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Here are some of our favourite quotes from the world of commercial vehicle engineering. They could be alarming, pithy, perceptive, profound, witty, clever or maybe just daft. Please e-mail, text or tweet us with any quotes that catch your eye - denise@cvengineer.com, text 07850 229044., Twitter @CVEngineer1

 

AUGUST 2017

"Back in the 18th century, in the city of Baltimore in the US state of Maryland, one-dollar fines were slapped on anyone who failed to make their sleigh noisy enough to avoid people being trampled to death. We need to start thinking about a contemporary equivalent to sleigh-bells for all electric commercial vehicles today." Christopher Hanson-Abbott, Brigade Electronics chairman. 

 

"Whether you’re working on or around fork-lifts, it’s crucial that you never assume you’re seen or that your colleague will move out of your way. By using our simple safety message and staying alert, you can eliminate any assumptions and take responsibility for your own safety.” Stuart Taylor, Mentor FLT Training managing director, on his company's free "show your hand" information kits.

 

JULY 2017

"TfL’s mantra ‘safety is our top priority’ appears not to be the reality. Instead, TfL encourages bus operators to make punctuality their top priority. If TfL wants to instil a culture of safety in the operation of the bus network it has to give operators the right kinds of incentives." Caroline Pidgeon, chair of the London Assembly's transport committee.

 

 

JUNE 2017

 “After four weeks of campaigning for the general election, vital time has been lost to prepare for the crucial Brexit negotiations. It is now imperative that the new government focuses its efforts on supporting the logistics sector to ensure that business can continue to trade efficiently with our EU customers and suppliers." James Hookham, Freight Transport Association deputy chief executive.

 

MAY 2017

"We’ve got a moonshot vision we’re working towards. But we’ll make that revolution happen by evolution. We’ll bring the benefits of connectivity to our customers step by step, and app by app." Daniela Gerd tom Markotten, director of the new Digital Solutions & Services division of Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

 

“We believe that technological innovations, including automation, electromobility and connectivity, have significant potential to address issues such as air quality and road safety. For that to happen it is important to keep the discussion moving forward, stimulating changes that make people safer, healthier and to mitigate transport’s impact on the environment." Volvo Group chief technology officer Lars Stenqvist.

 

APRIL 2017

"No solo journeys could deliver on such a complex subject as this. Collaboration will be key to success." Violeta Bulc, European mobility and transport commissioner, at the first European Commission conference on connected and automated driving.

"Things are really moving in the EU. We've set an ambitious target. We want to be ready for connected and self-driving transport by 2019." Dutch transport minister Melanie Schultz at the same conference.

 

 

 

MARCH 2017

“This is a fiasco. It is a shocking attack on business in the capital. The cost will be met initially by road hauliers, but will eventually be picked up by the people of London. Businesses and people depend on lorries to deliver the goods they need, including the food we eat. It seems TfL is determined to undermine the competitiveness of London. The timings and requirements that are being specified are ridiculous.” Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett on the latest Transport for London proposals on a "direct vision standard" for trucks.

 

 

FEBRUARY 2017

"I’ve quoted statistics today and there are now lots of statistics and numbers, including costs, being used on both sides of this argument. But let’s not get too distracted as the MOT is about road safety. Road safety is about protecting life and life is priceless.” National Tyres Distributors Association chief executive Stefan Hay.

 

"Whatever the new man with the funny haircut across the pond thinks, global warming is the biggest challenge that faces all of us in the years ahead." Martin Flach, Iveco UK alternative fuels director.

 

"LoCity is meant to be looking at low emissions but actually they are looking at alternative fuels. They are looking for something that is tangibly different. There are only a few lonely voices out there saying that low emissions can be diesel." Daf Trucks' UK marketing manager Phil Moon, a working group member of Transport for London's LoCity scheme.

 

 

JANUARY 2017

“This terrible tragedy could have been avoided had the defendants performed their jobs competently. The company did not comply with the traffic commissioner’s conditions. The vehicle was not properly maintained and it was driven on a road it should not have been on and at a time when it was not roadworthy. We hope that these verdicts bring some sense of justice to the victims’ families and that all road-users take note of the importance of safety and of complying with the rules of the road and of the terrible results that can follow if that is not done.” Senior Crown prosecutor Alyson Harris in response to manslaughter convictions in the Grittenham Haulage Bath tipper crash case.

 

"Two companies, Stagecoach and Arriva, account for over 50 per cent of all killed and seriously injured bus collisions in London. If this is not an indication that there is a problem here, I don't know what is." Tom Kearney, bus safety campaigner.

 

"A list of all 5,308 reported road accidents in Great Britain in 2015 involving a bus or coach is attached. This includes the location of the accident, date and accident severity. The Department does not collect any information on the operator of the bus or coach involved." Department for Transport's road safety statistics team in response to Freedom of Information request from Tom Kearney.

 

DECEMBER 2016

"The only way to achieve deep reductions in CO2 emissions from the road-freight sector is to combine highly-focused vehicle engineering with systematic improvements in freight distribution systems." Tony Pain at the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight.

 

 

NOVEMBER 2016

"There are risks that people fit to drive will be denied a licence to do so, and others, who pose a risk to the public and themselves, will keep their licence and continue to drive." Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Dame Julie Mellor, in her "Driven to despair" report on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and Department for Transport (DfT).

 

"Doctors do have concerns that because the law does not require an individual to see their own GP for this examination then the individual may be able to hide a long-term medical condition," British Medical Association (BMA) spokesperson.

 

"Autonomous is over-rated. I'd rather call it assisted driving. As recent incidents in Europe and North America have shown, even a Tesla car (battery-powered and described as capable of "autonomous" driving) is not actually driving autonomously. You are supposed to keep your hands on the wheel." Daf Trucks product development director Ron Borsboom.

 

"As a European citizen, I simply hope that everyone puts their emotions away and starts to think like responsible and sensible people. We need each other. Everybody needs to stay rational." Ron Borsboom on Brexit negotiations.

 

 

OCTOBER 2016

"The flat refusal of the government to listen to genuine voices of concern from those who work on motorways every day and the considered conclusion of the Transport Select Committee is very worrying. The safety case for all-lane running is not yet proven and as a result we fear that it won’t be long before there is a major tragedy that will make the government think again." RAC Group chief engineer David Bizley on government plans to use more motorway hard shoulders as additional lanes.

 

SEPTEMBER 2016

“You don’t spend 30 years working with Peter Dawson, Mike Williams and the others without learning an awful lot. That doesn’t mean my new role will be simply to deliver more of the same." Steve Miller, newly appointed Dawsongroup chief executive following the early retirement of Mike Williams.

"We are focusing firmly on our main task: to give our customers the necessary tools for achieving profitability in the one business that really means something to them, namely their own." Scania chief executive Henrik Henriksson at the launch of the new S- and R-series trucks.

 

"The difference is that every single gearshift with an Allison is a full powershift. In dual-clutch transmissions today some shifts are still not full powershifts. And unlike our torque converter, a dual clutch will never be able to multiply torque." Manlio Alvaro, Europe, Middle East and Africa marketing director at Allison Transmission, on why automated manuals still cannot match fully automatic transmissions in some ways.

 

AUGUST 2016

“The government is failing in its manifesto commitment to reduce the number of road-users killed or seriously injured every year. There has been very little reduction in these figures since 2010." David Davies, executive director at the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Road Safety (PACTS).

"Road deaths are a serious issue. 35 people a week die in crashes throughout the country. In any other sphere, that would provoke national outrage, rule the headlines for months and provoke urgent government action. It happens week in week out on our roads and it merits barely a mention." Tim Shallcross, head of technical policy at IAM RoadSmart (formerly the Institute of Advanced Motorists).

"We are just starting to see the impact of Brexit-related currency movement. There are indications of truck tyre price increases purely as a result of the ten per cent devaluation of sterling. All tyre manufacturers buy in dollars." Mark Grace, Hankook Tyre UK marketing manager.

