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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 January 2018 edition is now online, including news of a CIPD survey revealing the full extent of dissatisfaction with the apprenticeship levy, introduced last April and already blamed for a 60 per cent plunge in the number of people starting apprenticeships last year.

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



Need to know exactly what has been happening to truck operating costs in the UK over the past twelve months, and where they could be heading in the year ahead? This month's edition is the one for you, including the most painstakingly researched annual operating costs report in the business.

We've been finding out what has been happening to the capital costs of trucks, bodies and trailers; and how fuel, tyre, oil and AdBlue prices have been changing. The driver shortage is worsening again. Ditto for skilled technicians. What effect is this having on rates of pay? You may be surprised at our findings. From two-axle rigid trucks at 7.5 tonnes to 8x4 tippers at 32 tonnes, and from 31-tonnes-gcw four-axle artics to six-axle 44-tonners, this is the independent, granular analysis of truck operating costs that shrewd fleet managers and transport engineers know they can trust.

People in the news this month include Mike Belk and Stuart Webster, bosses respectively at Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK and Iveco UK. Their voices are being added to a chorus of criticism of the backwards steps taken recently by SMMT in limiting publication of UK truck and bus registrations information.













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.


Wed 24 Jan, 2018

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


January 2018

4 Comment
Now it is well and truly broke, so please fix it. If it ain’t broke.......... No need to complete the cliché. Everybody surely is familiar with it. Everybody except the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), it seems. This long-established, London-based trade association exists, according to its website, to “support and promote the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad”. Heavy commercial vehicles such as trucks, buses and coaches play just as significant a role in this industry as cars and light vans. For decades, one of the most significant tangible elements of SMMT industry support has been regular, timely publication of new vehicle registration statistics, based on data provided by the government’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Not any more, at least not for trucks, buses and coaches. About two years ago, apparently on the basis of advice from excitable, petulant, well-heeled lawyers smarting from a European Commission decision to impose a whopping fine on truck-makers for what was described (wrongly, incidentally, in our view) as a “price-fixing cartel”, the SMMT took the decision to stop collating and publishing truck, bus and coach registration figures in the well-proven, familiar way. Instead, only the skimpiest of registrations information is now published on commercial vehicles above 6.0 tonnes gvw. The information is several months out of date, and often inaccurate. The upshot is that vehicle buyers, dealers, manufacturers and indeed anyone seeking, perfectly reasonably, up-to-date, detailed information on the UK’s heavy commercial vehicle market is being denied access to it. Now several truck manufacturers are becoming more outspoken in their condemnation of what is clearly a backwards step. Never mind the irony of anti-trust action resulting in the unintended consequence of the hiding of data that surely stimulates competition rather than hinders it. This sudden lack of transparency is indefensible at every possible level. It applies only in the UK, not in any other EU country in which the price-fixing was alleged to have taken place. Hats off to Scania for sticking to its principled position and filing an appeal in the EU General Court (EGC), a constituent court of the European Court of Justice, against the commission’s decision last September to fine it €880 million. Scania’s top management have always insisted that they never entered any unlawful agreement with other truck-makers on price-fixing, or on the introduction of exhaust emissions control technology, and that therefore the fine is unjustified. The outcome of this appeal could render obsolete the whole shaky legalistic rationale behind the UK’s loss of commercial vehicle market information. But regardless of the eventual EU General Court decision, it is surely high time that the lawyers behind this retrograde step were thanked politely for their advice and then told that it is now going to be disregarded. It is time for the SMMT to fix what it has broken, or for some other body to step forward to do so.

8 News
Truck-makers speak out against London's misguided "direct vision" standard.

9 News
Cautious welcome for MOT proposal U-turn.

10 News
Greater transparency demanded on UK truck market statistics.

11 News
Grim first-year report for apprenticeship levy.

12 Moving higher up electric avenue
The latest battery-powered version of Daimler's Fuso Canter 7.5 tonner is claimed to be Europe's first all-electric truck in series production. But this is by no means the only reason why last month's formal handover of a handful of eCanters to some big German fleet operators is being seen as a significant milestone in the commercial vehicle electrification process. Tim Blakemore reports from Berlin.

15 News from the north
Our learned friend the Transport News Truck Advocate approaches the bench with advice on traffic commissioner preliminary hearings; the latest rules on container "statements of weight"; and inherited operator licences.

16 Far from out of the woods
The cost of operating trucks in the UK has not risen quite as sharply as had been feared in the wake of the EU referendum and sterling's crash. But fleet operators are struggling to keep a lid on mounting cost pressures, many of which are outside their control. Tim Blakemore reports on the latest annual CV Engineer analysis of truck operating costs.

23 News from the north
All the latest on who is buying what north of Hadrian's Wall in this TruckScot Scene painted by Transport News.

26 People and jobs
Chris Read takes over from Emmet Wrafter at the Iveco Daily light commercial vehicle UK sales and marketing operation. MAN boss Joachim Drees is the new ACEA commercial vehicle board chairman. Nick Jones is back at the Society of Operations Engineers, but only temporarily. More trouble at the top of the AA as a training centre is read its last rites.

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