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Commercial Vehicle Engineer is the multi-award-winning online monthly for road transport engineers and fleet managers, delivering a unique blend of independent, well-informed analysis, hard-hitting comment and news on the commercial vehicle market and aftermarket. The October 2016 edition is now online, including news of how driver brainwaves are playing a key part in truck research and development. To subscribe or log in as a subscriber click on the page-turning icon below or the green "subscribe" button on the right.


For the 2016 CV Engineer media kit, including forward features list, click here



What's to become of truck and bus diesel engines in the post-Euro-6 era as the legislative focus shifts to carbon dioxide and even tougher limits on oxides of nitrogen? We joined a Gothenburg gathering of some of the world's top exhaust emission engineers and scientists to find out.

The ingenuity of engineers at trailer-makers, bodybuilders and their suppliers often gets overlooked. Not in the Trailer Innovation pan-European awards scheme. We report from the Hannover show on the Trailer Innovation 2017 award-winners and runners-up in seven categories.

Companies in the news this month include bodybuilder Penman Engineering following its crash into administration, and brake system supplier Haldex with future ownership still in doubt.
People in the news include the Vehicle Certification Agency's new boss; Wincanton's new fleet director; and Nick Handy at MAN Truck & Bus UK as he turns his attention from trucks to vans.


CV Engineer film reviews: and why not?

Ryder's Project Rebirth

So you want to show the world that your commercial vehicle technicians and workshops are a cut above the rest? You could always try one or two of many and various accreditation schemes and hope for the best. Ryder in the US has come up with an altogether more imaginative and startling solution, starting with spectacular destruction of a new Volvo truck. 

“While the kind of destruction shown in this video is extreme, it’s not that far from some of the excessive damage that has come through our shops over the past 80 years," says Ryder's global fleet management boss Dennis Cooke, with no hint of tongue in cheek. "Showing our technician team in action in a high-stakes challenge like this is a great way to highlight the kind of talent our customers have access to every day at any one of our 800 maintenance shops across North America. If businesses are going to outsource fleet maintenance to Ryder, they need to be really confident about our ability to maintain and repair trucks quickly and correctly the first time. Because our technicians work behind the scenes, there aren’t many opportunities for us to showcase their incredible knowledge and skill. These videos enable us to show the world in an exciting and compelling way the outstanding expertise of our technician workforce.”

Volvo engineers of a nervous disposition may want to look away now.

Click here to see Ryder's Project Rebirth video.


Hungry for more footage of Volvo trucks being given a hard time? Try these for size, courtesy of Volvo itself and a four-year-old film star by the name of Sophie...


CILT on vulnerable road-users

The acting is never going to win any Oscar nominations. And gratuitous plugs for the CILT's own magazine and awards scheme are a bit cheesy and irritating. But The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK nevertheless deserves plaudits aplenty for a new ten-minute video delivering a potent message on the moral, economic and legal obligations related to road transport operations. The focus is mainly on vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians, and the target audience is primarily board-level company directors in operations running trucks, buses or coaches. But this video's graphic portrayal of what can happen when road safety is allowed to slip down the priority list of any organisation packs such a punch that it ought to be required viewing for everyone with road transport management responsibilities, no matter how big or small the commercial vehicles they manage. That certainly includes the home-delivery operations which depend on vans and small trucks up to 3.5 tonnes gvw. Based on our shocking revelations of a few years ago, Sainsbury store managers responsible for small home-delivery van fleets and their drivers would be right at the top of our list of those most in need of learning the lessons this video teaches so memorably.

To see the CILT video on YouTube click here











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Wed 19 Oct, 2016

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October 2016

4 Comment
Connectivity. No word was heard more often than this by visitors to last month's huge IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung) commercial vehicles show in Hannover, Germany. But astute fleet managers and transport engineers wisely are treating the wilder claims of excited exhibitors and pundits with healthy scepticism. Anyone who really believes that driverless, battery-powered 44-tonne trucks are just around the corner, soon to be followed by satellite-guided squadrons of drones taking the place of today's fleets of diesel-powered 3.5-tonners on grocery home-delivery operations is surely deluded. They are certainly out of touch with the harsh realities of day-to-day freight transport operations. Human drivers for trucks and vans are going to be needed for a long time yet. None of which is to say that the latest information technology and connectivity in its many guises has no part to play right now in making commercial vehicles safer and more efficient. Interaction between vehicles and drivers has to be at the core of this. Attention to detail matters. It is all too easy for engineers to be seduced by the latest technology. Establishing precisely what kind of warning sound is easiest for a driver to process may seem dull by comparison with some of the latest fancy self-driving systems but it certainly contributes greatly to safer, more efficient commercial vehicles. Human drivers are going to be at the controls of these vehicles for many decades to come. Engineers need to ensure that connectivity technology makes the job easier and safer, not the opposite.

4 Points of view
RAC Group's David Bizley gives the cold shoulder to government plans for motorway hard shoulders. CMA's Philip Swift gets cross at Highways England's "zero crossing" policy. Chris Horbowyj of GreenRoad Technologies with a simple telematics message for fleet managers. Nova Consulting's Marcus Green thinks Brexiteers and the home secretary may have lost the plot on foreign workers in transport and logistics. Licence Check's Richard Brown reminds fleet managers that drivers will soon have "the right to be forgotten." Dave Holladay wonders whether current truck and bus brake testing really is fit for purpose. Laura Nelson at RTITB bemoans the box-ticking approach to training being taken by some truck drivers and their employers.

8 News
Haldex ownership still hanging in the balance.

9 News
Eleventh-hour rescue for Penman Engineering?

10 News
Hidden costs trending in road casualty reports.

12 News
Driver brainwaves in truck research and development.

13 News
A neglected DPF can spell turbocharger disaster. Volvo FL on Manchester brewer's Christmas shopping list.

14 Where do truck and bus diesel engines go from here?
It is hard to imagine any group of individuals better qualified to answer such questions than the top engineers gathered in Sweden last month for a high-power meeting focused on future exhaust emissions limits and controls, including Europe's long-awaited truck CO2 legislation. David Wilcox reports.

18 Unsung heroes find their voice
The ingenuity of engineers at trailer-makers, bodybuilders and their suppliers often gets overlooked. Yet real advances in road transport efficiency invariably depend on it. Tim Blakemore reports on a trailer innovation awards scheme going from strength to strength.

25 News from the north
Advice from the Transport News Truck Advocate on vans and operator licensing; "earned recognition" from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency; and truck height limits in the UK.

26 News from the north
Vehicles in the Transport News TruckScot Scene this month include a Daf XF in Inch, a Scania R450 in Tain, and a Volvo FM in Inverness.

29 People and jobs
The UK's Vehicle Certification Agency is about to get a new boss. Nick Handy has moved from trucks to vans at MAN Truck & Bus UK. Neil Park is the new managing director at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre North & Scotland. Wincanton has a new fleet director.

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