Archive for April, 2011

Allison Transmission’s powershifting Twin Countershaft gearbox

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Improved Fuel Efficiency for prime movers across the entire drive cycle

Pioneering 10-speed fully automatic transmission incorporates Allison’s torque converter and twin countershaft design to provide both optimised acceleration and higher fuel economy across a range of duty cycles.

Indianapolis, Indiana – Allison Transmission has unveiled a new and unique fully automatic transmission for prime movers at the 2011 Mid-America Truck Show in Louisville, Kentucky.

The highly innovative Allison gearbox, set to debut in North America in late 2012, has been designed specifically to maximise productivity and fuel efficiency during both cruising and stop-start operation.

As the first powershifting, twin countershaft design for commercial vehicles, the transmission incorporates Allison’s proven torque converter technology to deliver uninterrupted power to the wheels.

This functionality delivers productivity and fuel efficiency to stop-and-go portions of a route, while the 10-speed countershaft architecture offers superior fuel economy during cruising on highways.

Coupled with the smooth shifting and ease of operation benefits offered by a fully-automatic, this new technology provides OEMs and operators with a competitive and fuel efficient alternative to automated manual gearboxes.

“Initial in-vehicle tests have shown worthwhile gains in fuel economy, and we achieved increases in vehicle miles-per-workday,” says Lou Gilbert, Allison Transmission’s Director of North American Market Development.

“Our rigorous testing has also shown this new transmission offers better fuel economy than an automated manual in the targeted duty cycle markets for which it was developed.”

Continuing Allison’s commitment to offer excellent fuel efficiency, the new transmission will also incorporate a range of intelligent features including Load Based Shift Schedules (LBSS), Reduced Engine Load at Stop (RELS) and more. Tuned to the vehicle powertrain, these features deliver an optimum blend of performance and economy specific to application, customer need and duty cycle.

The new development also draws on Allison’s extensive experience to build durable transmissions that minimise whole of life costs, including the torque converter that cushions and protects the entire drivetrain, as well as service features such as prognostics that allow operators to quickly monitor oil and filter life.

At the Mid-America Truck Show, Allison demonstrated a Peterbilt prime mover incorporating the new transmission for potential customers to drive and evaluate.

“Once you combine exceptional fuel economy and miles-per-day with Allison quality, reliability and durability, you’ve got a transmission that will redefine tractor performance and operating efficiencies,” concludes Lou Gilbert.


Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Sadly, 14 Australians lost their lives on our roads at Easter last year – and many more were seriously injured.

Take care on the roads over this Easter weekend, and, if you’d like to join with us to encourage everyone in the broader community to think carefully about road safety over the long weekend, please share the following JBRT link on Facebook (if you’re a Facebook member):

This Easter, please drive safely on our roads. Last year, 14 Australians lost their lives. To find out more about the impact of road trauma on the lives of those who survive or are left behind, please visit Help spread the word – cut and paste this in your status.

There has been an astounding response to Journey Beyond Road Trauma online community since the official launch at Easter last year, with people sharing stories about recent losses and trauma as well as events that had an impact on them many years ago. Emergency services personnel, people living with serious injuries and counsellors have also joined the community.

With more than 1,800 members on the main site and the Facebook page and around 27,000 visits and 206,000 page views, it is a passionate community of people finding a voice and strength.

We are pleased to report that most of our aims are being met. Are people supporting and empathising with each other?

Yes, many members are engaging with each other another publicly while many many more are also helping and supporting each other privately. A group of community members recently met in Adelaide face to face after meeting each other online.

Is my story being used to educate others about safe driving practices?

Yes, we are pleased to announce that your story will now make a DIFFERENCE. We are about to launch classroom resources for the site, sponsored by the Alcohol and Education Rehabilitation Foundation. The teachers’ guide will be available on the site so that schools around Australia can more effectively and easily use the community and our members’ stories to educate future drivers about the effects of careless driving.

The community is also regularly contacted by welfare workers, schools and university students who want to include JBRT in their education programs.

Can community members conduct their own road safety campaigns and as a community collectively work together to make sure our roads are safer?

This is one of our aims that will be realised as the site grows and more funding becomes available to develop the functionality to do this. We are about to commence the process of raising funding to develop the campaign section in the website, which will include sophisticated group functionality for campaigning, event organising tools, online petitions and downloadable templates. The campaign section will also include educational advice from road safety experts who will interact with community members via live chats on road safety, news feeds, statistics and links.

