Jul 032017

Greetings from the wintery south,

I apologise for the long gap between “monthly” newsletters.  I will try to ensure that it does not happen again.

The first item for the newsletter is a sombre one.  Those of you who attended HVTT14 in Rotorua last November will remember Martin Hyde who organised the technical tour on the last day of the symposium.  Sadly, Martin died suddenly three weeks ago.  Martin was a vociferous advocate for improving safety in the log transport industry and was actively involved in many of the initiatives undertaken by the industry over the last 20 years.  He will be missed.

We are now one month into winter in New Zealand.  In Auckland, the overnight temperatures are regularly getting down to single digits with the daytime highs around 15° C.  Many of the deciduous trees which originate from Northern Europe and North America are now in autumn colours and are losing their leaves.  At the same time the spring bulbs (daffodils and narcissus) are now in flower.  To me this illustrates how when you change the environment, things don’t always behave in the same way as they did in their native environment.

This concept applies to heavy vehicles as well.  Those of you who came to HVTT14 will have noticed that the most common form of long combination vehicle in New Zealand is the truck and full trailer.  Furthermore you will have noticed that these vehicles have a relatively large number of axles for their gross combination weight.  These characteristics are a direct response to the operating environment here and these vehicles generally perform quite well.  This does not mean that they are the best, or even a good solution, for other operating environments.  However, it is very useful to understand what has worked in other environments and why, in order to develop good solutions for your own transport environment.  The HVTT symposia provide a platform for achieving this.

Preparations are well underway for HVTT15 which will be held in Rotterdam from 2-5 October 2018.  The conference website is now live at hvttconference.com.  Extended abstracts are due by 31st October 2017.  It is time to start planning your attendance.

Best wishes

John de Pont

President, IFRTT

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