As you read this, Truck Test 2013 will be less than two months away! Here are the latest developments
Preparation for Truck Test 2013 is well underway with the dates, venue and format all confirmed. To recap, the test this year will include 4×2 rigid vehicles in the eight-tonner category – those that typically run short, local distribution routes. These vehicles are frequently loaded and unloaded and, as they are driven between and around cities, have to put up with a variety of traffic and road conditions each day.
With a view to replicating these typical operating conditions as far as possible, FOCUS and event coordinator Fritz Hellberg have secured the use of the Gerotek testing facility, outside Pretoria, for the three-day test.
The first day will consist of a predetermined course, at the facility’s Ride and Handling Track, which will replicate inner city driving conditions. Vehicles will start the day at Engen Hartebeespoort and drive the 34 km to Gerotek. Each vehicle will be required to make numerous fully laden passes round the circuit, before returning to Engen Hartebeespoort. A total distance of roughly 86 km. The second and third days will require vehicles to depart from Engen Hartebeespoort to make the roughly 243 km journey to Swartruggens and back; one day fully laden, the other empty. This will replicate typical delivery scenarios.
“This market segment is very competitive with manufacturers from China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan and Sweden offering models. Where else in the world would there be such a variety of makes competing against each other?” says Hellberg. “In this category there are at least 26 vehicle models vying for customers on the South African market. Of course some manufacturers have more than one vehicle competing in this market segment, so we expect around 15 vehicles to take part in this test.”
All vehicles will be weighed on the same weighbridge, fully laden and empty, and fuel consumption and trip times will be recorded separately for each section. As an aid to practicality, all vehicles will be fitted with curtainside bodies to make for easy loading and unloading during the test.
Hellberg and his company Hellberg Transport Management (HTM) are once again partners in the test. “While my involvement in Truck Test 2013 is in the conceiving, planning and execution of the test, HTM staff will simulate the performance of each of the vehicles, using TransSolve software, prior to the test and then compile the actual results on the days of the test,” says Hellberg. “As done previously, the actual results will be compared to TransSolve’s simulated results. Because of the close correlation between actual and simulated results historically (average deviation of just four percent in Truck Test 2012), buyers of vehicles are already using TransSolve to simulate vehicles on their specific application, to confidently predict how they will perform without having to carry out actual route tests.” Of course, Truck Test 2013 aims to compare performance by way of real world testing.
As with Truck Test 2012, Truck Test 2013 is generating a distinct air of anticipation and excitement among vehicle manufacturers, and no doubt will be keenly followed by users of such vehicles. Keep watching this space as we bring you more!