indication of the direction PBS will take in 2017.
“What’s especially exciting this year is that we are now on the brink of PBS going mainstream, so we will examine what that could mean for the transport community as a whole and Australia’s standing in the world.”
Once again, the NHVR has provided Prime Mover and Trailer with exclusive insights and data, including a future growth prediction for the world-leading high productivity vehicle scheme by Australia’s leading expert in the field, NHVR Chief Engineer, Les Brusza.
The full story will appear in the December editions of Prime Mover, which will be on sale on 5 December, and Trailer (on sale 7 December). Both editions will also include a range of technical and fleet-focused case studies relevant to the market segment.
Recycled tyres promise emissions-reducing bio-oil
Research from Queensland finds blended diesel fuel reduces emissions, maintains power
New research from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has highlighted the potential of recycled tyres to form an emissions-reducing bio-oil.
According to the university’s mechanical engineers, the oil produced from a new tyre recycling technology process can be blended with diesel in small percentages to reduce the particle mass emissions from the engine without sacrificing performance.
The ongoing testing is being run by QUT mechanical engineer Professor Richard Brown and PhD student Bangladeshi-born Farhad Hossain along with local tyre recycling company Green Distillation Technologies (GDT).
GDT, which won bronze in the US International Edison Awards last year for its innovative way to dispose of old consumer and truck tyres, breaks the tyres down into oil, carbon and steel.
Using oil produced at the facility as a power source, GDT’s recycling process recovers 4kg of carbon, 1.5kg of steel and 4 litres of oil from a recycled 10kg car tyre.
A 70kg truck tyre on the other hand will yield 28 kg of carbon, 11 kg of steel and 28 litres of oil.
Utilising this oil offset for the trial, Hossain says saving tyres from landfill will benefit both the community but also the environment.
"There are 1.5 billion tonnes of tyres discarded globally each year," he says. "Getting rid of old tyres in an environmentally-friendly way is a universal nightmare for authorities.
"Stockpiles of used tyres around the world are a health hazard, as demonstrated by the recent Broadmeadows fire in Victoria which was difficult to put out and generated huge amounts of toxic smoke and in tropical areas old tyres are a breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus, dengue fever and malaria."
Trialling 10 and 20 per cent diesel blends, Hossain says the tests involved an engine "typical of engine types used in the transport industry."
"We tested the tyre oil blends in a turbocharged, common rail, direct injection, six-cylinder engine at the Biofuel Engine Research Facility at QUT," he says.
"Our experiments were performed with a constant speed and four different engine loads of 25, 50, 75 and 100 per cent of full load.
"We found a 30 per cent reduction in nitrogen oxide which contributes to photochemical smog, and lower particle mass which means fewer problems for emission treatment systems.
"We also found the performance of the oil blends were consistent through all of the blends and will continue this testing in subsequent research."
The early indications from the QUT research could have a big impact on the future of tyre recycling, GDT COO Trevor Bayley says, as the company had previous thought the oil by-product was destined for heating or further refinement.
"We are delighted at the findings of the QUT research as it will help us promote the sustainable use for end-of-life tyres, as it has already been found by refinery Southern Oil that our oil from recycled tyres has been overlooked as a potential biofuel source, yet they say it is the most reliable and easiest to refine of all," Bayley says.
"They have said that the future potential of this source of feedstock is immense, in fact preferable to other bio-oils from plants or algae, plus it will reduce Australia’s dependence on imported fuel and it is an excellent example of converting an environmental waste problem into a valuable raw material."
GDT has been running since 2009, operating a pilot plant in New South Wales that handles 19,000 tonnes of car and truck tyres annually.
Canberra to fund fatigue research project
Outcome of the project will better inform future policy, Chester says
With road safety in mind, the federal government has announced $828,000 to fund a new Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Research Project to better inform policy makers.
Announcing the news, federal transport minister Darren Chester says the funding will go to better understanding truck driver fatigue and to find solutions to its involvement in heavy vehicle road accidents.
