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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 2019 edition is now online.

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



What does sustainable transport mean to you? For anyone running a fleet of trucks, vans or buses the answer to this question almost certainly will differ substantially from that of most politicians and perhaps even most of the British public. In your latest edition, now online, we try to find out what lies behind several contradictory points of view on truly sustainable road transport and what this could mean for commercial vehicle engineering now and in future.

For fleet managers and transport engineers thinking of spending a day or two at the 2019 Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre at the end of April we highlight some of the exhibitors they ought to keep in mind. These include Daf Trucks with a revitalised line-up of support services, including a novel driver training voucher scheme; MAN Truck & Bus with its latest nine-litre diesel engine; column-lift supplier TotalKare, expanding into brake-testers; plus a host of van manufacturers including Ford, Groupe PSA and its newest family member, Vauxhall, all with news aplenty.

People in the news this month include Scania (Great Britain) boss Martin Hay, opening the company’s shiny new Dundee depot; transport minister Jesse Norman, consulting on an old tyre ban long before a costly, government-commissioned research project has reached any conclusions; and Sebastian Volbert, quitting his job at the Volkswagen group to head a newly-created financial services division at trailer-maker Koegel.











Thu 28 Mar, 2019

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March 2019

6 Points of view
More to hydrogen-fuelled vehicles than just hot air? The British Compressed Gases Association is all for them. Jaama managing director Martin Evans warns employers not to cut corners on road risks.

3 Comment
UK government inaction on unroadworthy vans is scandalous. There is, sadly, nothing new about a stark contrast between the excellent roadworthiness record of the trucks and buses on UK roads and the appallingly bad one of light commercial vehicles (mainly vans) with gross weights up to 3.5 tonnes. As long ago as March 2011 Commercial Vehicle Engineer was calling on what then was VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency), before it morphed into the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency), to take specific corrective action to address the huge problem that its own truly alarming statistics had exposed: around half of all the millions of 3.5-tonnes-gvw vans on British roads are unroadworthy. More bluntly, these vehicles are so unsafe that lives are being put at risk by the continuing failure of the government generally and DVSA in particular to take action against them and their operators. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) deserves credit for again highlighting the true scale of this scandal this month. From an inadequate starting point, enforcement of van safety standards has been cut in half in the past five years, the association reveals. Odd that there is no mention of this from DVSA boss Gareth Llewellyn in the agency's 2018/19 business plan. This omission gives a distinctly hollow ring to Llewellyn's accurate observation in the same document that "DVSA plays a critical role in helping people across Great Britain stay safe on the roads." In 2014 DVSA staff carried out 20,520 roadside checks on the mechanical condition of vans. That is about 2,000 fewer checks than were made in 2010. Astonishingly, in 2017 the figure plunged to 9,512, despite compelling evidence that vans at 3.5 tonnes gvw (all vehicles above this weight are subject to far tougher rules on mechanical condition, driver licences and vehicle operation) are the least safe by far on British roads as well as being the most popular. DVSA likes to brag about its ability to target "non-compliant" operators of trucks, buses and coaches. The agency's principal target now has to be light commercial vehicles.

10 News
Mixed reception for DfT U-turn on old tyre ban.

12 News
Spend windfall on van safety, government told.

14 Sustainable transport: reality check time
Professional fleet managers and transport engineers going about their business without fanfare are often doing more to genuinely help air quality and the environment generally than outspoken ill-informed politicians intent only on demonising diesel. Tim Blakemore reports.

22 CV Show preview
Light relief at the NEC?

27 News from the north
Our learned friend the Transport News Truck Advocate offers some well-informed guidance on speeding tickets and traffic commissioners; "showman's vehicle" definitions; and retention of nil-defect reports.

28 News from the north
Prepared for uncertainties. Transport News editor Alistair Vallance catches up with Scania (Great Britain) boss Martin Hay at the opening of the company's new Dundee depot.

31 News from the north
Loadmac is the new name in truck-mounted forklifts.

32 People and jobs
Watts Truck & Van and Northside Truck & Van are among the award-winning dealers in the latest competitions run by Daf Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK. Sebastian Volbert has left the Volkswagen group to head the newly-formed financial services division at trailer-maker Kögel. The Freight Transport Association has put its weight behind the new ITT Hub 2020 event.

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