Sales results, safety warnings and new fleet additions highlight the news across the industry this week, while industry regulators have advice for truckies driving in difficult conditions.
Daimler reports increased sales in 2023
Mitsubishi Fuso has reported a strong sales result for the calendar year for its Daimler Truck brand. It increased its unit sales worldwide in 2023, selling 526,053 vehicles (up one per cent from 2022).
The battery-electric range was where they really shone however, increasing sales by 277 per cent on 2022 to 3443 units.
Daimler Truck CEO Martin Daum says he is happy to report a successful year for the brand.
“In 2023 we have again increased our sales despite a continuously challenging supply situation which prevented even higher sales. We are very confident of achieving our financial ambitions for 2023,” he says.
“Our sales of battery-electric vehicles more than tripled compared to the previous year. We have expanded our product portfolio of battery electric vehicles for our customers in 2023 to ten different models.
“This is the foundation for future growth and underlines our aspiration to lead the transportation of the future.”Image: Daimler/Supplied
NHVR urges truckies to stay ready for wet weather
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is warning drivers of the risks of wet weather across Australia. CEO Sal Petroccitto stresses the importance of safety and preparedness for truck drivers navigating these conditions.
Drivers can stay ahead of storms by highlighting key measures and equipment they should be taking on their journey.
“First and foremost, heavy vehicle drivers should be ensuring routine vehicle maintenance is up to date and pre-departure maintenance checks have been completed, before travelling to their destination,” Petroccitto says.
“This includes inspecting the vehicle’s tyres, making certain of proper tread depth and inflation, with adequate traction crucial in wet and slippery conditions. Drivers should also be checking the functionality of all lights, including headlights, hazard lights, brake lights and turn signals, in addition to testing windshield wipers.
“The NHVR’s number one priority is ensuring the safety of all road users, rain, hail or shine, and these are the safety measures that could save a life.”
North East Bin Hire adds new Isuzu
Waste and skip bin transport company North East Bin Hire has taken delivery of a brand new Isuzu FRR 110-240, christened ‘Skip 8’, to their Albury-Wodonga business.
Owner-operators Tom Hogan and Shannon Miles bought the truck from Blacklocks Isuzu in Wodonga, saying it has been perfect for the job.
“Blacklocks Isuzu are a big part of the community in Albury and working with Richard has been really good,” Hogan says.
“With the lifting mechanism on the tray and needing to carry skip bins, payload was extremely important for us with the new Isuzu truck.
“We went with manual transmission for the mixed terrain—that first gear is so low you can pull up hills with no worries.
“In terms of size, the FRR is fantastic, and the manoeuvrability was a huge selling point. It’s great to drive, with a better turning circle than my dual-cab ute.”Image: Mark Jesser/Isuzu Trucks
Bendix reminds truckies to check their brakes
Brake manufacturer Bendix recommends that drivers stay aware of the stresses being put on their brakes driving in difficult conditions.
This grows especially more crucial as the carrying capacity of the trucks grows – operating at near full GVM – the brakes on these trucks are under more stress.
Bendix recommends that truckies should regularly:
Ensure brake fluid levels are correct and changed at OEM-specified intervals
Inspect brake pads, rotors and calipers for wear or damage
Check brake shoes and drums for wear, damage and adjustment
Check brake lines and air hoses to ensure there are no kinks, perished rubbers or other damage
Ensure that brake components are properly lubricated to prevent corrosion and to provide free operation
Clean brake components to remove corrosion and debris build-up as required
Melbourne Polytechnic trailer making a buzz
Vocational Education and Training provider Melbourne Polytechnic has made unique use of a Maxi-CUBE Classic Dry Freight van, using it as a mobile classroom to teach beekeeping.
Developed in partnership with MaxiTRANS, the trailer had to match specific requirements to be used for beekeeping and education, being large enough to act as a classroom while also adhering to road safety standards.
Maxi-CUBE engineers made the trailer special-built, adding a number of features including a fibreglass slip-free zircon door, a side-access door and underbody storage for ladders and steps.
There are nine solar panels on the roof, which power batteries built into the trailer. There is also a water storage unit, providing hot water for honey extraction, and workbenches for training.
“There’s two extractors in there, a warming cabinet, equipment to do repairs to boxes or create new boxes,” says Melbourne Polytechnic facilities and assets team member James Farmer.
“They learn to rob hives, take the wax off them and run them through the extractors. There can be up to 20 students and they don’t all need to be in the trailer at the same time. They learn the whole process as they go through.”
The trailer has been in action since its completion in April 2023, hitting the road for its first beekeeping course in August.Image: MaxiTRANS/Supplied
ATA issues caution on rest stop safety
The Australian Trucking Association has issued a warning to caravanners and truck drivers alike about the importance of managing fatigue and the use of rest stops.
A recent NHVR survey revealed that 60 per cent of caravanners have used truck-specific rest areas, with 22 per cent doing so regularly.
ATA CEO Mathew Munro says that these spaces need to be available for drivers when they’re on the road, needing to take crucial fatigue breaks.
“Fatigue is one of the most serious factors affecting safety and vehicle crashes on our roads,” he says.
“Truck drivers meticulously plan routes to ensure they can adhere to rest schedules, facing heavy penalties for non-compliance. Nationwide, there is a chronic shortage of dedicated truck rest areas and this problem is made worse when caravans fill these spaces.
“Caravanners and truck drivers have a shared interest in reducing crash risk. It is in caravanner’s own best interests to avoid practices that increase fatigue risk for truck drivers.
“We need greater awareness among caravanners about the seriousness of this issue.”
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