"Driver fatigue is one of the main causes of road accidents involving heavy vehicles, contributing to approximately 22 per cent of all recorded incidents across the country," Chester says.
"I cannot, and will not accept, this situation."
Collaborating with the National Transport Commission, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, universities and industry on the research, Chester says they will gain "a clearer picture of our road safety challenge."
"The Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Research Project will investigate driver alertness, sleep patterns and the safety risks associated with reduced concentration in a bid to better inform future fatigue policy," he says.
"The data collected through this research will be crucial in assessing the effectiveness of our current framework and will help us deliver a more contemporary risk-based approach.
"This collaborative approach is essential in delivering the safest road network possible, with the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity providing oversight of this project."
Hoping to finalise the research and present it to the transport ministers by 2018, the funding will span the next two years.
"I have seen first-hand the impacts of a road crash and I, along with many other Australians, have heard stories from our friends, colleagues and neighbours of a road crash they have experienced," Chester says.
"The annual economic cost of road crashes in Australia is estimated to be around $27 billion, and that doesn't even begin to touch on the grief and pain suffered by families.
"Research such as this will ensure we have the right policy settings in place to minimise the loss of life from road crashes."
New Kenworth Unveiled
Paccar HQ in Bayswater has seen a new Kenworth unveiled, the T610. Available in two models, the T610 and T610 SAR, this new generation of Kenworths looks set to revolutionise the truck maker’s range, here in Australia.
After almost a decade of development, and the result of more than 100,000 Australian design hours and more than ten million kilometres of testing and validation, Paccar said the T610 is the single largest investment in product development the company has ever made in Australia.
The new models have been designed to utilise the technology and components available from the Paccar organisation worldwide, but put it together in a particularly Australian way, to meet the trucking industry’s needs both in terms of power and dimensions as well as being able to remain durable in Aussie conditions.
The new cabin is fitted to the traditional Kenworth chassis and is the coming together of three sections, an adaptation of the unitary driver’s cab used in the US, a sleeper compartment custom built at the Bayswater plant and a fibre glass roof designed and built in Australia.
The 2.1 metre wide cab is almost 300 mm wider than the outgoing cab, with the engineers having also pushed the cab 300 mm forward over the engine to meet Australia’s difficult length laws.
With the introduction of the Cummins X15 engine, the new trucks will be available from 450 to 600 hp. This means the two new models will have the capability to replace all of the existing T4 and T6 range from Kenworth. Not that the existing models will be going away anytime soon, Kenworth will be building old and new models, side by side on the production line for the time being.
Kenworth says the new cabin is centred entirely around the needs of the driver. Incorporated into the design is greater foot space, more standing room and storage, wider walkthrough access between the seats and more expansive door and windscreen glass, providing space, visibility and ergonomics never before seen in Kenworth’s suite of Australian made trucks.
“The core of this project was about building a bigger cab but it’s really about creating the ultimate driver environment,” said Brad May, PACCAR Australia’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “A good driver environment leads to better all-round driving performance, safety, efficiency and productivity.”
USA TRUCK ORDER CANCELLATIONS REACH 20 YEAR HIGH
It’s more bad news for the American truck market with cancellations of heavy-duty truck orders reaching a two-decade high.
US truck makers have battled dwindling sales since late last year, but according to data from ACT research, buyers cancelled 8,610 orders for Class 8 trucks last month or 10.5 per cent of backordered units.
Fleet operators have held back on model upgrades and expansion plans as a result of lower shipping demands and falling freight prices.
According to principal at ACT Research, Jim Miel, the spike in cancelled orders is a major concern.
“More businesses and more customers out there who for one reason or another have lost faith in an increase to shopping demand. This is a high number by any benchmark,” he said.
“I don’t see anything different in terms of freight or an economic dynamic. Things were a little bit shakier for some of that intended business than the manufacturers thought back in the summertime.”
