easytrucks is a member of the IFRTT

IFRTT - INTERNATIONAL FORUM for ROAD TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGY

After attending the hugely successful International HVTT14 Heavy Vehicle Transport Technology Conference in Rotorua in November, easytrucks is now a member of the IFRTT, the International Forum for Road Transport Technology. The IFRTT is made up of road transport experts and influencers from across the globe.

The conference this year, which was held in Rotorua New Zealand, provided a unique platform for legislators, road administrators, academics, consultants, vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, transport organizations, and transport operators, to discuss and exchange ideas on ways to improve the safety, efficiency, productivity and sustainability of the road transport industry.

The theme for this year's conference was "Future Pathways" and a wide range of topics related to this were discussed. There were delegates from all over the world, presenting papers on a huge range of topics. Heavy vehicle regulatory reform and Performance Based Standards (PBS) for heavy vehicles were hot topics amongst the delegates. Although there's a wide variety of vehicle standards and regulations, and road network conditions, across a huge range of jurisdictions around the world, there was a common thread across them all.

How do we bridge the gap between scientific facts and public or political perception?

It often didn't seem to matter how strong a case was put to politicians and/or the public, regardless of where in the world these discussions were.

Some people just cannot be convinced of the benefits to society, for allowing longer, more productive and efficient, trucks on their roads. Regardless of the compelling facts available.

This was possibly best demonstrated by founding IFRTT member John Woodroofe from Canada, when he illustrated the differences in productivity and efficiency between the Canada, USA, and Mexico jurisdictions. The U.S. just cannot be convinced of the benefits available, no matter how well the facts are presented. However, they did just stun the world with their version of democracy in action, so nothing should surprise us. Their antiquated dimensions and mass rules severly restrict productivity, efficiency and road safety, right across Canada, USA, and Mexico.

Closer to home, current IFRTT President and NZ industry expert, John de Pont provided some insights into the pending revision of the NZ PBS scheme. This, as many other PBS schemes around the world, takes a lead and is partly derived from the successful Australian PBS system, which has been developing now for several years. Australian experts are now also working closely with Swedish authorities and several other countries to develop their own PBS derivatives.

This showed that there's a very real opportunity to bring international heavy vehicle standards closer into line, something which UK based founding IFRTT member David Cebon suggested we as an industry collective should take a serious look at next.

The next HVTT conference will be held in Rotterdam in the Netherlands Sept 2018.

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