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Newsletter

April 2012 Newsletter

Greetings from the South, Daylight saving finished here last weekend which is a clear message that summer has finished.  The way the weather has been this year many locals are wondering whether summer ever started.  The temperatures are still quite mild – low 20s (that’s Celsius for the North American) but it hasn’t been consistently settled or sunny all summer – just like the world economy. A major event that we have had here recently is that on March 25th at 5am the give way rules changed.  Interestingly for us older people they have changed back to being substantially the same as what they were before the previous change to the rules which occurred in 1977.   The rules that have just been superseded were based on a philosophy that the vehicle with the most difficult turn (most potential conflicts) should have the right of way.  Although this sounds good in...
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February 2012 Newsletter

News from North America February 1, 2012 In the style of our esteemed college Anders Lundström, I will open this newsletter with a brief discussion on weather.  North America is experiencing its mildest winter in decades at the same time that Central and Eastern Europe are experiencing their coldest.  Here in Ann Arbor the majority of daytime temperatures during January have been well above freezing as we end the month at + 12 deg C.  Heating oil reserves in the U.S are at their highest for this time of year and it is estimated that our national storage capacity will be reached by mid-summer.  It is a safe bet that that diesel exports from the U.S. will be up this year.  I am always amazed how Mother Nature works – taunting part of the world with warmth and hammering the other with cold.  Being from a northern country I love...
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December 2011 Newsletter

Greetings from a warm and sunny South Africa! Christmas in the southern hemisphere is associated with summer holidays, which in South Africa means that from the beginning of December (when schools close) hundreds of thousands of people head for the coast and the beaches or to visit their families, particularly from the densely populated Johannesburg-Pretoria area.  Unfortunately, this also brings serious fatal crashes, particularly when passenger vehicles are involved. Almost two weeks ago I drove from Pretoria to Durban (650 km) with my two teenage children to visit their Grandma. We left at 05:45 and I heard on the 06:00 news that there had been a serious crash at 02:00 on the Jhb-Durban highway involving a truck and a mini-bus taxi. The driver of the taxi had either fallen asleep or lost concentration for some seconds, resulting in the taxi crossing the painted median into the two oncoming lanes. The...
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November 2011 Newsletter

Greetings from the South, As you northerners now enter your winter we are approaching summer.  Here Christmas is a time for summer holidays, going to beach and eating barbecued food outside with a beer.  However, many, if not most, of us trace at least some of our ethnic origins back to Europe and so we still have Santa Claus travelling in a sled towed by reindeer – someone may like to calculate his carbon footprint. Our colleagues in Sweden are now well underway with the preparations for HVTT12 which will be held in Stockholm from September 16 – 19 next year.  The deadline for extended abstracts has been extended to Dec 1st, 2011 so you have just under two weeks to prepare your submission.  Full details on the conference and the abstract submission process can be found at the conference web-site http://hvttconference.com. As you can see from the name this...
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October 2011 Newsletter

Dear IFRTT Form subscriber We are in the middle of spring and the African sun is already helping to us to prepare for another hot summer. Fortunately we have had good spring rains in many parts of the country.  But many South African eyes are pointed further south – at the Rugby World Cup currently taking place in New Zealand.  One of the critical matches takes place on Sunday when South Africa plays Australia in the semi-finals. The South African government is currently proposing the introduction of a CO2 tax of somewhere between US$10 and US$25 per ton of CO2 emitted by road vehicles. Should this proposed regulation be implemented, there will be a renewed drive in the road freight industry to improve efficiency through obvious means such as better vehicle maintenance as well as less obvious approaches such as the Performance-Based Standards (PBS)/Smart Truck programme, which is in a...
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August 2011 Newsletter

Dear IFRTT Forum subscriber,   Welcome to the 12th Heavy Vehicle Transport Technology symposium in Stockholm 16-19 September 2012! The aim is to provide a forum for discussions and the exchange of ideas amongst legislators, road administrators, academics and consultants, vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, transport organizations and transporters. We are expecting delegates from all continents, with over 50 technical papers for presentation and discussion. The HVTT12 theme is “Setting Future Standards” with seven sub-themes: Vehicle-Infrastructure Interaction Road Safety Energy and Carbon Footprint Implementing ITS Innovative and High Productivity Vehicles The Transport Task: policies, logistics and co-modality Road Network Performance Extended abstracts are to be submitted by Nov 1st 2011. Detailed information about the submission procedure will follow shortly. Proceedings from all previous HVTT symposia can be found at road-transport-technology.org The first EU proposal for Heavy Duty Vehicle fuel consumption and CO2 generation measurement is due in 2012 and the European Commission...
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May 2011 Newsletter

Dear IFRTT Forum subscriber It appears to have become traditional for these newsletters to comment on the weather.  Here in the southern hemisphere we are just beginning our winter so most readers will be entering their summer.  In Auckland we have just had the warmest May on record with average temperatures over 2°C above normal.  It is still relatively warm with daytime highs around 17-18°C.  Not good for the ski field operators or the skiers but the rest of us aren’t too unhappy. Last year I told you about a Rule change here that provided for vehicles that are larger and heavier than allowed by the dimensions and mass limits to be allowed to operate under permit on routes that could accommodate them.  In implementing this Rule change the government’s regulatory agency has used a hybrid performance-based standards approach.  Over-dimension vehicles at standard weights have been permitted general access to...
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April 2011 Newsletter

Dear IFRTT Forum subscriber, Training, education, capacity building, expertise etc. are generally lacking in various sectors in most Developing Countries, and South Africa is no exception.  In addition, a large proportion of heavy vehicles in such countries operate at unacceptable levels of fitness.  I recently attended my third “Brake & Tyre Watch” in Bloemfontein, a private initiative by a local trucking magazine, Fleetwatch, in an attempt to address the above two problems in the road freight industry. The first day consisted of lectures by industry experts, particularly with regards brakes and tyres, to approximately 60 traffic police officers.  The second day consisted of on-the-job training at a vehicle testing centre, where heavy vehicles were thoroughly checked by experts together with groups of officers.  Of the 26 trucks checked, 22 were served with discontinuation notices and a further three charged for brake- or tyre-related offences and subsequently released.  To date, over...
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January 2011 Newsletter

Dear IFRTT Forum subscriber, Greetings and best wishes for the New Year from the antipodes. In the past this forum has been used to discuss technical issues of interest to, at least, some of the subscribers.  In recent times, apart from the monthly newsletters, it has become primarily a bulletin board for advertising conferences, courses and jobs.  While this function is important and useful I think it is a shame that the forum’s role in promoting discussions and exchanges of ideas has declined.  So to try to promote some revival of the discussion function I thought I would present a few ideas on an issue that subscribers may agree or disagree with in the hope that you will express your views in responses via the forum. Current concerns about climate change are driving substantial efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the most obvious step is to improve fuel efficiency. ...
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November 2010 Newsletter

Dear IFRTT Forum subscriber, During the first week of November I spent a most enjoyable week in Berlin (what a majestic and interesting city!) attending the 5th meeting of the ISO/PC 241 committee, which had the task of reviewing the comments on Committee Draft 2 of ISO 39001, Road Traffic Safety Management Systems.  This is a new ISO standard (due to be published by early 2013) that will be relevant to all organisations that have an impact on road safety.  This includes road authorities (planners, designers and operators), vehicle manufacturers, consignors (shippers), consignees (receivers of freight), freight and passenger transport operators and emergency response organisations.  As in the case of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, the standard is generic, and organisations will be responsible for identifying and monitoring their own intermediate safety outcome factors in addition to the final safety outcome factors (deaths and serious injuries).  The Editorial Committee is...
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