Truck Test once again a great success!
Early on Wednesday morning, March 29, truck drivers and observers from various truck manufacturers gathered at the Engen Blockhouse northbound for muffins, coffee and a briefing on the rules for Truck Test 2017, before setting off on the 640-km journey. The first truck hit the road at 05:36 – kicking off the test.
On the 118-km route to the first stop, trucks were obliged to drive through the weigh-in-motion bridge at the Heidelberg weighbridge southbound. An hour later, the first trucks started pulling into the Engen Vaal One Stop for a breakfast at the Wimpy, sponsored by Engen.
After a mega coffee, eggs, bacon and a good stretch, the drivers set off on the 158-km drive to Harrismith, the location of the next pit stop. Aside from some roadworks, drivers had an easy drive to the 168-year-old town. Thereafter, they faced their biggest challenge of the day: Van Reenen’s Pass.
Drivers were not allowed to overtake on the pass and were limited to a speed of 60 km/h. On the outbound leg, drivers went down the pass towards the halfway mark at the Tugela Truck Inn just outside Ladysmith. Most drivers had only a quick stretch and chat before heading back up the pass towards Harrismith.
Boerewors rolls, sosaties and ice-cold drinks awaited the drivers at the Engen Highway Junction, where they stopped for lunch. After driving 429 km over approximately six hours, another 210 km awaited the drivers, but after the pass it was plain sailing back to the Engen Blockhouse in Midvaal.
On the return leg, drivers were required to weigh in at the Heidelberg weighbridge northbound before heading for the finish line, where the fuel consumption of the trucks was measured by TruckScience.
After 13 hours and driving in three provinces, Truck Test 2017 came to an end with the last contestant pulling into the Engen Blockhouse to refuel.
Charleen Clarke, editor of FOCUS, says that feedback from the event has been extremely positive.
“It’s my favourite event on the trucking calendar and, judging by feedback from participants, this sentiment is widely shared. It was marvellous to spend the day with the wonderful people within our industry, and it was just incredible to see the convoy of magnificent trucks and trailers on the road,” she comments.
Clarke adds that the event obviously would not have been possible were it not for the participants themselves and all the sponsors.
“This is truly an industry event; we just work with TruckScience’s Martin Dammann to put it all together. On this note, I would like to say a special thank you to Martin. I don’t think anyone realises how hard he works to put this event together. A special thanks also to Tina Monteiro, publisher of FOCUS, who managed the entire project from a FOCUS perspective. I’m pretty sure they both slept really well last night!” she concludes.