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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 February 2018 edition is now online, including news of how tyre pressure monitoring systems are attracting more interest than ever from truck fleet operators as tyre costs rise relentlessly.

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



Annual truck registration statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) are published so late and in such little detail these days that the UK has become one of only a handful of European countries for which truck market data has to be estimated. We have been sifting through the 2017 registration numbers that are now at last available and turning to other sources to identify the key trends in UK truck sales. The overall market contracted less than had been feared last year, down by only 2.6 per cent, but there are big differences between winners and losers in various sectors, with some enjoying 20 per cent growth and others suffering from sales declines around 18 per cent.

Traffic commissioners and police forces are among those promising crackdowns on cowboy truck operators and drivers. But calls for action against suppliers of equipment such as AdBlue "emulators" appear to be going unheeded. We have the full story.

People in the news this month include Mercedes-Benz Vans boss Volker Mornhinweg, telling us why costly manufacturing flexibility is crucial for the all-new Sprinter van range; Cummins chief executive Tom Linebarger, explaining the thinking behind his company's acquisition of Johnson Matthey's battery division; and IAM RoadSmart boss Sarah Sillars, calling for more joined-up thinking on dangerous driver distractions, not least from mobile phones.













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.

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Tue 27 Feb, 2018

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February 2018

4 Comment
Simple joined-up thinking would mean fewer driver distractions and safer roads. IAM boss Sarah Sillars deserves credit for her call for more effective, joined-up action on drivers who persist in putting lives at risk through irresponsible mobile phone use in vehicles. Will she get the support needed from government, technology companies and vehicle manufacturers? The omens unfortunately are far from encouraging. The UK government at present appears to regard almost anything unrelated directly to Brexit as a distraction for which it has no time. We've done our bit by beefing up the fines and penalty points. This would seem to be the Department for Transport's position. If so, it is alarmingly misguided, as illustrated vividly by IAM and the findings of a Europe-wide survey by Germany's ADAC. What more could the technology companies and vehicle manufacturers be doing? Putting greater effort into intelligent use of current technology before getting terribly excited about futuristic self-driving vehicles would be a good start. Head-up displays (HUD) in vans, trucks and coaches, or rather the almost total lack of them to date, is as good an illustration as any of what we mean. There is no longer anything remotely far-fetched about this technology. It has been available in cars for many years. Commercial vehicle versions have been developed and apparently are on the shelf, ready to go. Yet truck, van and coach manufacturers remain puzzlingly reluctant to adopt them, even as options, citing high cost and technical difficulties in coping with windscreen slope angles as the main reasons. All of which seems pathetic when there is such widespread agreement on the safety benefits of these displays. Why are commercial vehicle engineers at van, truck and coach manufacturers spending so much time and effort on developing ever more sophisticated ways of integrating smartphones into vehicle systems when everyone agrees that these very phones can be a dangerous driver distraction? And why are the same engineers not spending more time and effort on simply presenting drivers with no more than the information they need in the least distracting way possible, as with head-up displays? Answers in a text message please. Be assured it will not be read by anyone at the controls of any vehicle.

4 Points of view
What do you know about something called the "third body layer" and the effect this has on vehicle braking? Lumag's research and development boss is happy to answer your questions. Shaun Sadlier of Arval UK offers some advice to car and van fleet operators on engine and fuel choice.

6 News
Steep fines are not enough to stop driver distractions, argues IAM. Truck fleets turn to pressure monitoring technology as tyre costs rise.

8 News
Electric driveline powerplays at Cummins and Deutz. Chassis Cab's Baker back on top in Daf Trucks technician competition.

10 Crackdown on cowboy truck operators and drivers, but is it effective enough?
Police forces, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), traffic commissioners and other UK government agencies are stepping up action against law-breaking truck operators and drivers as more evidence emerges of a growing number of illegal activities. But calls for more action against suppliers of equipment such as exhaust emissions limits cheating devices and tachograph-disabling equipment are growing louder. Tim Blakemore reports.

13 News from the north
The Transport News Truck Advocate offers some well-informed legal guidance on driver conduct hearings, tachographs in horseboxes, and Driver CPC training records.

14 Swings, roundabouts and scary dips
What exactly is going on in the UK truck market? The question has become much harder to answer now that we are all being denied access to timely, detailed, reliable vehicle registration statistics. Tim Blakemore reports.

17 News from the north
Volvo, Scania and Daf have the starring roles in this month's TruckScot Scene from Transport News.

18 News from the north
Transport News has the inside story on a novel scheme aimed at crime prevention in road transport and logistics in Scotland.

20 Blending old and new technology
The third generation of the ubiquitous Mercedes-Benz Sprinter light commercial vehicle range was unveiled this month in Germany. Tim Blakemore reports from the Duisburg launch.

23 People and jobs
The new boss at the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers has hit the ground running. Germany's big automotive industry trade association will have a new president from next month. Mercedes-Benz Vans dealers in the UK have been collecting awards.

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