FUEL PRICES and FUEL TIPS

OUTLOOK FOR FUEL PRICES & NATROAD FUEL EFFICIENCY TIPS

 

 

With diesel estimated to comprise 99 per cent of trucking and half of the commercial vehicle industry in Australia, according to the Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity (AAEP), the recent price trend at the pump has been an unwelcome sight for most operators.

And, with alternative fuels involving one or more economic or operational compromises, including “lower energy density, higher price, reduced driving range (or payload penalty), lower thermal efficiency, or limited availability (of trucks, fuel, or refuelling facilities)”, there may be no short-term magic bullet other than weathering the storm and eking out efficiencies within the supply chain.

That’s according to the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad), which sees no respite in sight due to domestic and international influences.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) cites a weaker Australian dollar (down from around 80 US cents in January to around 70 at present) and supply-side constraints, including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cutting production by 1.2 million barrels a day since 2016, as placing upwards pressure on prices, which have risen by 15 per cent in that time.

That is combined with an upcoming initial public offering (IPO) of Aramco, the Saudi Arabian state-owned oil company, which is “reportedly targeting crude oil prices near $80 a barrel in preparation for the IPO”, NatRoad quotes Commonwealth Bank mining and energy commodities analyst Vivek Dhar. By comparison, a barrel was as low as US$35 in February 2016, the lowest it had been this century since the early 2000s.

TIPS FOR TRANSPORT

NatRoad has provided an information sheet with cost-saving and efficiency-maximising suggestions for operators to consider. They include:

Automation and technology: Regulating, automating and optimising manual processes can reduce staff requirements, centralise production operations to provide scale and control costs. Real-time software can help businesses better understand where trucks are going, the routes they are taking, and where opportunities for improvement lie.

Network optimisation: Opening or closing distribution centres or moving facilities to more optimal locations

Fuel management: Streamlining routes, making vehicles more aerodynamic, and considering perhaps more environmentally friendly fuel remixes or alternatives

Reducing idling time: Reducing the idling time of vehicles saves fuel while also reducing engine wear and associated maintenance costs, which will also help save costs. On average, service fleets idle somewhere between three to four hours a day. By simply reducing idle time, fleets can begin to see measurable cost savings

Shipping practices: Consolidating shipments between multiple brand owners can reduce costs and increase shipment density

Rightsizing: Identifying the right vehicle to the right driver is another way to rein in fuel costs. It’s about creating an alternative option to reduce fuel spend to have the right vehicle for the right application.

The ABC also notes fuel comparison apps like MotorMouth and GasBuddy can help find better deals, while independent chains tend to be cheaper.

While barrel prices reached a historical high of nearly US$150 in 2008 – albeit the Australian dollar was tracking at near parity with the American dollar then – Dhar doesn’t see prices quite reaching that level. He predicts prices won’t reach US$100 a barrel.

It proves little consolation for many transport industries, with additional factors such as the drought leaving many operators feeling the pinch in Australia.

“Fuel costs are a significant factor for all businesses operating in Australia’s freight logistics sector – across all modes of freight transport. Those costs end up feeding into all parts of the supply chain, and ultimately, into consumer prices,” Australian Logistics Council interim chief executive Lachlan Benson recently tells Fairfax.

Genuine Cummins Parts Clearance – at up to 85% OFF RRP will help you save costs. 

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

With thanks, NatRoads

 

IT’S OUR 40TH YEAR – OUR PEOPLE KNOW SERVICE

IT’S OUR 40TH YEAR – OUR PEOPLE KNOW SERVICE .
Russell Grant spent 22 years retailing floor coverings before he came to Torquepower. “ I had to know service. It’s not easy running a small business. I had to understand stock control and cash flow, and practical, sensible approaches to overcoming problems. We had to be accurate and we needed to despatch products in the most protective and cost-effective way. In short, if a customer wasn’t happy, I had to fix it. “
 
“Here at Torquepower, I pick parts, communicate with transport companies in despatch, carry out parts deliveries and photograph a huge range of parts for our online store. The difference with a smaller business, like mine and Torquepower, is that a family-business mentality keeps people caring better than elsewhere.
 
