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On 6/7/2019 at 10:24 PM, ronwagn said:

http://www.ngvglobal.com/blog/canada-issues-updated-ngv-roadmap-for-medium-and-hd-transportation-sector-0607

 

Canada Issues Updated NGV Roadmap for Medium and HD Transportation Sector

June 7, 2019 | Canada: Ottawa ON | Source: Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance

CNGVA Roadmap v2

What effect does this have on fleet purchasing decisions? 

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It all depends on industry acceptance unless it is mandated at some point. Saving money on fuel is a big incentive. Public relations are worth something, as is longer engine life. 

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On 6/7/2019 at 11:24 PM, ronwagn said:

http://www.ngvglobal.com/blog/canada-issues-updated-ngv-roadmap-for-medium-and-hd-transportation-sector-0607

 

Canada Issues Updated NGV Roadmap for Medium and HD Transportation Sector

June 7, 2019 | Canada: Ottawa ON | Source: Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance

CNGVA Roadmap v2

Long-haul  (or, "line-haul") trucking in Canada is the result of incompetent railroad management.  Remember that Canada is effectively a discontinuous strip of inhabitants scattered along a vast Border with the USA, typically about fifty miles in width.  those cities are in turn connected by air, road, and rail links, the road being known as the "Trans Canada Highway."  It takes rail freight about 14 days to get across the country, and conventional road freight about seven days.  When you think about it, running these truck fleets in long-haul between Vancouver and Toronto-Montreal is totally absurd.  It comes about only because rail cannot gets its act together putting trucks on rail freight flatcars.  It is just amazing when you think about it, how clumsy those railroads really are. 

Back around 1971 the Australian company Kwikasair came to Canada and entered the long-haul market.  The schedule called for a line truck to run from Vancouver to Toronto in 58 hours, a distance of 2,779 miles.  That is just incredible when you recognize that they had to haul uphill through the Rocky Mountains, on quite steep two-lane roadways.  But the money was there as businesses would pay a freight premium to get their production moved in a reasonable time.  I had a customer in Calgary who instructed me to ship everything via Kwikasair from Toronto as he did not have the cash to tie up in inventory in-transit.  [Ultimately the snotty and insolent Teamsters working there went on strike notwithstanding the top industry pay and after 4 weeks shutdown the entire company folded, but hey, if you want to slit your throat, nothing management could do about it.]  

They would run these big diesel rigs that could handle hefty mountain grades and also whacks with big game such as moose and elk; I think this picture is of an Australian truck, but note the heavy front bars (and the tri-axle trailer):

image.png.42a912903c1440417f6ee81108741e51.png

If Canada were serious about reducing "emissions," then it would put these trucks on flatcars and haul them on the railroad, and electrify that railroad.  But because politicians and bureaucrats are useless and incompetent, you end up with these massive trucks out on the road. Both Canada and the US suffer from incompetence, you see it everywhere.  Oh, well. 

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3 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Long-haul  (or, "line-haul") trucking in Canada is the result of incompetent railroad management.  Remember that Canada is effectively a discontinuous strip of inhabitants scattered along a vast Border with the USA, typically about fifty miles in width.  those cities are in turn connected by air, road, and rail links, the road being known as the "Trans Canada Highway."  It takes rail freight about 14 days to get across the country, and conventional road freight about seven days.  When you think about it, running these truck fleets in long-haul between Vancouver and Toronto-Montreal is totally absurd.  It comes about only because rail cannot gets its act together putting trucks on rail freight flatcars.  It is just amazing when you think about it, how clumsy those railroads really are. 

Back around 1971 the Australian company Kwikasair came to Canada and entered the long-haul market.  The schedule called for a line truck to run from Vancouver to Toronto in 58 hours, a distance of 2,779 miles.  That is just incredible when you recognize that they had to haul uphill through the Rocky Mountains, on quite steep two-lane roadways.  But the money was there as businesses would pay a freight premium to get their production moved in a reasonable time.  I had a customer in Calgary who instructed me to ship everything via Kwikasair from Toronto as he did not have the cash to tie up in inventory in-transit.  [Ultimately the snotty and insolent Teamsters working there went on strike notwithstanding the top industry pay and after 4 weeks shutdown the entire company folded, but hey, if you want to slit your throat, nothing management could do about it.]  