 

 

 

JULY 2016

"The repowered Routemaster clearly offers the potential to achieve an extremely low carbon footprint per passenger. This means that RM1005 could return to the streets of London with an environmental standing equal to that of the latest generation of diesel/electric hybrid and alternative fuel buses." Ashley Watton, director of Cummins' European on-highway division, on the fitting of a Euro 6 ISB4.5 diesel engine in a 50-year-old Routemaster belonging to former London commissioner Sir Peter Hendy.

"We want the money to go where the quality of the air is the biggest problem. We didn't cut them (VW) any slack but we are allowing them to fix a lot of vehicles, if they can." Mary Nichols, head of California's Air Resources Board, on the $2.7 billion settlement paid by VW into an "environmental remediation fund" following the diesel car emissions test cheating scandal.

 

JUNE 2016

"My life has been led by statistical information on how many vehicles we've sold every day, and how many are being sold by our competitors every day, week, month and year. The fact that we don't get this data (on truck registrations) any longer from SMMT is making us less competitive." MAN Truck & Bus UK managing director Simon Elliott.

“Rules for vans already exist regarding roadworthiness, overloading, driver licensing and insurance, but no-one is out there enforcing them. Introducing new laws when there’s no enforcement simply means those who play by the rules are stuck with more costs while the cowboys carry on doing what they think they can get away with.”James Firth, head of licensing policy and compliance information at the Freight Transport Association.

"Don't just simply give someone the keys to a £200,000 vehicle loaded with high explosive and send him or her down the road." Tim Aspell, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency traffic examiner, speaking at FPS Expo 2016 on the need for more effective driver training, including agency drivers, at tanker operations.

 

 

MAY 2016

"Nikola has built the truck of the future and will hold that title for quite some time." Trevor Milton, founder and chief executive of Nikola Motor Company.


“The possibility of significantly larger fines is now a reality. Rightly so. The warning signs from the courts have been there for some time." Neal Stone, policy and standards director at the British Safety Council, on the £2 million-plus fines imposed on Travis Perkins and Balfour Beatty following health and safety convictions.

 

 

APRIL 2016

"I'm worried about what in sustainability we call greenwash. There is the potential for CLOCSwash, where people say that they are applying the CLOCS standard when in fact they are not. They are talking the talk but not walking the walk." Kate Cairns from the See Me Save Me campaign at the 2016 CLOCS seminar.

 

"You still have human factors and the laws of physics. A 32-tonne low-entry truck is still a 32-tonne truck." Volvo Group UK product manager John Comer at the CLOCS seminar.

 

 

"We believe the European Truck Platooning Challenge has been a huge success. It has fostered much-needed co-operation between all relevant stakeholders right across the EU, facilitating cross-border driving and encouraging compatibility on legal and technical issues. We look forward to harvesting the lessons from this initiative so that together we can make truck platoons a common sight on Europe's roads in the future." Daf Trucks president Harrie Schippers, speaking for ACEA's commercial vehicles board.

 

MARCH 2016

"I never want to be the one who has to tell the family of one of my drivers that he's been involved in a serious accident." AFS Haulage boss Andy Seagrave on his reasons for specifying all available electronic safety options on his new Mercedes Actros tractive units.

"I've been in the industry 30 years. It was happening when I started and it's still happening now. Drivers just do not understand how trailer parking brakes work. The guide explains that disconnecting the red (emergency) airline between tractive unit and trailer does not apply the trailer parking brake. This is applied by springs in trailer brake actuators. If you park a trailer using the red airline alone it is parked illegally, because it is parked on stored air." Andy Mair, head of engineering at the Freight Transport Association on new Health and Safety Executive guidance on trailer coupling and uncoupling.

 

"If TfL were running an industrial operation with casualty figures like these, the Health and Safety Executive would have shut it down and put its directors on trial." Road safety campaigner Tom Kearney on the latest Transport for London (TFL) statistics on the number of people killed or injured by buses in London last year.

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 2016

“We doubt if London has the power to impose such a requirement as European Union law sets out the specification parameters for vehicles travelling across Europe. This proposal, coming in the last days of Boris Johnson’s mayoral term, lacks any of the analysis expected from a responsible government and will be greeted with frustration and anger across the haulage industry.” Road Haulage Association (RHA) chief executive Richard Burnett on the latest Transport for London "safer lorry" proposal on "vision panels."

 

“Improving visibility for hgv drivers is really important, but there are many different ways to achieve this. We are disappointed that the mayor has chosen to focus on just one option without clear evidence that this is the best way to deliver the desired outcome." Christopher Snelling, head of national and regional policy at the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

 

“There are many good initiatives at work to encourage young people to consider apprenticeships as part of their continuing education. But currently, with no formal careers advice in schools, young people aren’t getting the direction they need to make the best choices for their future. There is a real conflict of interest between schools holding on to 16-18-year-old pupils to bolster their funding and the clearly stated desire by government to see more taking the apprenticeship route." Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) chief executive Steve Nash

 

JANUARY 2016

"With the single exception of the Euro 5 pull-through year of 2013, not since 1988 has the heavy end of the truck market been in such rude health," Daf Trucks Ltd managing director Ray Ashworth, reacting to the 2015 full-year truck registration statistics.

 

"There's no doubt in today's world that the fuel efficiency gains provided by telematics solutions is a given. Progressive operators are therefore now looking beyond fuel savings alone by seeking to derive additional value from their telematics systems. Bespoke solutions need to be developed for specific operational issues." MiX Telematics marketing and operations director Steve Coffin.

"We are pretty close to getting a fully integrated telematics system which gives us all the driver and vehicle data on safety and efficiency, together with track and trace, and fully integrated with our planning software. I'm pretty optimistic it will be up and running by the end of the year in some of our businesses in the UK." Hoyer Petrolog UK operations director Allan Davison.

“We often hear from operators who find the system they have bought difficult to use. Many operators say they receive little support from their supplier when they call in to report difficulties." AGM Telematics director George Weston.

 

"TfL (Transport for London) controls one of the UK's largest bus operations. When an organisation like this is finally persuaded to adopt a proven safety monitoring system like CIRAS, it could be seen as a welcome sign that at last, under pressure from campaigners and public officials, the road transport industry is beginning to move away from box-ticking compliance towards a more robust, auditable safety culture." Tom Kearney, road safety campaigner behind www.saferoxfordstreet.blogspot.co.uk, Twitter: @comadad.

 

 

DECEMBER 2015

“The real-world fuel consumption data we analysed suggests that the average fuel consumption of new tractor/trucks in Europe has not changed substantially in well over a decade. With other global automotive markets progressing, the EU will need to move to mandatory CO2 standards to maintain its technological leadership in heavy-duty fuel consumption and CO2 emissions." Rachel Muncrief, lead researcher at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).

 

 

NOVEMBER 2015

"Everyone is asking questions. Few are believing the answers. International public relations machines have turned their attention to positioning diesel, quite literally, as the fuel that is poisoning us all. We need to refute that. As truck manufacturers we can continue to hold our heads high. We deserve your trust." Iveco UK managing director Stuart Webster.

 

 

 

OCTOBER 2015

"Firms come and go. Manufacturers are sold, change ownership. Not us. We're here for the long haul." Wrights Group chairman and chief executive Mark Nodder.

 

SEPTEMBER 2015

“Until now, nobody has given transport refrigeration units a thought. We all shop at food stores, eat in restaurants or have chilled and frozen food delivered, but the impact of transport refrigeration units has never been investigated, let alone addressed. They are unregulated, use out­dated, fossil-fuelled technology and are disproportionately polluting. What’s worse, their pollution is concentrated on city streets where it does the most damage to our health.” Toby Peters, Dearman Engine Company chief executive.

 

“The test manipulations are a moral and political disaster for Volkswagen. The unlawful behaviour of engineers and technicians involved in engine development shocked Volkswagen just as much as it shocked the public. We can only apologise and ask our customers, the public, the authorities and our investors to give us a chance to make amends.” Berthold Huber, Volkswagen Group supervisory board deputy chairman, on 25 September.