The downturn in the heavy-duty market has already impacted engine manufacturer Cummins and Miel warned there would be a concertina effect.
“The cancellations will indeed have some ramifications upstream to the supply chain,” Miel added.
Keeping Transport Operations Ready for the Future
Many midsize trucking operations are struggling with keeping transport operations ready for the future. A case in point is based in the the Wollongong/Port Kembla area, one of those which has been up against it in recent years. The decline of the steel industry and disappearance of manufacturing has had the effect of depressing the local economy.
This is the business environment in which regional carrier boss, Alan Ross, is trying to maintain a business started by his parents and which he hopes will eventually pass through to the next generation.
The business started back in 1975, at the time Alan was just 12 years old and the job of washing down the trucks was his responsibility. The freight the operation handled was typical of many of the operators in the area at the time, steel, tippers and coal. The natural ups and downs of the economy saw the emphasis move between the different applications, but work was consistent overall.
By the time Alan took over the business, following his parents divorce, the operation ran ten trucks and was growing into interstate work. The mix moved gradually over to interstate freight and local flat tops so that by 1989 the tipper fleet had gone. Coal transport had become high maintenance and was moving towards a 24 hours a day operation and was dropped.
Alan’s mother remains part of the team and is described by him as being the ‘backbone of the business’. She had always been involved in the business while holding down full time job, after 1989 she began to work full time.
At this point the fleet grew as the amount of interstate work available expanded. More trucks and trailers joined the fleet and the expansion continues. From the small local operation of those early years, there are now 57 trucks including 35 B-doubles and, in total, 120 trailers in the fleet, the vast majority of which are Freighter/Maxitrans trailers.
“We have 57 trucks now, but I was, originally, going for one for every year of my age,” said Alan. “I’m 54 now, but two years ago I decided to give that up. I wanted to get back to a situation where I could be happy, it was wearing me down. Now, I’ve gone to 57 trucks, the other way, because the market won’t let me sell trucks.
“I am not going to sell good equipment and good trailers for nothing, they will not give me enough. I’m sitting here with five spare sets of Freighter/Maxitrans tautliner trailers. They will probably get sent to the auctions in the next few months.”
The business remains diverse covering a lot of industry sectors. With over one hundred regular customers, the operation will handle goods from steel to bricks to general freight, working for the likes of Boral and Bluescope, but also smaller companies.
“We aren’t the primary contractor on many jobs now,” said Alan. “You see, a lot of the little mobs are closed, the ones I used to concentrate on. They didn’t mind paying a little bit more because of the service levels they received. A lot of them have shut down or moved overseas.”
The business employs about 80 people altogether. there are ten in the workshop, seven in administration as well as the 57 drivers. Each driver has their own truck and only they drive them. Alan reckons it is an efficient way to organise the fleet.
“We do not share trucks. I don’t believe we do it tough, because I pick up the costs in maintenance,” says Alan. “I pick it up in not paying owner drivers, I pick it up in a lower turnover of drivers. You really have to be on the ball to make it work.
“I won’t do changeovers, I refuse to do them. I think they are dangerous and encourage drivers to do the wrong thing. Everyone’s aware of the fatigue issues now, the smaller people are the ones who aren’t aware, but a lot of them are learning. I don’t find anyone a problem with a time slot change, as long as you are on the ball. We phone the driver and ask them what time suits them and it works. If you communicate and talk about it, it works.”
Are better roads too much to ask?
Truckies are happy to contribute to the cost of roads and road maintenance, but we must get better value money, Rod Hannifey argues
In his latest Owner//Driver column, road transport safety advocate Rod Hannifey says the transport industry needs to get better value out of its contribution to the state of Australian roads.
"For years the road transport industry has correctly claimed that we are overcharged for our contribution to roads and road maintenance," he says.