They would run these big diesel rigs that could handle hefty mountain grades and also whacks with big game such as moose and elk; I think this picture is of an Australian truck, but note the heavy front bars (and the tri-axle trailer):

image.png.42a912903c1440417f6ee81108741e51.png

If Canada were serious about reducing "emissions," then it would put these trucks on flatcars and haul them on the railroad, and electrify that railroad.  But because politicians and bureaucrats are useless and incompetent, you end up with these massive trucks out on the road. Both Canada and the US suffer from incompetence, you see it everywhere.  Oh, well. 

Huh. 

If the railroads were run by private industry, I would expect them to solve this problem.  What government agency is standing in their way? 

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7 hours ago, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

Huh. 

If the railroads were run by private industry, I would expect them to solve this problem.  What government agency is standing in their way? 

None.

The Canadian Pacific Railroad is a private company, for the last hundred years.

The Canadian National Railway is now a private company, it started out as the Grand Trunk Railroad, went broke, ended up in the BK Courts, the investors got wiped out (mostly English upper crust), was nationalized and completed, then privatized in the Canadian version of Margaret Thatcher privatization perhaps 40 years ago.  Both are private companies and their tracks typically run about 100 yards apart, all across the country.  Neither has any real competitive advantage over the other, besides the labor-capital mix. 

Neither solves anything.  They are classic oligopolists, and thus as far as I can see, have no real incentive to capture truck traffic, which they could easily do if they put their mind to it.  Having these team drivers blasting across the entire country on two-lane roads is just folly.  Yet it not only continues, but expands.  Go figure.

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57 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

None.

The Canadian Pacific Railroad is a private company, for the last hundred years.

The Canadian National Railway is now a private company, it started out as the Grand Trunk Railroad, went broke, ended up in the BK Courts, the investors got wiped out (mostly English upper crust), was nationalized and completed, then privatized in the Canadian version of Margaret Thatcher privatization perhaps 40 years ago.  Both are private companies and their tracks typically run about 100 yards apart, all across the country.  Neither has any real competitive advantage over the other, besides the labor-capital mix. 

Neither solves anything.  They are classic oligopolists, and thus as far as I can see, have no real incentive to capture truck traffic, which they could easily do if they put their mind to it.  Having these team drivers blasting across the entire country on two-lane roads is just folly.  Yet it not only continues, but expands.  Go figure. 

Why on earth wouldn't they try to capture market share though?  With whom have they formed an oligopoly? 

Seriously, how hard could it be to hire competent managers, provide the proper incentives, and watch the company grow?

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18 minutes ago, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

Why on earth wouldn't they try to capture market share though?  With whom have they formed an oligopoly? 

Seriously, how hard could it be to hire competent managers, provide the proper incentives, and watch the company grow?

The oligopoly is with themselves.  (I guess the ultimately proper term would be "duopoly")

You would be surprised how hard it is to hire competent managers.  The largest problem companies (at least in the West, and I hear it is far worse in the Communist East) have is the hiring of management.  You might be surprised to learn that there really is not a lot of competent brainpower out there.  Remember that the mid-point for IQ is 100  (by definition).  A person with a 100 IQ is not capable of management.  My haphazard guess is that most managers out there are between 100 and 110.  That is not very promising.  To be a spectacular manager, you would need to be over 135. You are now well below 1% of the population, pushing towards 0.1%.  And here is hyour problem: those competent, qualified managers are being hired by "HR People" who themselves are around 100, so you end up with dummies making the selection of competent people,  Dummies are not suited for that, plus they don't really have the brainpower to do that job properly. Dummies tend to end up hiring more dummies.