 

“My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group – by leaving no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation. Under my leadership, Volkswagen will do everything it can to develop and implement the most stringent compliance and governance standards in our industry. If we manage to achieve that then the Volkswagen Group with its innovative strength, its strong brands and above all its competent and highly motivated team has the opportunity to emerge from this crisis stronger than before.” Matthias Müller, promoted to Volkswagen Group chief executive to replace Martin Winterkorn on 25 September.

 

“I am shocked by the events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group. Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation. The process of clarification and transparency must continue. This is the only way to win back trust. I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group and its team will overcome this grave crisis.” Martin Winterkorn, resigning on 23 September.

 

"I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public. The trust of our customers and the public is and continues to be our most important asset. We at Volkswagen will do everything that must be done in order to re-establish the trust that so many people have placed in us, and we will do everything necessary in order to reverse the damage this has caused. This matter has first priority for me, personally, and for our entire board of management."  Volkswagen Group chief executive Martin Winterkorn, reacting to a collapse in the group's share price following news of VW's US emission test cheating on diesel cars.

 

“Our group already has the largest connected vehicle fleet on the road. But we are not stopping there: by the end of this decade we will have transformed all of our new cars into smartphones on wheels.” Volkswagen Group chief executive Martin Winterkorn at this month's Frankfurt international motor show.

"Multiple mirrors and multiple monitors from assorted cameras can disorientate a driver and even cause dizziness. I see scant evidence that driver ergonomics have been given any consideration whatsoever in London's "safer lorry" scheme." Brigade Electronics chairman Christopher Hanson-Abbott.

 

"In principle we believe that this kind of blunt regulatory tool is not the best way to improve cyclist safety. We still think that the money and effort invested in this scheme would have been better spent on increased enforcement against the small proportion of lorries that don't comply with existing regulations.  There are better ways to achieve safer roads for all users.” Natalie Chapman, head of London policy at the Freight Transport Association, on the London "safer lorry" scheme that came into force this month.

"There is no need to blame any party when it comes to how to reduce the numbers of people killed and injured on our roads. All road-users need to look out for each other and ensure we minimise the impact of our own and others unpredictable behaviour." Institute of Advanced Motorists chief executive Sarah Sillars.

 

 

 

AUGUST 2015

 

"We understand the impact the closure of Wolverhampton would have. We will honour our responsibilities and do everything we can to support all affected employees." Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK managing director Erich Fric on proposals to close the 90-year-old Goodyear tyre plant in Wolverhampton. 

 

"Whistleblower is one thing we are not. What CIRAS provides is the opportunity to address a safety or health concern before it becomes an incident or near-miss or loss." Paul Russell, head of CIRAS (Confidential Incident Reporting and Analysis System).

 

“Technology is at the forefront of everything we do and this unique alliance with BYD represents a quantum leap into the future." Alexander Dennis (ADL) chief executive Colin Robertson on a Go Ahead order for 51 battery-powered BYD chassis with ADL Enviro 200 single-deck bodies for operation in London. 

 

JULY 2015

"Motor insurers and safety assessors have recognised the importance of AEB (autonomous emergency braking), as has the fleet industry. It is now time for the government to take a lead by mandating the use of AEB-equipped cars across its own fleet and promoting wider uptake through the use of tax and other incentives." British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) chief executive Gerry Keaney.

 

"Gas will be a significant transport fuel. Don't take my word for it. Do your homework." Brit European group managing director Graham Lackey at the 2015 Microlise transport conference.

"We are driving into the future with a grand vision: of accident-free driving. It is said that people who have visions should see a doctor. We just get to work, day in day out, as we've been doing for decades. We are determined to make this vision a reality." Daimler commercial vehicles boss Wolfgang Bernhard at a Daimler event in Berlin on "shaping future transportation."

 

 

JUNE 2015

"Will Mr Daniels and TfL (Transport for London) really want to celebrate the day when only six people are killed or seriously injured daily on London's roads? If TfL were really serious about making safety a priority instead of fighting a crash victim (me) before grudgingly publishing a small amount of raw casualty data every quarter on a remote part of its website it would start by providing the public with useful safety data about the services it contracts and manages as primary contractor." London road safety campaigner Tom Kearney on TfL targets for 2020.

 

"The engine is intolerant to any form of misuse. It dislikes oil not being changed when it should be changed. It does not like the wrong oil. And it does not like being over-revved. It's a bit like me. It's sensitive." MAN Truck & Bus UK aftersales director Vince Welsh on a spate of failures of the Euro 5 12.4-litre D26 LF22 truck and bus engine.

 

"When you've got 1,200 used trucks in stock, all white and all tractors, what's going to happen? It can only go one way. We're working through that." MAN Truck & Bus UK managing director Simon Elliott on falling residual values caused by a large stock of unsold used trucks.

 

“Our work highlights the importance of looking at the full life-cycle of energy production and use, not just at what comes out of tailpipes. We greatly underestimate transportation’s impacts on air quality if we ignore the upstream emissions from producing fuels or electricity." Jason Hill, bioproducts and biosystems engineering assistant at the University of Minnesota.

"We're going to provide a methodology by which we mitigate the risk of a newly-qualified driver just being handed the keys to a 3.5 tonnes killing machine, as sometimes happens right now," Mercedes-Benz UK van sales director Simon Neill on the company's aim of "professionalising" all aspects of its dealings with light commercial vehicle operators.

 

MAY 2015

"We are aware that if you search the internet for 'fastest bus in the world' you get what is basically a jet engine with a bus shell. That is not a bus. We are talking about having the real fastest bus in the world." Reading Buses chief engineer John Bickerton.

"While the concept of cow poo power may sound novel, it is growing in popularity each day. For me this project is about challenging the perceptions of bus travel, demonstrating the credibility of bio-methane and promoting science, technology and innovation in our industry.” Reading Buses chief executive Martijn Gilbert on his company's BusHound project, seeking to set a world speed record with a bus running on biome thane compressed natural gas.

 

"The members of the executive committee have unanimously determined that in view of the background of the last weeks the mutual trust necessary for successful cooperation no longer exists.For this reason Professor Dr Ferdinand K Piëch has resigned with immediate effect from his position as chairman of the supervisory board and from all his mandates as a supervisory board member within the Volkswagen Group. In addition, Ms Ursula Piëch has resigned with immediate effect from all her supervisory board mandates within the Volkswagen Group." Statement from Volkswagen AG supervisory board executive committee.

 

APRIL 2015

"We have no time to waste in our work to close the gap and to secure the long-term competitiveness and success of our company.” Jan Gurander, acting Volvo Group chief executive following the sudden departure of Olof Persson, after less than four years in the job, and news that Scania boss Martin Lundstedt has been poached to become Volvo chief executive from October.

 

"He would always be looking for a competitive edge and question why we should go down a particular route if we did not have that edge. That would just waste a lot of shareholder money. Some people says it's dull. I say it's wise to sort out what you are good at and what you are not good at." Scania (Great Britain) managing director Claes Jacobsson on the management style of former Scania chief executive Leif Östling.

 

"Drivers are just like traffic commissioners. They're normal people. They fall in and out of love. They kick the dog. They have problems in their lives, and they sometimes find it hard to divorce these problems from their work behind the wheel." Senior traffic commissioner Beverley Bell at a CILT road safety conference. 

 

"At one stage I was thinking of changing my name to Noah, because I had two of everything, I had a sinking ship, and it was pissing down." Former MAN Truck & Bus UK chief executive Des Evans on the challenge of merging MAN and ERF brands and dealer networks twelve years ago.

 

 

MARCH 2015

 

"When a vehicle goes out on the road does it have the same CO2 emissions as when it was new? Fairings fall off. Tyres get changed. But the engine is quite a difficult thing to lose or change." Pete Williams, Cummins' product environmental management director, on EU plans for CO2 emissions legislation for trucks and buses and its failure so far to take full account of a power unit separately from the rest of the vehicle.

 

"The casualties keep coming. While we ponder and pontificate, people are dying." Kate Cairns, head of the See Me Save Me campaign, at a Transport for London CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety) conference.

