Truck show show­down

New Zealand Truck & Driver - - Contents - Story Wayne Munro Pho­tos Wayne Munro & Hay­den Wool­ston

The 50th an­niver­sary Bris­bane Truck Show ce­ments its sta­tus as THE show­case for the Aussie truck­ing in­dus­try

SO HERE IT IS. IT’S DONE – THE BAT­TLE’S WON. THE ARM-WRES­TLE, that is, to de­cide which Aussie truck show will reign supreme. Af­ter years of com­pe­ti­tion be­tween the Bris­bane and Mel­bourne truck shows, this year’s Brizzy show surely set­tles it: Fol­low­ing the dis­ap­point­ment of last year’s Mel­bourne expo, the lon­grun­ning Queens­land con­tender (which cel­e­brated its 50th an­niver­sary this year) comes up trumps (no, not Trump….trumps).

Just as the new truck in­dus­try in New Zealand de­cided a while back that a Kiwi show once ev­ery four years was all our econ­omy and mar­ket could sus­tain, the Aussies have wanted one pre­mium in­dus­try ex­hi­bi­tion ev­ery sec­ond year….not the Mel­bourne show one year, a Bris­bane show the next that’s been on the sched­ule since 2008.

Last year in Mel­bourne, just two truck­mak­ers took stands at the In­ter­na­tional Truck, Trailer & Equip­ment Show – and even then, their fo­cus was squarely on the waste col­lec­tion in­dus­try.

It gives May’s Bris­bane Truck Show the op­por­tu­nity to de­liver the knock­out punch in the con­test – and it doesn’t miss its mark. With the sup­port of most Aus­tralian truck­mak­ers (with the no­table ex­cep­tion of Penske Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles and its West­ern Star and MAN makes), Bris­bane comes up with a good, solid, prac­ti­cal, no-frills show. Low on BS, high on qual­ity.

There isn’t one wild (but ul­ti­mately mean­ing­less) show special – no groovy con­cept truck, nor any out-there hotrod-style cus­tomer trucks to steal the lime­light.

And yet the Bris­bane Con­ven­tion & Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre is jam-packed with in­ter­est­ing stuff: There’s the sur­prise launch of a new flag­ship for one main­stream make, an un­ex­pected pre­view of the lat­est Euro­pean Truck of the Year, some se­ri­ous bling in the form of a new lim­it­ededi­tion Ken­worth, and the sec­ond phase of the launch of the New Gen­er­a­tion Mercedes-Benz Ac­tros and Arocs….

Plus lots of re­vi­sions and up­grades to ex­ist­ing mod­els. And the Aussie launch of a more pow­er­ful DAF CF85 and the re­veal of a Czech­built tough truck that’s been a real sleeper on the Aussie mar­ket: It’s sold hun­dreds of trucks in Aus­tralia….but who knew!

And now the hard-case Aussie en­trepreneur be­hind it is mak­ing plans to bring the truck to NZ.

The un­ex­pected re­veal at Bris­bane comes in the form of the stylish new UD TRUCKS Quon – launched in Ja­pan in April. It’s not just un­veiled here in Bris­bane – it’s ac­tu­ally launched onto the Aus­tralasian mar­ket, with sales to be­gin in NZ and Aus­tralia by the end of the year.

And yes, it comes with some very good news for UD Trucks’ cus­tomers here: The new model WILL come in an 8x4 ver­sion as well as a 6x4 – and it will have the ex­tra power that op­er­a­tors (and deal­ers) have been cry­ing out for. Namely 460-horse­power/343kW – up from the cur­rent model’s 420hp/308kW max­i­mum.

The new-gen­er­a­tion UD, the Volvo Group reck­ons, “re­de­fines the Ja­panese heavy-duty truck,” with world-class tech­nol­ogy and re­fine­ment “never be­fore seen on Ja­panese trucks in this part of the world.”

It is the first full up­date of the brand’s flag­ship in 13 years – de­signed to fo­cus on “five es­sen­tial ar­eas that drive smart lo­gis­tics,” says UD Trucks Global se­nior VP of brand, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and prod­uct Nobuhiko Kishi. That is: “Driv­abil­ity, fuel ef­fi­ciency (a claimed im­prove­ment of ‘at least 5%’) and re­spect for the en­vi­ron­ment, safety, pro­duc­tiv­ity and up­time.”

The truck­maker says that ev­ery el­e­ment of the new Quon, right down to the in­stru­ment clus­ter and the dash­board, has been com­pletely re­designed – with a “peo­ple-first ap­proach, with tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion.”

