Transport conference will be highlight of Truck Competence at Automechanika Johannesburg

21 April, 2015


The transport industry is the lifeblood of any modern economy and in South Africa this industry faces many challenges, but also has lots of opportunities for growth and profit. It is for these reasons that the FOCUS Conference and Truck Test Awards function will be the most important event for the Truck Competence initiative at Automechanika Johannesburg, which takes place from May 6-9 at Expo Centre, Nasrec.

The organisers have put together a varied programme for the event, which starts at 10:30 on Friday, May 8 with five highly qualified speakers who will cover a number of interesting topics and burning issues. In addition the event will be the platform for the announcement of the results and prize giving for the Focus on Transport and Logistics magazine's latest Truck Test.

The results will be eagerly awaited as this year the test fleet was made up of 16 extra-heavy truck-tractors representing 80% of the players in this major segment of the local truck market.

The event, which will be held in the Clubhouse Restaurant, will, kick off with a presentation, quaintly titled "Jailhouse rock: avoid six years behind bars!," to be delivered by Adrian van Tonder, senior manager of Road Transport Management Systems (RTMS) and Performance Based Standards (PBS) at Barloworld Logistics. He will explain the latest amendments to the National Road Traffic Regulations and how RTMS can be used as a valuable mitigating tool.

Paul Nordengen, research group leader, network asset management systems, at CSIR Built Environment, will then deliver a paper entitled "Slashing transport costs and improving truck safety the SMART way." in which he will elaborate on the benefits of PBS, a subject on which he is a world authority.

Next up will be Jim Ward, technical manager at Unitrans Logistics, who will speak on "Transport - an industry in balance," which will deal with many of the challenges facing the trucking industry currently.

Loane Sharp, an economist at the Free Market Foundation as well as being a controversial and sought-after speaker, will address a topic which will attract a great deal of interest, namely "The future of labour in South Africa." His address will include projections about the use of labour in various sectors of the economy, including the transport, logistics and distribution sectors.

Finally Martin Dammann, managing director of HTM TransSolve, will announce the results of Truck Test 2015 in terms of payload, fuel consumption, average speed and payload productivity achieved by the various combinations over a set route. Nine truck-tractors with tautliner interlinks and seven truck-tractors with tridem reefer rigs took part in this year's event. Dammann will explain the rules, methodology employed and the challenges faced, as well as interpreting the results.

The FOCUS Conference and Truck Test event includes lunch and the cost is R1 400 per delegate or R10 000 for a table of eight. The contact person for bookings is: Tania Cleary at or 011-782-1070. You can also register online at