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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 December 2017 edition is now online, including news of a red alert from RAC on the dangers facing technicians at motorway breakdowns.

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



The focus this month is on truck telematics.

We've been hearing from the fleet operations and engineering director at one of the UK's biggest contract hire and fleet management firms about what he wants from telematics suppliers now and in future.

Mike Belk, boss of Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK, tells us about the practical, engineering developments emerging already from a Daimler project called CASE (connected, autonomous, shared and electric). And we report from a forward-looking conference organised by a restructured and ambitious Isotrak, one of the UK's biggest suppliers of truck telematics systems, following its acquisition last June of Verilocation.

People in the news this month include the new Daf Trucks Ltd managing director, Robin Easton, looking forward to 2018 even though the UK truck market is expected to shrink; and Renault Trucks UK commercial director Nigel Butler, urging the government to wake up to "local lunacy". There is news too of truck apprentices showing their mettle at a WorldSkills competition, and of surprise resignations at the top of ZF and at Daimler Trucks Asia.



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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Think of Commercial Vehicle Engineer first. We usually are.


Mon 25 Dec, 2017

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


December 2017

4 Comment
Earned recognition: not to be confused with questionable accreditation. After a shaky start, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) plans for the introduction of an “earned recognition” scheme now seem to be gaining real momentum. At the first one-day “driving excellence” conference organised recently at Silverstone by Isotrak, a revitalised and expanding telematics firm, this was one of the few subjects on which there was unquestionable consensus among speakers and delegates alike. Fraikin boss Ed Cowell is not the only one who has been surprised at the lack of operator enthusiasm for the idea hitherto. One possible reason for past scepticism has emerged over the past month. It is that the DVSA scheme may have been unfairly tarred with the same brush as various privately-run accreditation schemes for technicians and workshops. There is more scepticism about such schemes than might be imagined, and with good cause, it seems. On two separate occasions over the past month, Commercial Vehicle Engineer has been told, unprompted, by directors of extensive UK workshop operations how they are fed up with being pressurised to sign up to such schemes. They had both reached the conclusion that the prime motivation of the organisations behind the schemes was revenue and profit generation, not genuine incentivisation of best practice. After examining one well-known technician accreditation scheme a little more carefully, one of these directors reached the conclusion that its standards are way below those already being achieved by every technician in his network. Not unreasonably, he can see no good reason in these circumstances why he should pay the organisation substantial sums routinely for individual accreditations. The other director reached a similar conclusion about a workshop accreditation scheme after being faced with such puerile questions as “do you have a parts department and is it staffed?” Don’t be taken in by such schemes. But don’t make the mistake of confusing them with earned recognition. It is going to play a big part in UK commercial vehicle operation and maintenance from now on.

4 Points of view
Mark Burnett of NCH Europe on why diesel fuel additives have a part to play to improving DPF performance. Peter Harrop of IDTechEx on smart cities and off-grid electric vehicles.

6 News from the north
Are you ready for the new GDPR legislation on data management? Are you sure?

7 News
Renault Trucks bosses in buoyant mood urge government to wake up to "local lunacy".

8 News
Daf Trucks prepares for 2018 moves in shrinking UK truck market. Government inaction and penny-pinching slammed by retiring traffic commissioner.

9 News
Red alert from RAC on motorway breakdown risks.

10 Zealously agnostic on telematics
The fleet operations and engineer director at one of the UK's biggest commercial vehicle fleets has some trenchant views on where truck telematics systems are now and where he would like them to go in future. Tim Blakemore reports.

13 CASE study in joined-up thinking
Hard-nosed truck operators and even their drivers may be inclined to dismiss the latest Daimler acronym, standing for "connected autonomous shared and electric", as just another trendy marketing buzz-phrase. Actually it encompasses a host of practical, telematics-related engineering developments in improved operational efficiency, many of which are nothing like as futuristic as you may imagine. Some are available right now. Tim Blakemore hears the full story from the straight-talking Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK boss.

16 Forward thinking, and how
Less than six months after the completion of what has been described as a "transformational transaction" in the commercial vehicle telematics business, the newly restructured Isotrak group staged its first "driving excellence" conference for vehicle operators. Commercial Vehicle Engineer was there too.

18 News from the north
Transport News finds out how Renault Trucks has been reacting to improve its position in Scotland.

20 News from the north
Advice from our learned friend the Transport News Truck Advocate on agency drivers at Christmas; and on the latest changes to vehicle plating and testing rules.

21 People and jobs
Daimler's Fuso boss quits suddenly. Promotions galore at Goodyear. There has been a reshuffle of WheelRight's top management. Stefan Sommer has resigned unexpectedly from the top job at ZF.

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