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WELCOME
 

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 October 2017 edition is now online, including news of a new chief executive at the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers.

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For the 2018 CV Engineer media kit, including forward features list, click here

 

OCTOBER 2017 EDITION UPDATE

We report from the least-accessible corners of Bedfordshire's sprawling Millbrook proving ground, where the latest Mercedes Unimogs have been going through their off-road repertoire for a surprisingly large audience of truck operators. If you thought the target Unimog market in the UK was confined almost entirely to a few farmers looking for something a wee bit more versatile than a fast tractor, maybe you need to think again.

Two years on from the formation of Volkswagen Truck & Bus, its two big European family members, MAN and Scania, are moving closer together than ever before. We report from an "innovation day" event in Hamburg where the uncompromising boss of VW's expanding commercial vehicles division spelled out exactly where he wants it to go next, and how he plans to get there.

People in the news this month include transport secretary Chris Grayling, under fire for inaction on Britain's latest shocking road casualty figures; and former MAN Truck & Bus UK boss Simon Elliott, now in charge of a big Mercedes truck and van dealer group.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIGH-QUALITY INFORMATION AT LOW COST  

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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Updated
Mon 23 Oct, 2017
 
 


Click on the page-turning icon above to go direct to the latest edition.

 

October 2017

4 Comment
Should road safety be in the hands of a Westminster village idiot? More than 30 months ago, before the 2015 general election, a damning report on UK road safety was published by The Transport Safety Commission, an influential body set up two years earlier by PACTS, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety. One central commission recommendation, prompted by a rise in road casualties in 2014, was creation of "an advisory body for road safety, independent of government, to provide continuity of knowledge and be an authoritative source of expertise, dissemination, advice and intellectual leadership in risk management in road use." Pithy it isn't. But this recommendation is excellent nonetheless, not least because it would mean road transport at last would parallel rail, air and marine transport, where similar bodies have been in highly effective action for decades. What did the newly-elected government do about it? Nothing. This month, yet another powerful voice was added to the chorus of those calling on the government to finally recognise its road safety responsibilities properly. TRL, formerly the Transport Research Laboratory, has responded to the latest shocking road death and injury statistics with an unusually forthright call for the government to follow the recommendations of The Transport Safety Commission. "It is imperative that road safety is given the same level of attention as that of air and rail," says TRL director Richard Cuerden. How has the government in general and its Department for Transport in particular responded to this and to the statistics, published inexplicably late, showing that the number of children killed on Britain's roads rose last year by a truly shocking 28 per cent at the same time as pedestrian deaths overall rose by ten per cent? With silence. Not a peep from sneering transport secretary Chris Grayling. This, remember, is the same kamikaze-style Brexit-backing minister who is happy to pipe up with unwanted advice to British farmers, to the effect that all that is needed if and when they start going bust in a post-Brexit UK suffering food shortages is to "grow more". And it is the same transport secretary who carelessly injured a cyclist in Westminster last year by opening his ministerial car door without looking. It is not hard to see why one seasoned national daily political columnist was moved recently to describe Grayling as "the minister with arguably the strongest claim to be the Westminster village idiot." Can a minister like this really be trusted to make (or more likely avoid) decisions that have serious implications for the safety of everyone using Britain's roads? Answers on a postcard please, to the Department for Transport, Westminster, London.

4 Points of view
Allison Transmission's Nathan Wilson on the overlooked safety benefits of fully automatic gerarboxes in city-trucks. Alan Bunting on why German influence on European road transport legislation could soon mean some dodgy UK engine tuners have had their chips. TruTac's Jemma James on why it is time to put a stop to the excesses of cowboy van and taxi operators.

7 News
Government slammed for inaction on shocking road casualty figures.

8 News
VW's truck and bus division flexes its muscles.

10 News
Autonomous vehicles and a driver training paradox.

11 News
Simon Elliott resurfaces at Intercounty Truck & Van. Millbrook signs up to a French connection.

12 On a roll in the UK truck market
A surprisingly wide range of truck operators was invited to Bedfordshire's Millbrook proving ground this month to experience at first hand some of the Unimog's extensive capabilities. Tim Blakemore joined them to find out why and how.

16 News from the north
The Transport News Truck Advocate and learned friends offer operators advice on claims related to the European Commission's price-fixing fine on truck-makers; on drivers' hours offences; and on the conduct affecting truck and bus driving licences.

18 News from the north
Treading carefully. Transport News editor Alistair Vallance goes to North Ayrshire in search of a happy medium in truck tyre retread management.

21 People and jobs
A new chief executive has been appointed at the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers. Allison Transmission has a new UK bus and coach market development manager. A Volvo truck auction has given Transaid one of its biggest single donations for many years. This month's three obituaries are for Bill Bowker, Ian Chisholm and Steve Gray.

 
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