Autonomous freight movements in the NSW bush

The New South Wales Government is exploring the possibilities of autonomous trucks with freight movements expected to double across metropolitan areas and by up to 25 per cent in the bush by 2056, according to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Transport Minister Andrew Constance has reportedly unveiled a regional transport plan at Ballina that would suggest that driverless freight trucks could be a common sight on New South Wales roads in the future.

“Certainly in terms of safety, first and foremost, it will be a big change,” said Constance. “And we are working to make sure that with the advent of autonomous vehicles, particularly in the bush, we do actually look at what’s required in an infrastructure sense.” Roads Minister Melinda Pavey reportedly told the ABC that she would prefer autonomous vehicle trials to be conducted in regional New South Wales.

“That is the area that is probably weaker in our road safety statistics and we want to see that improved,” said Ms. Pavey. “And it is vital that regional communities are part of it and we are not scared about how it’s going to change things because it’s going to make the roads safer.”
She reportedly said the state introduced legislation in the past few months so it could be ready for this change.

“Our officials are watching what’s happening throughout the world,” said Ms. Pavey. “We want to be part of it, we don’t want to make it complicated if anybody wants to come in and bring autonomous vehicle technology that’s going to make it safer on our roads.

“It’s contrary to our own instincts to think it would be safe without a driver behind the wheel but we must remember that 94 per cent of all accidents involve human error and if we can harness the latest technology, we can actually save lives and drive the road toll down,” she said.

The ABC has said that the concept contained in the draft regional transport plan will be open for community comment until 3 December.

Content and photo credit – Anastasia Razdiakonova MEGATRANS2018

 

 

 

 

LITTLE KNOWN AUSTRALIAN TRUCK TESTING FACILITY

The Australian Automotive Research Centre (AARC) is near Anglesea in the Otway Forest Park, on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. International Harvester originally built the place when it was a power in Australia and based in Geelong.

The original Acco trucks designed and built in the fifties and sixties would have seen their first light of day at this testing track.
It is a little unusual for a transport company to own such a specialised facility, but Lindsay Fox is an unusual man. It is the biggest testing area of its kind in Australia. As such, a lot of testing by many of the automotive companies takes place here.

It is such a big site, there will often be a number of different testing programs going on at any one time. Often those doing the testing will be competitors, so confidentiality and clearly defined partitioning of the site is often necessary to ensure the wrong person doesn’t get to see another’s next generation vehicle, tyre or braking system at work.

Another use for the facility is for events involving vehicles. Journalists for truck magazines often get their first taste of a new truck in the enclosed and secret confines of the AARC track. There is a long enough main track and a substantial country road type scenario for a driver to get a reasonable first impression of any new technologies or designs, before getting the opportunity to test the truck in more realistic conditions out on the highway, after the truck’s release.

With thanks AARC and Linfox.  www.torquepower.com.au

Idling myths, and a new heart for your truck

Here’s a cautionary tale about idling. Granddad said idle hands were the devil’s workshop, but it doesn’t help trucks either. A few myths have been disapproved about restarting the engine. In reality, an engine restart only uses fuel approximately equal to 10 seconds of idling, and restarting the engine causes less engine wear.

In the US for example, 3.8 billion litres of fuel are consumed annually by idling heavy-duty truck and locomotive engines. But when you’re powering a concrete agitator, you have little choice. You idle at the concrete plant, and then you idle at the job-site keeping the concrete from going off.

Today in the workshop at Torquepower, we are simultaneously replacing two Cummins ISC Common-rail engines. An Acco that’s done a lot of kilometres and the other, a Mack, that powers a concrete agitator, that has done few kilometres, but a huge number of engine hours. When it comes time; through high hours or kilometres; talk to us about a new heart for your truck.  Even if you have the older ADR80/00 C.A.P.S Fuel System ISC Engine; at Torquepower, we can supply and fit the newer ADR80/02 Cummins ISC Common-Rail in its place. If you need a new engine call our Sales Manager Paul Duce now on 0404 098 870 for all available options and pricing.

New Engines

2017 Technology works with 1990 Volvo at Torquepower

2017 Diesel Teechnogy works with a 1990 VOLVO. “ I came into Torquepower after the replacement engine was fitted because of smoke and a lack of power.  “George” ( Anthony) Kunst is a Gympie born and bred driver of 35 years, that now has 2017 technology on a 1990 truck. “ I’ve never found a gold nugget, so we ‘grow’ rocks and drive trucks. “ He’s part of a family that drives . Wife Melissa is an accomplished excavator operator and driver. George jokes, “It’s very dry outside Gympie, people are waiting for water trucks, so the rocks aren’t growing very quickly.”

