Brisbane Truck Show 2013 First Impressions

By: Michael Cahill

After a hectic first day of the Brisbane Truck show, here is the highlight reel of what we have seen from some of the big manufacturers so far.

Isuzu had a big showing today, presenting the 2013 versions of their N and F series amongst a large variety of light and medium trucks. Isuzu's new entertainment unit, named DAVE (Digital Audio Visual Entertainment Unit), was on display in an interactive stand and drew a good crowd.

Western Star didn't disappoint in the aesthetics department, showing a number of truly gorgeous trucks. The limited edition 4900FXT, made to celebrate 30 years of the trucks in Australia, was there and proved itself to be a head-turner in all its blue glory.

In contrast, the aerodynamic look of the latest CT12 and CT15 Cat Trucks seemed to be a love it or hate it affair. Personally, the cat-like headlights and sleek curves was appealing, and was made all the better with their unique colour schemes on display.  You will have to see the pictures and judge for yourself. Ignoring surface criticisms, the people at Cat seemed to really try and emphasise the simplicity of their trucks internal designs, going so far as to raise one above the ground so you could see the undercarriage for yourself.

Smith Electric had an interesting display, showing off the first ever medium duty electric truck to be available in Australia. Being very much a situational vehicle due to its relatively short range, the Newton makes up for its lack of versatility through fuel savings and reduced emissions. Of course, it does take a few years for the fuel savings to really kick in and have it compete against comparable diesel models as a value proposition.

DAF made an impact this year right off the bat, showing the stunning yellow giveaway XF105 right outside the steps of the show entrance for all to see. Inside they had a huge range of vehicles on display, including a cut-away model of an XF that allowed the general public to really get a sense of the cabin internals. Disappointingly, a number of these trucks were not yellow.

Finally, Kenworth also displayed a good proportion of their range in addition to showing off a fancy new Active Cab Entry (ACE) system. The completely optional ACE system is hydraulic powered ladder that extends to the ground at the push of a button to allow for an easy, safe entry into the cab. Some may question the usefulness of such a feature, but the effect of watching the ladder extend out of the cab and reach towards the floor is undeniably impressive.

There will definitely be more coverage of the Brisbane Truck show to come, so stay tuned for more in-depth articles, as well as a heap of video interviews from the show floor. 

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