Archive for November, 2009

Renault Masters Vans move into ambulances

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Three Renault Master vans have been making a big impression with an ACT-based ambulance service provider.

Renault Ambulance

Renault Ambulance

We are a relatively small private ambulance service operator based in the ACT,” Ambulance Service Australia’s (ASA) director Michael Rigo said.

ASA, which has been operating for more than 21 years, runs a fleet of 12 vehicles and provides a full range of ambulance support services including intensive care retrieval work and also has access to both fixed wing and rotary winged aircraft.

Much of ASA’s work is through contracts with the Commonwealth Government and through a program partnership with the Australian Institute of Sport.
“We have a staff of around 30 and have run the older style Ford F250 series, a Toyota Troop Carrier and the Ford Transit van as ambulance platforms,” Michael Rigo said.

“We’ve been relatively happy with the Transit as an ambulance platform, but when Ford brought the latest Transit series into Australia they dropped the automatic and that made us start looking around as under the design rules it is preferable that ambulances are automatic.

“We did our homework in terms of some things that concerned us and Renault was able to satisfy us in terms of their background, their history and their diesel technology.

“Adam Lefevre from Renault Australia lent us a vehicle for a couple of weeks to try out. “We could not fault the Renault in terms of our trial, so we put on one, then another and now, just recently, a third.

“For a range of work we do, we use the low roof short wheelbase Renault Master because it happens to particularly suit our needs. “We can fit an ambulance module into it and while there is not much room between the airways management seat and the head of the stretcher, it is do-able.
“We’ve just been really impressed by them.
“They are all automatic and we’ve been averaging 8.5 litres per hundred kilometres out of them, they just go.

The third and latest Renault Master to join the fleet is a high roof long wheel base version which has been set up as a long distance retrieval car.
“It’s got so much room and so much roof height.
“Everybody is pretty happy with them, they handle well and are very smooth,” Michael Rigo said.

Drake Trailers and TWH combine to amaze

Monday, November 30th, 2009

You might have been lucky enough to see the resin master versions of these amazing models at either the Brisbane or Perth truck shows earlier this year.

model die cast truck

model die cast truck

model die cast truck

model die cast truck

model die cast truck

model die cast truck

They are now available in all its 1/50 scale diecast glory, just in time as that almost perfect Christmas present for your trucking mate.

Wisconsin USA-based TWH Collectibles have released the 1/50 scale Kenworth T908 and a Drake Trailers’ four row of eight (4×8) Swingwing low-loader and two rows of eight (2×8) dolly.

“They definitely do look the part and everyone here is very happy with the results,” a jubilant Bruce Hay of Drake Trailers Australia said.

Mr. Hay has been Drake Trailers’ project manager working directly with TWH to get this terrific looking model built.

“One of the main reasons we went with TWH was that they were able to assure us of a quality product.

“They don’t produce models they produce replicas,” Bruce Hay said.

The combination boosts some great features including opening doors, a tilting bullbar and bonnet, and a detailed engine on the truck and on the trailer; operating ramps, a widening float and dolly, detailed suspension and working wheels.

The trucks and trailers are available separately or as a combination and come in a variety of colours and operator’s sign writing.

Check it out a or visit Drake Trailers Australia’s Wacol showroom.

Aussie Armed forces Mercedes Benz G-Wagon

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

MERCEDES Benz has handed over the first of what will become 1200 specially built Mercedes Benz G-Wagon off road vehicles to the Australian Army.

Mercedes Benz G-Wagon

Mercedes Benz G-Wagon

The first two G-Wagons, both prototypes units, were handed over in a ceremony held in the company’s Austrian assembly plant recently.

The new purpose-built cross country vehicles will replace the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) existing tactical vehicle fleet.
The 1200 Mercedes Benz G-Wagons will be supplied in a number of variants including: two and four door 4×4 station wagons; 4×4 cab-chassis utility vehicles; and purpose built 6×6 models in both single and dual cab chassis configuration
A specialized 6×6 surveillance and reconnaissance version for use in northern Australia will also be provided.
The ADF will test a range of prototype G-Wagons in 2010, with deliveries of production models expected to take place between 2011 and 2013.

