THE world’s largest truckmaker, Daimler Trucks, has posted a $678 million operating profit for three months from July to September. The outfit lost $172 million during the same period last year. This time it sold 44 per cent more trucks, 94,800 of them, in the third quarter. The positive numbers and cash flow are more indicators that demand for new trucks has recovered after the global financial crisis, which truckmakers say was the worst single decline in the truck market since World War II. Daimler Trucks owns the Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Mitsubishi Fuso and Western Star brands.
REST areas on the Hume Highway are to be upgraded. Vicroads will increase parking and install toilets at several sites using $8.19 million of federal funding. Benton Hill will get 24 more spaces, Mokoan 20, Glenrowan 16 and Chiltern Park six. Glenrowan and Benton Hill will also get toilets. Five spaces and a toilet block will be added to Reef Hills.
INDIAN giant Tata Motors is planning to start exporting its new World Truck Range next year, with South Africa, Latin America and Asia the first markets. Tata is also planning new factories in South Africa and Burma.
THE Australian Trucking Association wants to know how the use of A trailers has changed after recent increases in registration fees and is conducting a survey. The A trailer, also known as a lead trailer, is the first trailer of a B-double and the registration fees have soared from $1065 in 2007 to $6372. ATA chief executive Stuart St Clair says he has heard that some operators have given up on B-doubles and are using semi-trailers again because of the prohibitive fees. To take part in the survey visit www.atatruck.net.au
West gets tough
WESTERN Australia has introduced legislation that drops the legal blood alcohol content of truck drivers to zero. The ban also applies to buses, taxis and small charter vehicles. The fines and penalties for breaking drink-driving laws have also been increased, along with penalties for driving under the influence of illegal drugs.