The 460hp rat­ing will be as pow­er­ful as it gets, says UD Trucks Aus­tralia’s Mark Strambi: “No, 460 is us. That’s it – be­cause we think that’s our niche.” In Aus­tralia, the Quon will be rated to a 60-tonne

GCM – higher on ap­pli­ca­tion. That will see it fit nicely into re­turn-to-base B-dou­ble work.

UD’s Volvo Group sib­ling makes, MACK and VOLVO, to­gether an­nounce at Bris­bane that they’re putting their money (well, some of it, at least) where their mouth is when it comes to de­liv­er­ing max­i­mum up­time.

They’re launch­ing an “eight-hour up­time prom­ise,” which es­sen­tially means that they’re guar­an­tee­ing to put Macks or Volvos that are on top-level ser­vice agree­ments, and have ex­pe­ri­enced an un­planned stop, back on the road within eight hours. If they fail, they’ll com­pen­sate the cus­tomer to the tune of $AUS375 for the first day and $500 for ev­ery sub­se­quent day that the trucks spend in the work­shop.

Both makes are also dou­bling the war­ranty pe­riod for gen­uine parts fit­ted in an au­tho­rised work­shop – to 24 months.

Volvo Group Aus­tralia pres­i­dent Peter Voorho­eve says that what it comes down to is, “with so many peo­ple re­ly­ing on our cus­tomers, they need to be able to rely on us.

“That their up­time is of ut­most im­por­tance to us is the com­mit­ment we make to our cus­tomers.

“Our cus­tomers don’t put lim­its on their busi­ness, so we don’t put lim­its on their ser­vice.”

In an im­por­tant devel­op­ment for Aussie line­haul cus­tomers, Volvo uses show week to un­veil an FH XXL con­cept cab – 200mm longer than the cur­rent range-top­ping XL Glo­be­trot­ter cab.

It’s a re­sponse, says Volvo Trucks Aus­tralia VP Mitch Pe­den, to “a strong and clear de­mand for this prod­uct” – and “it sig­nals our in­ten­tion to bring this pro­ject to com­mer­cial re­al­ity.”

At the show it­self, the Volvo Trucks theme is “The power of knowl­edge,” which Pe­den ex­plains, is “the power of in­no­va­tion, the power of be­ing a global player – to take in all that knowl­edge and in­no­va­tion and re­ally serve our cus­tomers in a way to solve their needs and help them drive that longterm com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage in the mar­ket.”

The stars on the stand are a cou­ple of trucks that dip heav­ily into Volvo’s ex­ten­sive suite of high-tech in­no­va­tions – two bright Swedish blue and yel­low Per­for­mance Edi­tion mod­els. It’s a lim­ited edi­tion launched in Europe a cou­ple of years ago to show­case the likes of Volvo Dy­namic Steer­ing, the I-Shift dual clutch, adap­tive cruise con­trol and more. The FM 500, for in­stance, has I-Shift with crawler gears.

It sits along­side an FH 700 – pro­vid­ing, as Pe­den says, “a high safety level and high im­age level.”

Mack too fo­cuses on a mix of looks and Volvo Group tech­nol­ogy – show­cas­ing its Su­per-Liner on the stand – “a true Mack leg­end”… de­scended from “a strong Aus­tralian blood­line, with decades of proven dura­bil­ity,” as Mack Trucks Aus­tralia VP Dean Best­wick puts it.

“Given the Su­per-Liner’s proven track record, mar­ket ac­cep­tance and cus­tomer feed­back, we are recog­nis­ing this model as one of the greats, which cur­rent own­ers and op­er­a­tors will re­flect on in years to come,” he reck­ons.

Mixed with its Aussie his­tory, of course, is the cur­rent Su­per-Liner’s Volvo Group driv­e­line – a 685hp MP10 en­gine and the MDRIVE AMT.

It’s the first pub­lic show­ing of KEN­WORTH’s re­cently-launched flag­ship T610 and T610 SAR mod­els, which it rates “our best truck yet”

The new trucks are, as Ken­worth Aus­tralia says, “all about the cab,” which is 300mm wider and with much-im­proved qual­ity and so­lid­ity. So the show’s a great op­por­tu­nity to let lots of peo­ple see that for them­selves (and they do, with big crowds lin­ing up to take a look).