Where you have Directors hiring top managers, even then it is fraught with trouble.  I recall being interviewed (while still in college) for a management position with a medium-sized machinery manufacturer.  The Vice President showed me their plant (impressive enough) and back in the office told me that my first ten years would be in sales in South America.  So, their idea of b ringing up management ranks is to exile the young fellows from (American) women, pushing them into social and sexual isolation for that decade of their twenties.  What makes these old farts think that anybody who is any good is going to roll for that?  

I rolled by that plant after several decades doing other things and it was in a decrepit state, all falling down.  Sure, they still made the old machines, likely for the same customers, but it obviously was not making a ton of money, not with roofs falling in and walls buckling.  Remember that this was not because the products were inherently inferior; I put it all down to ossified management. 

You got the same thing at General Electric, where that fellow Jack Welch managed to con an entire generation of business people into thinking he was a gift from God.  His successor Inmelt was less adroit at self-promotion, and both in my view were incompetent. Welsh was skilled at promoting Jack Welsh.  How did GE fare?  It lost over $150 billion in market capitalization.  Not so great. 

Where are the great Canadian managers?  Probably in the USA.  There is no premium for being competent in Canada or Canadian business.  Lots of those companies up there are run on nepotism, with top slots reserved for family members  (take a good look at Bombardier).  If you have a large employer like Bombardier and make management decisions that cost you six billion in R&D capital and you sell off the resulting product and rights for one dollar, then you have made serious management mistakes (to put it politely).  And that is pretty much the best that Canada can do.  Canada is a society that is sinking into mediocrity, and has been doing so for decades.  Just look at the abysmal state of their political parties. 

So: will Canada figure out its management failures inside its railroads?  I don't think so. 

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18 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

The oligopoly is with themselves.  (I guess the ultimately proper term would be "duopoly")

You would be surprised how hard it is to hire competent managers.  The largest problem companies (at least in the West, and I hear it is far worse in the Communist East) have is the hiring of management.  You might be surprised to learn that there really is not a lot of competent brainpower out there.  Remember that the mid-point for IQ is 100  (by definition).  A person with a 100 IQ is not capable of management.  My haphazard guess is that most managers out there are between 100 and 110.  That is not very promising.  To be a spectacular manager, you would need to be over 135. You are now well below 1% of the population, pushing towards 0.1%.  And here is hyour problem: those competent, qualified managers are being hired by "HR People" who themselves are around 100, so you end up with dummies making the selection of competent people,  Dummies are not suited for that, plus they don't really have the brainpower to do that job properly. Dummies tend to end up hiring more dummies.

Where you have Directors hiring top managers, even then it is fraught with trouble.  I recall being interviewed (while still in college) for a management position with a medium-sized machinery manufacturer.  The Vice President showed me their plant (impressive enough) and back in the office told me that my first ten years would be in sales in South America.  So, their idea of b ringing up management ranks is to exile the young fellows from (American) women, pushing them into social and sexual isolation for that decade of their twenties.  What makes these old farts think that anybody who is any good is going to roll for that?  

I rolled by that plant after several decades doing other things and it was in a decrepit state, all falling down.  Sure, they still made the old machines, likely for the same customers, but it obviously was not making a ton of money, not with roofs falling in and walls buckling.  Remember that this was not because the products were inherently inferior; I put it all down to ossified management. 

You got the same thing at General Electric, where that fellow Jack Welch managed to con an entire generation of business people into thinking he was a gift from God.  His successor Inmelt was less adroit at self-promotion, and both in my view were incompetent. Welsh was skilled at promoting Jack Welsh.  How did GE fare?  It lost over $150 billion in market capitalization.  Not so great. 

Where are the great Canadian managers?  Probably in the USA.  There is no premium for being competent in Canada or Canadian business.  Lots of those companies up there are run on nepotism, with top slots reserved for family members  (take a good look at Bombardier).  If you have a large employer like Bombardier and make management decisions that cost you six billion in R&D capital and you sell off the resulting product and rights for one dollar, then you have made serious management mistakes (to put it politely).  And that is pretty much the best that Canada can do.  Canada is a society that is sinking into mediocrity, and has been doing so for decades.  Just look at the abysmal state of their political parties.  