JBRT is inspired by the success of the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) model. From its humble beginnings 25 years ago, MADD has evolved into one of the most widely supported and respected non-profit organisations in America. What began as a handful of angry mothers with a mission to stop drink driving has evolved into an educated and effective group of road safety campaigners. These mothers, by collaborating with each other and utilising the guidance of road safety experts, have now helped save thousands of lives.

Are your stories being delivered across other platforms to increase the public’s awareness of the effects of road trauma?

Yes, this year Sunrise ran a series of five stories (with one to go) from the community. Other members have been interviewed by 7:30 Report, News Ltd and the RAA. Big thanks to our members for sharing their story and spreading the word.

Youth Justice conference convenor Lorna Edwards from Newcastle in NSW used the online community in a powerful way for a young man charged with dangerous driving.

Ms Edwards chose a story from the JBRT site about a man who accidentally killed a young child as a result of dangerous driving when he was 18 years old. This story was read out by a police officer at the initial conference.

An Outcome Plan, which was the sentencing option, stipulated that the young man charged with dangerous driving had to visit the JBRT site and select three stories to print out and send off to The Department of Juvenile Justice.

Ms Edwards says it was a ‘great’ conference and has recommended using this process in the future for driving related cases.

Neurosurgical nurse at the Royal Hobart Hospital Tasmania, Linda Nichols presented a paper at the Australasian Neuroscience Nursing Conference in Christchurch titled ‘Moral and Ethical Decision Making’.

The paper focused on the factors that influence decisions made by parents following a motor vehicle accident involving young persons. Ms Nichols promoted JBRT as an avenue for parents who have lost children or who are supporting the seriously injured, to tell their stories so as to have a voice and make a change.

If you would like to know more please call producer Sandra Cook on 0413 146013.

DAF Makes A Difference For Tastrans

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Pic: TasTrans' FTT CF85 crossing Hobart's iconic Bridgewater Bridge

Tony Berry’s involvement in the Tasmanian transport industry goes back over 25 years, including 18 years with TOLL Transport.

In 2004 Tony Berry took the big step of forming his own transport company TasTrans with two old Kenworth trucks and 7 years on he’s never looked back – now operating 37 vehicles and employing 77 staff.

According to Tony, 2008 was the year Chris Saltmarsh from CJD Equipment proved his perceptions to be wrong when he went looking for a new prime mover to replace an older truck. “I still remember the day like it was yesterday. Chris recommended a DAF CF85, and Chris’ persistence and belief in the brand paid off in the end.

“I was never a DAF lover, but I definitely am now and so are all of our drivers who drive it, it’s just brilliant. “The CF85 is a B-Double spec, but we run it as single and it’s been averaging 4,000 kilometres a week doing Woolworths deliveries around Hobart during the week and then line-haul work between Hobart and Burnie at night carrying 45 tonnes at a time and it does it easy.

“It’s just brilliant and we haven’t had an issue with it in the three years we’ve been running it. I don’t do much driving anymore, but if I do a run north I’ll take the DAF every time – even the drivers who love the US gear love the DAF.

“During the evaluation we did put the DAF up against a MACK and a Volvo, but the DAF came out way on top for finish, user friendly operation, driver comfort and Euro 5 compliance – which was and is a big issue for Woolworths. And being so user friendly means we can put inexperienced drivers in it and know they won’t break it.

“Euro 5 compliance is a big issue for companies like Woolworths and this was definitely one area that the DAF out-speced the Volvo when it came to emissions and economy. “Build quality was another key factor in my decision to go with the CF85. We recently added another two smaller DAFs to the fleet after our purchase of Honan Transport Services in February.

One of the trucks was recently involved in an accident and that really reinforced the strength of the European product over the Japanese built trucks. “The driver was trapped for over four hours and was eventually freed with only a broken finger. Those that witnessed the accident and viewed the wreck said that he wouldn’t have made it out if he’d been in some other trucks.

“We’ll definitely be replacing it with another DAF, nothing else will get a look-in. We are also looking at DAF’s FAP LF55 to replace one of our other trucks as its unique pusher axle setup will give us a 9.5 metre tray length, which is half a metre longer than anything else on the market, and still have room for a truck mounted crane – which is a great concept.

