OLD-SCHOOL ICON: Our columnist Jacquelene took a shine to the classic 'Petes' on her recent US trip.
OLD-SCHOOL ICON: Our columnist Jacquelene took a shine to the classic 'Petes' on her recent US trip. Contributed

Jacq's Texas trip: Peterbilts were a highlight

ALMOST everyone in the industry has been in Brisbane for what I believe was a truly spectacular show, where the Brisbane Truck Show organisers outdid themselves in bringing the best show ever.

Coralie Chapman, the current Transport Industry Woman of the Year and TWAL director/secretary, hosted a hugely successful and well-attended Transport Women Australia Limited breakfast at the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre.

In Sydney, TWAL vice-chair Di Caldwell- Smith, joined forces with other impressive women in transport and logistics to present at a morning outlining the opportunities available in the industry to the Dressed for Success charity, which offers a second chance to women trying to get back into the workforce.

While this was happening, I had the privilege of visiting the Nikola Motor Company in Phoenix, Arizona, and Peterbilt Motors Company in Denton, Texas.

While the welcome and hospitality of both companies was the same, the trucks could not be more different, from the beautiful, classic 389 Peterbilt to the futuristic Nikola Hydrogen models.

Being an old girl myself, it will take some time for me to fully embrace the idea of a silent truck but I know this will appeal to others and may help our image.

I know many manufacturers are moving towards some variations ofan electric or hybrid truck.

However the sight of the Petes coming off the line did make the heart beat faster.

Being Australian though, our home-grown products are hard to beat.

I also met with the Global Cold Chain Alliance to discuss the new planned International Refrigerated Transport Association accreditation and also with the Americas International Road Transport Union senior adviser Martin Rojas.

We discussed the implications and accessibility arising from the changes and updates of cross-border paperwork.

This is, of course, one effect of the changing agreements and tariffs between the US and its neighbours Canada and Mexico but also within Europe and Asia.

I do feel quite sorry for the trucking companies that operate on the US/Canada or the US/Mexico run.

The US/Canada drivers have more than most to cope with though, changing from kilometres to miles and gallons to litres, etc.

Then the companies running in and out of Mexico have their own unique issues especially with the current US political climate.

At least we only have the one Federal Government to worry about, with some state idiosyncrasies.

Back on the home front, the company I work for, Oxford Cold Storage, has been sold to a large US based company, Emergent Cold, so change is definitely in the air.

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