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WELCOME
 

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 November 2017 edition is now online, including news of why the UK government's new apprenticeship levy is being described as a "car crash" and a "disaster".

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For the 2018 CV Engineer media kit, including forward features list, click here

 

NOVEMBER 2017 EDITION UPDATE

We report from a Spanish test track where Volvo Trucks engineers have been demonstrating exactly why they now see liquefied natural gas as a highly attractive alternative to diesel for regional and long-haul operations. Sound familiar? Is this not the line Iveco has been taking since unveiling its gas-powered Stralis at last year's Hannover show? Not exactly. The crucial difference with the Volvo engine is that it is the first to use a clever Westport/Delphi fuel injection system claimed to bring all the benefits of gas without sacrificing any traditional diesel engine strengths.

Truck operators on both sides of the Atlantic are being warned that they could be putting lives at risk by failing to inspect and maintain braking systems often enough and thoroughly enough. We have the full alarming story.

People in the news this month include Paccar executive chairman Mark Pigott, visiting Belgium to open an ultra-modern, highly-efficient new Daf Trucks cab paint plant; Zöe Murray-Ross, starting a new job as DVSA enforcement boss; and deserving award-winners galore in the latest annual Scottish Rewards scheme by Transport News.

 

 

CV Engineer film reviews: and why not?

 

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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Easy access to the wealth of commercial vehicle engineering news and analysis in 12 editions plus the full Commercial Vehicle Engineer archive now costs only £20 plus vat (£24). This will get you all the high-quality, independent transport engineering information you need, including uniquely detailed, regular reports on vehicle safety recalls, as well as unrivalled, impartial insights into subjects such as home-delivery vehicles, Euro 6 emissions legislation and truck operating costs.

Why not try the Commercial Vehicle Engineer app? It is available now for the Google Android smartphone and tablet operating system as well as for Apple's iPad and iPhone. The DAF Trucks-sponsored app gives you even faster fingertip access to all the commercial vehicle engineering information that really counts, wherever you are. And it is free to download.

 

 

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Updated
Mon 27 Nov, 2017
 
 


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November 2017

4 Comment
A breath or two of fresh air at last instead of just hot air Even among politicians, it takes a quite breathtaking degree of incompetence to introduce a scheme designed specifically to boost apprenticeship numbers that turns out to have the immediate and polar opposite effect: cutting these numbers by nearly 60 per cent. Cue the British government's much-hyped apprenticeship levy, introduced only about seven months ago and already attracting such descriptive terms as "car crash" and "disaster" from sober organisations not known for over-reaction to anything. Question is, when a bunch of hopeless incompetents like this government can make such a hash of a subject that hardly is terribly complicated in the scheme of things, how far can they be trusted with decisions and pronouncements on rather bigger challenges related to commercial vehicles, such as the accelerating drive towards "autonomous" vehicles, climate change and air quality? The answer is surely obvious: not at all. So it really does come as a welcome and refreshing change this month to hear some people talking sense at last on these subjects. Unsurprisingly, these people are not politicians but commercial vehicle engineers, in particular those behind the latest Volvo gas-fuelled truck engine and Iveco UK's alternative fuels director, Martin Flach. There are fascinating differences in the technologies favoured by these two truck and bus manufacturers but the underlying message from both is the same. It is that commercial vehicles of the future will be even more environmentally friendly than those of today but they certainly will not all be electrically powered by the day after tomorrow. There will be room for diesel for many years to come, and gas (especially in liquefied form and especially biogas) is set to play an increasingly important role. Here's a thought. Maybe nobody should be allowed to become a Member of Parliament and certainly not a government minister without first going through suitable training. Continuing professional development would be required too, naturally, to ensure that MPs' certificates of professional competence are kept up to date, just like transport managers as well as truck, bus and coach drivers. And the starting point for all of this could be an apprenticeship scheme. Trouble is, it is hard to imagine many of the current crop of UK politicians having the ability to make it past year-one tests.

4 Points of view
AlcoDigital's Suzannah Robin on why employers need to be alert to the hazards of drugs that are perfectly legal. Jaguar Land Rover's boss Jeremy Hicks extols the virtues of physical challenges. DK Fulfilment's Mark Elward warns agains undervaluing employee welfare. FleetCheck's Peter Golding can see shedloads of unintended consequences in the latest London ULEZ plans. Government inaction on the M20 truck parking controversy could mean stacks more misery for Kent, warns Matthew Knight, a Tunbridge Wells-based lawyer. TUPE regulations need rethinking, argues William Walker of Walker Logistics.

9 News
Truck operators warned of need for "urgent improvement" to brake testing and inspection.

10 News
Picture this: EU road transport painted by numbers. Allison Transmission and Schmitz Cargobull celebrate production milestones.

11 News
Bright future promised for Daf's new Belgian paintshop. Awards for apprentices despite "car crash" levy effects.

12 News
Prepare for more specialised trucks but don't write off diesel prematurely.

13 Equipping the operation
Lewisham plugs electric waste body benefits. Hovis toasts lightweight Tiger Trailers bodywork.

14 Stepping on the gas
Volvo is the first truck-maker to adopt a clever injection system which allows Euro 6 diesel engines to become even more environmentally friendly, by running on natural gas, without losing any traditional diesel engine strengths. Tim Blakemore went to Barcelona to find out more.

17 News from the north
Need to know what's involved in upgrading an operator licence to "standard international" and what certification is required to pull a fuel bowser carrying diesel? The Transport News Truck Advocate has some well-informed advice for you.

18 News from the north
Transport News editor Alistair Vallance has the inside story on the acquisition of Kerr & Smith's Glasgow base by Cartwright Fleet Services.

21 People and jobs
A top European commercial vehicle safety award goes to the engineer behind Scania's innovative truck cab side-curtain airbag. Zoe Murray-Ross is the new head of enforcement at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. Gavin Summers of Malcolm Logistis and Sandra Stewart of David Burns Haulage are among this year's Scottish Rewards award-winners.

 
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