“One of the amazing things about the DAF is its reliability, it really is second to none. I often think about laughing at Chris when he recommended the CF85. “We run our own heavy vehicle workshop, so we use CJD for parts management and I’ve got to say – nothing is too much trouble for them and their support is head and shoulders above the rest.

“The CF85 is without question the best truck we’ve got in our fleet. The AS-Tronic automatic transmission really takes the pressure off the drivers, while the interior layout and smooth ride is more like a car than a truck.

“And from a corporate point of view it looks spectacular – CJD did an amazing job of colour coding the cab and the chassis, and even added Dura-Bright wheels which look spectacular.

“My advice for anyone considering a new truck purchase is that you won’t do better than a DAF – and you can quote me on that. Originally I was very nervous about the brand, but a week into owning one I had absolutely no regrets.

“And everything Chris promised the DAF would deliver on, it did. I’m so impressed and happy with CF85’s performance that I’ll happily share my experiences with anyone that wants to call me,” Tony said.

DAF Trucks Australia, a division of PACCAR Australia Pty Ltd, distributes a range of medium and heavy-duty trucks throughout Australia. PACCAR Inc, a Six Sigma company, is a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of high-quality light, medium, and heav duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates. PACCAR also designs and manufactures advanced diesel engines, provides financial services and information technology, and distributes truck parts related to its principal business.

Volvo FH16 700 top billing at the Brisbane Truck Show

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Pic: Volvo FH16 700 at the Brisbane Truck Show

General Manager of Volvo Trucks says the Volvo Truck stand will be a showcase of Volvo innovation in technology and safety.

Visitors to the Volvo Trucks stand at the Brisbane Truck Show 2011, will have the opportunity to see the jewel in the crown of the Volvo range, the FH16 700 powered by a massive 700hp engine, that develops 3150 Nm of torque. Gary says it also rules the roost when it comes to fuel economy, reliability and productivity. The FH16 700 is packed with advanced safety features and Gary says that safety has become a priority for smart transport operators.

“This is why Volvo puts such a big emphasis on safety, because it’s fundamental to every moment behind the wheel. We know that our trucks might have to thread a city’s streets one day and do a 1000-kilometre line haul the next. There are different safety considerations for every operating environment, and Volvo trucks are designed to handle all of them.”

Also on display at the show will be a unique roll-over simulator that gives visitors the opportunity to experience the effect of a roll-over first hand. The simulator cabin is a static device that hydraulically rolls 45º to the left and right. It has all the accessories of a real truck and visitors can feel the effects of tilting the cab through 90 degrees. Gary says this simulator demonstrates how critical the seatbelt is for saving lives.

“In some 50% of accidents in which the truck driver sustains injury, a roll-over sequence is involved. And, in at least 60% of accidents the use of a seatbelt would have reduced the injury sustained by the truck driver,” he says. “The seatbelt is the single most effective system for reducing the risk of injuries and fatalities – so I encourage all adults to experience the value of a seatbelt first hand at the Volvo Trucks stand.”

See Volvo Trucks at stand 52 in hall three.

Australian Truckies share the road safely this Easter

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Pic: Google Images

Australian Trucking Association Chief Executive Officer, Stuart St Clair, has called on Australia’s truck drivers to lead by example and drive safely over the Easter/Anzac Day holiday period.

“With Tuesday 26 April being a public holiday, creating an extended five day Easter break, we can expect more cars on the road than usual. Professional drivers know the rules, and we are the ones who should be setting an example for holiday motorists,” Mr St Clair said.

“At the same time, I ask motorists to remember that Australian truck drivers want to get home to their families too, but our trucks perform differently to cars.

“Here are a few tips that motorists can follow to make their trip safer:
• Don’t cut in front of trucks as they slow for traffic lights or when you’re out on the highway. A truck needs a greater distance to stop than you expect, because they are much heavier than cars.
• Don’t overtake trucks when they are turning. Trucks often need to turn from the centre lane at intersections and corners, so stay well back. Remember, if you can’t see the truck driver’s side mirrors, the truck driver can’t see you.
• Please be patient if the truck in front of you slows down when it’s going up a hill; we’re doing our best. If you want to overtake, make sure you can see enough clear road ahead.”
Mr St Clair reminded motorists that this holiday period presents a whole new set of challenges for all road users with school students on their term one holiday break also.

