Short hauls

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Big Wheels -

G hits the spot

G-WAG­ONS bound for the Aus­tralian De­fence Force have started rolling off the MercedesBenz pro­duc­tion line in Aus­tria. The ADF has con­ducted ex­ten­sive test­ing (above) on a batch of pro­to­type ver­sions of the rugged ma­chines in a wide va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent con­di­tions to make sure the ve­hi­cles will be ef­fec­tive. It is now two years since the ADF signed a deal with Mercedes-Benz to sup­ply the G-Wag­ons and sup­ply long-term sup­port, mov­ing away from a con­tract with Land Rover, with an ini­tial run of 1200 ve­hi­cles. De­liv­er­ies of the new ma­chines will start early next year.

Oprah helps out

THE Trans-Help Foun­da­tion will be able to do more to help trans­port work­ers and their fam­i­lies, thanks to its founder Di Car­roll win­ning a $100,000 prize from Amer­i­can Ex­press. The prize, which was part of Oprah Win­frey’s visit to Aus­tralia, was de­signed to re­ward a group or in­di­vid­ual for help­ing oth­ers. Mrs Car­roll started Trans-Help five years ago and has worked around the clock to help the foun­da­tion sup­port trans­port work­ers and their fam­i­lies who fall vic­tim to road trauma, de­pres­sion and death. Tran­sHelp re­cently ben­e­fited from a char­ity auc­tion at the world de­but of the CAT truck range near Uluru. The art­work auc­tion raised $50,000, half of which went to the lo­cal in­dige­nous pop­u­la­tion and half to Tran­sHelp.

Mo­bile mo­bile ban

THE US Govern­ment is propos­ing a ban on us­ing mo­bile phones while driv­ing, but only for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle driv­ers. The new law will make it il­le­gal for in­ter­state truck and bus driv­ers from reach­ing for, hold­ing or di­alling a mo­bile phone while op­er­at­ing their ve­hi­cle. There will be penal­ties for the driver and for op­er­a­tors. It is es­ti­mated four mil­lion com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle driv­ers will be af­fected. Bus and truck­ing com­pa­nies and their driv­ers could face fines, while driv­ers who rack up mul­ti­ple of­fences could lose their li­cences.

Tough love

A NEW TV se­ries show­cas­ing some of the tough­est truck routes in the world has hit the in­ter­net. Dead­li­est Jour­neys is a great new se­ries that doc­u­ments the world’s worst roads and most dar­ing truck driv­ers and the bat­tles they face along the way. The tagline is ‘‘Think your com­mute is bad? You have no idea’’. It is on TV in the US, but there is no word on when it might make it on to Aus­tralian TV. Aus­tralians can view the episodes on YouTube. Type the se­ries name into the search bar at www.youtube.com

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