SHORT HAULS

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Big Wheels -

The gi­ant Volk­swa­gen Group has of­fered $10.3 bil­lion to com­plete its buy­out of Sca­nia. It cur­rently owns 89.2 per cent of Sca­nia’s shares and 62.6 per cent of its cap­i­tal. VW also owns 75 per cent of Ger­many’s MAN and wants it and Sca­nia to work to­gether and save de­vel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion costs. It is not yet clear if the re­main­ing share­hold­ers will be will­ing to ac­cept the deal and a Bloomberg re­port sug­gests many are not yet con­vinced to sell shares in the prof­itable com­pany. Live­stock trans­porters are used to car­ry­ing cargo that can be on the nose, but sheep, horses and cows have noth­ing on a pun­gent load that made head­lines in Eng­land last month. A 50ft-long rot­ting whale car­cass was loaded on a flatbed truck five days af­ter wash­ing up dead on a beach near Seasalter, Kent. Mo­torists com­plained of blood and guts drop­ping on the high­way, but most of all, a ter­ri­ble, gutwrench­ing odour as the truck made its way to the tip. If it was that bad for mo­torists, spare a thought for the poor truckie. The Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s an­i­mated safety videos have been shown on Vic­to­rian TV in a bid to re­duce crashes. These short in­struc­tional clips, which can usu­ally be seen on the ATA’s YouTube chan­nel, have been aired in Gipp­s­land as part of the Truck­ies Light­ing Up For Safety cam­paign which calls on truck driv­ers to turn their lights on and for other mo­torists to be more aware of larger ve­hi­cles. Cam­paign or­gan­is­ers say there has been a lot of pos­i­tive feed­back for the videos from truck­ies and other mo­torists. Dai­hat­sus usu­ally get re­placed, not re­stored. Kennards Hire has bucked the trend and re­stored a 1968 D200 Dai­hatsu, which takes pride of place in its collection of hire equip­ment that has passed its use-by date and shows how far tech­nol­ogy has come. The D200 was added to the collection in 2005, but was a lit­tle bit ragged. Kennards re­cently de­cided to give it some love, al­though lit­tle work was re­quired for the truck’s me­chan­i­cals. Dai­hatsu trucks, and cars, are no longer avail­able in Aus­tralia and Kennards now runs a fleet of Hino trucks. A new GPS fleet track­ing sys­tem can be used to rate truck­ies. Nav­man Wire­less has a fea­ture that rates driv­ers on how safely and ef­fi­ciently they drive. It takes into ac­count a wide range of driver in­puts, with points taken off for harsh brak­ing, idling for long pe­ri­ods and speed­ing. The in­for­ma­tion can be col­lated and pre­sented in a re­port that can then be used by fleet oper­a­tors.

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