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VIDEO: Big business in Brisbane

New trucks, equipment and increased patronage have taken the Brisbane Truck Show to a new level. It's easily Australia’s premier road transport showcase.

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C:GREGS FILES4. OWNER DRIVER WEBSITEMay 2019Brisbane Truck ShowBTS-2019-2563a.jpg

BTS is the one and only event on the Australian trucking calendar where tens of thousands of visitors flock to see the latest and greatest trucks and trucking equipment, mixed with some of the safest, most efficient technology anywhere in the world.

And in true Brisbane fashion, 2019 was another spectacular success with more than 36,000 visitors pouring through the doors to view first-hand, and many for the first time, the latest developments in trucking hardware.

It’s two years since the last Brisbane Truck Show and since then, a vast array of new trucks and equipment have been released by Australia’s leading brands.

Others, however, saved the release of their latest models for Brisbane 2019.

Volvo, for instance, used the Brisbane show to launch the upsized and eagerly anticipated XXL cab for its flagship FH range.

Also from the Volvo group, UD previewed its entirely new Croner model which will hit the market later this year while at the other end of the family threesome, Mack showed its new Anthem model to an Australian audience for the first time.

Further down the main hall, Daimler Trucks went all-out to showcase a few exciting new developments in its super-successful Mercedes-Benz range, not least the first Australian presentation of digital mirror technology. Smart!

Next door, Freightliner fired its first public salvo for the upcoming Cascadia conventional, staring straight across the hall at Kenworth’s latest conventionals.

As far as truck shows go, and despite threats to its existence from envious entities, there is nothing in the Southern Hemisphere that comes remotely close to matching the class and excitement of the Brisbane Truck Show.

Here are just a few of the many highlights.


Toyota Hilux - best selling ute

So what’s missing from this truck? Mirrors, of course. Or at least, mirrors as we know them.




Well, we tipped its first public appearance would be in Brisbane and sure enough, there it was facing straight across the aisle at Kenworth; the first right hand-drive Freightliner Cascadia 126 model in the country, sporting a 36-inch XT sleeper. 




It’s said all good things comes to those who wait and that was certainly the case for Volvo in Brisbane.




Kenworth’s long-held leadership of the heavy-duty truck market is perhaps now more entrenched than ever following the recent launch of its new T360 and T410 models.




The other half of the Paccar pair is, of course, DAF and the appearance of a CF85 model with an all-Aussie livery left no doubt that plenty has happened since the last Brisbane Truck Show in 2017.




A few months back, and much to UD’s consternation, we predicted the brand’s new generation of medium-duty models would be based on a model built in Thailand called Croner, probably powered by Volvo Group’s lively 8.0 litre engine. And sure enough, there it was in Brisbane.




It’s now 100 years since Mack started selling trucks in Australia, yet rather than looking back at past highlights, the focus in Brisbane was all about the future. 




In a sign of changing times at Iveco, centre-court on the show stand was given to derivatives of the diverse Daily light commercial range.  




In a major move aimed at taking Fuso into a bold new future in the heavy-duty truck business, Daimler’s Japanese brand used the Brisbane Truck Show to introduce its Shogun range. 




Given the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds on Penske’s MAN and Western Star stand, surely there must have been moments when some insiders wondered why on earth the company chose to miss the 2017 show. 




In a major turnaround after the disappointment of 2018 when product supply issues stopped Scania from making the most of its New Truck Generation in a booming market, 2019 may well go down as one of the best on record for the Swedish maker. 




Have no doubt, electric trucks are coming and if a pilot program now being run by Isuzu Australia in concert with SEA Electric delivers the right results, the Japanese truck maker will be ready, willing and able as demand increases.




It is one of the most impressive and advanced medium-duty trucks to hit the market in a long time and it surprises no one that the standard cab version of Hino’s 500-series has quickly attracted intense interest.




Australia’s relationship with Chinese truck makers has been anything but consistent. Somewhat chequered, you might say. Foton, however, says it sees Australia as ‘a strategic market’.  



Toyota Hilux - best selling ute

Off Road Trucks Australia is based in Western Australia and headed across the country to Brisbane to showcase the new ‘Phoenix’ 6×6 model from Czech maker Tatra. 



Toyota Hilux - best selling ute

You have to applaud initiative and Ivan Vodanovich must have it in spades, resurrecting the Diamond Reo name in a bold bid to tackle arguably the most competitive heavy-duty cab-over market on the planet.




It’s now 100 years since Indiana inventor Clessie Cummins kick-started a brand which would become a world leader in diesel engine development and at Brisbane this year, Cummins showcased engines from many periods in the company’s history.



Toyota Hilux - best selling ute

It’s now more than 12 years since we first drove a truck in Australia powered by a 16 litre Detroit DD16 engine but only now at this year’s Brisbane Truck Show has it finally made an official appearance.




Photography: Steve Brooks and Nathan Duff

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