“Motorists often feel under pressure to push on to their destination, even though they’re tired. Truck drivers are legally required to take regular breaks; you should too. The best way we can all get home for Easter is to share the road safely,” Mr St Clair said.

From TruckiesOnline, have a great Easter break

Source: ATA

Brisbane Truck Show 2011 is Sold Out!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

The popular Brisbane Truck Show is a sell out

CVIAQ Chief Executive Brett Wright has confirmed that every site available over all three levels of the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) have been booked and every truck brand available in Australia will be at the show to be held on May 5 to 8.

In what is already shaping up as a record breaking show the CVIAQ has confirmed that the 2011 Brisbane Truck Show is sold out and also becomes the largest event ever held at the world class BCEC in its 16 year history. With over 250 exhibitors situated over all three levels the show will provide a feast of trucks, trailers, transport equipment and technology for even the most discerning buyer.

Wright added “The CVIAQ is proud to host the show from our new home at the BCEC at SouthBank. Together with our Show Ambassador Shane Webcke, we look forward to welcoming all of our regular show visitors and the many new guests from all over Australia. With all of the famous Brisbane Truck Show hospitality and atmosphere to also look forward to, it’s the place to be from May 5 to 8!”

Australian trucking grabs a seat on carbon tax committee

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Pic: ATA will hammer the message that Australia’s trucking industry is under strain and cannot afford to pay higher taxes

By Brad Gardner

The peak trucking lobby has scored a seat on the Federal Government’s carbon tax committee, and industry is already pushing for it to demand reductions to the diesel excise.

Australian Trucking Association CEO Stuart St Clair has joined groups such as the Australian Automobile Association and the Minerals Council to discuss the Government’s proposed carbon price ahead of its July 2012 introduction.

The NSW Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) wants the ATA to campaign for any increases due to a carbon tax to be offset by reductions in the diesel excise.

The proposal is similar to the cent-for-cent cut in the excise that would have been introduced under former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). Under Rudd’s model the diesel excise, for one year, would have been cut by one cent for every one cent rise in the price of fuel due to the CPRS.

While it has outlined some policies it will be pursuing, the ATA is yet to determine whether it will push for diesel offsets. “We’ll be strongly representing the industry, but there is not enough detail around the government’s proposal as yet for us to reach a position,” ATA Government Relations Manager Bill McKinley says. However, he says the ATA will hammer the message that the industry is under strain and cannot afford to pay higher taxes.

“Because of the economic climate, many trucking businesses are already finding it impossible to pass on increases in the price of fuel or increases in their costs,” McKinley says. “We’ll also be pointing out that trucking businesses are already taxed heavily through the road user and registration charges.”

The ATA is planning to use the committee to pursue an expansion of higher productivity vehicles and for emissions standards currently applied to trucks to include all diesel engines. “There are already emission standards in place for the trucking industry. They are very, very stringent indeed, particularly the latest set, and that should be mandated across the board,” McKinley says.

The carbon tax committee has already held its first meeting, and McKinley says it will meet on a monthly basis. The news comes as the ATA commissions a research study into the trucking industry’s environmental credentials. It says the study will look at the industry’s environmental performance and examine possible future developments such as alternative fuels, higher productivity vehicles, carbon pricing and emerging technologies.

“The study is particularly important given the debate about the Government’s proposed carbon price,” St Clair says. Under the Federal Government’s scheme, companies will need to pay a fixed price for permits to pollute. The Government’s climate change advisor, Professor Ross Garnaut, wants a starting price of between $20 and $30 per tonne of carbon dioxide, with the price rising by 4 percent annually.

In an update to his 2008 climate change review, Garnaut recommends transitioning from a fixed carbon price to an emissions trading scheme in 2015. He wants an independent regulator to oversee the scheme. During its recent council meeting, the ATA was told diesel prices would increase by 6.75 cents per litre under a carbon price of $25 a tonne. Garnaut says fuel prices will increase by between five and seven cents a litre if a carbon price of $20 to $30 is introduced.