"We are not the only ones who use them; yes we are the biggest and carry the most weight, but whilst we do carry freight with intent to make a profit, we are a service industry to the people of Australia.
"If they did not need and buy the products we carry, we certainly would not be running up and down the road empty, just for fun!"
As a truckie himself, Rod traverses the country behind the wheel of the TruckRight Industry Vehicle and sees it as his duty to report areas of dilapidation. But ongoing issues have him angry.
"I have been ringing road authorities for years asking for bits and pieces to be repaired," Rod continues.
"If we do not report a problem, how will someone sitting in an office hundreds of kilometres away ever know of it?
"Yes, there are still some road crews who will look and report road issues, but if they are driving along at 60km/h, will they see, feel and recognise the impacts on a fully laden B-double and will they do anything about it?
"How often do we see road repairs done and they have failed by the next week and we are forced to pay for that bad work, over and over again?
"Yes, we must contribute to the cost of roads and road maintenance as road users. But we must get better value for road building and road repairs.
"The dips, bumps, culverts and bridge abutments that subside, and the potholes and the damage caused to the truck and the driver, must be recognised as a cost not only to the owner and driver, but to the Australian community, let alone often a contributing factor to crashes.
"If the roads were built to a standard and we got good value from them, instead of being built to the cheapest cost that may well then see maintenance costs over the life of the road far exceed the original price."
Ceva Logistics leases two new facilities in Vic
With new automotive contracts under its belt, Ceva is expanding its presence in the state
In a move to accommodate its growing business, supply chain management company Ceva Logistics has leased two new warehouses in the West Park Industrial Estate in Truganina, Victoria.
With the new three-year lease, Ceva will have two warehouses over 10,000sqm each in addition to loading docks, office spaces and car parks.
One of the two West Park facilities will be used to manage the newly-acquired Toyota contract.
Facility owner Frasers Property's southern region C&I Anthony Maugeri says Truganina is one of the fastest growing industrial precincts in the country and continues to attract major Australian companies.
It is currently home to other transport and logistics firms including Austrans, Toll Logistics, MaxiParts, Australia Post, Chep, Fastline Logistics, among others.
"Victoria’s West is expanding rapidly and this park is ideally located to capitalise on this growth. The Port of Melbourne, Melbourne Airport and the Western Ring Road can all be accessed from this centrally located industrial estate," Maugeri says.
"In addition to the park’s great location, Frasers Property offers a total customer service solution providing end-to-end service for all development disciplines."
PacLease on national expansion course
PacLease Australia has embarked on a national expansion course with the addition of three new franchise locations in Queensland operated by Brown & Hurley.
“As a result of increased demand for our truck rental, full service lease and contract maintenance services, we are pleased to announce our expansion into the greater Brisbane market,” said Olen Hunter, Director of PacLease Australia.
“PACCAR Australia has the strongest dealer network in the country and we’re pleased to be opening three new franchise locations at Brown & Hurley Kenworth and DAF dealerships.”
According to Hunter, the Brown & Hurley/ PacLease collaboration has the potential to take on a leading role in the Brisbane truck rental and leasing market.
“We see truck rental and leasing as a complementary service to provide our existing customers and to attract new customers we haven’t done business with before,” commented Rob Brown, Joint Managing Director of Brown & Hurley.
The three new locations are to open in the first quarter of 2017 and will be located at Brown & Hurley in Caboolture, Darra and Yatala.
Image (L-R): Olen Hunter, Director PacLease Australia; Rob Brown, Joint Managing Director – Brown & Hurley; Paul Hurley, Dealer Principal – Brown & Hurley Yatala; Roland Hollingsworth, Managing Director PACCAR Financial.
NTC highlights March dangerous goods update
Retter says industry input is crucial to getting best out of code reform process
The National Transport Commission (NTC) is seeking to raise awareness of changes to dangerous goods transport requirements to be in force in less than four months.
It is encouraging industry and business owners to prepare for the launch of edition 7.5 of the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail, which will come into effect on March 1.
