Before we get to 2019 we thought we’d take a look back at the biggest truck news stories of 2018.
The only hard part is working out the order, so we figured lets just list them in no particular order.
We start with a good news story – the booming truck market in Australia.
We don’t have the finalised December 2018 numbers, but until the end of November the turbocharged truck market had light-duty sales ahead 9.1% and 9.2% was the improvement in the medium-duty segment.
But it really it is the big boys that set the market on fire.
Heavy-duty truck sales to the end of November were up a mammoth 23.8% with more than 3,000 more sales recorded in the first 11 months of this year compared to the same period last year.
Some of the big winners from the overall truck sales gains in 2018 included:
- DAF – +22.1%
- Iveco – +22.1%
- Kenworth – 29.9%
- Mack – 10.3%
- MAN – 32.2%
- Mercedes-Benz – 36.7%
- Volvo Trucks – 21.5%
In a booming market it should come as no surprise that manufacturers are keen to get new product to buyers.
2018 was a year of new arrivals in the new truck market, including the official commencement of sales of the new-generation Scania trucks, the new Hino 500 Series Standard Cab and the arrival of the new off-road focussed Mercedes-Benz trucks.
We were also teased with the local arrival of the enormously popular Freightliner Cascadia – here for testing ahead of a market launch next year, the Argosy replacement looks set to shake up the heavy-duty market in 2019.
There was a great win-win for the Aussie economy and truck buyers across two key manufacturers – Iveco and PACCAR.
The two Victorian truck manufacturers commenced local production of two vehicles previously imported into Australia in 2018.
For PACCAR it was the historic commencement of local production of the DAF Trucks brand at their Bayswater plant.
While Iveco flicked the switch on the local production line for the big-selling Stralis at Dandenong.
The commencement of local production on the new vehicles meant more jobs for local workers and the added bonus of local purchasers being more easily able to have their new truck built to their specification in less time than a comparable import.
Our third big truck news story for 2018 also comes out of Iveco with the covers coming off an all-new ACCO.
The long-established, incredibly popular offering will move into a new generation with what Iveco promises are not just the latest safety and driver assist features, but also all the versatily and ruggedness that has helped the model remain at the top of many operators shopping lists, in some cases for decades.
Sharing many of the same underpinnings at the Aussie-built Stralis, Iveco’s new ACCO will also come standard with a Euro 6 compliant engine.
There were a number of steps taken towards a future that might not see the road transport industry dominated by diesel-powered vehicles in the future.
But perhaps the biggest step of the year was taken at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Germany where several major players didn’t show any diesel-powered vehicles.
Iveco and Scania were two of the manufacturers who went diesel-free.
The Italian manufacturer went a step beyond electric or plug-in hybrid tech and showed a hydrogen fuel cell concept.
Also on show was a new natural gas powered engine that Iveco’s powertrain division has developed that requires neither diesel or AdBlue.
And rounding out the top six truck news stories of 2018 is a road safety breakthrough that was finally achieved this year – the mandating of stability control.
Updated design rules were announced that will see most new trucks and trailers sold in Australia from November 2020 required to have the potentially life-saving technology.
As soon as the mandate was confirmed the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) said the next step was to get the government to look at similar action regarding Autonomous Emergency Braking.