We don’t look for someone to blame, we do think about things. We become aware of an issue, we fix it, and we ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
“What I like most about Torquepower, is that we really do support each other and communicate and work together for good solutions. Everyone here has looked after me very well, by finding diverse tasks for me to do, that fits my experience. It’s great !
Supplier of Genuine Cummins Spare Parts since 1978
Working hard for You – The better we buy, the LESS you pay !
https://www.torquepower.com.au/key-staff-photos/

Torquepower Sales manager Paul Duce, celebrates fifth anniversary

Torquepower Sales manager Paul Duce, celebrates his fifth anniversary with the family-run Cummins parts hub at Archerfield this month. Despite his youthful looks, Paul has two grown teenagers; 18 and 17 – and over 20 years of Cummins experience, after following his Dad – Noel Duce into the Cummins parts business. Noel was well known to many industry stalwarts, and now lives in retirement in rural north-eastern Tasmania. Paul started at Cummins South Pacific in Brisbane as a Stores person in 1997 and was posted to Mackay as Parts Manager in 2008. He then returned to Brisbane in 2013 to manage engine and new parts sales at Torquepower.

It’s probably fair to say that Paul has accrued more Cummins parts info than the rest of us will ever learn. Why does he love the work ? “ There no better satisfaction than finding a part with a limited amount of information and using it to help that Cummins operator out of a pickle – it’s kind of addictive ! “

“I appreciate that we are truly customer-focused here at Torquepower, and that we go to any lengths to help … also, our core values match. It’s always gratifying when I get out on the road to visit customers and have people recognise me, and they also ask after my dad “

Meet Key Staff

Paul started his working life as an apprentice automotive technician with Denmac Ford, then began a career with Cummins that spanned 16 years. Initially employed as a warehouse storeman, Paul became a trade qualified parts interpreter and progressing to Customer Support Representative at Cummins in Brisbane, Paul was appointed Cummins Parts Manager in Mackay for five years before returning to Brisbane to be with family.

As Torquepower’s Parts and Sales Manager for the past five years, Paul has enjoyed the challenge of small business and managing a small but experienced team. Going out of his way to problem-solve for customers and staff is a real strength. A family man, Paul says,“ family and friends are really important to me.“

Torquepower ex-Army Clement is a warehouse hero

Torquepower ex-Army Clement is a warehouse hero. Clement ( Poly) Poland, and his 6 siblings were born in Perth and grew up with an Army Engineer Dad . A mechanical kid, Clement would bush-drive old Falcons and then fix engine parts and panels . He attended Star of the Sea and Colby Catholic Colleges , and left at year 10 to attend TAFE to Fast Track senior subjects so he could join the army.

An Army Reserve member since the year 2000, Clem was a mechanical operator and forklift driver for private companies, and joined the ARA ( Australia Regular Army) as a transport driver . He drove Mercedes Benz, Unimog’s, 1980 Mack 3 axle R series , Mann and Fleetliner trucks, and learnt Bulk Fuel operations and dangerous goods.

Overseas in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, Clement was a protection party driver on the huge Taleel US Army Base for the Tour de Force troop entertainment and morale group . Other duties included driving 13,000 litre diesel fuel tankers distances in Iraq to refuel army units outside the base. Ferrying fuel through “Ambush Alley” kept things interesting, and he enjoyed the camaraderie and mateship.

In the years following, Clement was posted in Sydney, and his first daughter born in 2008. He made a family decision and left the Army in 2009, but stayed in the Reserves till 2012. Since then, Clement gathered a raft of skills driving trucks and supervising warehouses for big West Australian companies, and for Hastings Deering Caterpillar in Mount Isa. A family training organisation was grown many times over with Clement as international business development, and sales and operations management.

Now as Torquepower Warehouse Supervisor, Clement enjoys a smaller family business . “ Workers are well looked after and get the resources they need to do a good job. What I like best about Torquepower is that it is a family-oriented close-knit and family-run group. There is an increased desire to get everything correct for the customer, which means for me parts need to be spot on location-wise . My goal is to make the warehouse flow. A very definitive location saves everybody time and improves productivity.”

“As a family, with three awesome kids; we enjoy fishing, four wheel driving and camping. I still like to keep up the Army fitness with running and gym, and the kids keep me fit ! “

Home

 

 

Motorists learn trucking blind spots

Trucking blind spots .  Transport for NSW have done a great job of making an incisive ad, which gets its point over in a smart and believable way. The vast majority of car drivers not only know nothing about the issues around things like trucking blind spots and visibility in a truck. Many car drivers sit cocooned in their own car, with safety systems turned on and do what they want to do and are surprised when other drivers get upset.