New South Wales-based engineering firm G.H. Varley will provide a range of transport modules that will be fitted to many of the G-Wagons including command post, ambulance, personnel carriage and general cargo versions.
So as the Army’s ubiquitous Land Rovers (Landies) eventually wear out and get put out to auction, they will be replaced by the G-Wagons.

200th Kenworth Celebrates Martin’s Milestone

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

IN 2008 Hunter Valley road transport legend Gordon Martin celebrated both his 70th birthday and his company’s 50 years in road transport.

Gordon Martin accepted the keys to his 200th Kenworth.

Gordon Martin accepted the keys to his 200th Kenworth.

That was no mean feat, but this year his Scone NSW-based livestock and bulk haulage company, the Martin Group, celebrated another major milestone when Gordon Martin accepted the keys to his 200th Kenworth.
The Martin Group operates two main divisions; Gordon Martin Bulk Transport with 26 trucks in single tipper, B double and quad dog configurations and Martins Stock Haulage with 44 livestock trucks including two-deck, four-deck B doubles and road trains.

The group’s trucks operate throughout eastern Australia from Melbourne to central Queensland with several depots in NSW and Queensland.
Gordon Martin puts the growth and longevity of the Martin Group down to the company’s focus on meeting customer needs, its commitment to safe and efficient transport and Kenworth trucks.
“The difference between that AA182 Inter I started out with and this T908 is dramatic,” Gordon Martin said at the handover of the company’s 200th Kenworth.

PACCAR Australia managing director Joe Rizzo congratulated Gordon at the hand-over ceremony, held recently at Kenworth’s Bayswater plant.
“Gordon’s leadership within the trucking industry has helped improve working conditions, operating safety and introduce productivity benefits for road transport,” Mr. Rizzo said.
“In particular, Gordon worked hard to gain a wider acceptance for B Double and road train trailer combinations in NSW.”

Combining Kenworth’s Australian engineering and rugged reliability with the T908’s high horsepower capability and improved cooling capacity, makes Martins’ 200th Kenworth a perfect fit for Gordon’s hard working operation.
“We’re around 98 per cent Kenworth and on either livestock or bulk haulage, Kenworth trucks are well suited for our work,” Gordon Martin said.

RACQ turns to GLX Tritons

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

QUEENSLAND’S Royal Automotive Club of Queensland (RACQ) has added Mitsubishi 4×2 GLX Triton utilities to its roadside assistance fleet.

Mitsubishi Triton 4x2 GLX Ute

Mitsubishi Triton 4x2 GLX Ute

The RACQ currently has 30 Tritons and will eventually convert the majority of their fleet to Mitsubishi with a total of 90 Tritons, each fitted with a canopy designed and equipped to RACQ specifications, set to hit the road.
Executive manager of Roadside Assistance for the RACQ John Hamilton, is pleased to make the change to Mitsubishi’s durable Triton.
“The Triton offers us all the power and durability we need to bring roadside assistance to anyone, anywhere,” he said.

The RACQ’s GLX Tritons are fitted with Mitsubishi’s 16 valve inter-cooled 2.5 litre common rail turbo diesel which generates 100kW of power at 3800rpm and 314Nm of torque at 2000rpm.

Standard safety features on the RACQ’s Tritons include: Mitsubishi’s reinforced impact safety evolution body system with front crumple zones and side intrusion bars; dual front driver airbags; ABS braking system with electronic brake force distribution and seatbelt pre-tensioners.

Twin cam takes on new meaning

Friday, November 27th, 2009

THE twin cam engine was invented by Englishman Ernest Henry in 1912 while he was working for Peugeot in France.