But here, re­mark­ably, Ken­worth is happy to up­stage the wide-cab 610s. Ken­worth gen­eral sales man­ager David Harmsworth sums up the way it is when he in­tro­duces the T610: “Very, very proud to show­case that,” he says, and adds: “Many of you will have seen this truck al­ready – it’s had plenty of ex­po­sure…”

Mov­ing right along then to the “star of the stand” – another new model. One that’s the an­tithe­sis of the big-sell­ing, main­stream 610s. Yep, a lim­ited edi­tion – the sec­ond of Ken­worth Aus­tralia’s Leg­end se­ries.

The Leg­end 900 is a mod­ern take on a clas­sic T900 – an Amer­i­canstyle, long-bon­neted truck in­tro­duced in 1991, with hints of the muchloved W900AR in its de­sign.

Like 2015’s in­stant sell­out Leg­end 950, this one mixes the lat­est tech­nol­ogy, safety and ef­fi­ciency with “iconic de­sign fea­tures that help many en­dur­ing mem­o­ries live on,” as Ken­worth puts it.

PACCAR Aus­tralia di­rec­tor of sales and mar­ket­ing Brad May says the Leg­end 900 not only sym­bol­ises the Ken­worth spirit, “it cel­e­brates the long his­tory of man­u­fac­tur­ing in Aus­tralia and some of the leg­ends that have been along for the ride.

“Aside from the sig­nif­i­cance of the 900 in Aus­tralian his­tory, the truck rep­re­sents not only our her­itage in this coun­try, but also recog­nises the peo­ple be­hind the trucks – the own­ers, driv­ers, deal­ers and sup­pli­ers, and many oth­ers who have helped make Aus­tralian-made Ken­worths an in­te­gral part of Aus­tralia’s road trans­port land­scape.”

As for what you get in the Leg­end 900, as Harmsworth says: “It’s pretty hard to know where to start and stop with that…”

Many of the lim­ited edi­tion fea­tures have been specif­i­cally man­u­fac­tured and in some cases hand­made.

The T909-based clas­sic con­ven­tional’s her­itage fea­tures in­clude a dove­tail roof air de­flec­tor on the sleeper cab, a flat, two-piece wind­screen (with chrome trim), a two-piece stain­less sun­vi­sor, bul­let style marker lights, dual round air horns and tra­di­tional doors and doorhan­dles.

Pe­riod Ken­worth and Cummins badges fea­ture on the bon­net, with a tra­di­tional KW “bug” sit­ting above a ver­ti­cal-bar grille. The Cummins

X15 en­gine is spe­cially painted in red and black to com­mem­o­rate the Cummins N14 that was fit­ted to many of the orig­i­nal T900s.

Side-mounted ex­hausts in­clude a wrap­around cover and seven-inch curved pipes, while tra­di­tional ex­truded alu­minium steps run the length of round fuel tanks. Two 16-inch air fil­ters are fit­ted with stain­less caps and chrome bowls, while stain­less rear guards and tail-light bars are stan­dard.

Inside there’s a four-spoke leather steer­ing wheel, leather seats and di­a­mond-pleat trim, with Leg­end 900 brand­ing em­broi­dered on the leather, em­bossed on the trim and fea­tur­ing on a wooden plaque iden­ti­fy­ing the truck’s build num­ber. Leg­ends fit­ted with Road­rangers get hand­made wooden gear knobs car­ry­ing the orig­i­nal Ea­ton Fuller logo.

A tra­di­tional flat dash lay­out houses a full suite of hand­made her­itage-style chrome-bezelled and white-faced gauges.

The Leg­end 950 was lim­ited to just 75 trucks and, Harmsworth says: “We were over-sub­scribed – it was hard to turn peo­ple away.”

This time the pro­duc­tion run will ex­tend to how­ever many Leg­end 900s are or­dered in 24-hours (with or­ders go­ing on­line at mid­night on June 26).

DAF too has a new model launched here – but it re­ally can’t com­pete with the Leg­end 900. In fact, the hun­dreds of Ki­wis at the show aren’t much in­ter­ested at all.

That’s sim­ply be­cause it’s the Aussie launch of a model we’ve had in NZ for a long time – the 510hp PACCAR MX13-en­gined DAF CF85.

Un­til now DAF Trucks Aus­tralia hasn’t gone to the MX13’s max­i­mum rat­ing, but at Bris­bane it’s launched in the form of an 8x4 and a 6x4 prime-mover, with a ZF AS Tronic AMT. It can be rated up to a 70t GCM, says DAF Trucks Aus­tralia GM Rob Grif­fin, if it’s specced with the full suite of avail­able safety sys­tems.

