Trucks

Green Taliban want to ban all trucks because they are filthy and dangerous

Julie-Ann Genter, Green Party

Julie Anne Genter, Green Party

The Greens are about to launch a transport policy aimed at getting trucks off the roads.

Transport spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter says New Zealand needs cleaner, safer and cheaper freight options.

“A few expensive motorways and more trucks just aren’t going to cut it,” she said ahead of the policy launch.

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Southern Autos Daily Deal

My mates at Southern Autos are running daily deals through March.

They are also starting to build a real good stock of used D-Max. They are generally hard to get.

March is also the best time to buy a new Isuzu with the end of the financial year and they tell me they are motivated to do deals !!

Here is today’s Southern Autos Daily Deal:

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UK set to start trials of driverless trucks

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Driverless technology is likely to improve traffic and transport far faster than billions spent on modes of transport stuck on rails.

The UK is advancing plans for driverless technology.

Groups of driverless lorries could soon be seen along Britain’s motorways as the government pushes ahead with bringing about next-generation transport.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, is expected to confirm funding for the initiative this week when he unveils the Budget.

A stretch of the M6 near Carlisle has reportedly been earmarked as a potential test route for the automated lorries.

During testing the vehicles would have drivers on board as a safety precaution to ensure there is someone on hand should the technology malfunction.

He said: “Convoys of driverless lorries and motorists will certainly be very nervous about the prospect and will need considerable reassurance that it will be safe.

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KiwiRail bails, Northland needs 150-200 more truckies, and this is bad why?

KiwiRail isn’t making any money…and so bails from an unprofitable line. So far so good.

KiwiRail is mothballing a Northland train line and locals fear the decision will force an extra 150 logging trucks onto the region’s roads to cope with the added freight demands.

Following enquiries about a leaked email seen by the Herald, a KiwiRail spokesperson this afternoon admitted the contract with the only freight customer on the Otiria to Portland line expires at the end of August and is not going to be renewed. This will render the track useless but the line would remain open.

“KiwiRail is not closing its North Auckland line.”

The leaked email from a KiwiRail manager said woodchip company Marusumi would instead build a roadway for its trucks.

Transport minister Simon Bridges said the Government has no intention on shutting any lines but there was little or no demand on the line at the moment.

“In that sense, we can understand KiwiRail’s perspective where they are seeking to run a commercial business.”

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Making trucks more efficient a winner and proof that roading remains essential

The government is looking at increasing the size of trucks, predictably there are some opposing this and looking at expensive and unproven safety systems.

As truck technology improves further efficiencies can be made.

Chief Executive of the Road Transport Forum said underrun bars were an unproven safety system and could cause problems as well as solving them, such as deflecting people or cars into oncoming traffic.

And he said safety would be improved by the proposed changes, even though their main focus was efficiency.

“The whole country benefits from having a more productive and efficient transport sector,” he said.

“The other aspect is that modern trucks are a lot safer. The newer heavier trucks carting the bigger heavier loads have much improved braking systems, they have the latest technology, this is all part of those reforms.”

Associate Minister of Transport, Craig Foss, said the AA could put its views on safety when it makes its response to the draft proposals.    Read more »

Campaign to gather sympathy for Lycra-clad road maggots backfires

The truck has to cross the centre line putting every one in danger to avoid the road maggot.

The truck has to cross the centre line putting everyone in danger to avoid the road maggot.

Just who was it that had the brain injury to suggest that if a car and a bicycle are closer than 1.5m apart, it’s the car driver’s fault?  

How can you even determine that?

And where is the opposite law, where a bicycle isn’t allowed more than 1m from the left of the road, and definitely not allowed to ride side-by-side endangering themselves and others as cars have to pass.

Another media generated beat-up, and another one backfires.

Covert footage of motorists passing dangerously close to cyclists in Marlborough has highlighted the severity of the problem to police, a highway patrol officer says.

Members of the Marlborough Bunch Riders cycling group have been capturing some close calls with trucks and cars for the past six months using rear bike lights that double as cameras.    Read more »

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A solution for Kiwirail

Durch die Möglichkeit des Lkw nahtlos vom Dieselbetrieb in der elektrischen Betrieb zu wechseln, sind alltägliche Fahrsituationen wie Einfädeln oder Überholen ebenso umzusetzen wie mit konventionellen Lkws. Auch Ausweichen, Schlingern und Vollbremsung funktionieren problemlos. Thanks to their ability to switch seamlessly from diesel to electric operation, eHighway trucks can perform everyday maneuvers, such as overtaking or changing lanes, just like conventional ones. Also swerving, nosing and full braking are all possible without difficulty.

