BTS 2023, Opinion

A week-long celebration of Australian trucking

You would be hard pressed to find anyone in the Australian trucking industry that isn’t well aware of the Brisbane Truck Show. Every two years it rolls around – rain, hail or even pandemic.

The sense of anticipation for this year’s show is palpable, especially for those who couldn’t be there in 2021.

Over recent years truck show week has grown to become a full-blown festival, bringing together the industry with the broader community.

There is no doubt that Brisbane in May is an attractive prospect for just about anyone. The weather is at its best, and the city is growing from strength to strength as a destination of choice.

There is already an endless array of options for how you might happily spend your time, but for anyone involved in our industry, that becomes extra satisfactory in a truck show year.

2023 will be the third edition of Australian Heavy Vehicle Industry Week. While that name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, it does capture its very important purpose.

It is about everybody and everything that is involved in making the industry tick. 

That includes our vibrant manufacturing industry – producing world-leading trucks, trailers and technology – to the sales, service and support sectors, and of course the operational aspects, taking in every role from drivers to fleet managers, dock crews and the logistics and administration teams that hold it all together.

At the time of the last truck show there is no doubt that the Australian population had become much more aware of our vital industry, but we were still hampered by border restrictions ad lockdowns. 

We were lucky enough to fit the truck show into a window where everything went our way. The result was a sensational week for those that were able to be there. But we missed those that couldn’t.

The week is always an amazing reunion for old friends and a wonderful place to make new ones.

All of that is why we launched the South Bank Truck Festival in 2019. The riverside parklands are stunning at the best of times, but when you shut down the main street to host a truck and trailer display and add a whole bunch of live entertainment – it is irresistible. 

That’s not to mention the plethora of great bars and restaurants, all sharing their warm hospitality with a seamless mix of fun-loving industry folks, tourists from far and wide and friendly Brisbane folk.

Bringing the community to interact with our industry is a vital part of our ongoing quest to improve the industry’s image. It is generally a quiet and humble industry that just gets about getting on with business.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t tell our story and tell it proudly. There are six themes to Australian Heavy Vehicle Industry Week – safety, sustainability, innovation, careers, knowledge and community.

They are pretty self-explanatory, but every event and activation provides us with an opportunity to showcase those themes (or values) as part of telling our industry’s story.

For instance, the truck and trailer display along Little Stanley Street will feature a large component of low and zero emissions vehicles, high productivity designs, Australian-made trucks and trailers and stories about the people that make and use them – to deliver the goods the community take for granted every day.

One of the big drawcards will be a Mack Anthem, alongside its full-scale replica, being built from Lego bricks – celebrating 60 years of Mack Trucks manufacturing in Australia. That’s a great story in itself.

And we can’t wait to tell you more about the exciting events coming to the South Bank Truck Festival in coming weeks. 

Australian Heavy Vehicle Industry Week is presented with the support of the Queensland Government, Tourism and Events Queensland and the Brisbane Economic Development Agency.

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