SHORT HAULS

Herald Sun - Motoring - - WORKING WHEELS -

Tar­mac drift­ing is not some­thing you nor­mally as­so­ciate with Amer­i­can pickup trucks. Amer­i­can drifter Vaughn Git­tin jnr is look­ing to change that after com­ing up with a drift-ready ver­sion of the new Ford F-150 (pic­tured) for the SEMA show in Las Ve­gas. The spe­cial F-150 can sit close to the ground for drift work or sit high for off-road rac­ing thanks to 12-inches of sus­pen­sion travel and airbags. “I love trucks, and to build one that has daily on- and off-road ca­pa­bil­i­ties, as well as drift­ing and jumping ca­pa­bil­i­ties is some­thing I have al­ways wanted to do,” says Git­tin. The Aus­tralian De­sign Rules for ve­hi­cles are be­ing re­viewed, in­clud­ing those for heavy ve­hi­cles. The car in­dus­try is keen to have the ADRs al­tered to match those in over­seas mar­kets (us­ing UN­de­ter­mined reg­u­la­tions) to make im­port­ing ve­hi­cles eas­ier. The Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion ar­gues the ADRs for heavy ve­hi­cles should be left alone given the unique op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment for Aus­tralian trucks and the fact we run B-dou­bles and B-triples. Med­i­cal stan­dards for truck and train driv­ers are up for re­view. The Na­tional Trans­port Com­mis­sion is look­ing at the guide­lines to “mea­sure and an­a­lyse any risks that peo­ple with cer­tain med­i­cal con­di­tions might pose to the safety of our trans­port net­works, but it will be a bal­anced ap­proach that takes peo­ple’s trans­port needs into con­sid­er­a­tion,” says NTC chief Paul Ret­ter. “We think the cur­rent guide­lines are work­ing well, but it pays to check that view against the lat­est ev­i­dence, par­tic­u­larly when com­mu­nity safety could be af­fected,” Ret­ter says. An op­er­a­tions man­ager for Speedie Con­trac­tors has won a Na­tional Safety Award for a clever and sim­ple work­place so­lu­tion. Tim Knowles no­ticed many work­ers were step­ping into truck tip­per bod­ies to clear out the mat­ter that be­came stuck dur­ing the un­load­ing process, de­spite man­age­ment telling them not to. He came up with a sys­tem that used three vi­brat­ing plates that sit be­low a tip­per tray to en­sure all the ma­te­rial was shaken out. Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion chair, Noe­lene Wat­son says: “It’s a proac­tive ap­proach that should be com­mended.” Tyres that in­flate them­selves could be com­ing to a truck near you. Goodyear is about to start test­ing a new tyre that can mon­i­tor its own air pres­sure and is able to in­crease or de­crease for the op­ti­mum num­ber. The company says run­ning tyres at op­ti­mum pres­sure will save fuel, re­duce emis­sions, ex­tend the life of the tyres and re­duce the time it takes to man­u­ally pump them up. Goodyear says it has been work­ing on the spe­cial tyres since 2011 and plans to test them over a pe­riod of 18 months be­fore it con­sid­ers putting them into pro­duc­tion.

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