Thanks to their ability to switch seamlessly from diesel to electric operation, eHighway trucks can perform everyday maneuvers, such as overtaking or changing lanes, just like conventional ones. Also swerving, nosing and full braking are all possible without difficulty.

I’m done with pouring billions into Kiwirail.

Even yesterday a transport company was moaning about how many more trucks would be needed in a rather poorly written article in Fairfax. The quoted number was 27,000 extra trucks which of course is complete rubbish.

Freight is already delivered to rail by trucks and removed from the other end by more trucks making the freight triple handled.

But there is a solution, one which won’t mean extra trucks on the roads, and one which makes sense.

  • Rip up the rail tracks;
  • Get rid of the rolling stock and staff but keep the overhead power lines;
  • Tar seal the rail corridor to form a two way dedicated road;
  • Charge trucks a toll to use them – because of the dedicated use, the trucks (and passenger versions) could be driverless or at least highly automated.

A hugely more flexible option that allows freight operators to bear the capital costs directly and takes the long-distance stuff off the current roads.  It uses proven technologies.

Fortune magazine has an article on just such a solution.  Read more »

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That’s when they still built them properly

There is a story on 3News about a Toyota Hilux that has been to the moon and back…twice.

Kiwi Glenn Holmes has a vehicle that has almost done enough kilometres to travel to the moon and back twice.

Instead of going to into space, Mr Holmes has managed to rack up more than 1.2 million kilometres on the clock by doing his newspaper run – 300km a day around Manawatu.

He was doing that when it reached 1 million, a milestone he never planned to reach. In fact, when he bought the car 22 years ago he had never planned to hang onto it for that long.

“I thought I’d keep it two years and sell it to buy another one, but that didn’t happen so [I] just kept trucking along,” Mr Holmes says.

The ute takes more time and money to maintain than Mr Holmes has at the moment.

“I used to change the oil every 5000km,” he says, “which in this vehicle equated to an oil change every first Monday of the month.”   Read more »

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Holden joins Ford in releasing a gay ute

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I thought that Ford basically had the monopoly on gay utes in New Zealand with the Ranger Wildtrak.

But it seems Holden is trying to out-gay them with their new Colorado Z71. It even has a gay name.

Holden has taken aim at Ford’s popular Wildtrak Ranger variant with a rivalling flagship Colorado called the Z71.

Why would you do that? How many MPs named Craig Foss are there?

The new model will be available in Australian showrooms from early July in six-speed manual guise or six-speed automatic but there is no confirmation that the Z71 is coming to New Zealand. It seems highly likely the Z71 will make its way to NZ’s shores but Holden NZ has said it will not be making any announcement until next month.   Read more »

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The Isuzu D-Max Maverick 13 travels to Goatistan

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Photo/ Whaleoil Media, Cam Slater

Queens Birthday weekend saw us take an Isuzu D-Max LS Maverick 13 from Southern Autos down to Goatistan in Taranaki for some chaos and mayhem.

This was a similar trip with a similar amount of kit to cart down as the last trip I did in a VW Amarok. I was keen to compare the two vehicles.

We had three burly men, 10 firearms (3 x Tikka .22-250, a Tikka .308, 2 x 6.5×55 Mauser, Remington Versamax 12ga, Savage B110 .338 Lapua Magnum, .22 Magnum, and an SKS). We also carried around 300 rounds of .22-250, plus reloading gear in case we run out of ammo. (There are a lot of goats, and Sunday night we did reload 200 rounds). We also had two 4×4 4 wheelers, 40 litres of diesel in jerry cans and 40 litres of petrol in cans as well. Plus personal gear, food and refreshments. It is a lot of gear.

Surprisingly we managed to get more in the back of the ute than in the Amarok and the hard top tray cover was brilliant. We could have tied down some gear on that if necessary, and with the deck tread aluminium and side rails would make carrying home animals a breeze without getting blood and guts inside the vehicle. The tray cover also can take 200kg of weight and so gives you true shoot-off-the-back capability.