 

"Surely we can all agree that killing people in collisions which are avoidable and preventable is absolutely unacceptable." Cynthia Barlow, chair of the RoadPeace charity, speaking at a London conference on the CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety) scheme.

 

"The scale of the problem is potentially devastating for many road transport businesses. No drivers means no deliveries, it’s as simple as that.” Volvo Group UK managing director Arne Knaben on this month's Freight Transport Association "driver crisis summit" in Coventry.

 

FEBRUARY 2015

"We are starting to see people develop tyres just for the label, and that is not good for the tyre industry or for the end-user."  Guy Heywood, Michelin's truck and bus commercial director for the UK and Irish Republic.

"It's time to stop demonising diesel." Mike Hawes, chief executive of The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), at a London seminar on air quality.

"My intention is to ensure that we consolidate our experience and expertise, and then change up a gear - to further build on the excellent and vital research, training and lobbying activities that we carry out. We will change opinions, driving habits and legislation." Sarah Sillars, starting a new job this month as Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) chief executive.

“Most crashes are caused by human error, and technology can only deliver so much. If we don’t change policy we will still be killing 1,000 people a year in 2030. That is unacceptable.” Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) policy and research director Neil Greig.

 

"One thing that is really important for me is that all dealers are equal. A franchised Volvo dealer is a franchised Volvo dealer, with all the responsibilities that carries. Whether we happen to own one or two or you own them is of no interest to me." Volvo Group UK managing director Arne Knaben.

 

JANUARY 2015

"There is no such thing as a cheap tyre. If you buy one you'll get what you pay for: the value built into that tyre." Guy Heywood, Michelin's truck and bus commercial director for the UK and Irish Republic.

 

"We still suffer from brand snobbery. My problem is that operators don't know how good our products are." Bob Lowden, newly appointed managing director of Iveco's sales and marketing operation in the UK and Irish Republic.

 

"Perhaps it is time for us all in the logistics and transport world to have a fundamental rethink about the role of the driver and maybe start from the premise that they are the most important people in our profession. If we commit to training them, providing good base and roadside facilities and improving working hours and conditions then perhaps next year delivering Christmas or anything else in fact will not be in doubt." Steve Agg, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK (CILT) chief executive.

 

"This strategic alliance is a real milestone and entails a fundamental change in Volvo Group's opportunities in the Chinese truck market, the largest in the world. At the same time it will provide us with the opportunity to become involved in growing DFCV's (Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles Company) international business in a manner that will benefit us and our Chinese partner." Volvo Group chief executive Olof Persson on the Volvo/Dongfeng joint venture finalised this month.

 

“Improving London’s air quality is of paramount importance as it affects the health and well-being of every Londoner. That’s why we are doing everything in our power to address emissions from road transport, with the introduction of an ultra low emission zone at the core of our work to improve the capital’s air. We would urge everyone who lives, works or travels in London to give us their views on the ULEZ proposal.” Michele Dix, Transport for London's planning managing director.

“We need an integrated approach on air quality at local, regional, national and European level. Fleet renewal, or the uptake of new vehicles on the road, is critical in reducing emissions. Proposals such as London’s ULEZ can help deliver this goal. Air quality is often a local issue so we need a flexibility that allows for focused initiatives like the ULEZ but which sit within an overall framework of harmonised standards across Europe. The automotive sector must have certainty in policy direction so technology investments can be targeted on addressing key issues such as air quality and climate change.” Mike Hawes, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive.

 

 

DECEMBER 2014

"Unlike truck manufacturers, we don’t have the luxury of building prototypes and testing them over millions of miles before they enter service – what we design and build has to work from the outset." Ivan Collins, just retired after a 30-year career at Andover Trailers, latterly as sales director.

 

"You don't need to waste your time talking about cellphones to a driver with no cellphone habit." Dave Riordan, Lytx vice president and chief operating officer, on analysis of data from on-board cameras and data recorders.

 

"Cars that drive themselves would represent the most significant transformation in road travel since the introduction of the internal combustion engine. At Innovate UK we want to help the UK to lead the world in making that happen. There are so many new and exciting technologies that can come together to make driverless cars a reality, but it's vital that trials are carried out safely, that the public have confidence in that technology and we learn everything we can through the trials so that legal, regulation and protection issues don't get in the way in the future." Nick Jones, lead "technologist" for low-carbon vehicle innovation at Innovate UK (formerly the government's Technology Strategy Board), on driverless car trials lasting up to three years and starting in four UK cities next month.

 

"At the moment we're minimising downtime by efficient and effective repair and maintenance. Maximising uptime means preventing a failure on the road. You stop it by predictive repairs. Now we're at the stage of gathering data by telematics for predictive repairs and maintenance." Ray Ashworth, Daf Trucks Ltd managing director.

 

NOVEMBER 2014

“The driver shortage is fast becoming the biggest issue that the road haulage industry has ever had to cope with. There is a 45,000 driver shortage now, 35,000 drivers due to retire within the next year and only 17,000 drivers joining the industry. The average age of a driver is 57, and less than 5% of the industry is under 25. If the UK haulage sector is to stand any chance of remaining competitive with the rest of Europe, the chancellor must make a commitment in his autumn statement to fund vocational licences for new drivers." Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett.

 

"I suspect people would be extremely sceptical of allowing their children to ride on a school bus with tyres that were probably manufactured before their child was born. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that there are tyres more than twice the age of the children they are transporting and that is simply wrong." Steve Rotheram, MP for Liverpool Walton, on his Tyres (Buses and Coaches) Bill, due to get a second House of Commons reading this month and seeking to set a legal age limit of ten years from date of manufacture on bus and coach tyres.

 

"We're now running eight Euro 6 vehicles. There is more exhaust in the engine bay than there is engine in the engine bay." Reading Buses chief engineer John Bickerton, speaking at the Euro Bus Expo show in Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre.

 

"The problem is that trailers with aerodynamic fittings cost a fortune as they have to be repaired every couple of months." Willem Zonnevijlle, Transfrigoroute International president, at an international trade association workshop run by Kögel Trailer of Burtenbach, Germany.

 

OCTOBER 2014

"Europe is now thinking about piloting the European Modular System. There is already a 'pilot' up and running in Sweden. It's been there for 50 years. In Scandinavia we are running trucks that are 25.25 metres long - 6.5 metres longer than in the rest of Europe. So we are able to replace three trucks with two, resulting in less congestion, less road-wear and a reduction in fuel consumption of 15 to 25 per cent. Even more important: we have no related safety issues." Scania chief executive Martin Lundstedt at the ACEA press conference at the 2014 IAA Hannover commercial vehicles show. 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2014

"If technology is the heart of our future truck, design is its soul. We're not only thinking about the future, we're creating it." Daimler truck and bus division boss Wolfgang Bernhard at the launch of the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 at this month's IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover.

 

"There's no doubt that the UK is heading for a serious driver shortfall and that urgent action is required. It is not just people with licences the industry needs but fuel-efficient and technologically-sound individuals who understand the product they are driving and their employer's business." Scania (Great Britain) driver services manager Mark Agnew.

"Not being aware of Driver CPC is not an excuse for drivers or operators and there will be no amnesty period.” Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) chief executive Alastair Peoples on the 10 September deadline by which "acquired rights" truck drivers in the UK are required to have a "driver qualification card" (DQC) with evidence of 35 hours "periodic training".

 

AUGUST 2014

"Mainland Europe is leaving the UK behind in productive innovation. Don't shout it too loud. Someone in Whitehall or Westminster might hear you." Dick Denby, chairman of Denby Transport of Lincoln, on continental European trials of longer heavier vehicles (LHV) and their remote control by tablet computer.

 

JULY 2014

"Longer semi-trailers enable freight companies to transport more goods, more efficiently so could have significant economic and environmental benefits. It is great news that these longer lorries are now delivering real results in fewer journeys and it is encouraging that they have been involved in fewer incidents than standard lorries.” Transport minister Stephen Hammond, reacting to the second annual report on Britain's longer semi-trailer trial.