NTC chief executive Paul Retter says the latest updates to the Australian Dangerous Goods Code, which sets out the technical requirements for transporting dangerous goods by road or rail, will continue to keep people safe and protect our environment.
"Among the updates, there will be new rules governing the transport of dangerous goods in limited quantities to reduce the regulatory burden for business owners and provide continued assurance that these goods are transported safely and efficiently," Retter says.
Amendments include increasing the placard limit from one to two tonnes for all limited quantities and introducing simpler documentation for household and personal care substances.
"Reducing the regulatory burden remains a priority for us where it does not present unacceptable safety risks; and we encourage operators who transport freight classified as dangerous goods to provide input into potential reform opportunities," Retter says.
The NTC makes a consultative review of the code every two years "as part of an ongoing strategy to align domestic land transport requirements with the United Nations’ recommendations for the safe transport of dangerous goods".
A view of the changes before they take effect can be gained here.
Adding a Layshaft to the Gearbox
With the introduction of the New Generation trucks, Scania has unveiled an improved driveline for its models, adding a layshaft to the gearbox. Getting out on the road with these trucks gives Diesel Workshop a clear idea just how many small improvements have been made to get the whole truck into the next generation
The most obvious example from the driver’s seat is the way the Opticruise AMT changes gear. We are used to AMTs which make split second changes, well, Scania’s just got quicker again.
The new Opticruise now includes a layshaft, a second shaft running parallel to the main shaft, to and from which drive can be transferred, this improves up shifting. The new system can synchronise the speed of the main shaft and the gear, almost instantaneously, making for very swift changes. On a slight up grade with 60 tonnes on board the power is hardly interrupted on an up shift.
While the top-end V8 engines retain their current power and torque ratings, up to 730 hp (537 kW) at 1900 rpm and 3500 Nm (2580 ft lb) of torque at 1000-1300 rpm. There have been improvements, with an all new engine management system on all engines and improved cooling of the engine under the new cab.
Meanwhile the new 13 litre engines have gone over to using only SCR to control emissions at Euro 6. There is no EGR system involved in the engine design, reducing cooling needs and freeing up the running of the engine. The top power 13 is now the 500 hp (373k kW), with torque coming out at 2550 Nm (1881 ft lb).
Out on road the new SCR engine shows its mettle. Traveling around the 40 minute course at 60 tonnes, of course, the V8 just ate it up, hauling up the grades with little effort and maintaining momentum with going over 1500 rpm at any point. It seems to settle around the 1200 mark very easily.
Jumping into a similar combination at similar weights, but with the 500 hp SCR engine under the cab, saw little change. The engine feels willing to go hard at all times, with minimal effort. Average speed may have been a little slower, when compared to the big V8, but not that much. Conventional wisdom has it, the engine needed at this mass needs to be 550 hp plus. Driving this 500 suggests an astute operator might try this engine and get the payload and fuel savings on offer.
Fuel savings is a big ticket item in Europe right now, and should be more important here. Scania are talking about a five per cent reduction in fuel use across the range. This consists of three per cent from the driveline and a further two per cent from the improved aerodynamics of the new cab.
Hydrogen Truck Unveiled in the US
In Salt Lake City, the Hydrogen Truck Unveiled in the US, in front of 600 invited guests and media, by Nikola Founder and CEO, Trevor Milton, was revealed as the Nikola One Hydrogen Electric fully functioning prototype truck. The result of 10 years of development, the truck presented is powered using a fuel cell, fuelled by hydrogen to produce electric power to drive the wheels.
Pre-orders are claimed to have just crept past $4 billion and Nikola announced a deal with Ryder Lease and Maintenance for sales and servicing of the Nikola trucks. Final plans for the assembly plant, estimated to cost $1 billion dollars, are expected to be announced in mid-2017, and the first of 364 refuelling stations is due to kick off in 2019.
