The Brisbane Truck Show had another successful staging last week with bumper crowds and more manufacturers and industry suppliers clamouring to show their wares in the halls of the Brisbane Exhibition Centre.
The Show was run in the shadow of a threat that the Truck Industry Council is planning to stage its own show in two years time possibly threatening the Brisbane Show, however despite the spectre of this possible threat from the manufacturer’s peak body, Truck and Bus News learned that the industry is far from 100 per cent behind the concept of a new show.
Truck and Bus News understands that one leading manufacturer which represents three major brands abstained from voting on that decision to stage a rival truck show event and that at least two other makers are not particularly happy about the decision either.
All of this came against a back drop of big crowds across the four days of the Show that saw thousands of serious buyers along with punters touring the show halls and many favourable and positive comments from the manufacturers and suppliers exhibiting there. Only time will tell if the highly successful Brisbane event can see off its potential rival as it has done with every pretender to its crown as the nation’s leading truck expo in the past 51 years, since its inception in 1968.
Some 36,921 people went through the doors over four days and the halls were constantly busy with manufacturers reporting the Show was “busier” than in previous years.
“I have had so many of our exhibitors telling me the level of business that was done on the stands,” HVIA CEO Todd Hacking said.
The show saw all fo the leading makers there along with some new entrants including Chinese maker Foton, which is returning under its own factory owned distributorship, the Australian owned but Chinese made Diamond Reo brand which despite the venerable name plate has virtually nothing in common with the famous but long dead US brand, SEA electric, the Melbourne based company developing electric drivelines for existing OEM truck chassis’ and the WA based distributor of Czech truck maker Tatra.
Penske made its return to the show with its MAN and Western Star brands after missing 2017 and the majors all put their best efforts forward with some big glitzy stands to show the best and brightest trucks and technology available in the industry.
Daimler really staged an all out blitz with its stand with key brand Mercedes featuring the next gen Actros that debuted at Hanover last year, as centre piece for its exhibit. Bristling with technology the new Actros had everyone talking.
While the current gen Actos took almost five years to reach Australia Benz says the new new truck will be here next year 18 months after debuting at Hanover. Benz has announced it will launch an advanced new truck in Australia next year.
The company also confirmed it has begun an Australian validation program for the truck, which features some amazing tech, including MirrorCam, the system that uses cameras connected to two large screens in the cabin to not only boost driver vision but also reduce aero drag to increase fuel efficiency and safety. It was certainly a talking point at the show.
Benz also presented its SoloStar Concept in Brisbane, with a huge fold down bed with an 850mm wide inner-spring mattress and lounge-style seat that the company says delivers more usable space for drivers without imposing an axle weight penalty.The company says it could be made available soon in Australia depending on feedback. It was a counterpoint to Volvo’s new XXL cab on the stand next door to Daimler ‘village’.
Daimler showed off its Freightliner Cascadia test truck fleet, including the first right hadn drive version, joining the left hand drive models which have been pounding Australian roads for the past 10 months or more as part of a $100 million right-hand drive development program for Australia and New Zealand markets ahead of its proposed local launch early next year.
Cascadia, is the best-selling heavy truck in the USA, and the company says it will set a new standard for safety, efficiency and driver experience for bonneted trucks in Australia when it goes on sale.
On the other side of the Benz display was Fuso with its new heavy duty model with the company officially revealing its new name, Shogun.
The Fuso Shogun will be available for sale at Fuso dealers across Australia from 1 June with its new Euro 6 compliant Daimler OM470 11-litre in-line six-cylinder common rail engine which features a special pressure booster and an asymmetric turbocharger.
“The Shogun is a revolutionary model for Fuso and the Japanese heavy duty truck segment in Australia,” says Fuso Truck and Bus Australia director, Justin Whitford.
Occupying its massive stand in its usual spot at one end of the Brisbane Show, was heavy duty market leader Kenworth with a vast array of models including the newly launched T360 and T410s along with the new T610 600mm sleeper and the T610SAR with its new 1400mm sleeper.
