By

Christopher de Saxe

October 2022 Newsletter

Dear HVTT Forum subscriber, In South Africa, horrific truck crashes have reached the media headlines on an all too frequent basis during the past few months. In September, a crash in KwaZulu-Natal involving a truck and an LDV resulted in 21 fatalities including 19 children. One of the contributing factors, I believe, is the massive increase in the price of coal since February as a result of the war in the Ukraine, together with the inability of Transnet, the South African government-owned rail, port and pipeline company, to cope with the increase in the demand for the export of coal. This has led to a significant increase in truck volumes (in some cases as much as 40% or between 400 and 500 trucks per day, both directions on a given route) on the major highways and provincial roads to the ports of Maputo (in Mozambique), Richards Bay and Durban. It...
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September 2022 Newsletter

Dear HVTT subscriber, In November 2023, the HVTT Forum will join forces with the International Society for Weigh-in-Motion (ISWIM) to produce a joint international scientific conference under the theme: Technology Convergence 2023 – Setting the wheels in motion – Reimagining the future of heavy vehicles, roads and freight. As a member of both sponsoring organizations, I am particularly pleased to see this initiative come to fruition. To help promote the event and considering the upcoming deadline for abstract submissions (October 31, 2022), I decided to share some reflections on this theme in this month’s newsletter. Reimagining truck size and weight policy with systems thinking I spent much of the early part of my research career thinking about truck size and weight policy. In that time, I became fascinated with some rather thorny policy questions: Can we design more productive trucks that impose less wear on pavements and bridges than existing trucks? What happens when a truck...
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July 2022 Newsletter

Dear HVTT Forum subscriber, I hope this newsletter from Europe finds you in a good shape no matter you are currently enjoying peak of the summer or winter period. For this newsletter I selected two topics being the various approaches to deploy A-double combinations in Europe and continuous rise of electrification in the road freight transport. As you may remember from some of the previous newsletters, I was updating you over the progressing developments to pilot of A-double combination (tractor with two semitrailers coupled by a dolly) on dedicated corridor between cities of Rotterdam and Venlo, being lead logistic hubs,  in the Netherlands. Sadly, in May the Dutch Ministry of the of Infrastructure and Water management has decided to put the pilot on hold without further support or investments. It is mainly due to prevailing opinion at the Ministry that implementation of A-Double represents considerable safety risks for the road...
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June 2022 Newsletter

Dear members of the HVTT community, My apologies for being this late with this June monthly letter, but on the other hand by being delayed I get the chance to include a very good piece of news: China is relaxing its Covid-related entry rules to 7+3 days of quarantine. This is an important step toward being able to live with the Corona virus and sends an important signal that China wants to be an integral part of the global society. Transport is at the core of a functioning economy – both domestic and international – and another piece of good news is that the Chinese harbours are now operating at near to normal levels. One reason for high inflation pressure around the world has been supply chain disturbances caused by transport bottlenecks. Continuing on the theme of good news it seems that the gradual easing of pandemic controls in China...
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May 2022 Newsletter

Hello everyone from a cold and foggy Buenos Aires – really challenging from a circulation point of view! Not for the faint hearted. I suggest you fetch a glass of Malbec. In Argentina we are currently experiencing a fuel crisis. The crisis is not only about the increase in the cost of fuel but its availability. The Transport Operators Association has even created a map where you can see the provinces (in a traffic light style) which are in trouble (red or dark orange). (See figure below.) The lack of fuel, more intensely felt on national routes at a time of grain exports, brings losses, inefficiencies and accidents. From the 700 drivers consulted by the Association, almost 60% said they had to queue for over 6 hours sometimes to get between 20 to 50 litres of diesel. Which means that for most trips, they have to queue 6 or 7...
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April 2022 Newsletter

