Musical chairs at VW explained

The probable reason behind a couple of big moves at the top of Volkswagen and the two truck brands it owns, Scania and MAN, is explained by an announcement this week. VW has announced it is creating an integrated commercial vehicles group to be called Truck & Bus to become the holding company for its commercial vehicle brands. Read more

New kids on the block

At the upcoming Brisbane Truck Show, this is the kind of image the reintroduction of the International brand will be trying to create, plenty of bling and loud rock music, with a Lonestar. However, this is not the image or the truck which will make or break the brand in Australia. That job will fall to another truck, the ProStar, to do the heavy lifting and get truck sales on the board. Read more

Doing it in the Dakar

The Dakar rally provides us with some spectacular footage as trucks rampage through the deserts and mountains of South America. This year’s event was no exception, with the Russians dominating the race, coming in first, second and third in their Kamaz trucks. MAN managed fourth place with another Kamaz coming in fifth. Strong contenders Iveco started badly, losing a lot of time, but finished well, winning the final stage to finish sixth overall. The Hino team came in 16th overall, but first in the under 10 litre class, completing the course powered by a nine litre engine. Read more

Mark Mello is the man for MAN

Penske Commercial Vehicles has announced its new General Manager for MAN Truck And Bus is to be Mark Mello. He will move up from his current role as GM of MAN Bus and Military Projects, taking up his new expanded role following the resignation of former MAN Truck General Manager, Gerry Stone. Read more

Fuel economy matters

Is fuel economy a really big deal? Do we mean it when we say we want to reduce fuel consumption significantly? The answer is hard to work out, no-one will ever say they don’t care about fuel economy, but so much of our behaviour in trucks and the way we set them up goes against maximising km/litre. In this video Volvo go into some of the things we need to think about and the effect of behaviour changes on fuel economy. Read more

MAN/Scania gearbox plans

The first concrete cooperation project between MAN and Scania, since they both came under Volkswagen’s ownership, has been announced. The German and Swedish truck manufacturers have said they will be cooperating on vehicle gearboxes in the future. Read more

New in Hannover

Once every two years the trucking world descends on Hannover for the IAA. This is, probably, the world’s biggest truck show and subject to a lot of attention. Global launches of trucks and trailers abound and everyone has something new to sell. This year, Daimler have introduced their Future Truck 2025 concept, the self driving truck in this video. Read more

Big week for Penske

It’s been just over nine months since Penske Commercial Vehicles took over the business of importing Western Star, MAN and Dennis Eagle trucks and buses into Australia. At the time, it was clear, Roger Penske was not going to stop there. If the one of the world’s largest automotive dealership groups, Penske Automotive Group, was going to engage with the Australian market it was bound to be on a much larger scale. Read more

Penske starts truck rental

Penske Truck Leasing, from the US, is to enter a joint venture with Penske Commercial Vehicles in Australia to start a truck rental business here. To be named Penske Commercial Leasing Australia, the operation will operate under the brand name, Penske Truck Rental.

 

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This development has been widely expected since the Penske operation took over the business importing Western Star, MAN and Dennis Eagle into Australia. The Penske automotive retail empire in the US has been built on strong systems to offer a complete solution to truck operators. Renting trucks has been a major plank in the Penske model.

 

“We have an ambitious growth plan for our truck leasing and rental businesses,” said Brian Hard, President and CEO Penske Truck Leasing. “This new location will serve as a foundation for us to begin expanding and serving commercial truck fleet customers throughout Australia.”

 

The Penske Truck Rental operation has set up its first office at the Brisbane Truck Centre in Rocklea, Queensland. Initially consisting of 20 trucks, the fleet of MAN and Western Star prime movers will be offered for rental as of this week.

 

“We’re excited to bring a new level of customer service as well as quality, well-maintained rental vehicles to Australia’s trucking and logistics industry,” said Adrian Beach, General Manager of Penske Commercial Leasing Australia. “We plan to expand rental services into other areas in coming months.”

 

“To help ensure convenience and productivity all Penske rental trucks are equipped with toll transponders, GPS units, and have full fuel tanks on pick up.”

Reduced Insurance Premiums

Here are a couple of demonstrations of how well the automatic emergency braking systems work on modern trucks. They use radar to identify a potential dangerous object in front of the truck and, after warning the driver, take action to ensure the truck doesn’t hit said object. Diesel has tested these systems and found them to be surprisingly effective, once you get over the feel of the truck as a computer takes over the braking system you normally control. Read more