A great demonstration of safer, greener trucks

All Truck Industry Council member companies had a strong presence and were putting their best foot forward at the recent Brisbane Truck Show, held from 5th to 8th May. It was a great opportunity for many to show their latest offerings to suit the unique Australia transport industry. The show’s organiser, CVIAQ, reported very positive feedback to the new venue at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, and the majority of exhibitors also reported very positive results. While the exhibition space was smaller than the previous expanses of the showgrounds, there were advantages to having an all-weather venue where all displays were under the one roof. There also appears to be room to expand in the future, with an extension to the venue under construction. The official turnstiles number was 34,773, which is an excellent result, especially since the Sunday clashed with Mother’s Day, and this was Brisbane’s first year without the associated display of construction machinery.

TIC has been a strong supporter of the concept of the Australian truck industry, concentrating its efforts and resources into fewer showcase events, while at the same time doing them with excellence. The very high quality of stands from TIC members and other exhibitors, and the resultant public response, was a testament to the appeal of the show in Brisbane. The message that TIC has long promoted of “Today’s Trucks: Safer, Greener, Essential”, was never more evident. Exhibitors revealed many new and upgraded truck models featuring a plethora of new safety technologies and equipment, while of course the latest exhaust emissions reduction systems were all in full display for visitors, due to the recent introduction of Australian Design Rule 80/03.

There was quite a sense of occasion at this most recent truck show, with several manufacturers revealing brand new models and cabin designs to Australia for the very first time. These included established brands such as Freightliner, Fuso, Scania, Volvo and Hino, as well as newcomers such as Hyundai Trucks and the first Chinese entrant to our market, Foton.

To reinforce the recent advances in truck safety systems, especially in the area of electronic controls for heavy truck braking systems, an industry supplier held an excellent demonstration during the same week as the truck show, at the nearby Mount Cotton training facility. A selection of journalists, transport fleet operators, state transport regulators and industry executives were invited to witness the benefits of electronic systems that integrate engine controls and fast control over engine braking and individual wheels on both truck and trailer, leading to the successful mitigation of a likely rollover through various maneuvers, all at quite low speeds in the region of 45km/h or less. Another simultaneous demonstration showed how effective an adaptive cruise control system can be at preventing collisions on our major roads. Such a combination of features is still a novelty on luxury cars, yet they are becoming more widely available, as least as options, on today’s trucks.

TIC members and other industry suppliers will now turn their attention to the next big show, which will be the Melbourne International Truck, Trailer & Equipment show in March 2012. If the Brisbane event is any indication, the possibility of a few genuine surprises and an excellent quality of displays is very high.

Phil Taylor

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