An astounding success!
The much anticipated and trendsetting Truck Test 2013, which ran from this Monday to Wednesday this week, is done and dusted. But, its results will be of great use for some time to come. Well, as soon as they are released, as the Hellberg Transport Management (HTM) team is feverishly working on analysing and compiling all the data gained. Until then, though, here’s a little teaser of what went down.
Things kicked off at Engen Hartbeespoort Dam, about 80 km northwest of Johannesburg, as the entrants arrived for their trucks to be fuelled and fitted with the Ctrack units – one of the methods used to monitor the trucks’ speed, fuel consumption, time spent on the road and all stops made . The other monitoring methods included the HTM team and all observers – a representative from each manufacturer rode along in another manufacturer’s truck and kept tabs on the vehicle and driver.
Here the realisation hit that Truck Test 2013 (which slowly crept closer over the past six months) was actually upon us, as the magnificent row of 14 trucks was lined up against the picturesque backdrop of the Magaliesberg Mountain range – with excitement peaking as all awaited to get underway.
From Engen the Truck Test 2013 convoy went to the Gerotek Test Facilities just outside Pretoria, to travel around the mountainous handling track – under extremely hot conditions – which had the participants sweating bullets as the route had some intimidating slopes and climbs. There were set stops on the track as this exercise was used to simulate the start-stop drives experienced in inner-city deliveries.
However, on the preview trip that all the participants took around the track to get a feel for the route, MAN’s lead driver Blackie Swarts summarised everyone’s sentiments perfectly when he asked: “Where’s the toilet paper?”
Days two and three saw all travelling from Engen Hartbeespoort Dam to Swartruggens, about 170 km west of Pretoria, to simulate the intercity trips that the eight-tonne segment so frequently take. The first trip was laden and the second unladen as these vehicles often return to their home base empty.
These simulations presented some real-life challenges as many of the Truck Test trucks were pulled over at the one weighbridge, with some participants being held up for a long time. Abnormal load vehicles on the road also brought about delays as some of the Truck Test trucks were held up behind them en route to Swartruggens.
Although there were some minor everyday challenges and hiccups, all were delighted by the experience and very eager to see how their vehicles fared. But they will have to wait a bit longer …
Grab your copy of our May edition of FOCUS for the final results and a three-page expose on the trials and triumphs of Truck Test 2013. Also, keep your eyes peeled as we’ll post them in our newsletter as well.
The entire FOCUS team would like to thank all the sponsors, partners and participants for your wonderful contributions and participation in Truck Test 2013. This event wouldn’t have been possible without you all!