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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 2017 edition is now online, including an intriguing invitation to start-up businesses from one of the UK's biggest transport and logistics firms. 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 2017 CV Engineer media kit, including forward features list, click here



Trailer-makers and bodybuilders have bounced back strongly from some near-death experiences following the global financial crisis of nine years ago. Trailer sales in western Europe are now reckoned to be close to record high levels. But hardly anyone expects this to last much longer, so preparations are being made for another downturn. That means diversification for some and a strong focus on quality and innovation almost everywhere. We report on the latest business and engineering developments among trailer and truck body suppliers, large and small.

As Volvo Trucks prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its arrival in the UK, we hear from the company's youthful commercial director here about the complete absence so far of any negative Brexit effect, and about a truck order book "in its best position since 2008."

Also in the news this month are Robin Easton, soon to take over from Ray Ashworth as Daf Trucks Ltd managing director; Wincanton chief executive Adrian Colman with an intriguing invitation to start-up businesses; Jim Sumner and Tony English, intent on revitalising Isotrak; and two new traffic commissioners in the north of England.


CV Engineer film reviews: and why not?


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











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 now 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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Think of Commercial Vehicle Engineer first. We usually are.


Tue 21 Mar, 2017

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March 2017

4 Comment
Testing resilience to breaking point. Resilient. That is the word used by Volvo Trucks commercial director Mike Corcoran this month to sum up the current condition of the UK truck market. He's spot on. Commercial vehicle operators in general, and truck fleets in particular, do repeatedly display a remarkable ability to remain unfazed in the face of all kinds of adversity. Perhaps it just comes naturally with the transport and logistics territory. No matter how much careful planning goes into management of a road transport operation there are always going to be immediate problems cropping up out of the blue that simply cannot be anticipated and have to be dealt with on the spot. Corcoran's comments are directed in particular at the way demand for new trucks has held up strongly so far despite all the economic uncertainty, including a vertiginous plunge in the value of sterling, following the unexpected result of last June's referendum. With the government now poised to trigger Article 50 and start the formal two-year journey to the EU exit door there are scarcely any clear signs yet that road transport is going to prove especially troublesome in throwing up stumbling blocks. But if government ministers, and especially those at the Department for Transport (DfT), take this to mean that they can devote all their efforts to Brexit for the next couple of years, leaving the everyday business of road transport to fend for itself, they had better think again. There could hardly be a more pressing example of a non-Brexit issue where government intervention is demanded right now than what the Road Haulage Association (RHA) this month describes as the "fiasco" of Transport for London proposals on a "direct vision standard" for trucks. The government needs to put an end to it. As any mechanical engineer will tell you, there is no such thing as infinite elasticity, not even among highly resilient road transport operators.

4 Points of view
Geoff Potter wants the government to come clean about how it proposes to recoup the £596 million per week it would lose if there were a widespread switch to electric vehicles. Oliver Smith of Indelease reckons the latest rules on asset finance are poorly understood by commercial vehicle dealers and manufacturers. Stuart Taylor of Mentor FLT Training makes the case for more and better training of forklift truck drivers.

7 News
Volvo Trucks in bullish mood as it turns 50 in the UK. New traffic commissioners ready to start work in north-eastern and north-western England.

8 News
Question marks over PSA and Renault co-operation in van manufacturing. Green light for VW's deal with Navistar in North American truck market.

10 News
Wincanton out to attract start-up talent in high-tech logistics. Daf's Ray Ashworth set to retire.

13 Honours even in David and Goliath trailer-making tussles
What's new in the UK and wider European trailer and truck body markets? And what counts for more, economy of scale or ability to innovate? Tim Blakemore has been finding out.

18 News from the north
The Transport News Truck Advocate offers expert advice on freight security, annual tests and operator compliance risk scores, and break requirements under the Working Time Directive.

20 News from the north
Daf, Volvo, Iveco and Scania trucks take centrestage in this month's TruckScot Scene from Transport News.

21 People and jobs
Emmet Wrafter heads Iveco UK's light commercial vehicle division. Jim Sumner and Tony English take charge at Isotrak. Grahame Neagus is the new head of light commercial vehicle sales at Renault Trucks UK. There has been a management restructure at the top of Kögel, one of Europe's three biggest trailer-makers.

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