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Finalists for Truck of the Year Australasia 2024 revealed

truck of the year

It’s that time of year again – the announcement of the finalists for Truck of the Year Australasia.

The final line-up was selected by renowned trucking journalist Tim Giles, editor of Big Rigs’ sister publication PowerTorque, and Dave McCoid, NZ Trucking magazine editor.

Giles and McCoid are also on the jury of five tasked with picking the winner to be crowned at the New Zealand Trucking Association and National Road Carriers, Transport Maintenance and Safety event in Christchurch on March 13, 2024.

The main criterion for nomination is a truck’s contribution to the standards of safety and efficiency of transport of goods by road in Australasia.

Any truck which has a gross vehicle mass 4.5 tonnes or above is eligible. The truck must contain considerable technological improvements. A minor facelift, for example, does not make a truck eligible, say judges.

To be considered for the title, trucks must have also been released before December 31, 2023.

The three finalists (with judging notes) for 2024 are:

Scania Super

Scania is driving down fuel consumption on its conventionally powered offering. Image: Scania Australia

“At the same time as zero carbon trucks are appearing, a truck maker like Scania is driving down fuel consumption on its conventionally powered offering, with the Super brand making a reappearance in the range and a whole new driveline appearing in the Swedish truck maker’s offering.

“The 75kg reduction of in the engine weight is complemented by the move to a basic crash box transmission which means the simplifying of the Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) design, so now it’s also 75kg lighter on the 460R. The higher-rated AMT fitted to the 560hp 13-litre engine, and also to the higher horsepower V8 engines from Scania, is 60kg lighter than the previous transmission.

“The re-engineering of the driveline is a major coup for the brand and the results are a substantial improvement in fuel consumption numbers and a much quieter driving experience.”

Western Star X-Series

The new X Series represents a radical transformation for a traditionally conservative truck brand. Image: Penske Australia

“After a long period where its truck offering remained relatively static, the Western Star brand launched a completely new range of trucks bringing all of the latest technologies to its truck offering. The new X Series represents a radical transformation for a traditionally conservative truck brand.

“The range change meant a complete redesign from the ground up and a complete renewal of all of the models on offer from Western Star. By moving across to the Daimler North America chassis and a state of the art, electronic system, the trucks are able to offer all of the latest safety systems as well introducing the most up-to-date Detroit engines into Australasia.

“The introduction transformed the trucks available from Western Star from a past based on long held traditions, to a set of trucks which could match rivals for technical sophistication and efficiency while still retaining the style and feel of the Western Star models which came before.”

Volvo Electric heavy-duty range

“In an industry where the diesel engine was king, we now have a set of alternative power systems vying to take us into the future. The electric truck is going to be the first alternative to make an impact, and this has already happened with the heavy-duty models from Volvo winning the International Truck of the Year gong in Lyon, France, last November.

“This truck is clearly an interim solution for the Swedish brand, but it is an effective one which works well and is part of the first wave of Volvo heavy duty electric trucks to arrive on the Australasian truck markets.

“We can expect alternative fuel trucks to become more important in our truck markets, and therefore, appear more in the ToYA consideration, year-on-year. The market is changing, slowly but surely and this award will also be changing, as the emphasis shifts away from fossil fuels towards all of the zero carbon solutions which keep popping up around the world.”

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