Sunshine Basalt are all about home grown rocks. Mum and Dad -in-law and Melissa excavate the rocks and George freights them. “What’s great about our rocks is that they are all-natural bush rocks.” I thought all rocks were natural ? “Not so, some are blown out. These are all natural shapes, complete with aged moss for waterfall and gardens. Basalt is harder than sandstone, and it won’t degrade or crumble like quarry rock, and over time they become darker, and covered with attractive moss and lichens. “

A million dollar weekender at Sunshine Coast has just had 32 truck-loads of Sunshine Basalt delivered for rock walls, and the landscape gardener loves them. A load of rocks to Victoria Point yesterday for stairs was pronounced perfect.

The Sunshine Basalt Volvo is 27 years old, and has just clicked over one million kilometres. The 14 litre NT855 Cummins motor replaced out an old Volvo 16 litre engine . Says George, “ I like Cummins, I’ve grown up with Cummins. I’ve dealt with Torquepower since the early days 35 years ago, buying pumps and injectors for my mechanic in Gympie when I was running a T-line 230. I knew my truck should pull better than that, even with a 22 and a half tonne load of rocks.

“I came into Torquepower after the replacement engine was fitted because of smoke and a lack of power. The truck had an air accelerator now adjusted to cable. Now that the pump is right, everything should be right. Torquepower is brilliant. I like that they look after my budget. I talk to Carl and Justin, we spend a bit, then I go away and test it, so I save as I go. What we did two weeks ago with the pump has totally changed the truck for the better. Today’s visit will be the icing on the cake. I now have 400 HP and automatic engine braking release. That’s 2017 computer technology on a 1990 truck ! When I take the account home to my Missus, and she says. ‘Oh that’s better than I expected”, I know all is well. We would have done this six years ago, had I believed that it would go this well.” 0732778277 170 Beatty Road, TORQUEPOWER QLD https://www.torquepower.com.au/workshop-service/

IT’S MIDNIGHT and you need a Cummins Part

IT’S MIDNIGHT AND YOU NEED A Cummins Part … Just jump onto www.torquepower.com . Order your part on our new website ( it’s a dream to use, and unique in the industry) … and your part will be ready for delivery or pick up the next business morning.  If you are in trouble, and need the part immediately, call 0732778277 and our after hours emergency team will get it to you.  ( Call-out fees apply)

Anyone can access the Torquepower Online Parts Store. You can even find your Cummins parts without a Parts Catalogue and without access to the proprietary Cummins Quick Serve software. Using it will help you in the successful running of your own Cummins reliant enterprise. If you are a trade customer please ask for your own Trade Counter Log In so you can log in, check your pricing, easily order multiple parts lines, and download your Invoices and Statements .

https://shopping.torquepower.com.au/#About

HAPPY 39th BIRTHDAY Torquepower

Seems when you start a business because of your passion to look after other small to medium business operators (and then work hard and sleep little) everyone wins. On August 9th 1978, Ken and Jude Roberts founded Torquepower with an intention to better support heavy transport operators.

Today, Torquepower holds the largest inventory of Genuine Cummins parts outside of the manufacturer’s own stocks. As a single location, its Cummins parts coverage is one of the largest in the country even when including manufacturer branches.
Torquepower’s strong history, staff expertise and high immediate pick-rate for Cummins parts means that it attracts interest from right across Australia, out into the Pacific Rim and beyond. It is a clear testament to a great team, great product passion and a vast highly valued customer base as we share our vision and continue to grow the business into our 40th business year.

About Torquepower

INDUSTRY NEWS ; THE DRIVER IS STILL VITAL

The news stories veer from optimistic ‘brave new world starts now’, to some horror story about the dangers of computer-controlled monsters.
Then there’s a future when we don’t need truckies and everything-will-be-delivered-to-our-backyard-by-drone scenarios.This isn’t just hype, there are some serious global players tipping serious investment into the whole area. When you have Amazon, Uber, Tesla, Daimler, Volkswagen, Volvo and many more spending big in research and development, you know something is going change. These kinds of global companies don’t invest large amounts unless they are pretty certain of the outcome.

There is one aspect of this whole area that seems to get missed by most of the reports, and most of the commentators on the topic – this is not all going to happen at once. We are not going to be driving all of our trucks today and then kicked out the cabin to let the robots take over tomorrow. It is a process, quite a long process.

In fact, automotive society SAE International has created five stages of autonomous vehicles, as a guide to understanding where we are now and where we may end up. These have been clearly defined and the demarcations are being used both by those people developing the new technologies and those developing legislation and a framework in which automation can work.

At the moment, we are in stage one, with stage two available in some cases. There is some autonomy, with systems like adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking, but that’s as far as it goes, just for now.

The next step will be in the realm of steering, where lane-keeping warning systems don’t just set off a buzzer, but also intervene and kick the steering back into the lane. Now, we are starting to get into the realm of an autonomous truck, but we are very far from a ‘driverless’ truck. That is much further away.

