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Boral makes road building safer

Boral Limited, in conjunction with Iveco, has demonstrated the Australian manufacturing sector is far from down and out- with an invention that is tailor made for the company’s expansion into road building.

The new Boral Forward Moving Aggregate Spreader revolutionises the method of spray seal road construction in Australia.

Until now, the process has involved road crews working with reversing trucks that apply the aggregate through an elevated tipper body — clumsy and dangerous.

The Boral FMAS disperses aggregate from the front of the truck via a conveyor belt and spreader box.

It delivers faster completion of works and significantly reduces any potential infrastructure and overhead damage such as contacting powerlines, trees and bridges.

Boral national asset manager — asphalt Stuart Partridge said the company designed and developed the FMAS following a call to industry by the Victorian roads authority after a serious accident involving a VicRoads worker some years ago.

“Surfacing roads has remained one of the most potentially challenging tasks faced by construction crews,” he said.

“Rollover accidents, blind spots and high reversing tippers . . . are just some of the problems associated with the current range of spreaders.”

The challenge was to use a locally built truck that could be extensively modified and still meet regulatory standards.

Only four brands are built at the three truck plants in Australia: Volvo and Mack in Wacol; Iveco in Dandenong; and Kenworth in Bayswater.

It required a medium-duty cab-over truck, which eliminated Bayswater, and the Iveco Stralis AD 8×4 was selected.

The Stralis cab is narrrowed and the grille moved forward, while maintaining the high level of European comfort that is a characteristic of the Stralis range.

Iveco design engineers worked closely with Mr Partridge to develop a solution that would improve safety for road crews, including drivers, while at the same time making the process quicker and more efficient with higher quality.

The first sales reports of 2019 are in, courtesy of VFACTS, and the picture looks healthy.

It’s the best commercial vehicle start to a year since before the global financial crisis. Everyone in 4x2s took a hit but the 4x4s continued a relentless march up the ladder.

Overall sales were up 20 per cent in January and, guess what, the HiLux was up nearly 30 per cent — again.

The icing on the Toyota cake was the LandCruiser ute/cc. It was up 65 per cent over January, 2018.

Heavy commercials also delivered a strong January. Light and medium-duty sectors were up 55 and 23 per cent respectively, while heavy-duty sales took a 5 per cent breather from consistent gains.

Last January there were no Fuso Canters sold. This year, 17 found a job for a 16 per cent market share, just behind Hino but a fair distance from Isuzu.

In medium-duty, Hino outsold Isuzu in the 8.0-tonne to 39-tonne segment, no doubt due to the new 500 series.

The accident prevention electronics to the standard cab will only boost that improvement.

In the heavies, Isuzu was well in front with 25 per cent share. Volvo was next with Hino third.

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