Also pre­viewed at the show is a 6x2 DAF LF with a liftup pusher axle – more ef­fi­cient, more ma­noeu­vrable and more trac­tion, sums up Grif­fin. It has a 280hp PACCAR en­gine, a nine-speed ZF trans and has EBS brake sys­tems with ABS and ASR on ECAS air.

On the neigh­bour­ing DAIM­LER TRUCKS stands, you get “the world’s best Euro­pean, world’s best Ja­panese and the world’s best Amer­i­can truck.” Well that, at least, is the way that Daim­ler Truck & Bus Aus­tralia MD Daniel Whitehead sees things.

But, he’s quick to add, the Aus­tralian launch of Elite Sup­port – a joint ini­tia­tive be­tween Daim­ler and its dealer network to “de­liver a new level of ser­vice” – is “a mas­sively im­por­tant thing for us...the sin­gle big­gest thing out­side of our new truck prod­uct that will help us and our deal­ers reach the point in Aus­tralia that Daim­ler de­servedly should be at.”

The aim of Elite Sup­port is to max­imise ve­hi­cle up­time with rapid di­ag­no­sis, qual­ity work, con­sis­tent com­mu­ni­ca­tion and op­ti­mised parts avail­abil­ity, as well as a pre­mium in-deal­er­ship ex­pe­ri­ence – deal­ers need­ing to sat­isfy more than 120 cri­te­ria to gain cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Ex­press as­sess­ment, for in­stance, will see a dealer com­mu­ni­cate a pre­lim­i­nary di­ag­no­sis on a cus­tomer’s truck within two hours of its ar­rival – so the cus­tomer can make an in­formed busi­ness de­ci­sion.

MERCEDES-BENZ con­tin­ues the staged launch of its new-gen­er­a­tion Ac­tros and Arocs mod­els: Fol­low­ing on from last Oc­to­ber’s Aussie launch of the trac­tor units, the on-high­way rigids are un­veiled here.

Merc di­rec­tor Michael May sums up: “Just like the prime mover mod­els that are im­press­ing cur­rent Mercedes-Benz cus­tomers and wow­ing those who are new to the brand, the rigid mod­els bring a suite of new tech­nol­ogy in­clud­ing Euro 6 emis­sion rat­ings, fuel econ­omy sav­ings, re­duced ADBLUE con­sump­tion, ad­vanced safety tech­nol­ogy and new lev­els of com­fort and re­fine­ment.”

“We have had some fan­tas­tic feed­back from cus­tomers of our new gen­er­a­tion prime movers who are ex­tremely pleased with the per­for­mance and econ­omy they are de­liv­er­ing,” May says.

In fact, he con­cedes, “we’ve out­done our­selves in a way and we haven’t got enough trucks for the de­mand that it’s cre­ated. We think we’ve re­ally hit the sweet spot with the new Mercedes-Benz prod­uct…. We need to, some­how or other, get more sup­ply out of Ger­many and meet de­mand – and we’re work­ing on that.”

Like the trac­tor units, the rigids have been part of a lo­cal test­ing pro­gramme that May says has seen 20 trucks clock up over 1.8mil­lion kilo­me­tres – and the trucks have been re­fined by cus­tomer feed­back from the pro­gramme, with a wide range of ap­pli­ca­tion-spe­cific mod­els, “con­fig­ured to get the job done.

“Great care has been taken,” says May, “to first get it right for the mar­ket.”

The rigid range ex­tends from a 12t city dis­tri­bu­tion unit through to a 32t 8x4 model tar­get­ing pal­letised freight, equip­ment haulage or waste ap­pli­ca­tions.

The Euro 6 en­gine choices are pri­mar­ily an eight-litre de­liv­er­ing 299-354hp, or a 394-455hp 11-litre. More pow­er­ful 13-litre and 16-litre en­gines are also avail­able for in­di­vid­ual builds.

Fully-au­to­mated eight-speed or 12-speed trans­mis­sions are stan­dard across the range, of­fer­ing faster shift­ing and a new creeper gear for lowspeed ma­noeu­vring.

M-B says it has de­vel­oped three new cab vari­ants and pur­pose­built chas­sis for the rigid range, de­liv­er­ing bet­ter sta­bil­ity and road­hold­ing as well as im­proved re­fine­ment and com­fort.

