Spring has arrived in Buenos Aires, and I love it! Lots of news to share with you in these past months in around South America. A mixed bag, as usual, but never a dull moment around here. Especially that most countries are undergoing presidential elections, some are doing financially better than others… it is not for the faint hearted.
Starting from Argentina, the bitrain or B-double went from the bad hag that was too big/too dangerous to “best thing that could ever happen in road transportation”. From newspapers to tweets, authorities and associations were praising the higher road safety, competitiveness and reduction in pollution of these heavy performance vehicles. Diverse industries were strongly arguing in favour, from public to private, from fuel to automobile, forestry, steel and construction materials to candies and chocolates. National and provincial governments opening road infrastructure works with bitrains. If you reader, are new to the HVTT forum, 75ton bitrains have been circulating in the province of San Luis, in Argentina, since 2009. So yes, it does take years to become an overnight success! Below are a few examples.
Of course, these modern and safer vehicles (compulsory ABS/EBS and ESC, onboard scales, etc) have to share the road with others not so safe and/or modern, but which can legally circulate. More on that in the previous December newsletter.
Let´s jump now the River Plate and go to Uruguay. The High-Performance Vehicles Feasibility study requested by the Ministry of Transport and Public Works is coming to an end. It has been a joint effort from people -many from this Forum-, government authorities and companies who helped achieve the ultimate goal, which is a safer, competitive and sustainable road transportation. In August we were together in Montevideo with Bob Pearson, John Woodrooffe and Guillermo Hughes presenting results of the study to the Uruguayan authorities. The three are well recognised in South America for their extensive work and research since the 80s, in Australia, Canada and Argentina respectively. It was a historic moment, as were the dinners! Hopefully the Heavy Vehicle Transport Technology Symposium -HVTT16- in China next October 2020 shall reunite them again to present results.
Until the next newsletter
Alejandra Efron, IFRTT Vice President, South and Central America