While the technology and glamour of the massive Daimler stand across the aisle has the industry talking it was clear the big line up of red ‘Kennies’ had the attention of the vast majority of punters pouring in the doors of the Show.
Along side the Kenworth fleet was the other Paccar brand, DAF showing the new locally assembled CF85. 510 taking pride of place alongside the first public display of the Euro 6 LF260 12T and LF290 18T 4×2 cab/chassis models, which were launched in Australian in late 2018, along with the flagship XF105 510.
Volvo Group as usual was on home turf in Brisbane and centrepiece of its large and brightly lit stand was the new XXL cab Volvo FH16 Globetrotter.
The new ‘supersized’ version of the FH cab Volvo says responds to demand for extra living space from the truck industry. To achieve the extra space, it has re-engineered the XL cab, moving the rear wall back 250 mm making the bed in the XXL 130mm longer and 250 mm wider than in a regular Volvo FH.
Volvo also showed a special 25th anniversary model FH celebrating a quarter century of FH manufacture at the Volvo factory in Brisbane.
Volvo’s Japanese brand UD unveiled its new Croner model with will be launched in Australia in early 2020 replacing the company’s PK models at the upper end of medium duty. The Croner will be sourced from UD’s Thai manufacturing plant.
At Mack the company’s new flagship Anthem model took centre stage with a display model which was built locally to showcase the new flat floor stand up sleeper cab.The Anthem is currently being tested on Australian roads and is expected to be launched here, in various forms, sometime in 2020. While the Anthem is a single model in the US, locally Mack is planning on using and adapting the new cab to a variety of models apart from the Metroliner, which is popular in the concrete agitator market.
Mack also showed a spectacular Superliner show truck finished in a superb green paint scheme while the specially airbrushed ‘Jimmy Barnes – Working Class Man’ Superliner which is being auctioned for draught relief was a massive crowd puller.
At Scania ‘the other Swede’ headlined with some lighter models with the P 340 6×2 rigid fuelled by Compressed Natural Gas, and the new P 280 rigid with new Scania 7.0-litre diesel engine.
THE gas truck is claimed to reduces CO2 emissions by up to 90 per cent and is aimed at urban distribution work delivering a 360 kg lower weight over the front axle targeting a sector of the market Scania has not tackled before with the low entry P-series cab,
The flagship on the Scania show stand was of course its big banger the V8-powered R 650 Euro 6.
Market leader Isuzu concentrated on its Ready to Work range with a vast array of bodied trucks from concrete agitators to tippers, tautliners and service body models highlighting the trend in light and medium duty for buyers seeking trucks that come ready built and set for work.
Hino gave its recently released Standard cab 500 series models their first showing at a truck show with an array of variants from the new model line up along with the smaller the 300 Series 817 4×4 which debuted at the Brisbane Truck Show two years ago and the flagship 700 series heavy duty coupled to the company’s ‘Sportsdeck’ display unit that normally sees duty at rounds of the Supercar series.
Iveco concentrated on sustainability and featured its Euro 6 engine range across its light, medium and heavy duty ranges.
It was of course the first show for the new locally made Stralis X-Way and the Stralis based new Acco. The stand showed both a prime mover and rigid model . The Euro6 Acco, is still in the middle of in-field development testing ahead of its launch later this year. Two Accos were on the stand with a a 6×4 featuring a Bucher compactor body and an 8×4 with a Hiab hooklift body.
There was also a Euro6 Eurocargo equipped and a Daily 70C van and a prototype Daily 4×4 with an increased 7 tonne GVM.
All in all a very impressive Show and one that will take a lot of beating if a rival expo is mounted in 2021. Lets hope that some sanity prevails between now and then and that we can head back to Southbank in two years time for the best truck show this country has.
We will have a full rundown on the Brisbane Show in the next issue of Transport & Trucking Australia