Dear HVTT Forum subscriber, HVTT17/ICWIM9, Brisbane May 2023: Call for abstracts coming soon! I’m delighted to write my first newsletter to you as Vice President, Australasia and Pacific, of the HVTT Forum. I wish to acknowledge those who’ve held this position over the years – and, most recently, Rob DiCristoforo and John de Pont. It’s quite humbling to follow in the footsteps of others who’ve contributed so much to the HVTT Forum through this role, and I thank you for all your support so far. Having stepped into this role at the same time as the announcement of Brisbane (Australia) as the host city for our next symposium (HVTT17), it’s fair to say that I’ve hit the road running in leading planning arrangements for this event! Planning for HVTT17 One of the early planning decisions was to host the HVTT17 event jointly with the 9th International Conference for Weigh In...
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January 2022 Newsletter

Dear HVTT Forum subscriber I trust that you have had a good start to 2022 and that it will be a rewarding and productive year for you despite the ongoing uncertainties regarding the Covid pandemic. This newsletter contains a few topics related to road freight transport in Southern Africa and of course a weather report. The Performance-Based Standards/HCV pilot project in Namibia reached a significant milestone in November – the official launch of the first PBS project in the country. Although the vehicles had started operating in July, the launch was postponed due to Covid. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the launch in Walvis Bay. The vehicle combination is a 27.4m 11-axle A-double with a maximum combination mass of 91.5 tonnes and a maximum payload of 66.2 tonnes – see attached photos. There are 4 vehicles that transport salt a relatively short distance of 11km from...
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December 2021 Newsletter

Dear HVTT subscriber, On December 20, 2021, the Coquihalla Highway in southwest British Columbia re-opened to essential commercial traffic after major storms and flooding caused extensive damage and forced its closure on November 14, 2021. Those storms also severely impacted other land-based transportation routes (road and rail) to/from the city of Vancouver, effectively cutting it off from the rest of Canada. This recent event highlights the importance of building resilient road freight transport systems, which is the theme of this month’s HVTT newsletter. What does resilience mean? In general terms, resilience refers to the ability to recover quickly from difficulties. In material science, we often consider resilience as the ability of a material to absorb energy, deform elastically, and then return to the original form upon unloading. This idea of “bouncing back” is useful when considering the functionality of a road freight transport system. Consider a system operating at full...
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November 2021 Newsletter

Greetings to all HVTT Newsletter subscribers from Europe, After beautiful autumn, which almost felt like pre-covid period the winter season is slowly approaching us, and we feel the changes happening literally with every new week. Having less sun, more precipitations (somewhere with snow), and dropping temperatures appears to be favourable weather for the pandemic as the numbers are continuously rising in Europe on the global level. Sadly, it appears we are standing in front on ‘new’ Covid season with restrictions and lockdowns to come despite fairly high vaccination rate. In this newsletter I would like to share with you recent developments on: Enabling EMS vehicles  for cross-border transport between Netherlands and Germany Deployment of Longer Semitrailers in United Kingdom The continuation of Pilot on Super Eco Combi (A-Double) in the Netherlands Cross-border transport with EMS vehicles between Netherlands and Germany On September bilateral agreement was signed between Dutch and German...
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October 2021 Newsletter

Dear HVTT Forum subscribers, It’s been a while since China hosted HVTT16. The symposium was beyond expectations, especially given the challenges RIOH faced due to COVID-19. A big compliment to them is in order here! More than 1000 people participated in the online HVTT16. That is a record in the history of the HVTT Forum. We hereby welcome all new members of the HVTT Forum community from China and other parts of the world. All papers presented at HVTT16 can be found on the HVTT Forum website via the library (Library à Conference papers) and photos can be found in the photo gallery (HVTT Conferences à Photo gallery). You can jump straight to these via the following links: https://hvttforum.org/conference-papers/2021-hvtt16/ https://hvttforum.org/hvtt16-qingdao-2021/ Regional Hub concept An experiment during the HVTT16 symposium was the concept of ‘Regional Hubs’. Because travel to China was not possible, but meetings could take place at a national...
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