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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 June 2016 edition is now online, including a review of the first FPS Expo in Liverpool and news of a world-first in hydrogen vehicles claimed by Fife Council. To subscribe or log in as a subscriber click on the page-turning icon below or the green "subscribe" button on the right.


For the 2016 CV Engineer media kit, including forward features list, click here



Europe's leading truck-makers stand accused of price-fixing and are bracing themselves for the biggest cartel fine in the European Commission's history. Already the repercussions of this legal action include extraordinary price and sales figure secrecy by at least one manufacturer, and a sudden general lack of transparency on UK truck registrations data. All this appears to be having the perverse effect of stifling competition. Yet at a recent transport conference billed as "Europe's biggest", the subject hardly got a mention. We wonder why.

We report from the new Merseyside home of the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers annual show where tanker operators were in upbeat mood. And we quiz PSA Peugeot Citroën's UK fleet director on why he is so confident that the company's share of the intensely competitive UK van market is about to grow strongly.

People in the news this month include Volvo Group UK's Martin Merrick, promoted to a senior post in Sweden; and HRVS dealer group boss Keith Sims, taking on another Isuzu Truck franchise in Lincolnshire.


CV Engineer film reviews: and why not?

Ryder's Project Rebirth

So you want to show the world that your commercial vehicle technicians and workshops are a cut above the rest? You could always try one or two of many and various accreditation schemes and hope for the best. Ryder in the US has come up with an altogether more imaginative and startling solution, starting with spectacular destruction of a new Volvo truck. 

“While the kind of destruction shown in this video is extreme, it’s not that far from some of the excessive damage that has come through our shops over the past 80 years," says Ryder's global fleet management boss Dennis Cooke, with no hint of tongue in cheek. "Showing our technician team in action in a high-stakes challenge like this is a great way to highlight the kind of talent our customers have access to every day at any one of our 800 maintenance shops across North America. If businesses are going to outsource fleet maintenance to Ryder, they need to be really confident about our ability to maintain and repair trucks quickly and correctly the first time. Because our technicians work behind the scenes, there aren’t many opportunities for us to showcase their incredible knowledge and skill. These videos enable us to show the world in an exciting and compelling way the outstanding expertise of our technician workforce.”

Volvo engineers of a nervous disposition may want to look away now.

Click here to see Ryder's Project Rebirth video.


Hungry for more footage of Volvo trucks being given a hard time? Try these for size, courtesy of Volvo itself and a four-year-old film star by the name of Sophie...


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











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Think of Commercial Vehicle Engineer first. We usually are.


Mon 20 Jun, 2016

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June 2016

4 Comment
A heavy price for too little lightweight regulation. Should a light commercial vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 3,500kg or less be excused from nearly all the legislation governing the roadworthiness, driving, general operation and safety of a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 3,501kg or higher? This is the gist of a question at the heart of some European Commission consultation published this month. The answer would seem to be blindingly obvious: no it should not. Someone killed or injured as a result of an unroadworthy commercial vehicle or the irresponsible actions of its driver or transport manager is just as dead or suffering exactly the same pain regardless of whether that vehicle is grossing three tonnes or six tonnes. Yet worthy bodies such as the Freight Transport Association (FTA), representing vehicle operators, and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), representing vehicle manufacturers, argue that no more regulation is needed. They are wrong. Both these organisations and others repeatedly call on vehicle operators in effect to regulate themselves. But their pleas are evidently falling on deaf ears. Leave aside for the moment the fact that someone who passes their driving test this morning in a Fiat 500 is legally entitled this afternoon to take the wheel of a Mercedes Sprinter box-bodied small truck, loaded right up to its maximum gross weight of 3.5 tonnes (indeed probably even a bit more), and set off delivering groceries for a supermarket’s home-delivery operation in crowded city streets. Just consider instead the persistent extraordinarily high annual test failure rate of MOT Class VII vehicles, with gross weights between 3.0 and 3.5 tonnes. Then look at how the number of such vehicles in service on UK roads is growing rapidly. The status quo on van regulation is not a sensible option.

4 Points of view
Adrian Graves on the new London mayor's transport policies. Tom Kearney on why independent investigation of the safety performance of London bus operators is now essential. Alan Bunting on the illogicality of embracing semi-autonomous truck platoons while dismissing all proposals on longer, heavier vehicles.

8 News
Fife’s first in hydrogen vehicles.

9 News
Rollercoaster rides in UK van and truck markets.

10 News
Cyclist safety drives truck specifications north and south.

11 News
Vans on the up and up as bus and coach traffic falls.

12 News
Full auto boxes beat automated manuals with Richmond's Van Hools. European Commission steps up pressure on cowboy van operators.

14 Show spirits lifted by Merseyside move
The long-established annual FPS show was staged in Liverpool for the first time this year. Was that a wise decision at a time of great uncertainty for fuel distribution fleets and indeed all tanker operators? Tim Blakemore went along to find out.

17 Equipping the operation
Setting out the PSA stall in a buoyant UK van market.

18 The mammoth in the Microlise conference room
An attendance of around 1,000 delegates is claimed to make the annual Microlise transport conference at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena the biggest of its kind in Europe. Yet a crucial subject right at the forefront of European truck-makers’ minds hardly got a mention this year. Tim Blakemore wonders why.

20 News from the north
Transport News reports from the latest Association of Public Service Excellence gathering at Aviemore.

23 News from the north
The Transport News Truck Advocate offers guidance on London’s “safer lorry” scheme; driver records; and MOT exemptions.

25 People and jobs
Promotion for Volvo Group’s Martin Merrick. Mercedes-Benz UK steps up Unimog sales and marketing. Hyva (UK) restructures sales team. HRVS needs truck technicians in Staffordshire and Lincolnshire.

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