Short hauls

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Working Wheels - James Stan­ford

OF­FI­CIALS from the new Road Safety Re­mu­ner­a­tion Tri­bunal have vis­ited key trans­port sites to talk to truck drivers.

Mem­bers of the new fed­eral body, in­clud­ing pres­i­dent Jen­nifer Ac­ton, spoke to truck drivers at the Tar­cutta trailer ex­change last week be­fore head­ing out to Syd­ney’s Port Botany truck mar­shalling area and a pop­u­lar rest area in Glen­field, also in NSW.

The RSRT has been set up to rule on whether trans­port com­pa­nies and clients are push­ing drivers to break rules such as fa­tigue man­age­ment and make sure they are paid fairly.

Its mem­bers plan to visit other trans­port hubs around Aus­tralia and will soon an­nounce a list of lo­ca­tions and dates.

The In­dian di­vi­sion of Mercedes-Benz trucks is push­ing ahead at full speed.

Bharat-Benz , which makes a range of Daim­ler trucks (pic­tured) in In­dia based on models from the MercedesBenz and Mit­subishi Fuso global line- up, says it will in­tro­duce no less than 17 new trucks by 2014.

Most of the new trucks are vari­ants of the Mit­subishi Fuso Can­ter light duty truck, but have been mod­i­fied to cope bet­ter with the poor road con­di­tions in the de­vel­op­ing coun­try. Bharat-Benz says the af­ford­abil­ity and fuel econ­omy of the new trucks will be cru­cial to cap­tur­ing new cus­tomers in the emerg­ing mar­ket.

The Trans­port Work­ers Union is con­tin­u­ing its at­tack on ma­jor re­tail­ers in­clud­ing Coles, this time with a sur­vey.

It has re­leased the re­sults of a sur­vey it con­ducted with 950 drivers, which the TWU says backs its cam­paign against the re­tail gi­ant.

The TWU says 73 per cent of re­spon­dents felt Coles and ‘‘other re­tail­ers’’ are the ma­jor cause of ‘‘dan­ger­ous pres­sures’’ in the in­dus­try. It also claimed 40 per cent of drivers in the Coles sup­ply chain de­layed main­te­nance due to time pres­sure.

The TWU did not de­tail how many of the drivers it sur­veyed worked for Coles or other re­tail­ers men­tioned in its re­lease.

The idea of a Tesla elec­tric pick-up sounds ab­surd, but the com­pany’s CEO is talk­ing up that prospect. Elon Musk has told Au­to­mo­tive News he has an idea for an ad­vanced elec­tric ute that has the per­for­mance of a sportscar and more tow­ing and pay­load ca­pac­ity than a petrol ver­sion and that it could come as early as four years and would be built in Texas.

But the ute pro­posal and the lure of a new Tesla fac­tory could be more about ap­peas­ing Texan au­thor­i­ties given Tesla is in­volved in a dis­pute with state au­thor­i­ties over the fact it owns its two deal­er­ships in the re­gion (which is against the law).

A Vir­ginia man has seven years in jail to think about why he de­cided to steal a truck con­tain­ing items used by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

Eric Brown pleaded guilty to the theft of government prop­erty af­ter un­wit­tingly steal­ing a truck used by the White House com­mu­ni­ca­tions staff that con­tained $200,000 of equip­ment in­clud­ing a teleprompter used by the pres­i­dent.

The 49-year-old says he didn’t no­tice the pres­i­den­tial seals on the out­side of the truck un­til he un­loaded the con­tents af­ter the heist.

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