"One in eight people on the planet goes to bed hungry every night. That shocking fact is made worse when you consider that a third to a half of the food produced globally is never eaten. If developing countries had the same level of refrigeration as is typical in developed economies they could save around a quarter of the annual food wastage. What's even more encouraging is that it would often be cheaper to run clean renewables-based liquid-air technology than the polluting diesel one." Tim Fox, head of energy and environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), at the unveiling of an IMechE report on the potential for liquid-air engines in transport and logistics cold-chains in developing countries.

 

JUNE 2014

"Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." Ernest McGregor, sales director at Avonmouth-based Truck and Bus Wales and West, a big privately-owned Volvo truck and bus dealer group.

“There is change in the air. We believe e-NV200 will genuinely change the make-up of light van and taxi fleets as well as changing the environment in the heart of our cities." Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Nissan Europe's electric vehicle director, at the Barcelona launch of the Nissan e-NV200 battery-powered van.

 

"Much of transport refrigeration is working in residential and urban areas. This is only going to become a larger part of the market. We have reviewed the Dearman (liquid-air) technology and concluded it has enormous potential to revolutionise both the emissions and costs inherent in refrigerated road transport." Hubbard Products managing director Pat Maughan on his signing this month of a "memorandum of understanding" with Dearman Engine Company.

 

 

MAY 2014

“Commercial vehicles making essential deliveries, such as keeping the capital’s shelves stocked and supplying London’s hospitals, should be exempt from the congestion charge. But not only are they forced to pay to use the road network in central London, they have now been unfairly clobbered with a bigger rise than casual users of the scheme.” Natalie Chapman, the Freight Transport Association's head of policy for London, reacting to the announcement from Transport for London that its central London "congestion charge" is to rise by 17 per cent from 16 June.

“The risk analyses carried out by the manufacturers of the refrigerant so far have not taken carbonyl fluoride into account. In light of our results, we advise that the risks associated with R1234yf should be urgently reassessed.” Andreas Kornath, professor of inorganic chemistry at Munich University, on a study showing that the new refrigerant gas, which Daimler refuses to use, produces a highly poisonous gas similar to phosgene when burnt.

"We've managed to create our own mini-recession. Everyone's feeling great and yet not many people are buying trucks." Daf Trucks Ltd managing director Ray Ashworth on first-quarter UK truck registration figures (6.0 tonnes-plus gvw), down 32 per cent on the same period last year after the extraordinary pre-Euro 6 sales boom last December.

"Sometimes the best message is to say nothing; and that should be the ultimate aim of a variable message sign – to say nothing - as this means the road network is operating smoothly. I say this simply to reinforce that there is a fine balance to be struck between what to say and what not to say." Transport minister Robert Goodwill on Department for Transport proposals for extensive changes to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) legislation, www.gov.uk/dft. Consultation closes on 12 June. 

"No sale was ever lost on price. You only lose a sale when you can't credibly deliver enough value." Steve Bridge, managing director of newly-formed vans business unit at Mercedes-Benz UK.

 

 

APRIL 2014

"This is a very serious situation. So many vehicle converters and bodybuilders are still unaware of the implications these new rules will have on their business. SMMT's technical advisers have been inundated with calls asking for advice on type approval as the deadline looms, but many will leave it too late." Tony Hopkins, technical manager at The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) on the 29 October 2014 deadline on European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) rules.

 “The government has recently made significant additional funds available to help combat the results of the relentless rainfall this winter but money spent on repairing damage never goes as far as money invested in planned, preventative maintenance. It costs at least 20 times more per square metre to fill a pothole than it does to resurface a road.” Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) chairman and Breedon Aggregates Scotland chief executive Alan MacKenzie on the latest AIA annual survey, showing that the estimated cost of getting local roads in England and Wales back to "reasonable condition" has risen to £12 billion from £10.5 billion last year.

 

"You win some and lose some, but the balance of winning and losing needs to be in your favour, or rather in the customer's favour. If you are slow to react sometimes you turn a potential for generating goodwill into badwill." Michael Kamper, managing director of the newly-formed trucks division of Mercedes-Benz UK, on his approach to running a "360-degree, dedicated truck company."

 

 

MARCH 2014

"Unlike buyers of passenger cars, truck customers calculate and decide based on hard facts. What they need is to be well-informed for their calculations. So let’s give our customers full transparency on fuel efficiency and let them decide. They will be the best regulators for fuel-efficiency." Wolfgang Bernhard, Daimler truck and bus division boss and chairman of ACEA's commercial vehicle board.

 

 “The Freight Transport Association’s view is that tolls should be reduced post concessionaire to cover maintenance only. To ask users to continue to pay for infrastructure which has been paid for many times over is fundamentally wrong.” Ian Gallagher, Freight Transport Association's head of policy for Wales and south-western England, on a House of Commons debate on Severn Bridge tolls. The bridges are due to revert to public ownership in 2018.

 

“The car must not become a data monster. We already protect our customers against a wide variety of risks such as aquaplaning, micro-sleep and long, time-consuming congestion. With the same attention to our responsibilities, we intend to protect our customers against the abuse of their data. I clearly say yes to Big Data, yes to greater security and convenience, but no to paternalism and Big Brother. At this point, the entire industry is called upon. We need a voluntary commitment by the automobile industry." Volkswagen Group chief executive Martin Winterkorn speaking at the huge CeBIT information technology business show in Hannover, Germany this month.

 

 

FEBRUARY 2014

"I am astounded that the responsible MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) are failing to find or accept any of the necessary compromises that will allow an even more environmentally friendly and safe transport system. This is a sad example of dogma prevailing over evidence-based, informed decision-making.” Michael Nielsen, the International Road Transport Union's general delegate to the EU, on this month's postponement of a European Parliament vote on revisions to an EU directive on vehicle weights and dimensions.

"Many fleets know remarkably little about the quality of the fuel and additives being used in their vehicles." Feather Diesel Services engineering director Steve Smith, telling a British Transport Advisory Consortium (BTAC) seminar about persistent fuel injection equipment problems related to biodiesel.

"Our challenge to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is: what are you doing with our fee income? Show me where the money's going Alastair." Senior traffic commissioner Beverley Bell at the BTAC seminar.

"These numbers do not reflect the true demand for trucks. They are not actually needed because of the health of the economy, because of growing consumer demand or because more goods to be moved as a result. They are evidence of the impact of new legislation, of the effect that something imposed on us, and beyond our controls, can have on our market. And they are evidence of just how distorted demand can get when factors outside the norm come into play." Iveco UK managing director Claudio Zanframundo on the UK's full-year 2013 truck registration statistics and on December's extraordinary sales surge in particular.

 

JANUARY 2014

“Flashing amber warning lights are becoming such a common occurrence in road users' daily journeys that they are becoming complacent. We need to educate those who use them to do so for the right reason, otherwise the consequences could be devastating." Robert Gifford, chairman of Survive, a public/private partnership including vehicle recovery operators and emergency services. 

"If all man-made particles could be removed from the air we breathe there would be on average a life expectancy extension of seven or eight months for all of us." John Newington of Maidstone Borough Council at a "clean bus technology" seminar hosted by Kent County Council and Eminox.

 

"I don't know where ATF land is going next and when or whether there will be 500 of them. Maybe ATFs could be hosting driving tests in future." Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency chief executive Alastair Peoples at the opening this month of "authorised testing facility" (ATF) number 400, at HTC Hemel Hempstead.

 

 

DECEMBER 2013

"When people are on the internet they don't often type 'tell me about tyres' into a search engine. Yet in terms of physical safety, tyres are the most critical components on a vehicle." David Smith, managing director of Continental Tyre Group UK.

"With six cycling-related deaths in thirteen days in London it is clear that something is fundamentally wrong with cycling in the capital. In order to make cycling safer in London, and throughout the UK, there needs to be a combined effort from cyclists and drivers to take necessary safety precautions." Jacqueline O'Donovan, managing director of O'Donovan (Waste Disposal), a big London-based tipper truck fleet operator.

