Middleweight bout begins
After a great deal of planning, much anticipation and a pre-test inspection at the Engen E21 on April 2, the Truck Test 2014 Thunderbirds are finally a go!
Excitement filled the air as the nine Truck Test 2014 vehicles, and their support crews, started rolling in at Umfula One-Stop on the R512 near Hartbeespoort Dam (better known as Engen Hartbeespoort), on April 8, to get their fuel topped up. Thanks to the station’s dedicated truck pumps, refuelling was easily dealt with, as one by one the vehicles had their tanks brimmed … They were now all ready to rumble.
The intention? To complete a three-day exercise, which aims to acquire accurate, cost and performance data, in real-world operating conditions … which Truck Test 2014 will definitely deliver.
After a scrumptious breakfast, generously sponsored by Engen, the nine participating vehicles, their drivers, co-drivers * and the whole Truck Test 2014 parade, set off from Engen Hartbeespoort on their 511 km laden, open-road roundtrip to Belfast, along the N4 and back again.
Adrian van Tonder, from Barloworld Logistics – who helped to coordinate the inaugural Truck Test in 2012 – dashed to the Donkerhoek weighbridge, just east of Pretoria, to ensure a smooth transit for the participants. (Some Truck Test 2013 participants were delayed for nearly an hour at a weighbridge 30 km from Engen Hartbeespoort in the opposite direction.)
In Belfast, everyone grabbed some lunch (which Engen kindly sponsored again), before heading back to Engen Hartbeespoort, where the vehicles are spending the night.
The first day of this impressive event has shown that Truck Test 2014 will secure a hat-trick for its participants, FOCUS, its partners and sponsors. We continue our report back this Thursday, April 10, as we’ll bring you more on what’s happening at Truck Test 2014.
* As with Truck Test 2013, each entrant had to supply a co-driver who would ride along in another entrant’s vehicles, recording trip times and ensuring that the drivers kept to the rules of the test and, importantly, the road.