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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 January 2019 edition is now online.

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For the 2019 CV Engineer media kit, including forward features list, click here



Truck operating costs are the centre of attention in the January edition, now online. Our latest annual analysis reveals that the cost of operating trucks in the UK, taking all standing and running costs into account, rose over the past twelve months by between 3.8% for a two-axle, box-bodied rigid at 7.5 tonnes gvw and 4.6% for a 500hp 6x2 tractive unit operating at 44 tonnes gcw. Trailer operating costs generally rose less, unaffected by a sharp rise in the cost of diesel in the past year. One conclusion to be drawn from these bottom-line figures, we reckon, is that fleet managers and transport engineers deserve credit for having contained overall cost increases remarkably well so far, during a period of unprecedented economic and political uncertainty caused by Brexit and incompetent government ministers.
We hear from fleet managers on how they are trying to cope with this mayhem, from operators who have negotiated cuts in insurance premiums, and from workshop managers on what has been happening lately to parts prices and hourly charge-out rates.

People in the news this month include Pierre Lahutte, resigning as Iveco boss; Guy Heywood, leaving Michelin to join Hankook; Frank Thorpe, promoted to managing director at BYD UK; and Malcolm Logistics fleet engineer Gavin Summers on the thinking behind his company’s trial of an Iveco Stralis NP 460 tractive unit running on liquefied natural gas.











Sun 27 Jan, 2019

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January 2019

3 Comment
Cheer up, the latest truck operating costs analysis is not all bad news. Total operating cost increases of between 3.8 and 4.7% over the past twelve months when inflation is standing at present at no more than 3.2% (2.2% if you prefer the consumer prices index, CPI, to the retail prices index, RPI) scarcely seems like much to make truck operators smile. Yet in one sense it is good news. That professional fleet managers and transport engineers have managed to contain operating cost increases to this level during the course of one of the most turbulent years in UK political history is surely powerful testament to how well they are quietly and skilfully going about their jobs. What a contrast with the government ministers who are doing nothing of the kind. So consumed by Brexit are they, it seems, that they either don't know or don't care about the huge damage caused by all the uncertainty for which they are responsible in a real world where the entire population depends on reliable and efficient truck operation. One other detailed piece of surprise good news revealed by this year's operating cost analysis deserves special mention. Commercial Vehicle Engineer has long been a vocal critic of insurance companies failing lamentably to do their bit to encourage adoption of safety-related vehicle technology. Now, judging by the experience of operators like Liam Quinn of North Yorkshire, some insurance companies at least have at last seen the light. NFU Mutual agreed to a 5% cut in Quinn's insurance premium when he specified an optional "safety package" on his new Actros. Couple this with the long-standing support of the Pen Underwriting insurance group for the annual tanker driver awards scheme run by the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers and you could begin to believe that the insurance industry's poor reputation among fleet operators is perhaps not so well-deserved as it once was. But any fleet manager who has had the misfortune of dealing with a voracious claims management company over the past twelve months will still take a lot of convincing.

6 Points of view
Robert Garbett of Drone Major Group on why short-term fixes could easily prove to be long-term errors of judgment in the "Wild West" of the commercial air-drone market.

8 News
Consumer technology meets commercial vehicle engineering in Las Vegas.

9 News
Top tanker operator and driver awards up for grabs. You have until 11 March to enter the 2019 FPS tanker driver-of-the-year awards scheme.

10 No shelter from a gathering political storm
Like nearly all UK-based businesses, truck fleet operators in the eye of hurricane Brexit are incensed at government incompetence over the past few years. Now the resultant cost penalties are beginning to become reality, despite the best mitigating efforts of truck fleet managers and engineers. Tim Blakemore reports.

21 News from the north
The learned Transport News Truck Advocate seeks to clear up confusion over ADR qualifications, financial standing for operator licences, and online accounts for Driver CPC training.

22 News from the north
Malcolm Logistics starts a trial of 460hp Iveco Stralis tractors fuelled by liquefied natural gas, and Hayton Coulthard Transport puts its first 6x4 Volvo FHs into service.

24 People and jobs
Pierre Lahutte is no longer Iveco "brand president". Guy Heywood has left Michelin after more than 20 years to join Hankook. Frank Thorpe has been promoted to managing director at BYD UK.

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