“It is clear that Renault Trucks and BRS will continue to be separate brands within the Volvo Group and will continue to have their own customer-facing sales, marketing and aftersales teams. The recommendation has been made to benefit from efficiencies of corporate back-office functions. The Renault Trucks dealer network will also remain independent." Renault Trucks UK managing director Gino Costa on plans to close the company's Dunstable head office next year and move it into the Volvo Group UK base in Warwick.

 

 

NOVEMBER 2013

"If you want an apprenticeship, we’re going to make sure you do the best apprenticeship in the world. The reforms we’re announcing today will put employers in the driving seat and ensure that we deliver rigorous training that supports you and our economy for years to come." Prime minister David Cameron on government plans to reform apprenticeships, as recommended in last year's Richard Review.

"The aims of the government's approach to apprenticeships are admirable, but sadly we think pretty impractical, certainly in the retail motor industry." Institute of the Motor Industry chief executive Steve Nash.

"The problem with one-size-fits-all is it usually becomes one-size-fits nobody very well. If the specific training content is defined by politicians – either in Brussels or Westminster – we run the risk of every driver investing time and money on redundant training." James Firth, head of road freight and enforcement policy at the Freight Transport Association, on plans to update the EU directive on Driver CPC (certificate of professional competence).

"It is surprising and deeply disappointing that the report aims to restrict the fitting of effective aerodynamic devices to the rear of trucks that would significantly cut fuel use and CO2 emissions. It is dogmatic myopia that will prevent the greening at source of 6.5 million heavy goods vehicles in the EU, simply to avoid the possible modification of a few thousand intermodal rail wagons to be able to carry these more aerodynamic, greener trucks." Michael Nielsen, the International Road Transport Union's (IRU) "general delegate" to the European Union, on fresh recommendations on EU truck weight and dimensions limits put forward by an Austrian Member of the European Parliament, Jörg Leichtfried.

“We are extremely concerned about the adverse effect this would have on trade and the environment.  One major UK retailer, with operations in the UK and Ireland, has estimated that a four-metre height restriction would result in 3,000 extra trailer movements, adding 740,000 additional road miles and generating an extra one million kilograms of carbon dioxide per year.” Freight Transport Association chief executive Theo de Pencier on the recommendation by Jörg Leichtfried that all cross-border movement of vehicles over four metres in height be prohibited.

 

OCTOBER 2013

“This is a good day for General Motors and the employees of Millbrook. The acquisition of Millbrook Proving Ground by Rutland Partners is a very positive move for both businesses. GM’s strategic objective is to focus its global engineering facilities on larger regional centres and in Rutland we have found a strong partner to take over the UK engineering operation.”  Vauxhall Motors chairman and managing director Duncan Aldred.


"Too often the advancement of technology in the British bus sector is hampered, and dragged back, by ill-conceived products that are brought to market too early, well before they are proven or anywhere near the reliability levels required. Too often politicians are also drawn into supporting sexy solutions that grab headlines, but fail to deliver in the long term." Alexander Dennis chief executive Colin Robertson at this month's Coach & Bus Live show in Birmingham.

 

"This technology brought us a great deal of flexibility and reliability. It allowed us, for example, to test and quickly modify elements of the dashboard without having to make any manufacturing tools until we were totally satisfied that the result would be in line with our demands." Thierry Hours, Renault Trucks vice president, explaining the stereolithography (3D printing) used in the development of the new Renault trucks range now in full production in France.

 

"This is not new for us. We had Rudolf Diesel on the payroll." MAN Truck & Bus UK chief executive Des Evans at this month's official launch of MAN's Euro 6 range of trucks in the UK.

 

"As well as Euro 6, 2014 will bring the driver CPC, whole-vehicle type approval and acceleration of the ATF (authorised testing facility) scheme. This is a real perfect storm." Des Evans

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2013

"We've earned respect because we're professional about what we do and we don't tell lies. We're not out to harm their business. We're not about power uprates. It's all about service and maintenance. They are all chasing fleet business, and we can help with that because hardly anyone runs solus fleets these days," Dave Tempest, Texa UK managing director, on changing vehicle manufacturer attitudes to Texa diagnostics equipment.

 

"I have long been worried that a large number of cyclist deaths involve a relatively small number of problem lorries which are not fitted with safety equipment. In my cycling vision in March, I said that no lorry should be allowed in London unless it is fitted with equipment to protect cyclists. After a lot of work behind the scenes, we have today (4 September) taken the first steps to make this a reality." London mayor Boris Johnson.

 

“FTA views the mayor’s decision as unprecedented and authoritarian and considers it to be one that will create a mess of confused standards, leaving hgv operators not knowing what they are trying to achieve. Improving road safety is a priority for FTA members and many lorry operators already work to the highest standards. A huge amount of investment has been made by responsible operators who have gone over and above the minimum legal requirements to ensure that safety equipment is fitted to their vehicles. There are better ways of achieving safe roads for all road-users,” Freight Transport Association policy director Karen Dee

 

 

AUGUST 2013

"I am honoured, hugely excited and more than a little terrified at the faith Isuzu Motors and Nikki, the most inspirational leader I have met, have shown by appointing me in this new role," Pete Murphy on his appointment this month as managing director designate at Isuzu Truck (UK).

“If the police target the worst and most persistent offenders this could be good news for road safety.  If, however, it just becomes another numbers game with thousands of careless driving tickets issued then the impact will be limited.  The IAM believes that driver retraining courses have a much bigger potential to actually improve poor driving than simply issuing a standard fine and should always be offered as the first stage of prosecution.” Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) chief executive Simon Best on the new rules on careless driving coming into effect on 16 August.

"The use of phoenix arrangements to avoid previous liabilities may amount to unacceptable business practice. A phoenix company is where the assets of one limited company are moved to another legal entity (sometimes referred to as a 'pre-pack') but with no obligation to pay the failed company's debts. Commissioners will scrutinise such applications carefully to ensure the promotion of the principle of fair competition." Senior traffic commissioner Beverley Bell in her latest "guidance and direction" to all traffic commissioners.

"The real explanation for this tyre failing so catastrophically is age. I formally announce that I will be writing a rule 43 report to draw attention to the Minister for Transport of the very dangers caused by the fact that vehicles, be they private, commercial or public, are legally able to drive on tyres without restriction on age, and by reason of age are potentially in a perilous condition which there is no realistic means of detecting." Surrey coroner Richard Travers, following the inquest into three deaths caused by a coach crash on the A3 last year.

"Think of the consequences of its sudden failure when deciding whether or not a tyre is too old to use." Lasalign managing director Derek Godden.

 

 

JULY 2013

"All government departments have been challenged to think about how they can be more innovative in the way they commission and deliver services. We have examined the VCA (Vehicle Certification Agency) business model and tested a range of options to enable the business to grow and contribute to the wider economy whilst continuing to deliver its statutory functions and providing a high-quality service to customers." Transport minister Stephen Hammond.

“While bringing VOSA and DSA together puts testing of drivers and vehicles in one place, licensing of both will still be dealt with by DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency). It is questionable therefore whether the proposals will deliver the improved links between testing and licensing that operators feel are necessary." Freight Transport Association policy director Karen Dee

 

“The IAM has always warned that failing to match investment in segregated facilities with the growing numbers of cyclists would lead to an increase in death and serious injury and this worrying trend continues.  A ten per cent increase in cycling deaths in a year when the weather suppressed cycling trips is a real red danger signal that simply cannot be ignored.” Neil Greig, Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) director of policy and research, on Britain's 2012 road casualty statistics. 

 

JUNE 2013

 

"We see great opportunity for Renault Trucks growth. This launch marks a new era for Renault Trucks." Peter Karlsten, executive vice president for the Europe, Middle East and Africa truck sales and marketing division of Volvo Group, speaking in Lyon at the launch of the Renault Trucks Euro 6 ranges.

 

"It is a big day for Renault Trucks, a true revolution." Renault Trucks president Bruno Blin

 

 

MAY 2013

"More suits than jeans." Manny Poxton of Alfons Haar (UK), a Leeds-based supplier of fuel and oil pumping and metering equipment, on this year's Federation of Petroleum Suppliers show (FPS Expo) in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

 

“We would urge fleets to see the added type approval requirements as an opportunity to review their vehicle needs and streamline their costs. If a modification is going to mean the vehicle needs type approval and will take longer to be delivered, it could be time to decide whether that modification is a must-have or nice-to-have.” Venson Automotive Solutions managing director Samantha Roff on the latest European Union type approval rules on light commercial vehicles.

