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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 April 2017 edition is now online, including news of a new Daf Trucks UK headquarters now under construction. 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 2017 CV Engineer media kit, including forward features list, click here



Despite the absence again of some high-profile names from its exhibitor list, this month's Birmingham Commercial Vehicle Show offers plenty to make for a highly productive visit by any fleet manager or transport engineer. Our preview will whet your appetite with news of show plans from the likes of Daf Trucks, MAN, Lawrence David and Renault's van division.

We also report from Brussels on a ground-breaking conference this month which provides the clearest evidence yet of the European Union's determination to be firmly in the driving seat in development, regulation and standard-setting of connected and automated vehicles. Where will this leave the UK as it heads for the EU exit door? Sadly, increasingly isolated and disconnected, it seems.

People in the news this month include BYD Europe managing director Isbrand Ho, revealing plans for a bus assembly plant in France; Joloda's new owners following a buy-in/buy-out; and the first engineering and production director at fast-growing bodybuilder Bevan Group.


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











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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Thu 20 Apr, 2017

Click on the page-turning icon above to go direct to the latest edition.


April 2017

4 Comment
Brexit: yesterday’s news for forward-looking commercial vehicle engineers. Consider some sobering road transport statistics. And lest you are inclined to dismiss them as barely credible in this era of "alternative facts", please be assured from the outset that their sources are impeccable and impartial. No less than 17 per cent of all Britain's traded goods, import and export combined, passes through one port, Dover. That means about £120 billion worth of trade annually. Dover's eastern docks, which handles European Union trade, can process as many as 10,500 trucks per day, as a consequence of the UK's membership of the EU single market and customs union. At the same port's western docks, where trucks from non-EU countries have to clear customs, the picture is rather different. There the throughput is about 500 trucks per day. Despite a computerised system called Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF), long delays are common because forms have to be filled in and import duties checked. Now cast your mind back to the French industrial action of a couple of years ago and the swiftly ensuing chaos resulting from mile after mile of stationary trucks on the M20 motorway, otherwise known as Operation Stack. Then try to imagine the impact of a similar blockage or even worse, going on indefinitely and starting less than two years from now when the UK is officially no longer an EU member and, if the government has its way, has also left the single market and customs union. There was no mention of Dover and scarcely any of Brexit by any speaker at a Brussels conference this month on connected and automated vehicles. Indeed it was described in passing by the moderator, a Brit as it happens, as "yesterday's news". But that is the point. The rest of the EU has already started to press on with making free trade within the single market operate even more smoothly than it does at present. Agreements have been reached on rapid harmonisation of the standards and regulations governing "connected" vehicles across Europe. Melanie Schultz, the dynamic Dutch transport minister behind last year's European Truck Platooning Challenge, is evidently losing no sleep over the UK's apparent determination to go its own way, regardless of the economic cost. She is already working closely with other EU countries on creating what she describes as "a cross-border proving ground" for truck platooning. If a post-Brexit Britain wants to join in eventually, it is simply going to have to follow rules set by others.

4 Points of view
Alan Bunting on the outlook for the Luton van plant now owned by PSA. Directors from Euro Car Parts and Klarius Products question government plans for MOT test changes. FleetCheck managing director Peter Golding bemoans the use of spreadsheets for fleet management. Venson sales director Simon Staton is alarmed by the budget small print on company car tax. RHA policy director Jack Semple describes changes in truck driver overnight allowance tax rules as "unncecessary and unenforceable".

8 News
French-built BYD buses are en route.

10 News
Joloda gets its skates on under new ownership. Daf Trucks on the move in the UK. Peddling training courses on safer urban driving.

12 Equipping the operation
Lifting safety standards on 3.5-tonne tippers. Recovery for Mercedes at the AA.

14 News from the north
The Transport News Truck advocate with advice on curtain-sider load security, mobile mechanics, and sole traders versus limited companies.

16 Now who's really in control?
The European Union is determined to be in the driving seat globally on development, regulation and standard-setting in the field of "connected" and autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles. The latest developments and the beneficial road transport transformations sure to flow from them were outlined this month at a ground-breaking Brussels conference. That's the good news. The extremely bad news for the UK is that it looks more and more out in the cold and irrelevant as the government pursues its hare-brained Brexit plans, not to mention a June general election. Tim Blakemore reports.

18 Win some, lose some
Despite the absence again of some high-profile names from its exhibitor list, this year's Commercial Vehicle Show boasts more than enough innovations to make a visit pay off handsomely for fleet managers and transport engineers. Tim Blakemore selects a handful of exhibits worth underlining on your to-do list.

22 News from the north
TruckScot Scenery this month includes a Volvo FH 6x2 in Ballindalloch; a Scania R580 in Banchory; and a Daf XF510 in Montrose.

25 People and jobs
Daimler's mammoth truck and bus division has a new boss. Ian Roberts has left HMF (UK) to join Bevan Group. Daniel Willis of RH Commercial Vehicles may be the youngest master technician in the UK.

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