It’s not the size that counts … but how you test it

It's not the size that counts … but how you test it

As the Truck Test programme grows in popularity, it would seem that the vehicles have shrunk in size. We started with extra-heavies, went to 4×2 freight carriers, with a legal carrying capacity of seven tonnes and over, and landed up with even “smaller” vehicles … But it is all in the name of giving you real-world results

Truck Test 2014 is around the corner and it will surely be a hat trick, as this annual event has proved to be a real hit with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), operators and readers of FOCUS. But it would seem that the vehicles are shrinking …

Come April 8, we will be putting the Truck Test spotlight on 4×2, five- to nine-tonne gross vehicle mass (GVM) vehicles for three days in a row. These “mini” movers will be split into different weight categories in order to compare “liked-sized apples” with each other – enhancing the scientifically comparable basis of the test.

Although we would have loved to see extra-heavies in the spotlight once more, we’re changing the vehicles we test each year so that this annual event continues to provide useful information to a wide variety of industry sectors.

This year’s category also opens up the test to large integral vans for the first time, which will certainly make for some fascinating insight into the transport solutions offered by the different kinds of vehicles.

Truck Test 2014 will also see OEMs entering that haven’t been part of the event thus far. These include Hyundai with its HD72, sporting a 7 200 kg GVM. “I am expecting an enjoyable experience with good results on our vehicle’s performance,” says Danie de Beer, general manager – Commercial Vehicles at Hyundai Automotive South Africa.

De Beer will also be taking a hands-on approach to Truck Test 2014 as he will be driving the Hyundai HD72. “I enjoy driving trucks and will not miss an opportunity to do so,” he says.

Another newcomer will be the Mitsubishi Fuso Canter FE 7-136, with a 7 500 kg GVM. Fuso South Africa, a subsidiary of the Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation, states that the Canter’s chassis-cab design allows flexibility for the fitment of different body types to suit almost any application.

And some OEMs have come back for more; Isuzu has entered a whopping four vehicles. These include the NMR 250 (with a 5 200 kg GVM), NPR 300 (6 200 kg GVM), NPR 400 (7 500 kg GVM) and NQR 500 (8 500 kg GVM).

The NMR 250 is now exclusively available with Isuzu’s six-speed synchromesh Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), in both Freighter and Crew Cab derivatives. Isuzu Trucks is proud of the fact that this marks the first time that NMR 250 trucks (with a payload of 2,5 tonnes) have been equipped with AMT. This option was previously available only in its vehicles with payload capacities ranging from three to eight tonnes.

Hino has also entered an impressive number of vehicles as the Hino 300 714 (6 500 kg GVM), 815 (7 300 kg GVM) and 915 (8 500 kg GVM) will join Truck Test 2014. South Africa was the first country outside of Japan to receive the new 300 Series model back in 2012 (the year of our first Truck Test).

According to Casper Kruger, vice president of Hino South Africa, the Hino 300 Series and its predecessor – the Toyota Dyna – have been dominant players in the medium vehicle segment in our country for more than two decades.

So, with April around the corner, and all the participants ready to strut their Truck Test stuff, we get ready to scrutinise these “smaller” vehicles … but there will definitely be some big highlights.

Truck Test 2014 sponsors

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Key players in the FOCUS editor’s quest to go trucking! From left: Janke van Jaarsveld (IDes Driving Academy), Alexander Taftman (Scania), Charleen Clarke (FOCUS), John Nelson (Scania) and Shane September (Scania).
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It's not the size that counts … but how you test it

As the Truck Test programme grows in popularity, it would seem that the vehicles have shrunk in size. We started with extra-heavies, went to 4×2 freight carriers, with a legal carrying capacity of seven tonnes and over, and landed up with even “smaller” vehicles … But it is all in the name of giving you real-world results

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Published by

Key players in the FOCUS editor’s quest to go trucking! From left: Janke van Jaarsveld (IDes Driving Academy), Alexander Taftman (Scania), Charleen Clarke (FOCUS), John Nelson (Scania) and Shane September (Scania).
Prev Trucking on ...
Next World truck market heads-up
World truck market heads-up

Leave a comment