 

"It's no good being green at a premium," Reading Transport chief executive James Freeman, taking delivery of 20 gas-powered Scania single-deckers with ADL Enviro 300 bodywork.

 

APRIL 2013

"In most EU countries, national road traffic injury figures are only based on police reports. But realistically, it is not the job of the police to carry out a full medical assessment at every accident scene. Unfortunately, this means not all accidents are filed and many non-fatal injuries are not reported. Some injuries are reported as serious when they are not, or vice-versa. And research shows that many serious injuries are not reported at all." European Union transport commissioner Siim Kallas, speaking at a Dublin conference on road transport safety.

 "We are world champions at measuring almost nothing." Franz Moser, a professor from AVL List of Austria, speaking at the launch of the Daf MX-11 engine about measurement of particulate emissions from Euro 6 diesel engines.

 

MARCH 2013

"I think that most of us are extremely bad at doing what other people tell us to do. We are all damn good at doing the things we are convinced must be done. There is a heck of a difference between the two." Scania (Great Britain) managing director Hans-Christer Holgersson talking about his policy on truck prices in an exclusive Commercial Vehicle Engineer interview, to be published in the April edition. 

 

"In any other walk of life if we had an item of machinery which had a ten per cent chance of going wrong and causing an injury, and the operator of that machinery had a 90 per cent chance of using it incorrectly and causing a death, how quickly would the Health and Safety Executive jump in and say enough is enough? We've got to do something about that operator. It's simply not happening with drivers." Mike Frisby from the Driving Instructors Association at a London seminar on road safety.

 

"People see us as business partners now, not as regulators. The kind of language they're using with us is definitely adult now. It's no longer child-to-parent type of language. And some of it does not make easy reading." Alastair Peoples, Vehicle and Operator Services (VOSA) agency chief executive, on the latest developments in the growth of privately-owned ATF (authorised testing facility) sites.

 

"Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) is representative of a new type of technology that brings together the technology that is already in the vehicle with external data from its surroundings. As a result, and thanks to its profound understanding of both the vehicle and the route, this intelligent cruise control system with transmission intervention delivers a driving performance that could only be matched by an extremely motivated truck driver with an exceptional level of concentration. In other words, Predictive Powertrain Control exploits the fuel-saving potential of the new Actros right to the very last drop." Vincent Angellier, Mercedes-Benz Trucks product and marketing manager at a demonstration in Germany of what is claimed to be the most advanced and sophisticated truck cruise control system yet.

 

 

FEBRUARY 2013

"Right across the public sector road safety is being cut too hard and too quickly, despite the huge returns on investment.  One life saved, saves the economy £1.7 million.  £53,000 is a derisory amount to spend on national cycle safety campaigns. Until we have the right roads infrastructure in place, publicity and education campaigns are one of the few tools we have to help us save cyclists' lives.  £78,000 for children’s safety campaigns is virtually insignificant.  If the government is serious about safety for these groups, these amounts must be increased." Neil Greig, director of policy at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, on the revelation that government spending on road safety campaigns has been cut by 80 per cent.

 

"I am delighted to announce the completion of this deal which secures a future for the Coventry-based manufacturer of the iconic black cab.  It is great news for London black cab drivers and operators, for the employees across the dealerships and in Coventry, and for the suppliers who have supported the business.  All current MBH (Manganese Bronze Holdings) and LTI (London Taxi Company) employees will be transferred to the new company." PwC joint administrator Matthew Hammond on the sale of the main London Taxi Company assets and trade to Geely UK, a subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group of China.

 

JANUARY 2013

“OE suppliers have always talked remanufacturers down. Well, we are talking them up. We are selling more remanufactured brake calipers than ever and we now are able to say that we can do the job better than you because our warranty is twice as good as yours.” Andrew Bennett, managing director of RSL of Swadlincote, Derbyshire, on the imminent introduction of a two-year guarantee for truck and bus disc brake calipers remanufactured by his company.

"If the (UK) government were serious about the intentions behind Euro 6 - reducing emissions and cleaning up the environment - they could have made an immediate and early impact in doing so by offering incentives to take Euro 6 products (as in Germany and elsewhere), and have benefited the environment by doing so. Instead, they’ve hung on. And what they are now offering, in the form of the RPC (reduced pollution certificate), offers little or no real incentive." Luca Sra, Iveco UK managing director.

"Councils are making record-breaking profits from parking while cutting road safety spending on life-saving services such as education for young drivers, cycle training, and safe-routes-to-schools schemes. At the same time cuts to road maintenance will mean a backlog of repairs which will simply cost more to fix in the long term." Institute of Advanced Motorists chief executive Simon Best.

 

DECEMBER 2012

“No matter who I speak with, everyone agrees that apprenticeships are a good thing – but only when they are ‘true’ apprenticeships. With the myriad of learning experiences which are currently labelled as apprenticeships, we risk losing sight of the core features of what makes apprenticeships work, so my conclusion is that we need to look again at what it means to be an apprentice and what it means to offer an apprenticeship as an employer." Doug Richard on his government-commissioned review of apprenticeships. 

"The specification of the trailers used to transport steel loads can play a significant part in the load restraint system. In particular, the strength and height of headboards, and the provision of rated lashing points are all key components to a load restraint system. A large number of trailers on UK roads are not manufactured to any common standards with respect to these key features, despite the fact that European standards exist." Alan White, lead engineer at Tata Steel Load Restraint.

"In one year as an unpaid tax collector an operator of a 44-tonnes-gcw truck will contribute over £60,000 of fuel tax to the government for the privilege of making the princely sum of £1,500. That is not sustainable." MAN Truck & Bus UK chief executive Des Evans at the Commercial Vehicle Forum in London.

"I make no pretence whatsoever. If it don't pay I can't afford to go green just at the moment." Andy Boyle, founder and managing director of ABE Ledbury, at the Commercial Vehicle Forum in London.

"The driver CPC is one of the stupidest pieces of legislation that's ever been enacted. Fancy having a qualification you don't have to bloody well qualify in." Andy Boyle.

"I drive past trucks and I see them signwritten with things like 'delivering supply chain solutions.' What the fuck does that mean?" Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), at the Commercial Vehicle Forum in London.

 

 

 

NOVEMBER 2012

"No right-thinking person could justify what Sainsbury is proposing, a 150 per cent increase in the time it takes them to pay a supplier for goods provided, as fair and decent. With startling arrogance they have tried to justify this increase by claiming that 75 days is the industry standard. This is utter fabrication. This kind of borrowing from suppliers, whatever their size, is scandalous, particularly from a profitable FTSE 100 company like Sainsbury's which is is no way financially challenged, but clearly just greedy." Forum of Private Business policy adviser Robert Downes.

 

 

OCTOBER 2012

"The industry has rightly expressed concern about phoenix applications and the consequent issues of unfair competition and on the reputation of the industry as a whole. Pre-pack administrations are a particular issue." North Eastern Traffic Area traffic commissioner Kevin Rooney in the 2011-12 Traffic Commissioners' Annual Reports published this month.

 

“Britain has been at the top of the world road safety league, but a combination of public spending cuts and lack of central targets may be putting this in jeopardy. The 2011 figures show that saving lives on our roads can never be taken for granted and with human error still the top cause of crashes, education and training must take centre-stage in the future.” Neil Greig, Institute of Advanced Motorists policy and research director.

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2012

"We don't go into sub-systems that look like they might be profitable but don't really change the outcome of the engine very much. What we bring to the party is a very keen eye on what's going to make a difference to the power. If it's not about that it's for somebody else to do, not us. Doesn't mean it's not a good business, it's just not for us." Cummins chairman and chief executive Tom Linebarger at the 2012 IAA Hannover show.