We left late on Friday night, firstly to avoid the traffic and secondly because we had other commitments.

We drove down with all our gear in a surprisingly good time, the truck effortlessly pulling all our gear. We even gave it a nasty test by taking the turn off to Ohura off State Highway 3, along Okau Road and then up the nasty and narrow part of Kiwi Road in Taranaki. It was 1am by the time we started up Kiwi Road… and bloody freezing.

We went this way because it cuts about 20 minutes off the time to the hut if we go that way, despite the challenges, and saves going over Mt Messenger. Though it has to be said that driving Kiwi Road in the dark is a real challenge. It is narrow with nasty switch backs and sheer drops down the side. If you stuff up it will hurt, and towing a large and heavy tandem trailer makes it even more challenging.

But the Maverick 13 just ate up the road, never once getting into trouble.

The entire drive down was pleasant, and we even supplemented the radio with direct play from my iPad. For three burly men the cabin appointments were good, even for the back seat passenger.

Comparing the tow with the Amarok I have to say I believe the Isuzu was superior in both handling, set up and towing ability. It just never blinked and the engine never went over 2500 rpm the whole trip down.

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The view down one of the valleys. Photo/ Whaleoil Media, Cam Slater

On the farm it just went from strength to strength. It is steep goat territory, and typical Taranaki mountain land.

On all the farm tracks the truck just never stopped, through deep mud, steep papa tracks, muddy farm races and slippery grass… all eaten up by the sure-footed Isuzu D-Max.

I only slipped into low-range once, when through my own mistake I approached a slippery papa track with inadequate momentum. It was the only time I spun the wheels, progress was halted, so I back back down a bit, quickly flicked the dial into low-range and powered up no trouble at all.

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At 204yds the effectiveness of the .22-250 is apparent. Photo/ Whaleoil Media, Cam Slater

There are plenty of goats on this farm, all its boundaries are forest and so they just keep coming back. The Billy above was a good size and succumbed to my 40gr V-max bullet on the .22-250 with a good lung shot. At a muzzle velocity of 4100 fps this is a devastating round on small game like goats. Now before anyone gets upset at the location of the splatter, that is the exit wound and that is frothy lung blood. The actual entry wound was precisely where it was intended to go, at the base of the neck. The goat was facing front quarter on and the bullet entered and travelled through the lungs and exited out the side in a spray of red mist. We were shooting up hill hence the angle of bullet travel. This goat dropped instantly.

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Another head for the collection at the hut. Photo/ Whaleoil Media, Cam Slater

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204yds with a Tikka .22-250 Photo/ Whaleoil Media, Cam Slater

We have perfected our load for the .22-250 now, and it is effective with devastating effect inside 300yds. We do take shots over that, and I dropped 5 goats at around 400-415yds. The best shot for the weekend was 455yds on a Billy that I tipped up.

The more you shoot with a rifle the better you get, and goat shooting is a great way to get familiar with your firearm simply because of the huge number of rounds you put away down range. We tipped up over 200 goats this weekend.

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We packed up on Monday afternoon, following a bomb up in a gully not far from the hut. We caught a good herd sheltering from the wind on a face with little bush cover and cleaned them out.

We left the hut at 1640 to drive home. This time we head down the other part of Kiwi Road and then out onto State Highway 3 at Uruti. We were going to put the Isuzu through its paces over Mt Messenger going home.

Well, it coped superbly well up the wet and slippery Mt Messenger part of the drive, and again I believe it handled the tow much smoother and better than the Amarok. We were back and unpacking at 215 after being only troubled with a couple of slow pokes on the drive back.

The truck was perfect, even with road profile 20inch tyres. The set up by the boys at Southern Autos was flawless. I really like this truck. I’m not sure they will be able to get it back off me.

Sure it doesn’t have all the fancy fruit like an Amarok, but it is very, very capable and is a real truck not some fancy town tractor pretending to be one.

Go and see my mates at Southern Autos, they will look after you for a test drive and a good deal. If you want a real truck then this is the one for you.

Southern Autos

 

 

All photos and video taken with Spark Samsung S6 Edge, Isuzu D-Max LS Maverick 13 vehicle supplied by Southern Autos.

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