 So: will Canada figure out its management failures inside its railroads?  I don't think so. 

Fair enough.

How are things in The Kingdom of the Netherlands? 

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5 minutes ago, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

How are things in The Kingdom of the Netherlands? 

I dunno.  Probably marginal, in terms of competence.  It is a problem all through Western society. 

Seems to be quite good in the maritime fields, though.  Aspects such as marine salvage, building ferry boats, that sort of thing. 

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1 minute ago, Jan van Eck said:

I dunno.  Probably marginal, in terms of competence.  It is a problem all through Western society. 

Seems to be quite good in the maritime fields, though.  Aspects such as marine salvage, building ferry boats, that sort of thing. 

I've gathered that a handful of industries, such as aerospace, tend to have above-average competence.  Aerospace makes sense because it's just bloody difficult to design that stuff.  You can't even get your foot in the door without exceptional intelligence.  What accounts for the success of maritime though?  Is it the high dollar value of the products?  Or do those companies tend to be privately held instead of publicly traded - assuming that matters?

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Just now, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

I've gathered that a handful of industries, such as aerospace, tend to have above-average competence.  Aerospace makes sense because it's just bloody difficult to design that stuff.  You can't even get your foot in the door without exceptional intelligence.  What accounts for the success of maritime though?  Is it the high dollar value of the products?  Or do those companies tend to be privately held instead of publicly traded - assuming that matters?

Dutch aerospace is a bust.  They let a grand old company, Fokker, that built those biplanes in WWI, go under.  The COmpany has an official policy that English is the company language, all meetings are to be done in English, but when you go there, they were being held in Dutch.  So the English guys would just sit on their ass and accomplish nothing.  The managers became impossible to get spare parts out the door, so one big user, that was USAir, ended up grounding their entire fleet out in the desert, and got other planes.  It would take six weeks to get one bolt machined, it was totally ridiculous.  So when investor capital was ultimately frittered away, the Dutch Govt just let it fold.  No bailout.

The maritime sector is strong due to hundreds of years of accumulated experience.  Those companies (such as Smit Salvage) will retain great managers, and great employees.  They tackle the world's most arduous salvage jobs the world around.  You cannot beat the Dutch when it comes to marine salvage, they are the all-time champs.  They also seem to be competent in pet-chem and plastics. Also city issues such as street design, bridge design, that sort of thing.  The DAF car went under, I think also the truck line, no innovation  (even though they once had a great transmission).  Personally, I think the discovery of natural gas in the North Sea spoiled the country, once that came in, nobody really worked any more, all they did was sell gas to the Germans. Boo.

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20 hours ago, ronwagn said:

It all depends on industry acceptance unless it is mandated at some point. Saving money on fuel is a big incentive. Public relations are worth something, as is longer engine life. 

My daily driver propane truck is still running 40 years on.   Eats a little oil now though, but not worth mentioning.  Hard on the ignition modules.  Always carry a spare.  Over a million miles driven. 

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That is fantastic! Thanks for supporting alternative fuels! Propane is great and is quite available in my town. I have been holding out for CNG but still don't have it. I would like to convert my fairly new Nissan NV3500. What do you pay for a gallon equivalent?

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1 hour ago, ronwagn said:

That is fantastic! Thanks for supporting alternative fuels! Propane is great and is quite available in my town. I have been holding out for CNG but still don't have it. I would like to convert my fairly new Nissan NV3500. What do you pay for a gallon equivalent?

I buy in ~2000gallon tank fulls.  Last I paid was $1.05/gallon and that was expensive.  It was supposed to be $0.86/gallon.   As for gallon equivalent, obviously, Propane has lower energy density.  Get about ~12% less fuel economy.   EDIT: I have my own propane pump.  The horrors, I do not have a damned certificate/liscense, ack I am a criminal!  Not difficult to pump from a tank really, just tap off the tank from the bottom and a standard liquid fuel pump works.  You do have to know the Temperature fill point though.  Goes down in summer.  But that is freely available information. 

