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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 August 2017 edition is now online, including news of the latest financial results and outlook from two top diesel engine manufacturers. All those reports of the imminent death of the internal combustion engine may indeed be greatly exaggerated, it seems.

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For the 2017 CV Engineer media kit, including forward features list, click here

 

AUGUST 2017 EDITION UPDATE

We've been finding out why a growing number of UK truck operators are no longer prepared to meekly accept off-the-shelf specifications. One big water company worked closely with Volvo and its local dealer for the best part of a year to ensure that the specification of a new drawbar rig was a perfect fit. Now the truck is in service and the results are impressive. We also hear from several other operators, in sectors ranging from asphalt transport to a supplier of waterproof roofing material, about how time and effort spent getting initial truck specification just right can soon pay off handsomely.

A few years ago tridem bogies on UK eight-wheelers were a rarity, but now they are catching on fast, not least among animal feed suppliers and heating oil distributors. An afternoon spent driving the latest Daf FAQ tridem demonstrates clearly what lies behind this trend.

People in the news this month include Iveco UK alternative fuels director Martin Flach, welcoming  government plans for a tweak in van driving licence rules; Toni Oldfield, settling into a new job at the Marshall Fleet Solutions tail-lift division; and Europa Worldwide Freight boss Andrew Baxter, laying out his latest ambitious growth plans. 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIGH-QUALITY INFORMATION AT LOW COST  

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
Wed 23 Aug, 2017
 
 


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

 

August 2017

4 Comment
Where is the coherent government policy on light commercial vehicles? What's not to like about a government proposal to tweak driving licence rules with the aim of encouraging operators to run more environment-friendly commercial vehicles? There is no doubt where Martin Flach, the hugely experienced and respected engineer who is now Iveco UK's alternative fuels director, stands on this question. Doubtless he is far from alone. Chances are that positive responses to the consultation, running until 18 October, will be in the majority and the government will then press on with the change, moving (temporarily at least) the threshold at which a C1 (vocational) driving licence is required from 3.5 to 4.25 tonnes gross vehicle weight for vehicles with "clean" alternatives to diesel or petrol engines. Even those with deep reservations about the move, and that includes Commercial Vehicle Engineer, will probably shrug their shoulders, just accept it and move on. Truth be told, the change will make no measurable difference to the contribution to the UK's air-quality problem being made by vans or to Europe-wide efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions from road transport generally. As transport minister Jesse Norman recognises in his foreword to the consultation, more than 96 per cent of the vans in service in the UK at present are diesel-powered. Nobody believes that this minor driving licence change can move this number by any more than a fraction of one per cent, if at all. There are far more significant numbers related to the impact of light commercial vehicles on the environment and road safety which the government conveniently chooses to ignore in its consultation. Take for instance the persistent, extraordinarily high roadworthiness test failure rate, over 50 per cent, of MOT Class VII vehicles, with gross weights between 3.0 and 3.5 tonnes. Or the even more astonishing and alarming 88 per cent of vans found to be "dangerously overloaded" in roadside checks in 2015 by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). We see no signs of the UK government taking any effective action on any of this. And while the latest consultation cheerfully suggests the introduction of MOT tests for battery-powered vans for the first time, it makes no reference to the consultation of a few months ago in which this same government was yet again suggesting a relaxation of the current MOT test regime for all cars and vans. Incoherent, or what?

4 Points of view
Brigade Electronics chairman Christopher Hanson-Abbott on the silence of the vans. Why something like sleigh-bells are needed to warn of the dangers of inaudible electric vehicles. Paul Watson of Doosan on why diesel engined fork-lifts do not necessarily need diesel particulate filters. Dan Plimmer of Jonathan Lee Recruitment looking on the bright side of a revolution: the fourth industrial one, that is.

7 News
Time to have your say on van driving licence change plans.

8 News
Electric bus drivelines power on globally. Let's hear it for quieter logistics and transport. Could your operation qualify for a Noise Abatement Society award?

9 News
Diesel engine manufacturer results confound the doomsayers.

10 News
Timken finds its bearings again in auto chassis lube. Imperial's UK empire expands into cars and vans.

11 Made to measure
Many UK fleet operators seem content enough with their off-the-peg trucks. Yet a growing number are finding that a little extra effort put in the first place into tailoring specifications more closely to particular operations can soon pay off handsomely. Tim Blakemore reports.

15 Tridem trends and FAQ answers
After a slow start, eight-wheelers with tridem axle configurations are starting to catch on fast in the UK. Tim Blakemore tries a newcomer from Daf and finds out why.

17 News from the north
The latest truck operator names in lights in the TruckScot Scenery captured by Transport News.

20 News from the north
The Transport News Truck Advocate offers advice on 3.5-tonners and small trailers; daily rest periods and ferry crossings; and the finer points of tachograph exemptions.

21 People and jobs
South Central Fleet Services has vacancies for both a fleet supervisor and a fleet engineer for the life-saving NHS ambulances operating in Berkshire and Buckingamshire. There is a new marketing boss for Alcoa aluminium truck and bus wheels in Europe. The National Body Repair Association is looking for a new director. So too is the UK trade association for suppliers of lpg (liquefied petroleum gas) equipment.

 
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