Three reasons why Truck Test 2015 will rock

Three reasons why Truck Test 2015 will rock

We’ve reached the end of another jam-packed year and, while it seems as though Truck Test 2014 has just finished, the 2015 event is a mere four months away. FOCUS reflects on this significant industry initiative and all that it has achieved.

It all began when the late Fritz Hellberg approached FOCUS editor Charleen Clarke at the at the Road Freight Association (RFA) Conference, in Gaborone, during 2011, after apparently having chatted about the idea to Voith’s Peter Wraight and the RFA’s Gavin Kelly.

The first test – of extra-heavy commercial vehicles – took place in 2012. “We took 18 extra-heavies from Johannesburg to Durban and then back again,” relates Clarke. “The purpose of the exercise was to establish real-world operating conditions.”

Truck Test 2013 did the same; it scrutinised 4×2 freight carriers with a legal carrying capacity of seven or more tonnes.

Then came 2014: This Truck Test focused on the medium commercial vehicle segment, and the efficiencies kept on coming … “For the first time it was a requirement for all participating vehicles to assemble a week before the start, in order to check conformity to the rules,” says FOCUS assistant editor Gavin Myers.

An important addition to the rules was the mandatory fitting of a clear sight tube to the vehicles’ fuel tanks. “This allowed the precise amount of fuel to be added, when topping up the vehicles and noting fuel pump readings, thereby further enhancing the accuracy of the results,” Myers points out.

This year’s event went smoothly. The participants didn’t encounter any problems while they made their way from Hartbeespoort to Belfast, along the N4, and back again (once laden and, on another day, unladen).

As with Truck Test 2013, this edition also utilised Gerotek’s Concrete Ride and Handling Track, outside Pretoria, to simulate the stop-start, inner-city routes these vehicles so often undertake.

With 2015 nearly on our doorstep, the upcoming Truck Test promises to be the best one yet, as we shine the spotlight on extra-heavies once more (in a more stringent and controlled manner).

Once again the sponsors will be joining us. Engen will provide the fuel, Hellberg Transport Management will predict and verify the vehicles’ performance and Ctrack will keep an eye on everyone once more.

Trans African Concession (Trac), which is responsible for the 570 km of road between Solomon Mahlangu off-ramp in Tshwane and the Port of Maputo in Mozambique, is also joining in, sponsoring the toll fees. “Our interest in the project is to create awareness of overloading among industry and heavy vehicle operators,” says Thomas Potgieter, manager of load control operations at Trac.

“Overloaded heavy vehicles damage our road networks, posing not only a safety threat, but also reducing the lifespan of our roads. Since Truck Test 2015 is taking place on our road, we see this as an ideal opportunity to make the industry aware of this issue.”

AfriSam has also come on board. The test will kick off from its Roodepoort plant and it will supply the loads. As for the load-carrying equipment, GRW and Afrit will provide the units.

Rory Schulz, acting MD for UD Trucks Southern Africa, shares his thoughts on the event: “We think this is a great event. It gives us the chance to come together as an industry and simulate real world challenges, not only as an individual original equipment manufacturer but against all industry players.”

He says that UD Trucks is excited about the upcoming event. “The results reflect what customers can expect in their day-to-day operations.”

We’ve all learned a lot from the previous three Truck Tests. Each one has built on the knowledge gained and has reinforced the significance of this event to players throughout our industry.        
                         

Truck Test 2015 Sponsors

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Three reasons why Truck Test 2015 will rock

We’ve reached the end of another jam-packed year and, while it seems as though Truck Test 2014 has just finished, the 2015 event is a mere four months away. FOCUS reflects on this significant industry initiative and all that it has achieved.

(more…)

Published by

Starting a rrrrrrrrevolution!
Prev Starting a rrrrrrrrevolution!
Next Pain, pleasure and passion
While a mechanically problematic truck might spell imminent replacement, it’s often a more emotional decision with private vehicles.

Leave a comment