The rigids come with elec­tronic brak­ing sys­tem stan­dard, with key mod­els in­cor­po­rat­ing sta­bil­ity con­trol as­sist, hill hold as­sist and trac­tion con­trol. For mod­els 18t and above op­tions in­clude Ac­tive Brake As­sist 4, able to au­to­mat­i­cally ap­ply emer­gency brak­ing for most ob­sta­cles and ini­ti­ate par­tial brak­ing for pedes­tri­ans.

FUSO fo­cuses on im­age and vir­tual re­al­ity on its stand – with the tra­di­tional sumo brand­ing re­turn­ing… with a vengeance: It’s THE dom­i­nant fea­ture of the stand.

On the other hand, there are eight vir­tual re­al­ity pods, where vis­i­tors are in­vited to go inside vir­tual Fuso trucks, tour a vir­tual Fuso show­room, con­fig­ure their own vir­tual truck in a work­shop and take a ride in a vir­tual Fuso.

Fuso Truck and Bus Di­rec­tor Justin Whit­ford says that the brand is “head­ing through an un­prece­dented pe­riod of change” and reck­ons that VR could well be part of truck show­rooms of the fu­ture.

While the only new prod­uct on the stand is a low-roof Can­ter 515 City Su­per Low model, which stands just 2.01m tall – mak­ing it the short­est Ja­panese truck on the Aus­tralian mar­ket – Whit­ford says that be­hind the scenes Fuso has “un­der­taken huge work” to en­hance and de­velop its ser­vice struc­ture.

“We needed to re­fine our busi­ness and en­sure that what we of­fer the mar­ket is unique and dif­fer­ent and pro­vides points of dif­fer­ence unique to our brand and our prod­ucts.”

The fruits of this, he says will be seen in the next 18 months – when “we will de­liver the most ex­cit­ing pe­riod in prod­uct change that we’ve had in many, many years.”

Fuso says at the show that it has in­creased its stan­dard man­u­fac­turer’s war­ranty to five years on all new trucks – a first for a Ja­panese truck man­u­fac­turer in Aus­tralia, it reck­ons.

A cabover claims pride of place on the FREIGHT­LINER stand. But it’s not an Ar­gosy. It’s not ex­actly new ei­ther.

In fact, it’s a 67-year-old 6x4 – a rare A64-800 Bub­blenose model that was one of the first 116 trucks built, in 1950, for Freight­liner’s owner, Con­sol­i­dated Freight­ways.

It was dis­cov­ered in 1994 in an Ore­gon log­ging yard and has since been fully re­stored by the truck­maker as a valu­able piece of its his­tory and her­itage and is here to mark the make’s 75th year in busi­ness.

It has a Cummins NHB 22.0 en­gine that, in the 1950s, re­placed its orig­i­nal Buda 844 en­gine. Cummins sourced parts for the re­build, while Ea­ton re­built the orig­i­nal Fuller main gear­box and Brownie sec­ond gear­box.

The cabover next-door has a Cummins as well – the Ar­gosy now com­ing with a Cummins X15 op­tion in ad­di­tion to the ex­ist­ing Detroit DD15 unit.

This, says di­rec­tor Stephen Downes, makes Freight­liner Aus­tralia’s “only truck man­u­fac­turer to of­fer a choice of 15-litre en­gines from two man­u­fac­tur­ers for a heavy-haul­ing B-dou­ble truck.”

The Ar­gosy has the X15 at rat­ings from 485hp to 600hp, with Cummins’ X15 ADEPT tech­nol­ogy link­ing with Ea­ton’s Ul­traShift Plus AMT to op­ti­mise fuel econ­omy.

The show truck is a mid-roof model fea­tur­ing a cav­ernous 110-inch sleeper cab with re­fine­ments in­clud­ing an Aussie in­ner-sprung dou­ble mat­tress and a soft-touch dash (now stan­dard on all Ar­gosys).

The same re­fine­ments ap­pear in a flag­ship Coron­ado 122 – along with the new op­tion of dual-stack ex­hausts, free­ing-up more room be­hind the cab to al­low for longer trail­ers.

The show truck has a 58-inch sleeper cab, an 18-speed Road­ranger man­ual (an Ea­ton SMARTSHIFT is op­tional) and a 560hp DD15 en­gine. It’s rated for a 140t GCM.

SCA­NIA pulls a neat sur­prise on its stand – a sneak pre­view of the S 500, the Eu­ros’ In­ter­na­tional Truck of the Year 2017.

It’s a truck that stands out in the crowd – with sharp, sculpted, clean lines… en­hanced by the 6x2 United King­dom trac­tor unit’s pure white liv­ery.

