Truck Test 2014 on the horizon
Planning for the third annual Truck Test is well underway. FOCUS, with partners Engen and Hellberg Transport Management (HTM), invited the industry to a brunch briefing to share the plans.
The annual Truck Test event has proven to be a real hit with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), operators and readers of FOCUS – and the third instalment promises to deliver the goods yet again when the trucks hit the tarmac on April 8 and 9, 2014.
Almost to the disappointment of some in the industry, who would’ve loved to have seen extra-heavies in the spotlight again, this time round it’ll be the turn of the smaller 4×2, five- to nine-tonne gross vehicle mass (GVM) vehicles.
This will be good for two reasons. First, the smaller vehicles are permitted to travel at a maximum of 120 km/h (as opposed to the 80 km/h restriction imposed on the larger vehicles) which
will further emphasise the time, speed, fuel consumption and productivity factors.
Second, it also opens up the test to large integral vans for the first time. We sincerely hope to see the likes of the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Iveco Daily as well as Volkswagen’s Crafter joining in on the action – it will certainly make for some fascinating insight into the transport solutions offered by the different kinds of vehicles.
The same formula as previous Truck Tests will apply. Fuel consumption, trip times and payload productivity will again be the basis for the test and these real-world figures will be compared to theoretical results calculated on HTM’s TransSolve software.
OEMs are welcome to enter as many vehicles as they wish, but must supply an equivalent standard unit for every unit entered with advanced aerodynamic add-ons. A driver and observer per vehicle must be entered and each OEM is responsible for the load to be carried by the vehicle on the first day.
Again, the test will be split over two days, the first being run laden and the second unladen. The route for 2014 will begin at the Engen 1-Stop on the R21 north outside Kempton Park. It will then run along the R21 north, N1 north and N4 east to Engen Belfast. The vehicles will return to the Engen 1-Stop on the R21, along the N4 west, N12 west and then the R21 north. The total round trip will be 447 km and should take five to six hours.
Truck Test convenor, Fritz Hellberg of HTM, has again stressed that, as with all previous Truck Tests, this is a test of each vehicles’ real-world capabilities and not a competition between the entrants.
Entrants and readers can also look forward to the results being presented in a far more comprehensive and informative way than ever before …