If you have to buy propane at a fuel station... hella expensive and going Propane is stupid.  Of course the number of propane fueling stations has drastically reduced over the years so....

PS: Use propane at home as well for heating.

Edited by Wastral
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13 hours ago, Wastral said:

I buy in ~2000gallon tank fulls.  Last I paid was $1.05/gallon and that was expensive.  It was supposed to be $0.86/gallon.   As for gallon equivalent, obviously, Propane has lower energy density.  Get about ~12% less fuel economy.   EDIT: I have my own propane pump.  The horrors, I do not have a damned certificate/liscense, ack I am a criminal!  Not difficult to pump from a tank really, just tap off the tank from the bottom and a standard liquid fuel pump works.  You do have to know the Temperature fill point though.  Goes down in summer.  But that is freely available information. 

If you have to buy propane at a fuel station... hella expensive and going Propane is stupid.  Of course the number of propane fueling stations has drastically reduced over the years so....

PS: Use propane at home as well for heating.

Thanks for the information. I live in the city on the fringe with an acre. I don't know if they would allow me to have a big tank but it would eliminate the natural gas "shipping" price that is about the same as the natural gas itself. 

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5 hours ago, ronwagn said:

Thanks for the information. I live in the city on the fringe with an acre. I don't know if they would allow me to have a big tank but it would eliminate the natural gas "shipping" price that is about the same as the natural gas itself. 

Yes.  Use it to heat/cool your home.  They cannot tell you no.   Might require in ground burial tank due to setbacks.  For obvious reasons...

PS: IF you buy less than 1000->1500gallons at a time your discount will be low and cost ~doubles for anything less than this.  Likewise they need to be inspected as well when large.  So, buying cheaper 500gallon tanks and manifolding them together is probably a superior route to dodge red tape. 

PPS: Tanks are NOT cheap.  I got mine off an old Propane delivery truck.  So, watch craigslist. 

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On 6/12/2019 at 1:01 AM, Jan van Eck said:

Long-haul  (or, "line-haul") trucking in Canada is the result of incompetent railroad management.  Remember that Canada is effectively a discontinuous strip of inhabitants scattered along a vast Border with the USA, typically about fifty miles in width.  those cities are in turn connected by air, road, and rail links, the road being known as the "Trans Canada Highway."  It takes rail freight about 14 days to get across the country, and conventional road freight about seven days.  When you think about it, running these truck fleets in long-haul between Vancouver and Toronto-Montreal is totally absurd.  It comes about only because rail cannot gets its act together putting trucks on rail freight flatcars.  It is just amazing when you think about it, how clumsy those railroads really are. 

Back around 1971 the Australian company Kwikasair came to Canada and entered the long-haul market.  The schedule called for a line truck to run from Vancouver to Toronto in 58 hours, a distance of 2,779 miles.  That is just incredible when you recognize that they had to haul uphill through the Rocky Mountains, on quite steep two-lane roadways.  But the money was there as businesses would pay a freight premium to get their production moved in a reasonable time.  I had a customer in Calgary who instructed me to ship everything via Kwikasair from Toronto as he did not have the cash to tie up in inventory in-transit.  [Ultimately the snotty and insolent Teamsters working there went on strike notwithstanding the top industry pay and after 4 weeks shutdown the entire company folded, but hey, if you want to slit your throat, nothing management could do about it.]  

They would run these big diesel rigs that could handle hefty mountain grades and also whacks with big game such as moose and elk; I think this picture is of an Australian truck, but note the heavy front bars (and the tri-axle trailer):

image.png.42a912903c1440417f6ee81108741e51.png

If Canada were serious about reducing "emissions," then it would put these trucks on flatcars and haul them on the railroad, and electrify that railroad.  But because politicians and bureaucrats are useless and incompetent, you end up with these massive trucks out on the road. Both Canada and the US suffer from incompetence, you see it everywhere.  Oh, well. 

What do they run into in Australia? Cattle, kangaroos, wild pigs, sheep?

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4 hours ago, ronwagn said:

What do they run into in Australia? Cattle, kangaroos, wild pigs, sheep?

