The show must go on
By the time you read this, Truck Test 2014 will be on the road; despite the sad passing of the event’s convenor, Fritz Hellberg.
The tragic and untimely passing of Truck Test convenor Fritz Hellberg (see FOCUS March) left the FOCUS team, Fritz’s colleagues at Hellberg Transport Management (HTM), and all within the industry who knew him, in a state of shock and despair.
Hellberg had a deep passion for Truck Test and gave his all to make each year’s event better than the previous one – even after setting the bar impressively high with the maiden event in 2012. At FOCUS we believe, however, that the men enlisted to take the annual event forward, will do so with an enthusiasm and love for it that would certainly embody the vision Fritz had for the event.
Joining the Truck Test team is Vic Oliver of Vic Oliver and Associates, an industry veteran in his own right. Oliver has been a part of the local trucking industry since 1963 and, with his extensive experience and knowledge, has built up a strong reputation over the years.
Also back, after being absent from Truck Test 2013, is Adrian van Tonder from Barloworld Logistics. Regular readers may know that Van Tonder has deep roots in the Truck Test programme, coordinating the 2012 event alongside Hellberg with aplomb.
Onboard once again is HTM’s Martin Damman, who assisted Hellberg in the 2013 event and is responsible for producing the final results of the test. Together, Oliver, Van Tonder and Damman are ready and excited to pick up where Hellberg left off and make Truck Test 2014 the best event yet.
The sponsors of, and participants in, this year’s event also feel that the Truck Test series is in good hands.
Says Lindsay Bassett, Engen key accounts manager, commercial fuels: “Fritz has been a great source of inspiration and energy in organising previous events. We owe it to this great man to ensure that Truck Test continues to grow from strength to strength.
“The organisers have done a wonderful job of conducting Truck Test in a professional and impartial way, and of publishing the results in a manner that accurately reflects the vehicles’ performances, without casting any in a poor light. But, that may be easier than the organisers had first thought, as there really isn’t a ‘bad’ truck these days!” he continues.
Duncan Prince, product manager for Freightliner, Fuso and Western Star at Mercedes-Benz South Africa, agrees: “Fritz has built up a very capable team over the years and I’m sure that, with their involvement, Truck Test will continue with the same degree of professionalism and expertise that Fritz would have provided.”
As for that team, how will they approach the test? Van Tonder says: “It’s important that there is a 100 percent adherence to the rules, which will give the results credibility. It’s also important to ensure that everybody enjoys themselves, as we don’t have many opportunities to get together and do things that benefit the industry.
“Compared to Truck Test 2012, where we drove to Durban and back, this one is a lot simpler and taking part should be a lot of fun,” he continues. “What is interesting for me is the category of vehicles participating in this test. There is never a real focus on the performance of trucks with a V-rating up to nine tonnes, so I’m looking forward to see how these vehicles perform and what new technology has been introduced into this sector.”
The test is certainly in safe hands.