Garnaut says a fixed carbon price can help to provide certainty to businesses and allow them to become familiar with carbon permits. In his updated paper, Garnaut says it is essential the Government gets the price right. “If Australia’s carbon price is set too high – out of step with international action – there could be an unnecessary costly transition,” he says.

“On the other hand, too low a price could impose transactions costs for no real gain. It would not raise the chances of reaching the goals of Australia and the international community.”

Source: ATN (

UD’S 20 Year long haul for Rays Loggistics

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Pic: Ray with his latest UD acquisition

After 20 years of continual UD Truck ownership, Rays Logistics’ catch phrase of “You Call, We Haul” continues to ring true today, as business is booming for the Western Sydney crane truck specialists.
From humble beginnings with a one-ton ute performing local courier work, the husband and wife team of Ray and Roslyn Sariful have grown their business to include five semi trailers and 12 rigids, working a rigorous seven day a week schedule. Rays Logistics has grown hand in hand with Glendenning based Wire Industries, which specialise in the manufacture of various wire and mesh products.

The company however made their start in the steel transport industry by being a sub-contractor for Smorgon Steel, which proved to be hard work prior to the introduction of crane trucks to the fleet. “I got an opportunity with Smorgon Steel, and along with that I got an eight ton UD,” Ray Sariful said. “After subbing for Smorgon’s for four or five years, I bought my first UD with a crane.

“Prior to that, all of the unloading was done by hand, and that was tough work, it’s hard to imagine doing that these days! “Now we’ve been with Wire Industries for 13 years, we started with three trucks, since then the fleet has grown to match the growth in their business.”

As a pioneer in crane trucks, demand for Ray’s services proved high, with Ray’s tray and crane configurations providing an ideal match to client’s needs. The company’s fleet now consists of five prime movers (including four new UD GW470s), six rigids (including two new UD PK10s) and six specialised three-quarter cab rigds.

Although the bulk of their work is in an around Sydney, the prime movers often make longer interstate trips. “I’ve had a good hard look at the competition, and they don’t even come close,” Ray said. “UD’s are built tough, but at the same time you can drive them with your finger tips.
“Between services we never even bother checking the oil, we never top the oil up, we just don’t have to do it. “You just know that between scheduled services that there won’t be any problems. “Everything that goes onto the trucks (parts wise) is genuine, you just can’t go wrong.

“We service the trucks here onsite with parts from UD in at Chullora, because we can’t afford to have them off the road at all. “We service the trucks every 10,000 kilometres, and you can feel the difference in the trucks if you are using genuine and non-genuine parts”

The six UD three-quarter cab units take pride of place in Ray’s fleet, allowing the company to haul steel up to 12 metres in length, three metres longer than on a traditional flatbed. Ray prefers to use rear mounted Palfinger Cranes due to the ease of operation, safety and weight distribution considerations.

“We got our first three-quarter cab in 2003 and haven’t looked back,” Ray said. “It’s really important, because around metro areas, the three-quarter cabs can get to a lot of places you can’t take a semi-trailer. “We have to drop off in a lot of residential areas, so it’s very important.

“Our oldest three-quarter cab has had no major work done to it in the seven years we have had it, it just keeps going and going. “The fantastic thing about the three-quarter cabs is that even after seven years of use, they are still bulletproof, and have a top resale value.

“We have some new ones being built at the moment to replace some of the older trucks in the fleet, it takes three to six months to get a three-quarter cab built up.”
A feature on the new-generation trucks is UD’s SCR emission system, which Ray believes that even in the early stages of a truck’s life provide discernible savings in fuel use.

“The new GW is a massive improvement; it’s basically a big step up over the previous models,” Ray said. “Recently we’ve made a couple of interstate trips, and you can see a fair bit of difference in the fuel economy stakes, even running a fairly high GVM.

“The new GW prime mover is great on fuel, I think the AdBlue system makes a big difference compared to the older model trucks. “It’s easy to top up the AdBlue, and there are definite advantages to using it; the savings on fuel make up the difference to the cost of the AdBlue.”

Apart from the usual rounds transporting steel products, Rays Logistics also carry general freight, pellets and scaffolding. Expansion plans for the future of the business include an imminent move into a new holding yard, which is located only a few hundred metres from the Wire Industries base, featuring near direct access to the M7 Motorway.

Ray remains hands on with the business today, regularly joining his four other prime mover drivers during busy periods.