Unfortunately, many drivers tune out the trucks moving around them. They assume the truck driver will be able to cope with their actions and their car will remain untouched. However, if the inevitable happens and the truck and car do collide, the damage and risk to life is much more severe than if two cars were involved.

There is also an automatic assumption from everyone outside the trucking community, the truck must be to blame. The media describe any accident which involves a truck, in any way at all, as a ‘truck accident’, assuming guilt from the get-go.

With thanks Diesel News.

Photo credit – treehugger.com

https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Driver-guide/Sharing-the-road-with-other-road-users/Heavy-vehicles.aspx

Truck drivers have a certain limitations when it comes to accelerating and slowing down. Heavy vehicles need more room to make turns and their blind spots are much larger than cars. When driving around trucks, keep in mind the following tips:

1. Stay out of the heavy vehicle blind spots

The blind spot diagram, in yellow shade, shows the blind spots are located:

Blind spot around a truck

immediately in front of the truck
beside the truck driver’s door
on the passenger side which runs the length of the truck and extends out three lanes
directly behind the truck.
Blind spot around a truck

Remember: if you cannot see the truck driver’s mirror, the truck driver cannot see you.

2. Travel at a safe following distance

Do not follow a heavy vehicle too closely, as you want to see what is ahead (e.g. debris and other cars). Keep in mind the following when travelling behind a heavy vehicle:

Allow for time to stop safely. The table below shows comparisons of stopping distances for cars and trucks when travelling at the same speeds.

Vehicle Speed Stopping distance (metres)

Car     Truck
60km/h 73      83
70km/h 91      105
80km/h 111    130
90km/h 133    156
100km/h 157  185

If driving in weather conditions such as the wind and rain always leave more than the recommended following distance.

www.torquepower.com.au   We’re for safety.

 

Cummins Technician Field Service Experience

We currently have an opportunity for an experienced Cummins technician with field service experience to join our busy service department. You will work on a wide range of Cummins powered applications including mining, industrial, marine and automotive. The majority of your workday will be spent working somewhat autonomously in the field so a strong knowledge of Cummins troubleshooting and repair processes is a must.

You will have the opportunity to earn above average wages working regular overtime.

Torque Power Diesel (Australia) Pty Ltd is a leading supplier of genuine and aftermarket Cummins spare parts and service for all segments of the heavy duty diesel engine market. Torquepower has built its name over 40 years and has the largest independent stock holding of Cummins parts in the South Pacific.

This is complemented by a fully equipped workshop and a unique integrated online shopping resource.The candidate we are seeking must have significant experience in troubleshooting and repair of Cummins engines and enjoy the challenge of working remotely on a diverse range of applications.

Cummins Technician – Skills

• Trade Certified Heavy Vehicle Commercial Mechanic
• Positive work ethic
• Strong customer focus
• Competent with Insite Diagnostics

If you believe you are the right person for this challenging Cummins Technician role please send your resume with cover letter to;

gm@torquepower.com 

General Manager – Torque Power Diesel (Australia) Pty Ltd

“Torquepower is an equal opportunity employer.”

www.torquepower.com.au

Govt approves almost $20M Landsborough Hwy upgrade

The Australian Government will deliver almost $20 million to upgrade and widen 24.8 kilometres of the Landsborough Highway, north of Longreach, Queensland.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the project aims to improve safety for road users between Longreach and Winton on the highway.

“The Landsborough Highway is the main north-south route serving western Queensland, and I’ve seen for myself the poor condition of sections between Longreach and Winton, with an ageing surface and a number of safety issues,” Mr Chester said.

“The Australian Government’s commitment to addressing these issues is just one way Queensland will reap the benefits of our record $75 billion investment in infrastructure nationwide, which is aimed squarely at helping unlock the potential of our regions in particular.”

Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the works would support the region’s economy and communities.

“These upgrades are an investment in the productivity and prosperity of western Queensland communities by building stronger road surfaces, wider lanes and better flood immunity—particularly at Dingo Creek and other low-level crossings,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Freight traffic is forecast to double on this route, which makes these works critical to the future success of the grazing and resources industries and the safe and efficient movement of freight.

“The industries of northern Australia, including those in western Queensland, contribute billions to our national economy, and investing in these key arterial roads means they’ll be able to continue developing—creating jobs in our regions and cities, and fostering new and emerging industries for generations to come.

Works are expected to be completed on the joint Australian and Queensland government-funding project by mid-2020.