"Purchasing a truck, bus or van has to pay off for the customer. Nothing in our sector is as sexy as low total cost of ownership." Daimler commercial vehicles division boss Andreas Renschler at the 2012 IAA Hannover show.

"We haven't just packed in technology for the sake of it. In order to reap the full benefits of innovative technology, it's important that the people using it know how to use it and actually do so. That's why we've worked hard to develop a truck that puts the driver firmly in focus." Volvo Trucks president Claes Nilsson at this month's launch of the new Volvo FH truck range.

 

AUGUST 2012

“Navistar’s day of reckoning is fast approaching: its supply of credits is dwindling and its engines remain non-compliant.” Judge Janice Rogers Brown, ruling against the US Environmental Protection Agency in the District of Columbia appeals court.

"With this clean engine solution, we are taking the best of both technology paths to provide our customers with the cleanest and most fuel efficient engines and trucks on the market and to meet stringent US emission regulations." Navistar chairman, president and chief executive Daniel Ustian, announcing this month that Cummins exhaust after-treatment equipment is to be used with Navistar MaxxForce engines and that the Cummins ISX15 engine is to be fitted in Navistar's International trucks in the US. 

"More and more people are realising that the value isn't in the crank, the cam and cylinder any more. It's in the fuel injection equipment, the after-treatment, the turbocharging and the control of all this, including combustion." Mark Firth, executive director - product line management and engineering at Cummins Turbo Technologies.

 

JULY 2012

"I will not allow anyone in my 18 branches to do on-site servicing in a yard. It's a quality issue. If it's minus 10 degrees Celsius outside will someone really do the job they should be doing underneath a truck in the dark? Will they be finding the things they should be finding? I'm sorry. That's non-compliant. Cowboy maintenance is the only word for it." MAN Truck & Bus UK aftersales director Vince Welsh on truck and trailer mobile maintenance and repairs by "guys in vans".

 

“The majority of the public has no access to civil law, which remains the preserve of the rich, the mad, the bad and the destitute,” James Backhouse, from Backhouse Jones solicitors, describing the English legal system at a mock road transport trial organised by Roger Denniss at the University of Derby.

"I'm delighted to reach this landmark, which really does signal a new era for heavy goods and passenger service vehicle testing in Great Britain. The majority of tests are now carried out at privately-owned sites, away from VOSA-run test stations. Vehicle & Operator Services Agency chief executive Alastair Peoples, on the 6 July news that 50.19 per cent of hgv and psv tests are being conducted at non-VOSA sites ("authorised testing facilities" and "designated premises").

 

JUNE 2012

"Year-on-year the performance of light commercials at MOT test has worsened. They are by far the worst performing vehicles at MOT test.  My question to companies operating light commercials is: are you happy with that? I certainly am not. It’s not good for road safety and in the long-run it’s not cost-effective for your business. Many of those using light commercial vehicles as part of their fleet will no doubt hold an O-licence, so should consider what impact it could have on their repute." Vehicle & Operator Services Agency chief executive Alastair Peoples, responding to Commercial Vehicle Engineer reports on the shockingly bad roadworthiness of 3.5-tonners, at Sainsbury's in particular.

 

 

"Over the next four years, vehicles with no tailpipe emissions will be subject to a 15 per cent increase in BIK (benefit-in-kind income tax). Meanwhile, executives running the most polluting new petrol cars on the road will barely notice the standard two per cent levy, which will also apply to most other company car drivers." Mark Chessman, Lex Autolease director.

 

"The Holy Grail of the vehicle insurance industry is analysing and concluding the cause, process and effect of a vehicle accident or event. We’re currently piloting absolutely tamper-proof interactive devices which provide previously unheard-of levels of data, but which also monitor and record driving behaviour and vehicle movement for a significant period before any sort of harsh or severe event." Johan van der Merwe, deputy chairman of Coverbox, a car insurance company.

 

MAY 2012

"A pendulum is not a design fault in a clock." Phil Goodwin, professor of transport policy at University College London, explaining to the LowCVP annual conference why big swings in transport policy from one government to the next are not necessarily a bad thing.

 

“Young people don’t know words like unaffordable or unfeasible. They don’t worry how crazy an idea sounds. We are approaching the 125th anniversary of the motor car. How crazy would the idea of a horseless carriage have sounded in the 19th century? The young innovators of the motor car were in their twenties and thirties. They were making the iPads and Facebooks of their day. We need that entrepreneurial spirit when we reinvent the automobile.” Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche on the "Our Future Mobility Now" project being run by ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles), the European vehicle manufacturer's association. More information from www.futuremobilitynow.com.

 

 

 

APRIL 2012

“The truth is that during the worst economic conditions for generations, at a time of minimal growth and ever-increasing and understandable customer pressure, our industry has risen to the challenge and is succeeding in delivering the goods with increased efficiency and at lower costs." Freight Transport Association chief executive Theo de Pencier, introducing The Logistics Report 2012, published by FTA in association with the PwC group of accountants and management consultants.

 

"A driver's attentive resources are limited. If a driver has to devote all his attention to the task of actually driving the vehicle, he has almost no remaining capacity for secondary tasks. This is precisely where the principle of the oddball paradigm comes in." Michael Schrauf, head of neuropsychology at the Daimler group research division's "mindlab".

 

 

"Predominantly, the older a vehicle gets the less likely its owner is to use a franchised dealer for repair and maintenance. When a truck is five or older is when the owner starts finding cheap parts and turning to back-street garages. We lose control of the business as the vehicle gets older." Vince Welsh, MAN Truck & Bus UK director of UK aftersales.

 

 

"For medium-duty truck and bus use, the near-zero levels of emissions legislated at Euro VI mean that the majority of manufacturers will no longer have a choice of which technology to adopt. They will need to use all of them. The way in which these technologies are balanced in the emissions recipe will have a major impact on the end product." Neil Pattison, director of the Europe, Middle East and Africa automotive engine division of Cummins.

 

 

 

"We are convinced that the experience and expertise they have gained from developing and using flywheel technology in motorsport will migrate to the bus market and deliver a ground-breaking solution to the issue of fuel efficiency." Phil Margrave, Go-Ahead's group engineering director, on news that his company is working with Williams Hybrid Power (a subsidiary of Williams Grand Prix Engineering) on six buses retrofitted with hybrid drivelines including a flywheel-based energy storage system.

 

 


 

MARCH 2012

“Never mind quantitative easing, cutting the still-disproportionately high amount we spend on diesel, which is, after all, a business essential, would be a simple and effective way to stimulate the economy." Freight Transport Association's policy and communications managing director James Hookham, offering advice to chancellor George Osborne ahead of this month's budget.

 

"It's taken us 20 years to become an overnight success." MAN Truck & Bus UK chief executive Des Evans reviewing a 73 per cent year-on-year growth in MAN's UK truck registrations in 2011, at a London press conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the company's formation as a wholly-owned MAN subsidiary.

 

 

FEBRUARY 2012

"It's no mystery why we choose 3.5-tonne vehicles. It's to keep us out of the myriad of legislation above that weight. It's completely impractical for us to run larger vehicles because of the type of information we'd have to keep for the driver. There's just a load of legislation around larger vehicles, half of which I personally think is unnecessary nowadays." Simon Skeet, Sainsbury's Online retail and logistics manager.

 

 

"Van Excellence sounds a little bit like a dodgy Dutch centre-forward, but actually it's all about operator standards and sharing best practice. There are enormous parallels between van and truck operations." Mark Cartwright, Freight Transport Association's membership project manager and head of its Van Excellence scheme.

 

 

"Firstly, having listened closely to the very many views put forward and considered the available evidence, I have decided that I am not going to carry out further work in relation to relaxing the first test date or the frequency of testing. Secondly, I am publishing for the first time today information gathered by VOSA about the standards of MOT testing." Transport secretary Justine Greening in 1 February House of Commons written statement explaining government U-turn on MOT tests.

 

 

 

"There have been some significant changes in the structure of the market, both in types of operators buying and in the size and type of vehicles they buy." Tony Pain, Daf Trucks UK marketing director on what the

 
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