Greetings from the deep south,
It is customary to begin these newsletters with a local weather report. I have been holding off writing this in the hope of better weather. Although it is now officially summer in New Zealand, recent weather has not been good with a lot of rain and wind. Today, however, is fine and warm with the temperature in the low to mid 20s but it is still very humid.
As you will all be aware, HVTT13 was held in San Luis, Argentina at the end of October and was a very successful and well-run conference. At the IFRTT board meeting held during this conference there was some discussion on what other activities IFRTT should be undertaking. The primary purpose of IFRTT as defined in our constitution is:
2.1 To provide a forum for discussion of issues related to the weights and dimensions of heavy vehicles including the following areas:
(i) Heavy vehicle safety;
(ii) Heavy vehicle dynamics, suspension and tyre technology;
(iii) Vehicle interaction with the highway system;
(iv) Pavement and bridge performance;
(v) Monitoring and enforcement technologies;
(vi) Economic, operational and environmental issues;
(vii) Policy formation and regulations.
2.2 To facilitate information exchange and dissemination.
Thus IFRTT aims to promote the exchange of information between all stakeholders in the road transport industry including researchers, policymakers, regulators, manufacturers and operators. Historically our main activity has been the HVTT symposia which have been held every two years, supported by our web-site which has copies of all papers presented at previous symposia available for download and our e-mail network through which you are receiving this newsletter. The board has set up a sub-committee, which is being led by Loes Aarts, who is our European vice-president, to develop a strategic plan for how IFRTT should direct its activities going forward. The existing activities will almost certainly continue but the strategic plan will look at how they might be enhanced and expanded to include wider participation as well as what else we might do. All members can have a role this. For example, you can all encourage your colleagues in the industry to join the e-mail network. Apart from these newsletters, it can be a very useful forum for getting answers to technical issues from world-leading experts.
Although the primary role of IFRTT is to provide a forum for discussion there are some outcomes that I think we would all subscribe to. We are all aiming to develop a transport system that is more productive, more efficient, more sustainable, safer and has less environmental impact. There is a lot of room for discussion on how these aims should be achieved but I don’t think that anyone would disagree with the aims themselves.
On behalf of the board, I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy and safe new year.
John de Pont