Sca­nia Aus­tralia MD Roger McCarthy is at pains to make it clear that “this is not a launch.” It is, he says, “an early in­di­ca­tion of what Sca­nia may bring to Aus­tralia in the fu­ture.”

It’s ac­tu­ally the first time the S 500 has been seen in the South­ern Hemi­sphere, nine months af­ter its global launch in Europe. But it will be go­ing back to the UK straight af­ter the show and the Aus­tralian launch of the New Truck Gen­er­a­tion is, says McCarthy, “still some con­sid­er­able way off.”

The flat-floor S 500 has the most pow­er­ful ver­sion of Sca­nia’s Euro 6 13-litre SCR in­line six en­gine, pro­duc­ing 500hp/373 KW and 1880 lb ft/2550Nm, with an Op­ti­cruise au­to­mated gear­box. Sca­nia reck­ons that it makes changes in around 0.4s, 45% quicker than its pre­de­ces­sor.

It has the lat­est, high-out­put re­tarder, plus an ex­haust brake. It also bris­tles with safety fea­tures in­clud­ing ABS/EBS with ad­vanced emer­gency brak­ing, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol, adap­tive cruise con­trol, lane de­par­ture warn­ing and the world’s first driver’s side-win­dow cur­tain airbag, as well as a frontal im­pact airbag.

Of course, show­ing off some­thing so stun­ning risks throw­ing the rest of the trucks on the stand into its shadow – but McCarthy reck­ons that the PGR range de­liv­ers “pos­si­bly the best Sca­nia ever built – re­li­able, durable and renowned for its low whole-of-life op­er­at­ing costs and whole op­er­at­ing econ­omy.”

To re­fo­cus on them, Sca­nia comes up with “some­thing al­most com­pletely dif­fer­ent” – namely the lat­est ex­am­ple of its pre-built trucks range…. an 8x2 Sca­nia P 310 rigid taut­liner de­liv­ery truck, which

Above: Beau­ties and the beast: Hino hostesses and the new 300 Se­ries 817 4x4 Right – both pic­tures: e show is busy over each of its four days

McCarthy says can take 14 pal­lets.

Its 8x2 con­fig­u­ra­tion al­lows it to carry 5t more pay­load than a tra­di­tional 6x4 (for a to­tal of 13.9t) – thus dra­mat­i­cally im­prov­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity. It also makes for eas­ier man­age­ment of the weight dis­tri­bu­tion of di­min­ish­ing loads.

It’s been a long, drawn-out process, but fi­nally IN­TER­NA­TIONAL is get­ting its Aus­tralian re­launch here.

Funny thing is, it was meant to be a done deal when the PROSTAR was shown off with a big fuss at the last Brizzy show – two years ago!

Then, In­ter’s Aussie dis­tri­bu­tion was still in the hands of Nav­is­tar Aus­pac, which also im­ported Cat trucks – the two shar­ing the PROSTAR base…. and shar­ing a stand. Now Cat’s dis­ap­peared from view…. and Iveco Aus­tralia is the ap­pointed dis­trib­u­tor. Hence the PROSTAR’s pres­ence at Bris­bane on a stand shared with the full Iveco range.

Iveco says it be­lieves that there’s been a niche in the Aussie mar­ket for a truck like the PROSTAR for some time, paving the way for a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the two brands. It uses the line that “good things come to those who wait.”

In­ter­na­tional en­gi­neer­ing man­ager Adrian Wright, says the PROSTAR has “a proven driv­e­train pack­age and strong un­der­pin­nings to han­dle Aus­tralia’s tough geo­graphic and cli­matic con­di­tions. The com­mon­al­ity and wide­spread avail­abil­ity of its driv­e­train com­po­nen­try al­lows for easy ser­vice­abil­ity and main­te­nance, lead­ing to re­duced op­er­at­ing costs.

“When com­bined with the lat­est en­gine tech­nol­ogy from Cummins and class-lead­ing aero­dy­nam­ics, you get the best of both worlds.”

Aussies, he reck­ons, are still “pas­sion­ate about the In­ter­na­tional brand and what it stands for – an ef­fi­cient, tough, no-non­sense brand that gets the job done with­out fan­fare.”

On show are PROSTARS in day-cab, sleeper and ex­tended cab ver­sions – all run­ning E5 Cummins X15 SCR en­gines pro­duc­ing 550hp/410kW. The trucks are of­fered in Aus­tralia with an 18-speed Road­ranger man­ual or the Ea­ton Ul­traShift Plus AMT and Mer­i­tor diffs on Hen­drick­son Pri­maaxEX air sus­pen­sion.

