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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 2018 edition is now online, including news of a new boss at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, following the departure of Sarah Sillars.

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





Volvo Group promises to have its FL Electric 16-tonner truck in full production in Europe next year. We have been looking at how it compares with the eActros from arch-rival Daimler.
But we are assured by Volvo Trucks UK commercial director Mike Corcoran that Euro 6 diesel engines are certainly not about to be written off. New European Union regulations on truck CO2 emissions, based on the VECTO (Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool) software, start to come into force next year. Volvo truck dealers in the UK are among those already preparing for the VECTO effect on the new and used truck market.

Truck manufacturers may be thin on the ground at this month’s Birmingham CV Show but it is sure to be a busy event anyway. Vans, fleet management software and paint technology are among the exhibits highlighted in our show preview.

People in the news this month include the hundreds of employees of Aidrie-based TOM Group, made redundant following its crash into administration; Jerry Kane, the Freight Transport Association’s new commercial director; and Gordon Murray, designer of the Ox flat-pack truck which Shell is preparing to take to India.














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 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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Tue 24 Apr, 2018

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April 2018

4 Comment
Apprentices deserve better than this dog’s-dinner scheme. One year ago, in April 2017, the government introduced its “apprenticeship levy” amid great fanfare, with the declared aim of helping to fund three million new apprenticeships by 2020 while raising the quality of training at the same time. For enthusiastic advocates of apprenticeships in principle, and there are many thousands in the commercial vehicle engineering and road transport sectors who fit this description, including this magazine, the aims seemed laudable enough. There was a certain amount of scepticism, however, not least because this government has a lamentable track record of double-talk and failure to deliver on promises. But in this case even the most sceptical of observers under-estimated how quickly the government scheme would turn into a dog’s dinner. The “levy” is actually just a new tax. Organisations with annual wage bills of more than £3 million pay, in effect, a 0.5 per cent tax on salaries. The cash is then held in an online account and can be spent by the firm over the next two years on apprenticeship training. But within months of the scheme’s start it became obvious that it was not working as planned. Far from stimulating growth in high-quality apprenticeships it has had the exact opposite effect. The government’s own figures, from the Department for Education (DfE), show a plunge of nearly 60 per cent last year in the number of people starting apprenticeships. Excessive bureaucracy has put off many organisations. Firms too small to pay the new tax have seen their training subsidies cut. Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) boss Steve Nash last year described the apprenticeship levy scheme as “a car crash.” The EEF (formerly the Engineering Employers Federation) called the DfE figures “shocking.” Now Reform, a centre-right think-tank, has published a report showing that 37 per cent of people on apprenticeship schemes meeting the new standards are on courses that fail to meet the international definition for such training. “As part of the government’s wider package of reforms to apprenticeships, groups of employers came together to write the new apprenticeship standards,” reports Reform. “Some used this opportunity to generate high-quality standards, but others appear to be simply rebadging low-quality, low-skill and often low-wage roles as apprenticeships instead.” The EEF is far from alone in worrying that one by-product of all this mayhem could be a general devaluation of apprenticeship schemes more widely. All of which is extremely bad news for commercial vehicle engineering and road transport in the UK, where a serious skills shortage already is getting worse month by month.

4 Points of view
David Wilcox from Finland on controversial questions related to tyre age. Alan Bunting on the unavoidable trade-off between NOx emissions and fuel economy. AlcoDigital's Suzannah Robin sees no sense in the government's approach to drink-drive limits. Arval UK's Eddie Parker on a fleet manager's guide to electric van operation. CFTS chairman Geoff Martin compares the safety records of trucks and fork-lift trucks. Mentor FLT Training's Andy Cartwright bemoans box-ticking training in manual handling.

7 News
Shell takes Ox by the horns.

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