Building the first 5,000 trucks will be the job of, glider builder, Fitzgerald who build about 6,000 to 9,000 trucks a year in the US and are a Nikola investment partner. The full-blown Nikola manufacturing facility is due to come on stream in four to five years.
Here is a video of the launch, as it took place: VIDEO
According to Diesel’s US Correspondent, Steve Sturgess, who was at the recent launch, “Water is the by-product of the power generated by combining the hydrogen with oxygen in the air in the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell that is directly charging the lithium-ion storage batteries. The all-independent suspension used in the truck is revolutionary.
“There is a burgeoning, though patchy, hydrogen fuel infrastructure in the United States and Milton has a bigger vision for trucking. Hydrogen will be dispensed at 364 Nikola fuel station/truck stops, which are to be built concurrently with the start-up of production of the Nikola One prime mover.
“For Nikola One truckers, the cost of fuel will be zero. One of the highly attractive parts of Milton’s Nikola vision is that customers will pay nothing at the pump. The plan is to offer the trucks on a six-year lease that folds in all maintenance, service, and consumables like tyres, windshield wipers, and even fuel for 1 million miles. The cost will be finalised in the two-plus years before the truck reaches the market, but Milton says he is shooting for a lease of $5,000 to $7,000 a month.”
Truck industry divided over new owner-driver minimum pay rate
The union representing truck drivers has threatened industrial action, in a dispute over pay for contracted drivers.
Trucking industry groups are at odds over the benefits of a new pay scheme, for so-called owner-operator truck drivers, who will be covered by a national minimum wage for the first time
Transport Workers Union National Secretary Tony Sheldon said the scheme would make trucks safer.
"Study after study has found the rates pressure from big clients has caused many drivers to skip maintenance requirements," Mr Sheldon said.
"Should people fight and stand up for a safe and basic rate that maintains their vehicles and makes the roads safer, or should they lay down and accept what the clients are telling them? Well, I'd say fight," he said.
But the National Road Transport Operators Association, Natroads, has criticised the timing and detail of the pay scheme.
Natroads spokesman Geoff Crouch said a national minimum pay rate for owner drivers could make employing them undesirable.
He said if large national companies were suddenly forced to pay substantially higher rates they would simply refuse to use owner-operator drivers.
"It'll force these drivers out of the industry," Mr Crouch said.
Call for delay to start date
The pay rates are mandated in Road Safety Remuneration Order, which is due to take effect from April 4.
Natroads wants the implementation date put back six months, but the TWU is considering industrial action if there is further delay.
In some cases, the remuneration order could amount to an increase of up to 60 per cent, and will also apply a pay scale to drivers queuing for delivery.
Mr Crouch said industry groups were finding it hard to get information about how it applied to them.
He said calls to the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal were referred to the Road Safety Ombudsman, who then referred it back again.
"No-one is able to give any information, and that is simply not acceptable, given that we are just weeks away from its implementation."
"The problem we have got is the studies that the RSRT was working on don't have any demonstrated links that higher rates of pay will result in higher safety on our roads."
But the TWU believes the pay increase alone will result in better maintenance.
"(Owner drivers are saying) We deserve and our families deserve, and other road users deserve, a fair return on our capital investment, and it needs to be safe, it needs to be genuine, and it needs to be fair."
Riverina Truck Show 2016
The Riverina Truck Show has been run and won, and you didn’t have to be a truck buff to enjoy it.
The show was held in late September at Wagga Wagga on the crossroads between Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.
Thousands from the trucking-friendly city lined sections of the route between the livestock saleyards at Bomen, the bottom end of the main street and the shores of Lake Albert. Wagga highway patrol police lent a hand in blocking off roads.
Despite an overcast sky organisers estimate 8,000 people turned out at the lake for the truck display and family fun day with attractions including not only shiny trucks, but classic cars and bikes; market stalls; trade stalls; amusement rides for the kids; live music; and even power boat and tinnie racing. The grand finale was a fireworks display from pontoons on the lake.
