BVT had two representatives at the annual Heavy Vehicle Conference and AGM in Cromwell, held on Thursday 27 – Saturday 29 October. This was the first year BVT have had Heavy Vehicle Engineers (HVE) members, with Morgan Boyd and Mike Walker attending the conference. It was great to see the enthusiasm for the industry from the other members and the willingness to share their expertise.
Day One of the conference covered a crane refresher discussion headed by Wayne Johnston focusing on the stability of cranes on trucks and the need to minimise twist. Wayne’s discussion was followed by Tony Cornelissen, who had the most impressive spreadsheet for calculating crane stability and strength seen amongst members. Hinge kits and drawbeams were discussed in light of the recent cracks seen by the Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit (CVIU), and Sam Graham showed some interesting toweye installations. Both presentations reinforced the fact that continued vigilance is required in this industry to ensure our heavy vehicle fleet operate safely.
Day Two saw Graham Salt present an interesting study about the effect of tyre pressure on road surface wear and damage around the country. He found that super singles had more wear on road surfaces, often by more than a factor of ten than what was previously thought. So look out for possible changes in how road user charges are calculated to make the system more equitable.
The upcoming changes to the VDAM (Vehicle Dimensions and Mass) Rule was then discussed by Geoff Walsh. The major changes were the increase in width and height to 2.55m and 4.3m respectively; these will now be hard limits. The 2.55m will align New Zealand to Europe and America for width restrictions.
The conference finished up at Highlands Motor Park where the competitive nature shone through by everyone in the Go Kart racing. A few decided to do hot laps in a full race spec McLaren 650s and a race spec Porsche GT3. Three of the members took the next step and did the Radical U-drive experience, and they all thoroughly recommended it.
Overall, it was an extremely worthwhile conference. BVT extend our thanks to all those who presented and took part in the organisation for the event. We are already looking forward to the next one, and hopefully we will see representation from IPENZ and NZTA so that we can continue the robust discussion about the industry’s issues, and look at how we can collaborate more to achieve better results for this industry, which is vital to the success of the NZ economy.