Twin cam-el

Twin cam-el

A twin cam motor operates more efficiently and more smoothly than a single cam engine and provides improved performance and better fuel consumption.
Twin cam engines have two camshafts to each bank of cylinders and basically the twin camshafts act in harmony with one camshaft responsible for the intake valves and the other responsible for the exhaust valves.

Once known as the double overhead camshaft (dohc) engine, they are now more generally known as multi-valve engines.
Common as twin cam engines are, it is evident that the real meaning of the term “twin cam” got lost somewhere in the translation as this photo of (coincidentally) a Peugeot ute with twin cams (two camels) in the rear, suggests.

Small Business Tax Break Ends Soon For Truckies

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Small business needs to act fast if it wants to take advantage of the Federal Government’s Small Business tax break.
There are only five weeks left until the stimulus package ends at midnight December 31, 2009 and Government has made it clear that it will not be extended.
The Small Business tax break enables a business with a turnover of less than $2 million per annum, to claim a 50 percent bonus tax deduction, for eligible assets, costing more than $1000 acquired by 31 December 2009, and installed ready for use by 31 December 2010.

All other businesses have access to a 10 percent bonus tax break for eligible assets contracted by 31 December 2009.
“The Small Business tax break is one of the Government’s better incentive schemes and we urge business owners to take advantage of it,” the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce’s executive director David Purchase said.
“It is of particular benefit to employers and managers looking to purchase a new vehicle or fleet.
“The Small Business tax break enables a company to select the vehicle they desire and make a commitment to that purchase by the end of this year, without actually having to take delivery of the vehicle until the end of 2010.
VACC recommends Small Business owners considering upgrading or improving their work vehicle or fleet, speak to their accountant or financial advisor immediately.

Before anything else, employers and managers need to establish if they qualify for the Small Business tax break.
“Following that, the Small Business owner can confidently visit the local new car dealer and discuss the suitability and availability of the vehicle.
“The Small Business tax break is also an opportunity for business owners to improve the safety of their vehicle or fleet.
The incentive scheme is a fantastic chance for employers and managers to save money and to invest in the long term safety of their employees,” Mr. Purchase said.

Volvo Trucks delivers first EPA2010-certified trucks to Talon Logistics Inc.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
Volvo VN Daycabs EPA 2010 (certified)

Volvo VN Daycabs EPA 2010 (certified)

On November 17 Talon Logistics, Inc. USA, took delivery of its first EPA2010-certified trucks from Volvo Trucks in North America, with two more delivered since. Talon to date has ordered a total of 23 EPA’10 Volvo VN Daycabs for its fleet.
The delivered trucks are powered by Volvo D13 engines with 405 hp and 1450 lb-ft of torque, and Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmissions. The trucks rank the cleanest trucks in the world, since they are certified without the use of emissions credits.

Talon Logistics is the transportation division of Giant Eagle, Inc., Pittsburgh, a grocery chain with stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. Working with Volvo Trucks, Talon has been a pioneer in field testing advanced emission control technologies. For the past seven years, the two companies have tested selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems in real world operation in Talon’s fleet. The company also inaugurated Volvo Trucks’ EPA’10 customer field testing in September 2007.

EPA2010 diesel emissions standards are the most stringent in the world requiring near zero-emissions. By using selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to reduce NOx, Volvo meets these standards as well as improves fuel economy and reduces emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2. The use of SCR is already wide spread in Europe among other markets. Volvo Trucks is the first truck manufacturer to have its heavy-duty 11 and 13 liter diesel engines certified for 2010 by both EPA and CARB

Another strange day Down Under

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
Mack tow truck

Mack tow truck

Our federal parliament is hotly debating the introduction of an “emissions trading scheme” (ETS) in a huge rush of indecent haste as our extraordinarily egotistical, yet very bland and seemingly failing prime minister endeavours to push it through our parliament before the Copenhagen climate change conference next month simply, apparently, so he can get up on the world stage and say “look what I’ve done………I’m first ! “

One of the minor parties in our federal parliament is the apparently environmentally concerned, and aptly named, Greens.
Their leader came out today (Tues Nov 24) to comment on the ETS debate and stated that “Today is a very dark day for the green future of our country”.
His name is Dr BROWN……..