On the IVECO side, there’s the first Aussie show­ing of the E6 Euro­cargo 2016 Euro­pean Truck of the Year (which was un­veiled in NZ at March’s Trans­port & Heavy Equip­ment Expo).

Iveco says that the new truck “raises the safety bench­mark in the medium-duty truck mar­ket with a range of in­no­va­tive safety fea­tures not nor­mally seen in this seg­ment, es­pe­cially amongst its Ja­panese com­peti­tors.”

That in­cludes disc brakes all around and ABS, anti-slip reg­u­la­tor (ASR), elec­tronic sta­bil­ity pro­gramme (ESP), ad­vanced emer­gency brak­ing sys­tem (AEBS), a hill hold func­tion, driver’s SRS airbag and day­time run­ning lights. Op­tional ad­di­tions in­clude adap­tive cruise con­trol and lane de­par­ture warn­ing.

The Euro­car­gos have Iveco’s new 6.7-litre Tec­tor 7 en­gine, which achieves Euro 6 com­pli­ance with its HI-SCR sin­gle af­tertreat­ment sys­tem, fea­tur­ing a pas­sive DPF. It comes with ei­ther a 250hp/185kW or a 280hp/206kW rat­ing and the choice of a nine-speed ZF man­ual or an Allison S3000 au­to­matic.

An E6 Stralis ATI is on show here as a taster of what’s to come from Iveco once it com­pletes a lo­cal test and val­i­da­tion pro­gramme, with pro­to­types cur­rently em­bed­ded in cus­tomer fleets.

The show truck has an 11-litre Cur­sor com­mon­rail en­gine in place of the cur­rent model’s 10-litre, with unit in­jec­tion – and is reck­oned to of­fer im­proved fuel ef­fi­ciency and a less-stressed duty cy­cle. It also has the HI-SCR sys­tem, which Iveco says pro­vides “many ben­e­fits” com­pared to EGR and SCR equiv­a­lents, in­clud­ing re­duced fuel con­sump­tion and weight and up to a 30% im­prove­ment in en­gine brak­ing.

Iveco ANZ prod­uct man­ager Marco Quar­anta says that op­er­a­tor feed­back in the trial “has been very pos­i­tive – the power, torque and driv­abil­ity of the ve­hi­cles has im­pressed the users, while re­turn­ing ex­cel­lent fuel fig­ures, and of course lower emis­sions.”

HINO shows off a pro­to­type ver­sion of the 300 Se­ries 817 4x4, which has been de­vel­oped specif­i­cally for the Aus­tralian mar­ket in re­sponse to cus­tomer de­mand.

Now, af­ter al­most three years of test­ing by cus­tomers “in some of the coun­try’s most rugged op­er­at­ing con­di­tions,” the 4x4 will be go­ing on sale late this year, it an­nounces at the show.

The test ve­hi­cles, says Hino Aus­tralia’s Daniel Petro­vski, “have op­er­ated flaw­lessly.”

The model is “par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant as it will al­low Hino to en­ter into new seg­ments of the mar­ket that we’ve not had ac­cess to be­fore,” he says.

Hino also uses the show to give its re­cently-launched medium-duty 500 Se­ries Wide Cab its first ma­jor dis­play, with four of the 50 vari­ants on show.

New ad­di­tions to the range in­clude a Wide Crew Cab FG with the op­tion of ei­ther a Hino six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion or an Allison 3000 auto – the only Ja­panese-made crew cab in its sec­tor of­fer­ing the fac­tory-fit­ted auto op­tion.

It also in­tro­duces an Allison 2500 se­ries auto for its GT sin­gle cab model, an op­tion al­ready on its GT crew cab.

Also to the fore is an ex­am­ple of Hino’s Built To Go range – a 150hp/110kW 300 Se­ries 616 IFS tip­per, with what Hino says are classlead­ing safety fea­tures as stan­dard spec, in­clud­ing sta­bil­ity con­trol, dual SRS airbags, ABS and anti-slip reg­u­la­tor.

ISUZU, the long­time No. 1 in the over­all Aus­tralian and New Zealand truck mar­kets, has a heavy em­pha­sis here on its Ready to Work of­fer­ing – ad­ding a new AMT-equipped Van­pack, pur­pose­built for ur­ban de­liv­er­ies.