"Everyone’s catered for," says treasurer of the Riverina Truck Show and Kids Convoy, Lloyd Wishart. To top it off the day raised more than $40,000 for charity.
Wagga City Council, one of the major sponsors of the day, has now classed the show as a "major event" for the regional city.
Next year’s show is set down for September 23 and will again co-incide with "Thunder on the Lake" organised by Wagga Wagga Boat Club.
The day raised $42,000 for Give Me 5 For Kids, N.E.T.S NSW, Amie St Clair Melanoma Trust and Trans-Help Foundation.
1st Lead Truck: Andrew Bell, Lindsay Bros, $3,800
Best Fleet: Farey’s Transport, Wagga
Best Owner Driver: Scott Menz Transport, Kenworth T650
Best Cab-over: Ashley Hall, Farey’s Transport, Kenworth K200
Best Under 3 Years: Daniel Kerrison, Scott Boxell Transport, K200
Best 3-10 Years: Ben Davies, Menzplant, Kenworth T408 SAR
Best 10-20 Years: Adam Manwaring, Manwaring Transport
Best 20-plus Years: Des Gibbs, Ford F600
Best Working: Jacob Cochrane, Kenworth T909
Best Rigid: Wayne Wishart, Langfields Transport, Fuso
Best Bonneted: Ian Clarke, T908
Best Dressed: Cameron Farey, Farey’s Transport, T909
Winner of the Mitsubishi Mirage raffle: Robert Parker
Navman launches MYTRUCK III GPS
In-cab unit promises truck driver focus with safety, travel and navigation options
Positioning equipment manufacturer Navman has unveiled the MyTruck III GPS, a truck-focused in-cab navigation unit that aims to cover all driver needs.
Shipping with a six-inch display, the new sat-nav unit features B-double- and HAZMAT-tailored navigation options, a trip planner, fuel search capability, hands-free safety information features, food and travel guides, and roadside assistance functionality.
Priced at $499, with a two-year warranty, Navman Australia country director Wendy Hammond says the company "wanted to improve the driving experience for truck drivers, so we developed MyTruck III with the help of truck drivers who tested the product vigorously and provided useful feedback, which we then used to enhance the device."
"Not only does it plan correct routes for trucks, the GPS is also packed with relevant information that truck drivers need, such as nearby petrol stations and rest stops," she says.
"We know safety is important for drivers who cover many kilometres and spend so much time on the road, so the device comes packed with the most sophisticated GPS safety features currently available.
"The MYTRUCK III also features a faster processor, so it can calculate and re-calculate routes then guide you even quicker than before."
For those who drive B-doubles of HAZMAT-restricted vehicles, Navman says the professional truck mode removes the need for road gazettes.
"Now truck drivers simply enter the truck’s dimensions and loads, and the Navman MYTRUCK III will show routes suitable for the vehicle, avoiding roads, tunnels and bridges with height, width, length, weight, load, large vehicle and hazardous material restrictions," Navman says.
For those with multiple stops, the trip planner function provides drivers with the efficient, truck-friendly route that encompasses them all.
When it comes to safety, the new Navman unit has a number of audible warnings.
The premium driver alerts inform the driver of an approaching dangerous situation, such as sharp bends, steep gradients, overtaking lanes, lane merges and windy areas.
When coming up to speed limit changes, safety cameras and school zones, the unit will also alert drivers to the exact situation through spoken safety alerts.
The unit’s safety functions also extend to driver fatigue alerts and roadside assistance – through a Bluetooth hands-free connection to a phone, the unit can pinpoint a location and nearby mechanics.
The maps are updated monthly, Navman says, and live traffic updates are provided to help with congestion avoidance.
For those in foreign locations, the unit grabs information from the Zomato Guide and Lonely Planet Travel Guides to direct drivers to food, tourist attractions and accommodation.