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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 February 2017 edition is now online, including our analysis of the UK's 2016 truck registration statistics. 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



What makes a road transport operation truly sustainable and what are the implications for fleet managers and engineers as they set about specifying current and future truck drivelines? We report on the latest answers to such questions from three truck manufacturers with contrasting points of view and plenty to say: Daf, Iveco and Scania.

The full-year UK truck, bus and coach registration statistics for 2016 have been published finally, much later than usual and in far less detail than operators and their suppliers would like. We try to make sense of the numbers and consider what they tell us about winners and losers among vehicle manufacturers, where the UK commercial vehicle market stands at present, and where it could go over the next twelve months.

People in the news this month include Wolfgang Bernhard, walking away suddenly from the top job at Daimler Trucks & Buses; Scottish traffic commissioner Joan Aitken, among the stalwarts preparing to get on their bikes in South Africa to raise cash for Transaid; and David Carter, starting a new job selling Scania fire-fighting vehicles in the UK.


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











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Think of Commercial Vehicle Engineer first. We usually are.


Mon 20 Feb, 2017

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February 2017

4 Comment
Back to the future. Cast your mind back twelve months to when Boris Johnson was London mayor. Surely you remember him? He’s the bumbling, blond-haired guy who later toured the country in an infamous “£350-million-a-week-for-the-NHS” bus, enhancing his hard-earned reputation for being economical with the truth. Anyway, it was about this time last year that Transport for London (TfL) under Johnson came up with a “safer lorry” proposal which was described by Commercial Vehicle Engineer at the time as “barmy”. There was not a scrap of convincing evidence, we pointed out, to suggest that forcing truck operators to retrofit windows to the passenger doors of cabs, at a total cost running to maybe £280 million, would have any measurable effect on the alarming number of vulnerable road-users (pedestrians and cyclists) being killed and injured on London’s roads and pavements. Fast forward to February 2017 and there is a new and ostensibly very different London mayor: Sadiq Khan. Sadly, people are still being killed and injured at a horrifying rate on the capital’s roads and pavements, all too many by the privately-operated buses over which TfL has close control. And still far too many at countless lethal junctions which TfL, inexcusably, chooses to do nothing about. Now what have we here? A fresh “safer lorry” announcement, including an interesting footnote in the accompanying press release from TfL's press office, the credibility of which is beginning to rival that of the current US president. Referring to the 2016 “clear side-panels in doors” (“windows” to you and me) it admits: “Subsequent independent research has shown that this proposal would have little impact on cyclist safety and no impact on pedestrian safety.” So the new London mayor agrees with us then that the 2016 “safer lorry” proposal was barmy? Not quite. He has managed to come up with one that is more outlandish still. Arbitrarily categorising some entirely lawful trucks with nothing inherently unsafe about them as “dangerous and poorly designed” is not the way any responsible London mayor ought to be contributing to a vital debate on how to improve road safety, not just in London and other cities but everywhere.

4 Points of view
Barry Jenner of Cameron Forecourt on the nitty-gritty of a diesel fuel reclassification. Peter Golding of FleetCheck, Baroness Jenny Jones, and Cycling UK's Duncan Dollimore line up to denounce the latest government proposals on MOT tests.

6 News
MOT test-change proposal slammed as "ill-advised and unnecessary".

7 News
TfL's "direct vision" standard provokes anger and derision.

8 News
Battery-powered trucks and vans shift up a gear. More permits on offer as longer trailer trial is extended.

10 News from the north
The Transport News Truck Advocate with advice on multiple maintenance providers; operator licences and engineering plant; and Driver CPC rules as applied to taxi drivers.

11 Clear as mud
What do the latest SMMT registration figures tell us about the state of the UK commercial vehicle market? Nothing like as much as nearly everybody would like. Tim Blakemore reports.

16 What does sustainable transport mean to you?
Bemused by all the latest alternative fuel options and worried by all the latest anti-diesel rhetoric? You are far from alone. Tim Blakemore reports.

22 News from the north
Operators in the TruckScot Scenery this month include Campbell Plant Hire of Lochaber; Wm Coutts of Peterhead; and WJ & J Green of Garmouth.

23 News from the north
Why Scottish transport commissioner Joan Aitken is gearing up for a bike ride in South Africa next month, and why you might like to support her.

24 People and jobs
Wolfgang Bernhard quits suddenly as Daimler's truck and bus boss. Daf Trucks president Preston Feight is the new ACEA commercial vehicle board chairman. David Carter is the new fire and airside specialist sales manager at Scania (Great Britain).

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