At this stage, we still need an alert driver in the driving seat able to intervene at any moment. They may not have their hands on the wheel, but they are still needed. The truck, on its own, will keep going at the set speed and keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. If something stops abruptly or appears in front of the truck, the emergency braking will activate. The truck will stay in the lane it is in without veering off course. That’s it. The driver is still vital to the safety of the truck and other road users.

Even the stage after that will involve considerable driver input. Platooning is one of those technologies that should come into play at this stage in development. The driver of the front truck is in control, often in the same way as in the truck described above. The two or three trucks trailing behind will still need a minder but will simply mimic the action of the front truck in most situations.

If something drastic does go wrong, they will be programmed to bring themselves to a halt as safely as possible. If the problem is less severe, the truck’s driver will be alerted to return to the driving seat and resume control.

Even at this level we are miles away from the ‘driverless’ truck we keep hearing about. Those are not going to be thinkable until we have smart highways where the road signs and traffic signal are all communicating with the vehicles on the road, and all of the vehicles on that road are using Intelligent Transport System (ITS) to run their control systems.

To get some real ITS capability on Australian roads is going to be a project on the scale of the NBN rollout, and we know long some of us are having to wait for that. Driverless trucks are quite some time away, but we need to arm ourselves with the right information about their potential and prepare for their arrival, whenever that may be. With thanks, Diesel News .

Brisbane RNA Ekka Holiday

It’s nearly time for the EKKA !!  We welcome all regional and country visitors to see us for their Cummins needs. Torquepower will however be closed for the EKKA SHOW DAY HOLIDAY, WEDNESDAY 16 AUGUST. EMERGENCY PARTS SUPPORT will still be available but call-out charges will apply. Call us early on 0732778277 or go to https://shopping.torquepower.com.au/#About

Torquepower – it’s our 39th EKKA !!

The Royal Queensland Show (Ekka) is Queensland’s largest annual event. Held over ten full days, Ekka showcases life and achievements in the Sunshine State, bringing visitors from across Queensland and Australia to the heart of Brisbane.

The Ekka has been bringing the country and city together since 1876, to celebrate and champion agriculture and the critical role it plays in our everyday lives.

This year marks the 140th show, and more than 400,000 people are expected to come together to celebrate Queensland’s most loved annual event.

The Ekka showcases the best of Queensland with animal competitions, award-winning food and wine, live entertainment, carnival fun, family shopping, educational activities and much more.

This iconic show is full of traditions, a unique atmosphere and childhood memories which have been passed down through generations of families. It’s a true Queensland experience and one not to be missed.

With thanks, https://www.ekka.com.au

Fishing Champ’s Blackwatch gets a new Long Block

Stan Aspland is a happy-go-lucky concreter and skipper from Bribie Island with two slightly built daughters, Chantelle and Jacqueline, who are keen fishing champs. They are both award-winning Black and Blue Marlin Game Fisherwomen.

“Jacq’s Back” is a beautiful 34 foot BlackWatch sports fishing cruiser with teak decks, and now powered with a new long block built by Torquepower technicians. “ Mick at Torquepower did everything well. Justin in the Service Department looks after me like a brother; what a great crew you have, “ said Stan. “I’m as surprised as everyone else about how my girls have taken to big game fishing, as a kid, Jacqueline used to get seasick in the bathtub! “https://www.torquepower.com.au/recon/

http://www.qgfa.com.au/events/event/bribie-island-tournament-of-champions-2/

Black Watch

 

ISB4.5 operator wins with CUMMINS CLEARANCE SPECIALS

Bus & Coach Sales Australia bought a used bus in North Queensland in red dust country. Experiencing white smoke, and poor performance after picking up some bad fuel, they had a better win than the State of Origin Decider, when they found that the four $1100 each Injectors they needed, were a marked-down clearance item at Torquepower, allowing them to be purchased for a fraction of retail price at JUST $161 EACH. That’s a BETTER THAN 85% discount ! For more hot deals for your Cummins see https://shopping.torquepower.com.au/#ClearanceAbout

Grab a Cummins Clearance bargain here! https://shopping.torquepower.com.au/#ClearanceAbout

Commercially, we have to move stock that is no longer moving and to that end we offer those items to you at Genuine Clearance Prices.

Browse by these categories – Cummins Parts; Cummins Electronics; Cummins Specialized Tools; Cummins Merchandise; Filters; Belts and Silicon Hoses. No matter what you buy you will SAVE loads.

Cummins Clearance Lines include surplus, superseded, discontinued or slow moving inventory.

In the unlikely event that a Cummins Clearance Line is proven to be defective within 12 months of its purchase by the buyer, Torquepower will refund the Invoiced amount for the defective part. The decision to Refund will be subject to the evidence of proof normally required by the manufacturer of the part. We strongly recommend that you contact Torquepower immediately if you suspect a problem.

Once you Send Your Order, we will promptly contact you to discuss freight and arrange your payment terms.