Geared up for action
With the last official meeting concluded on February 12, all are informed about everything relating to Truck Test 2013. Excitement is now peaking as next month will deliver another Truck Test extravaganza.
Truck Test 2013, protégé of Truck Test 2012 (possibly the first of its size globally), is set and ready for action as kickoff will commence on April 15 – continuing to April 17. This year’s test moves away from the extra-heavy prime movers and towards another very important segment; 4×2 freight carriers with a legal carrying capacity of seven tonnes and over.
Eugene van Niekerk, new business development manager at Ctrack Fleet Management SA, explains: “Truck Test 2013 will offer original equipment manufacturers an opportunity to experience real-life use of the eight-tonne vehicles in urban scenarios – shedding light on some of the challenges that companies face on a daily basis. It also provides datasets that can be valuable to both vehicle manufacturers and operators.” He adds that Ctrack can use the results as a benchmark for companies who use similar vehicles.
Van Niekerk also states that the company wants to provide vehicle-related information relevant to the organisers and participants in this year’s event.
But a test can’t be a test if no one partakes in the affair … The last official meeting, before the great day, was held at Engen’s head office in Parktown, Johannesburg, with the company sponsoring the gathering.
Lindsay Bassett, key accounts manager, commercial fuels, at Engen, says: “Following the success of Truck Test 2012, we were extremely pleased when it was confirmed that the event was to be staged again this year – albeit testing a different category of trucks. The participation of the major truck manufacturers last year and the interest that Truck Test 2012 generated were testimony to the value of the event to original equipment manufacturers, as well as transport operators.”
He adds that it is of paramount importance for Engen to be supportive of worthy initiatives in the transport market as the company is a major supplier of fuels and lubricants to the transport sector in southern Africa. “Truck Test 2013 gives us an opportunity to build on our participation last year and to continue to promote the Engen brand to the trucking industry.”
The last meeting saw attendees delivering their inputs and voicing their concerns. The main topics included a summary of the programme and routes, clarification on the length of the vehicles’ bodies and placements of decals on the vehicles.
There was some uncertainty about the length of the vehicles’ bodies as this isn’t explicitly stated in the rules for the event.
Fritz Hellberg from Hellberg Transport Management (HTM), joint event coordinator with FOCUS, provides clarity on the subject: “The body length has to fill the whole chassis, thus, there can’t be any of the chassis sticking out behind the body.”
He explains that one could shorten the chassis and then fit a body accordingly, but this is to get the load distribution just right. “This is allowed because there are chassis that are imported from other countries where long chassis lengths can be used to fully utilise the 10 or 12 tonne carrying capacity of the vehicle, but our law allows for only nine tonnes,” he adds.
As for the decals, it was decided that the main sponsors – FOCUS, Engen, Ctrack and HTM – will have designated spots on the doors of the vehicles. The Truck Test 2013 decal will be placed on the windscreen and the manufacturers’ decals will be placed on the back doors of the bodies along with those of any other sponsors that come on board. Manufacturers will also be allowed to brand the sides of their own curtainsides.
Bassett points out that the routes will be different to the highway driving of the 6×4 truck tractors of last year, taking into account the different operating conditions of the eight-tonne vehicles. “This will pose new organisational challenges, but with the team of organisers and sponsors who worked so effectively last year, we have no doubt that Truck Test 2013 will be another great success,” he adds.