It’s Truck Test, round 2!

It’s Truck Test, round 2!

It feels as though we wrapped up Truck Test 2012 just yesterday, yet here we are making preparations for Truck Test 2013. Let the games begin!

It’s amazing how time flies when you’re having fun. It was August 2011 when the wheels for Truck Test 2012 first turned, and nine months later, in May, the day finally arrived. Then it was all over. The good news, though, is that preparations for Truck Test 2013 are well under way. And judging by the reaction of manufacturers and sponsors, both new and old, it’s very good news indeed.

FOCUS, with the proud sponsorship of Ctrack, hosted all prospective manufacturers, sponsors and body builders to a breakfast in mid-November to discuss our proposals for the second annual Truck Test, to take place in April 2013. The turn-out was fantastic, and the feedback even more so.

Once again led by Fritz Hellberg of Hellberg Transport Management (HTM), the idea was for the rules subsequently proposed to be based on feedback from the very people who would be taking part.

It was decided that Truck Test 2013 would focus on vehicles in the eight-tonne category – very different to the extra-heavy super models of Truck Test 2012, as these vehicles are suited to local deliveries and not long-distance line-haul.

This means the routes will be very different, the proposal being that all trucks start the first day in Centurion, moving up the N1 to Pretoria, where they will join the N4 east to Witbank (or, as suggested by some manufacturers, even further to Belfast), from where they will then make the return journey (possibly unloaded) on the N12 to Johannesburg’s Gillooly’s interchange, then up the N3 to join the N1 back to Centurion.

Day two will consist of a run up to Pretoria, west on the N4 through central Pretoria to the R55 for some stop-start traffic, and then south on the R55 for some back-road driving before joining the N1 again. The total distance should be around 550 km.

It’s Truck Test, round 2!But what will really make Truck Test 2013 special, says Hellberg, is that it will provide a real “apples-for-apples” comparison. Whereas rig configurations varied greatly in 2012, the 2013 regulations will require that all chassis be fitted with bodies of the same specification. “This will effectively nullify varying wind resistance and payload factors,” says Hellberg. It will also give the readers – those who buy and actually run these vehicles – a clear indication of what each is capable of.

From the expressions on the faces of some of the OEM representatives, it seems the competitive spirit was already coming out. Hellberg was quick to point out that, as with Truck Test 2012, this will not be a competition. “It’s up to the readers to take the results and make of them what they will,” he reiterated. The results will be announced at a banquet dinner shortly after the test.

Although the rules are yet to be finalised, there is clearly already massive enthusiasm for Truck Test 2013. On board, once again, are fuel-supplier Engen and Ctrack, with its vehicle tracking and monitoring systems. We have already received numerous entries (yes, just weeks after that first meeting!), and the enthusiasm to provide the vehicle bodies certainly seems fierce.

It’s Truck Test, round 2!FOCUS will bring you more updates, news and views in the lead-up to Truck Test 2013. So watch this space. As always, we welcome reader input; so if you have any comments, please e-mail gavin@charmont.co.za or tina@charmont.co.za.

The only downside is that in less than six months’ time, it will all be over. But for now – roll on Truck Test 2013!

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