Trucks

Kaikoura: The Four Month Report

From my trucking correspondent.


Time for an update on the Kaikoura Earthquake Disaster in Logistics terms.

We’re 4 months into New Zealand’s worst logistical disaster, and the good folks south of the Quake line have barely felt anything more than minor inconveniences through the “almost” severing of their lifeline links.

Recap back to November 11, 2016 when SH1 was destroyed between Christchurch and Picton, completely isolating Kaikoura. Not to mention closing all the ferry links between the two Islands.

At that point the South Island was not connected to the North by any of the reliable, expedient and durable means that we had all relied on for years.

Quickly systems were repaired where possible. The Wellington to Picton ferry links were restored within days. The Northern Canterbury Roads and Bridges were repaired and are under constant maintenance. Goods started to flow through the severely constrained and limited Blenheim-St Arnaud-Murchison-Lewis Pass-Springs Junction-Waipara route, made up of Highways: SH1 (at Blenheim) to 63, 6, 65, 7 before returning to SH1. This is a much longer, much slower and a more difficult temporary alternative route.    Read more »

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.

Read more »

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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Read more »

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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.

Read more »

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.”

Read more »

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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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