Short hauls

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Big Wheels -

Daim­ler booms

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.

Hume up­grades

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.

Tata ex­pands

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.

Trailer trauma

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.

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