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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 March 2018 edition is now online, including news of the starkest warning yet from vehicle manufacturers of the "potentially disastrous" effects of Brexit.

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



How truck operators can go green without going into the red

Details of a scheme promising truck fleet operators at least a 15 per cent fuel economy improvement (and a commensurate cut in carbon dioxide emissions) by 2025 against 2015 levels will be unveiled this month at the University of Cambridge's engineering department. The "15by25" scheme is the brainchild of David Cebon, the Cambridge University professor who is also director of the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (CSRF), a body set up jointly six years ago by him and Alan McKinnon, a professor at Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University. Cebon will outline the new scheme and the rest of CSRF's current activities at its latest workshop in Cambridge on 28 March. Cebon is keen to encourage attendance (free) by fleet managers and transport engineers. Among the other speakers at the workshop will be John Lewis Partnership's central transport general manager (and CSRF chairman) Justin Laney; Wincanton technical services director Dave Rowlands; and Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership managing director Andy Eastlake.
"In addition to the existing benefits of membership, every fleet operator that supports the centre will be allocated an expert researcher, tasked with helping them reduce fleet fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 15 per cent in absolute terms, on 2015 levels, by 2025," says Cebon. "The researchers will be armed with the centre’s latest software and our state-of-the-art decarbonisation toolkit. They will measure current fleet operations, analyse anticipated growth, help devise a decarbonisation plan, monitor ongoing performance and report on progress. The anticipated fuel savings are predicted to pay for the cost of membership many times over."

Attendees at the 28 March workshop will be offered a guided tour of the university's engineering department's extensive research laboratories.

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The March edition includes news of the latest government response to repeated calls for a legal age limit on commercial vehicle tyres, at least those fitted to buses and coaches. A Surrey coach crash in 2012 left three dead after the vehicle's nearside front steer-axle tyre failed catastrophically. The tyre was nearly 20 years old. Now TRL has been commissioned to research the full effects of ageing on tyre safety. Experts already doubt that a simple ten-year age limit would be wise or effective. The mother of one of the Surrey coach crash's young victims strongly disagrees, and doubts the government's motives. We have the full story.

People in the news this month include Ian Bartlett from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, explaining why roadside emissions tests by DVSA last year have resulted in the recall of thousands of Euro 6 Iveco Eurocargo trucks throughout Europe; and Federation of Petroleum Suppliers boss Guy Pulham, lobbying the Scottish Parliament on new oil storage regulations.














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Mon 26 Mar, 2018

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March 2018

4 Comment
Nobody is fooled by this government delaying tactic but would a simple, single age limit really be the answer to a potentially lethal problem? Transport minister Jesse Norman this month commissioned a twelve-month study by TRL (better known still by its original name: Transport Research Laboratory) into the precise effects of ageing on the safety of tyres. The cost of the project is thought to be around £250,000. Frances Molloy, mother of Michael, the 18-year-old who was killed six years ago in a coach crash caused solely by the catastrophic failure of a twenty-year-old tyre, is unsurprisingly unimpressed. She continues to campaign with admirable tenacity for a new law setting an age limit of ten years on tyres used on buses and coaches, dismissing the Department for Transport announcement as “an expensive government delaying tactic which doesn’t go far enough.” It is hard to disagree with this description, but that is not to say that the arguments for a simple ten-year age limit on tyres are wholly convincing. No further research surely is needed to confirm what is common knowledge among engineers and scientists in this field: all tyres deteriorate with age. But the rate of that deterioration varies enormously with the ways in which tyres are used and/or stored. In other words, there are circumstances in which a tyre older than ten can be entirely safe, but equally there are circumstances in which a tyre much younger than this cannot be used safely. Some of the wisest comments we have heard to date on this subject came following the 2013 inquest into the horrific 2012 Merseypride Travel coach crash, from David Price, the coroner’s expert adviser, and from Derek Godden, managing director of Lasalign, the long-established Leicestershire-based company specialising in commercial vehicle wheel, axle and chassis alignment. Price established through a painstaking process of elimination that age was the only plausible cause of the Merseypride coach tyre’s catastrophic failure, and he advises strongly and unequivocally against use of any tyre of this age (19.5 years) on any commercial vehicle, especially on steer axles. But Price stops short of agreeing with calls for the introduction of specific legal limits on tyre age, pointing to independent tests in the US which sought to quantify the effect of ageing on the risk of tyre failures. Derek Godden’s observation is more blunt and surely should be heeded by every fleet manager and transport engineer making decisions about which tyres to fit and where. “Every tyre tells a story,” he says. “Just think of the consequences of its sudden failure when deciding whether or not any tyre is too old to use.”

4 Points of view
Glen Denny of US-based Baron Services argues that it is high time drivers had the benefit of more detailed, real-time weather information.

6 News
Eurocargo recalled as DVSA gets real on exhaust emissions testing. Scotland's oil storage regulations set to be hot topic at Liverpool tanker show.

8 News
Awards galore for innovative trailers and bodywork.

10 News
Age concern: is the latest research on ageing tyres little more than an expensive government delaying tactic?

11 News
Emergency stop for autonomous vehicle development following Arizona fatality.

12 News
Vehicle manufacturers warn of "potentially disastrous" Brexit implications.

14 Sustainable freight transport: putting theory into practice
This is the central aim of a six-year-old organisation which has successfully brought together academics, some of the UK's biggest truck fleet operators, and many of their suppliers. The latest Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (CSRF) workshop takes place in Cambridge this month. Tim Blakemore reports.

18 News from the north
Transport News puts one of the latest, beefed-up Volvo FE six-wheelers through its paces in the Scottish Borders.

21 News from the north
Dismayed by desk-based assessments of operator licences and perplexed by periodic training requirements for the Driver CPC? The learned Transport News Truck Advocate may have just the guidance you need.

22 People and jobs
Imperial Commercials boss Ian Oakes is set to retire, succeeded by Matt Lawrenson in a big management shake-up at the UK's biggest commercial vehicle dealer group. Iveco's parent group, CNH Industrial, is looking for a new chief executive following the resignation of Richard Tobin. James Walker and Danny Alexander have joined Fraikin in the UK as, respectively, commercial director and head of transformation.

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