All rigs bright and beaut
The Brisbane show had the bling, the brawn and the safety tech brains
BRIGHT paint and chrome shared the spotlight with green engines and safety technology at the Brisbane Truck Show.
The huge celebration of trucking played host to some big and brash prime movers including the attentiongrabbing International Lone Star, which appears half hot rod and half truck.
With its sloping nose, copious chrome and blue flame paint job, the special truck was a favourite among visitors.
Unhappily, the Lone Star is not one of the trucks International plans to sell when it relaunches in Australia late this year. However, company sources say it could come here in a few years.
International displayed a smart Pro Star prime mover, similar to the CAT CT model. It was fitted with an optional expandable sleeper, which slides out the rear wall of the truck to give the driver a bit more room to stretch out.
Another crowd favourite was the imposing Freightliner Argosy from the Transformers 4 movie. The one-off black and grey cabover, which features a custom design including standout LED strobe headlights, was a hit with fans young and old.
Mercedes-Benz drew in the crowds with a chunky Zetros goanywhere truck. Used in Europe as a military machine or for remote service , the Zetros won praise with its menacing monster truck presence.
Mercedes also presented two Actros models at the show, including a limited edition Black Series version of the current model, as well as a next generation Actros brought in from Europe.
The new truck is not due to go on sale here until late next year. Meanwhile, Mercedes will do comprehensive testing to ensure the truck, which has its own Australian specification, is ready for the extremely tough local conditions.
The next-generation Actros runs a Euro6 engine, so it is cleaner than the existing Euro5 standard required in Australia.
Some brands promoted Euro6 models in Brisbane, including Scania, which painted all of its trucks green to give a big clue as to their environmental credentials.
The Swedish brand already sells six-cylinder Euro6 models in Australia, but revealed the first V8 Euro6 models at Brisbane, including the 537kW (730hp) R 730 hero, demonstrating that trucks can be both green and mean.
MAN also presented a Euro6 cabover TGX 26.560, which will be tested locally before being released for sale. Dennis Eagle showed off a hybrid rubbish truck.
Safety was also a big focus at the show. Isuzu revealed its updated N Series models, which — along with equipment upgrades, more power and a redesigned nose — will be fitted with potentially lifesaving electronic stability control technology.
Hino fits ESC on its 300 Series truck but the Isuzu decision will make an even bigger impact given it is the topselling brand in Australia.
Volvo Trucks said it will have autonomous emergency braking in the safety pack that is popular on its locally made FH heavy duty truck.
This technology, which will become mandatory on all new big trucks in Europe, is hailed as a huge step forward, using radar to not only warn the driver of an impending crash but also to hit the brakes to avoid a crash or at least limit the severity.
The FH safety pack, which is popular among large fleets, includes ESC, blind spot warning, lane departure warning system and radarbased adaptive cruise control.
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