Mean while out at Bedourie (which is something like 1600km west of Brisbane; nearly 200km north of Birdsville; and just about 500km south of Mount Isa) where they would normally be baking in close to 40C heat at this time of year, they have been experiencing rain and a decided cool change with the overnight temperature reaching just 17C on Sunday night (Nov 22) and on daytime Monday (Nov 23) reaching just 18C !
Back in Brisbane a bloke emailed the Qld Premier’s office in recent days complaining about a piece of legislation and signed it off with the phrase “The baseball bats are out” !

That phrase is about the equivalent of the old phrase, “the gloves are off” !
His intended meaning was that at the next election, he’d take his vote elsewhere.
For exercising his democratic right to express his opinion (ie exercising his right to freedom of speech), he got a visit from a detective from the Qld Police Service.
Seems like the heat is getting to everyone and summer isn’t even here yet…..

ITTE Awards Night

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

itte picThe International Truck, Trailer & Equipment Show – EXPO AWARDS evening is a night that the entire transport industry is already eagerly anticipating. The Expo Awards night is regarded by many as the perfect way to cap off a massive event like the ITTE Show. The night will be an evening where excellence and hard work is rewarded, a time for everyone to relax and let their hair down after a massive three days and will also presents exhibitors with a perfect opportunity to reward hard working staff or key clients that contribute so much to an event as big as the ITTE Show.

If the line up is anything to go by, you can rest assured that everyone who attends will be in for an unforgettable evening of fun, laughter and rock ‘n roll.

The Expo Awards will be hosted by one of Australia’s best known and leading comic entertainers, VINCE SORRENTI. Vince is very well known amongst the transport industry and will ensure that everyone has a very memorable and enjoyable evening.

Once the Expo Awards have been presented, get ready to put on your dancing shoes and rock the night away with a lineup of some of this country’s iconic 80’s entertainers.

First up will be BOOM CRASH OPERA front man DALE RYDER who will knock your socks off with and endless stream of hits including “Great Wall”, “Hands Up In The Air” “City Flat”, “Her Charity”, “Onion Skin”, “Get Out Of The House”, “Best Thing”, “Dancing In The Storm” and “Talk About It”.

Next up in the show line up will be CHANTOOZIES legends EVA VON BIBRA and TOTTIE GOLDSMITH who will again wow their audience with their 80’s chart toppers “Witch Queen of New Orleans”, “He’s Gonna Step On You Again”, “Wanna Be Up” and “Kiss ‘n’ Tell” plus you may even get to hear them perform their cover versions of “My Boyfriend’s Back”, “Love The One You’re With” and “I’ll Be There”.

They will be followed by PAUL NORTON who made his mark as front man for THE RUNNERS before breaking out as a highly successful solo artist in the late 80’s. Performing his monster hits like “Stuck On You” and “Southern Sky” Paul will have you singing along and bopping till you drop.

Last, but certainly by no means least, will be rock legend GLENN SHORROCK. Glen is much more than an 80’s star, he is truly an Australian Rock Legend. Long before he became the front man for LITTLE RIVER BAND, Glenn had a string of hits with the TWILIGHTS such as “Needle In A Haystack” and with AXIOM such as “Little Ray Of Sunshine”. With dozens and dozens of worldwide hits to choose from, it will be a case of what songs he leaves out.

The 2010 Expo Awards promises to be a memorable evening for both the Award winners and audience alike. Tickets for the awards night are $250 each or tables of ten can be purchased for $2500. Seating for the Expo Awards is strictly limited to 70 tables and with many enquires already taken from previous attendees, these seats won’t last long. If you want to be a part of this fantastic occasion you are encouraged to contact Sarah as soon as possible on +61 3 9690 7022 or at to reserve your tickets.