Probably all of the above that your list.  The ones that do the most damage are cattle, of course.  Remember that Australia is a vast continent, so massive that there is no plausible way that those roads are ever going to be fenced.  Amazingly enough, there are actually vast areas of the Outback that are fenced!  I have no idea how the Ozzies come up with the money for that.   In any event, if you are running in an area with no fences, and hit anything heavy, that truck is going to be injured and out-of-service  [OOS].  And if your truck is OOS and a thousand miles from the next repair shop, and you are "training" a whole bunch of trailers, then your employer has to scramble with a fleet of rescue trucks and a tow unit, possibly even a flatbed with a winch on it, in order to haul your wreck out of there. 

Cheaper to put on those massive front-end crash bars.  Oh, well.

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On 6/12/2019 at 11:20 PM, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

Fair enough.

How are things in The Kingdom of the Netherlands? 

The King was out in Ireland last week, no news 🙂

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13 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Probably all of the above that your list.  The ones that do the most damage are cattle, of course.  Remember that Australia is a vast continent, so massive that there is no plausible way that those roads are ever going to be fenced.  Amazingly enough, there are actually vast areas of the Outback that are fenced!  I have no idea how the Ozzies come up with the money for that.   In any event, if you are running in an area with no fences, and hit anything heavy, that truck is going to be injured and out-of-service  [OOS].  And if your truck is OOS and a thousand miles from the next repair shop, and you are "training" a whole bunch of trailers, then your employer has to scramble with a fleet of rescue trucks and a tow unit, possibly even a flatbed with a winch on it, in order to haul your wreck out of there. 

Cheaper to put on those massive front-end crash bars.  Oh, well.

My brother in law ran into a cow with his RV and trailer. It did quite a bit of damage but fortunately he could still drive it. That was out in Colorado somewhere. I would like to buy one for my Nissan NV3500 van. We have hit three deer with other vehicles. One totaled an old station wagon. 

Edited by ronwagn

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2 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

I would like to buy one for my Nissan NV3500 van. We have hit three deer with other vehicles. One totaled an old station wagon. 

I toyed with the idea of setting up a plant to manufacture an auto version of these heavy cow catchers, but thought the better of it;  those vans today have such a light underfloor structure that if you hit anything solid, the entire catcher would bend up or down and deform the entire bottom of the vehicle.  There is no serious frame underneath there any more, all gone due to weight saving ideas. 

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11 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

I toyed with the idea of setting up a plant to manufacture an auto version of these heavy cow catchers, but thought the better of it;  those vans today have such a light underfloor structure that if you hit anything solid, the entire catcher would bend up or down and deform the entire bottom of the vehicle.  There is no serious frame underneath there any more, all gone due to weight saving ideas. 

The NV 3500 Nissan is built on the Titan truck body. Sort of an afterthought van addition maybe. 

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15 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Probably all of the above that your list.  The ones that do the most damage are cattle, of course.  Remember that Australia is a vast continent, so massive that there is no plausible way that those roads are ever going to be fenced.  Amazingly enough, there are actually vast areas of the Outback that are fenced!  I have no idea how the Ozzies come up with the money for that.   In any event, if you are running in an area with no fences, and hit anything heavy, that truck is going to be injured and out-of-service  [OOS].  And if your truck is OOS and a thousand miles from the next repair shop, and you are "training" a whole bunch of trailers, then your employer has to scramble with a fleet of rescue trucks and a tow unit, possibly even a flatbed with a winch on it, in order to haul your wreck out of there. 

Cheaper to put on those massive front-end crash bars.  Oh, well.

The front of road trains are built like tanks - cattle that get hit just get sweep to the side. When I worked in Newman you would often see dead bloated cattle by the sides of the road that had been hit by a Road train. 

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2 hours ago, ronwagn said:

The NV 3500 Nissan is built on the Titan truck body. Sort of an afterthought van addition maybe. 

Then you get the first one off the production line with my compliments!

Gotta put in on yourself, though.  My generosity only goes so far.....:D

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