Trucks

Road Test – VW Amarok 4Motion – Invading Goatistan

This past weekend I took a new VW Amarok 4Motion for a little bit of a road trip and test.

The weather forecast said there would be two fine days down in Taranaki and some goats were begging to be shot with my new .22-250 Tikka T3 Varmint.

Fortunately I was delivered a new VW Amarok to test and I borrowed a friend’s Canam Commander XT and his trailer.

Into this vehicle we poured the following:

Three burly men with the bodies of finely tuned athletes (if those athletes are Olympic shotputters), 6 rifles (3x Tikka T3 .22-250, 1 x Tikka T3 .308, 1 x 6.5×55 Shultz & Larsen, 1 x .338 Lapua Savage B110), two shotguns (1 x Remington Versamax and 1 X Beretta) reloading gear, 300 rounds of .22-250, 100rds .308, shotgun ammo, plus personal gear.

We had the Canam Commander XT and a Quad on the trailer. It was quite a load.

Supermarket carpark in Te Kuiti

Supermarket carpark in Te Kuiti

And, as you can see, quite long as well.

The 3 burly men travelled in comfort in a truck that is massive and comfortable in the cabin, even the rear seats, which in some utes are simply awful. Not on this truck. Read more »

Another Cunliffe numbers botch up. Again

Gerry Brownlee listened with some incredulity when David Cunliffe was touting his new Labour Cluster Truck Transport Policy yesterday.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says Ministry of Transport analysis of Labour’s new policy for taxing motorhomes shows many motorhome owners would actually be charged higher Road User Charges under a Labour government than they are presently, not lower, as Labour’s leader claimed this morning.

“This is frankly remarkable – I’m not sure if David Cunliffe is being tricky or if Labour is simply a shambles,” Mr Brownlee says.

“This morning David Cunliffe announced a Labour government would charge motorhome and campervan owners for the wear and tear their vehicles do to the roads based on their vehicles’ actual weights.

“But analysis by the Ministry of Transport shows that based on the difference between average and maximum weights for trucks versus motorhomes, the owners of many motorhomes would end up paying more for Road User Charges than they do today.

Well, Cunliffe lost all the Truckie votes yesterday, and you can add the Gypsy demographic to that as well.   Read more »

Cunliffe’s daft truck policy

Cunliffe’s getting monstered on talkback for his nutty truck ban…

Trucks can only do 90K by law – so the chances of them being in a fast lane should be small – except if the cars in the other lanes are doing less than 90k. If that’s the case – Cunliffe is saying they’re not allowed to pass the slower traffic.

Just more stupid policy invented on the hoof (or to cover his no show on Campbell Live/Parliament)…

Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee has called proposals to ban trucks from the fast lane on motorways a joke.

“I think someone’s having us on. It can’t be real,” Mr Brownlee told media this morning.

Labour Leader David Cunliffe made the announcement on TVNZ’s Breakfast this morning saying his party would bring in a motoring policy banning trucks from the right lanes of multi-carriageway roads.

AA’s senior policy analyst Mark Stockdale says the proposal is “a red herring”   Read more »

An email from a truckie

Yesterday we wrote about immigrant drivers and a commenter expressed his view about the responsibility of the industry.

I have received this email from an industry insider:

Dear Mr Whale Oil,

I believe that the government has made an error in removing truck drivers from the skill shortage list.

In this case I agree with what the Herald journalist has written, and I know that a mistake has been made with this decision.

It was interesting to read your piece, and the comments.

Without doubt there is a shortage of drivers in New Zealand, and in most of the developed world. This is because these people (drivers) have special skills, and we aren’t making them fast enough.

Ken Shirley said it takes years to make a Class 5 driver, and one of your commenters said that it takes a much shorter time. Please understand that this is not about getting a licence. Any half-arsed dickhead can get a licence. I am talking about being a driver of a unit weighing 40 tonnes, driving head on towards you, and worth $500,000. Not anyone can drive one of those. Not anyone can get ability to drive a heavy vehicle in a short time. The guys we train take about 3 years to get to that level.  Read more »

Trucking firms putting us all in danger to save a buck

Simon Collins appears to take some time off from Pimping the Poor by bringing you a story how the government is killing the transport industry.  But as per usual, Simon only tells what he wants you to know:

Trucking companies say they are being forced to import drivers from overseas because of a desperate shortage of Kiwis.

A survey by the Road Transport Forum has found 112 companies have trucks parked up because of a shortage of about 400 drivers. The total shortage is likely to be much higher because only 230 of the forum’s 4000 members responded.

Forum chief Ken Shirley said it took at least three years for a local driver to progress from a basic car licence to a class 5 licence for heavy trucks with trailers, and companies were filling the gap with immigrants.

“Fifteen per cent of drivers in some fleets are foreign migrant workers.”

But the Government removed class 5 drivers from the skill shortage list for permanent residence last month in what Mr Shirley described as “a serious strategic error”.

“I think the message from the Government is that they want us to target the unemployed.”

Another government hit piece from Simon.  You get to expect them.

Here is the other side to the story, as reported by Whaleoil Ground Crew member rantykiwi   Read more »

Darien Fenton questions the honesty of the road transport industry

Darien Fenton has probably done more to upset the transport industry in her miniscule time as transport spokehead than any other opposition union spokesman.

Her interest is based solely around Union experiences in Australia, where conditions are very different.

Labour’s transport spokesperson has called for a review of truck driver work arrangements – suggesting accidents are linked to contracting arrangements.

Darien Fenton says that after a number of fatal accidents involving trucks in the last month, the Government should not be ignoring the Opposition’s calls for a review of the trade.

“We know that truck drivers are allowed to work up to 13 hours a day, but many work much longer than that because the pay isn’t up to scratch and they need to make a living,” says Fenton.

“We also know that pressures are often put on drivers to breach time and speeding rules, yet the number of chain of responsibility prosecutions – where those who make the demands on drivers to break those rules are held accountable – are falling.

“While there are many good trucking firms in New Zealand which take care of their drivers and train and pay them properly, there are some who don’t and they are the killers on our roads,” she added.  Read more »

Has Len Brown been moonlighting in Wanganui?

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Photo/ via tipline

We all know that some truckies are wankers, but I don’t know of any wage paid drivers who have enough time to jerk off as a “group” activity which would warrant such an approach. Owner drivers would not be subject to seat inspections.

Now if Len Brown has been moonlighting as a truck driver in Wanganui I can easily imagine this being an issue, and it only takes him two minutes so easily accomplished on driver rest breaks.  Read more »

The story behind the picture

A picture tells a story worth a 1000 words right? Well, sometimes…take this image from the NZ Herald:

image001-1

Stuff reports it like this:

A heavy container truck has rolled, spilling petrol over the road and causing traffic chaos in Auckland.

Inspector Steve Kose, of police northern communications, said the truck collided with a parked car about 12.30pm in The Strand, Parnell.   Read more »

Photo of the Day

It started innocently enough: a one-off Facebook post about a pile of ship. Then, Huckberry reader Andy Mowrey noted that the ship carrying all of those ships was recently carried by another ship. Pandora’s Box (aka The Google) was opened, revealing a whole host of incestuous relationships between planes, trains, and automobiles. Herewith, a post cataloguing a few of our favorite finds.

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Lucky

The luckiest truck driver in Russia.

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