With thanks, Roads and Infrastructure Australia
Photo Credit – bouygues-construction.com.au

www.torquepower.com.au

Blue whale sized project Toowomba

The Federal Government reports that 32 concrete girders, each the length of a fully-grown blue whale, have been installed as part of construction on a new overpass west of Toowoomba, Queensland.

 

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said duplication of the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Oakey was ramping up, with the major engineering milestone recently achieved between Charlton and Kingsthorpe.

 

According to Mr. Chester, the installation of the girders for the new overpass at the intersection of Kingsthorpe-Haden Road and Gowrie Mountain School Road represented a major milestone in the Stage 2 duplication of the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Oakey.

 

“This is a known crash site and safety on the highway will be greatly enhanced once the overpass is opened to traffic in November 2017,” said Mr. Chester. “This $160 million upgrade is one of 15 projects being delivered as part of the Warrego Highway Upgrade Program.”

 

Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Mark Bailey, has said the girders, which measure 25 metres long and weigh 27.7 tonnes, would provide the platform for the new overpass on the highway at the intersection of Kingsthorpe-Haden Road and Gowrie Mountain School Road.

 

Federal Member for Groom John McVeigh said the girders needed specialised heavy transport to move, and large cranes to lift and place them on the bridge sub-structure.

 

“The installation of 32 concrete girders formed an important component for the construction of the new overpass,” said McVeigh. “Stage one of the project was completed in July 2016 and the Stage two upgrade between Charlton and Kingsthorpe will vastly improve safety through better separation of opposing lanes of traffic, upgrading several intersections and providing new turning lanes,” said Mr. McVeigh.

 

The Australian Government has committed $128 million towards the $160 million Toowoomba to Oakey Duplication Stage 2 (Charlton to Kingsthorpe) project, with the Queensland Government contributing $32 million.

 

The $635 million Warrego Highway Upgrade Program is funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 funding split arrangement.

 

With thanks, TMR and Roads Online. Photo credit; Maranaplusmore.com.au www.torquepower.com.au

Cummins Westport CWI 12L Near Zero engine

Road test of a heavy duty truck powered by the new Cummins Westport CWI 12L Near Zero engine at the Ports in California, shows outstanding performance on the Grapevine while hauling a full load!

 

The ISL G Near Zero (NZ) NOx natural gas engine is the first MidRange engine in North America to receive emission certifications from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Air Resources Board (ARB) in California for meeting the 0.02 g/bhp-hr optional Near Zero NOx Emissions standards for medium-duty truck, urban bus, school bus, and refuse applications.

 

The game-changing Cummins Westport ISL G NZ exhaust emissions are 90% lower than the current EPA NOx limit of 0.2 g/bhp-hr. The ISL G NZ also meets the 2017 EPA greenhouse gas emission requirements with a 9% GHG reduction from the current ISL G.

 

Like the industry leading ISL G engine, the ISL G Near Zero operates on 100% natural gas which can be carried on the vehicle in either compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG) form. The ISL G Near Zero can also run on renewable natural gas (RNG).

 

The price of diesel goes up a little bit and immediately LNG and all that gas comes back into the reckoning. The margins in road transport are so slim, only a small incremental change can tip the balance between fuel options.

 

While carbon emission reduction is a major talking point in Europe, it is barely on the horizon here in Australia. The apparent impasse in Canberra in developing any kind of viable carbon reduction scheme, means truck operators here are not looking to reduce carbon emissions to reduce costs.

 

However, this is not stopping some operators from having a go. Currently, there are two trucks, a Kenworth T403 and a Volvo FH540, working in a major resources hauling fleet with a bespoke gas and diesel mix system researching the cost, carbon and particulates reduction implications.

 

The only driver for reduced carbon engines is the corporate decisions made by some of the multinational giants operating here to reduce their carbon emissions globally, including Australia. We will not expect any major changes in the economics around reduced carbon footprint until a clear policy framework evolves.

 

Another driver for change in Europe and North America is the production of methane gas from renewable sources, biogas. This has the ability to drastically cut carbon emissions up to 100 per cent.

 

In the US the next round of emissions control are all about carbon footprint reduction. There are also even stronger restrictions in areas around the Ports of LosAngeles and Long Beach, incentivising transport businesses to look at alternatives like electric and LNG power. As a result engines like this Cummins Westport 12 litre are being trialled in many fleets.

 

With thanks Diesel News.  Photo credit Westport Cummins

http://www.cumminswestport.com/models/isl-g-near-zero

www.torquepower.com.au

 

 

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