What generated more than $400 million in sales, injected $57 million into the Queensland economy and was the biggest event in the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre’s twenty seven year history? (it’s not oranges in case you’re wondering)

It may come as a surprise to know the answer is (or was since it’s over now) -drumroll- the 2013 Brisbane Truck Show.

If you’re in the trucking world this may not come as a surprise at all, but to mere mortals like ourselves this is a big surprise, particularly when you consider the car show in Australia is almost an endangered species. We didn’t actually go to the show (oops) but we were at an event in the Conference & Exhibition Centre a few days before it opened and the show seemed to have taken over the entire complex, which is pretty big.

But when you think of the sheer size of Queensland (7 x the UK) and how big the state public road network is (176,135 km), then perhaps it shouldn’t come as such a surprise. As the bumper stickers say, Australia, and Queensland, run on trucks.

Held every two years, the Brisbane Truck Show is just getting bigger. Attendance at this year’s show was, at 37,774, up 8% on the 2011 show. Saturday saw a big turnout but Sunday was 18% up on the previous show, clearly a big day out for Brisbane and Queensland truckies. State Premier Campbell Newman was on hand to declare the show officially open and rugby league legend Shane Webcke was this year’s ‘Show Ambassador’.

Highlights of the show were the Apprentice Challenge, where a team from Volvo Commercial Vehicles Brisbane took on a team from MTU Detroit Diesel and emerged the victors, and the People’s Choice Award for the best presented truck, conducted on the show’s Facebook page, which was won by Cat Trucks with their CAT CT630.

And in other news…

Is your truck running on oranges?

If tyre manufacturer Yokohama’s innovation takes off, then many trucks will soon be running on tyres manufactured using orange oil – that’s right  – oil from orange peel. The oil replaces the petroleum derived oil currently used in tyre manufacture. This not only makes the new tyre a more environmentally friendly alternative, it also improves grip and reduces rolling resistance, which in turn leads to better fuel efficiency. Dubbed the db Super E-Spec, the tyre has been extensively tested by a number of racing teams in the American Le Mans series, where it has shown no decrease in performance or durability in comparison to conventional tyres.

Lindsay Fox suggests road rules changes for safer trucking

Trucking magnate Lindsay Fox has suggested that trucks in Australia should be restricted to inside lane/s and be subject to a 10 km/hr lower speed limit than cars to make Australian roads safer. Citing the approach in many European countries, including the UK, Fox suggests these changes would stop motorists from being tempted to weave in and out of lanes to get ahead of trucks, and it would minimise congestion caused by trucks on Australian roads. Fox has also campaigned recently to have ‘black boxes’ made compulsory in trucks to monitor driver fatigue and speed.

And remember, if you were shopping for a new truck at the Brisbane show and you need to arrange truck finance, you know who to call!

Image credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oranges_Market_1.JPG