It joins a turnkey range of 4.5-t GVM mod­els with trays, ser­vice bodies, van and tip­per bodies… and an FRR 107-210 tip­per.

The new­comer to the Ready to Work range, which al­ready boasts 16 tip­per vari­ants, is an NNR 45-150 AMT Van­pack – “a truck built to take the com­pro­mise out of last-mile freight trans­port.”

It has a 4.5t GVM, with an Isuzu four-cylin­der en­gine pro­duc­ing 147hp/110kW, and an Isuzu AMT. It has a lo­cally de­signed and built 18.5-cu­bic-me­tre body.

Isuzu Aus­tralia’s Si­mon Humphries says that the truck is de­signed to cater for the grow­ing de­mand for freight to be de­liv­ered to cus­tomers’ doors.

The Van­pack “means op­er­a­tors won’t have to com­pro­mise when they’re look­ing for a ve­hi­cle that can carry a lot, but is nim­ble enough to nav­i­gate nar­row, met­ro­pol­i­tan streets.”

Driver-fo­cused fea­tures in­clude the AMT, a re­vers­ing cam­era, a dig­i­tal au­dio-vis­ual unit and satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion as stan­dard – along with safety fea­tures in­clud­ing elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol, anti-skid reg­u­la­tor and ABS.

Also get­ting its first pub­lic air­ing here is another in the turnkey

range – an NLR 55/45-150 Tri-Tip­per, with a 4.5-5.5t GVM and a twocu­bic-me­tre steel tip­per body with drop-sides, able to tip to ei­ther side, or to the rear.

The Tri-Tip­per, says Humphries, “is all about of­fer­ing even greater lev­els of ver­sa­til­ity and con­ve­nience for op­er­a­tors look­ing to carry loads to ur­ban sites, be it for con­struc­tion, landscaping or coun­cil works.”

It has the same en­gine as the Van­pack – and of­fers the same stan­dard-spec safety fea­tures.

“We’re se­ri­ous about pro­vid­ing a tip­per that suits ev­ery job, and ev­ery driver,” says Humphries.

Isuzu di­rec­tor, sales and mar­ket­ing An­drew Har­bi­son says that the Tri-Tip­per is at­tract­ing land­scap­ers, builders, bulk sup­ply yard op­er­a­tors and coun­cil staff – “be­cause they know they can rely on the brand and hav­ing a tip­per body that tips to the left, right and rear is go­ing to make life a lot eas­ier.”

One of the sur­prises at the show is the ap­pear­ance of an 8x8

TA­TRA – a tough of­froad truck, built in the Czech Repub­lic, us­ing a unique cen­tral back­bone tube chas­sis, with swing­ing half-axles and in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion.

Aus­tralasian dis­trib­u­tor Of­froad Trucks Aus­tralia’s Larry Gill re­veals one sur­pris­ing fact af­ter another – firstly, that there’s al­ready about 500 Ta­tras in op­er­a­tion in Aus­tralia.

They’re all in the min­ing and drilling in­dus­try – sold by his busi­ness over the last 20 years. Ninety-five per­cent of them are 8x8s.

Un­til now, the Ta­tras have been pow­ered by an air­cooled V8 en­gine – “a bat­tle­ship mo­tor,” as Gill calls it, but in­ca­pable of achiev­ing the Euro 6 emis­sions stan­dard.

That prompted a deal for the Czech of­froad trucks to use a DAF cab, a 460hp or 510hp PACCAR MX en­gine and ZF AS Tronic trans­mis­sion in what’s be­come its Euro 6-com­pli­ant Phoenix model.

That com­pli­ance and new, heav­ier front axle rat­ings in Aus­tralia and NZ are be­hind the next sur­prise: Gill is now aim­ing the Ta­tra at on and off-high­way ap­pli­ca­tions like log­ging, spe­cial­ist tip­per, agri­cul­ture and heavy con­crete ag­i­ta­tor work. And – last sur­prise – he’s plan­ning to launch it in NZ as well, next year.

The Ta­tras are not, he stresses, high­way trucks: “Th­ese are pur­pose­built of­froad trucks…. we’re one to 1.5-tonnes heav­ier than your con­ven­tional truck.

“But what it can do now, is it can go of­froad – and then you just flick the switch and you can mo­sey down the road at 100ks an hour the same as ev­ery other truck.”

The Phoenix comes in 4x4, 6x6, 8x8, 10x10 or 12x12 for­mats, with high GVMs. T&D

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