Startrack scores sta­dium goal

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE -

KEN­WORTH has de­vel­oped the ul­ti­mate aero­dy­namic truck and trailer com­bi­na­tion in the US. The com­pany has pre­sented the T680 Ad­van­tage pack­age that runs a se­ries of ef­fi­ciency im­prove­ments that are all now avail­able in the US.

The T680 is not built in right-hand-drive and there­fore not sold in Aus­tralia, but some of its tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing some com­po­nents fea­tured on the Ad­van­tage trucks, could soon make their way here.

The stan­dard T680 fea­tures an aero­dy­namic de­sign in­clud­ing a slop­ing roof that rises up close to the top of the trailer to push air up and over it.

This Ad­van­tage model is fit­ted with an ad­di­tional Trailer Nose, which re­duces the gap be­tween the front of the trailer and the back of the cab, which also helps in cross­winds and fea­tures a cut out in or­der to not af­fect the abil­ity to swap trail­ers.

Side skirts are fit­ted to the prime mover, con­ceal­ing the fuel tanks and AdBlue tanks and cre­at­ing a smooth air­flow down the side of the truck. The trailer also has side skirts.

The most ob­vi­ous aero change is the ATDy­nam­ics Trailer Tail. This odd­look­ing ad­di­tion to the trailer, of­ten re­ferred to as a duck tail, has been found to de­liver an im­pres­sive fuel sav­ing of 6 per cent. From the side, it looks like the trailer doors have been left open, but what you see are ac­tu­ally side panels aimed in­wards, while roof panels slope down and a lower panel is faced up.

The idea is to cre­ate a kind of ta­pered tail, which helps im­prove the air­flow by break­ing up the low­pres­sure zone at the rear of the trailer.

All of the panels are hinged and are de­signed to fold out of the way so they don’t af­fect the load­ing and un­load­ing. One of the main is­sues that could hurt this sys­tem be­ing adopted in Aus­tralia is the fact that our truck and trail­ers must not ex­ceed cer­tain lengths, which means a Trailer Tail sys­tem would take up room that would usu­ally be used to carry freight.

The wheels of the truck and trailer also fea­ture disc cov­ers that cre­ate less drag than reg­u­lar wheels.

Ken­worth fit­ted the Ad­van­tage truck with spe­cial wide wheels and tyres on all but the steer­ing axle, tak­ing the place of two nar­rower tyres, which saves weight and im­proves con­sump­tion.

The truck is a 6x2, in­stead of 6x4, with a dead axle run­ning at the rear of the prime mover, to save weight and re­duce the load on the engine.

One of the items on the Ad­van­tage truck which is start­ing to ap­pear in Aus­tralia is the Idle Man­age­ment Sys­tem.

This is not a stop/start engine idle sys­tem that kills the engine when the truck pulls up at the lights, but a bat­tery-sup­ported cli­mate con­trol sys­tem.

This is aimed at driv­ers who let their trucks idle in or­der to power the cab cli­mate con­trol sys­tems, which is not just noisy but also in­ef­fi­cient.

The IMS is ba­si­cally a split sys­tem like those used in a house, but can run off four reg­u­lar bat­ter­ies and fea­tures an on-board di­ag­nos­tic sys­tem to mon­i­tor when power lev­els are get­ting low. Ken­worth claims us­ing this sys­tem can save fleet op­er­a­tors as much as $7500 a year per truck.

It runs the lat­est Pac­car MX13 engine, which is soon ex­pected to be made avail­able in Aus­tralian Ken­worths, linked up to an Ea­ton Ul­traShift Plus au­to­mated man­ual trans­mis­sion. The engine soft­ware en­cour­ages the driver to change up to the next gear by lim­it­ing power at a cer­tain rpm level, while a lim­iter keeps the truck from run­ning at less ef­fi­cient speeds. FREIGHT com­pany StarTrack has won the nam­ing rights to an AFL sta­dium.

It has done a two-year deal with the AFL and its new­est club Greater Western Syd­ney to name Can­berra’s Manuka ground the StarTrack Oval dur­ing the AFL sea­son.

GWS will play some of its home games at the ACT bou­tique sta­dium.

StarTrack Ex­press used to be owned by Qan­tas and Aus­tralia Post, but is now wholly owned by the lat­ter. It trans­ports more than one mil­lion freight ar­ti­cles across Aus­tralia ev­ery week.

Truck in­dus­try icon Vern Mil­dren has passed away.

The founder of Noelvern Trans­port was named the Na­tRoad driver of the year in 2001 and the Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion national pro­fes­sional driver of the year in 2002.

A vet­eran truckie, Mil­dren re­cently par­tic­i­pated in Road Trans­port Aware­ness Week in Al­bury and Wodonga by tak­ing trucks to lo­cal schools, driv­ing in pa­rades and serv­ing on a com­mit­tee.

ATA di­rec­tor Doug McMillan says Mil­dren’s death was a great loss for the truck­ing in­dus­try. The Mit­subishi Fuso Can­ter’s 50th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions are un­der way.

More than 3.7 mil­lion of the light duty trucks have been sold around the world since it was first launched in Ja­pan in 1963.

Mit­subishi Fuso is now owned by Daim­ler, along with Freight­liner, Western Star and Detroit Diesel.

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