London contract for Wrightbus HEVs

19 December 2018

Northern Irish bus manufacturer Wrightbus is to provide a fleet of 28 new StreetDeck Hybrid Electric buses to a major London Operator.

Tower Transit will deploy the Wrightbus StreetDeck HEV vehicles into service in the capital during the summer of 2019.

Built to full TfL specification, all of the StreetDeck HEVs are twin door and 10.6 metres in length. Each bus features a Daimler OM934 Euro 6 engine with Voith D854.6 gearbox including integrated retarder. Electronic power assisted steering and stop/start engine technology is also included.

David Barnett, Business Development Director for Wrightbus, said: “Purchasing a well-engineered low voltage hybrid driveline was an important consideration for Tower Transit and we are pleased that they have come to us for their latest order to service some of their busy London routes.”

Satnam Cheema, Group Engineering Director for Tower Transit, said: “We have purchased these vehicles based on the expected levels of fuel efficiency and overall environmental performance. We’ve always experienced good performance from Wrightbus and look forward to seeing how the StreetDeck HEV performs when its enters service with our fleet next year.”

Other features on the buses include a 15 camera CCTV system, a powered wheelchair ramp to the mid-door and a reversing camera.

Established in 2013, Tower Transit Group employs more than 2,000 staff and operates about 800 single and double deck buses across London and Singapore.

Cartwright and Royal Mail swap apprentices

19 December 2018

British trailer manufacturer, Cartwright Group, has been swapping apprentices with one of its biggest customers, Royal Mail, to provide greater insight into each of the individual operations.

Six vehicle technician apprentices from Royal Mail Fleet had the opportunity to tour Cartwright’s factory at Altrincham, Cheshire, to find out how the trailers they repair are designed and made.

They learned about every stage of the process, from initial design through to final paint-spraying, including Cartwright’s £1.8 million recently installed panel press, the paint shop and the freight and fabrications departments.

It was an enlightening experience as explained by Royal Mail Fleet’s 4th year Apprentice Vehicle Technician Daniel Carberry. He said: “Today really opened my eyes on the scale of Cartwright and how much work is actually involved in making our trailers. We’ve been really impressed by everything we’ve seen and have enjoyed seeing the bigger picture.”

In return, five Cartwright apprentices visited the Royal Mail Fleet’s workshop at Crick, Northamptonshire, to learn more about the important role trailers play in Royal Mail and Parcel Force Worldwide’s operations.

Mark Cartwright, Group Managing Director, said: “Apprentices play an important part in Cartwright’s day-to-day operations and it is vital that we support the next generation coming through to make the most of their talents and skills.

“Cartwright prides itself on innovation, as well as engineering excellence, and we encourage our apprentices to think about ways of improving operations and processes. Young people often have a fresh perspective and can be very creative.

“This was our first apprentice exchange and we look forward to hearing their views. It was a great success. The two teams worked well together, sharing ideas, and initial feedback has been extremely positive.”

Cartwright now has an intake of around 40 apprentices per year, with over 150 young people passing through the scheme since its inception in 2012.

New innovation gives early wheel loss warning

19 December 2018

A British vehicle technology company has launched the world’s first wheel security system that detects if wheel nuts are working themselves loose whilst a vehicle is in motion.

Wheely-Safe has won the backing of Michelin for its Wheel Security and Tyre Pressure Management System – Heavy Fleet, for truck, bus, coach, trailer and heavy plant operators. The system also monitors brake temperature and can alert the driver to excessive heat, caused by a binding brake or loose hub.

Its unique technology means it is the world’s first in-motion driver alert system which detects the onset of wheel loss before detachment, as well as warning the driver to potential brake or hub issues that could lead to a fire if unchecked. The system also warns the driver of over- or under-inflated tyres.

It consists of sensors straddling two wheel nuts – with a pair fitted to each wheel – and if a nut starts to loosen by 1mm of movement, a signal is instantly transmitted to the solar-powered display unit in the cab, alerting the driver to pull over. When connected to the vehicle’s telematics system, alerts can also be sent directly to the operator’s transport office.

Gary Broadfield, Group Managing Director of Wheely-Safe and the inventor behind the technology, said: “We’ve taken an entirely fresh approach to tackling wheel loss. Existing solutions such as indicator tags can only detect potential wheel loss situations on stationary vehicles; but wheels don’t detach when a vehicle is parked.

“Our technology means that for the first time ever, a driver will receive an alert the instant a potential wheel loss issue is detected – no matter what speed they are travelling, or in what weather conditions – allowing them to pull over safely.”

Steve Jackson, Managing Director of Wheely-Safe, explains: “A detached wheel from a commercial vehicle has been likened by academics to a bouncing bomb, potentially colliding with other road users at an equivalent force of around 10 tonnes. That’s not a scenario any driver or fleet owner wants to experience.”

Reconditioned parts from Renault Trucks

19 December 2018

Renault Trucks is offering a range of reconditioned parts in a move that it says is also a demonstration of sustainability.

The company’ ‘eXchange’ range consists of reconditioned parts, approved to specifications that meet the same reliability, safety and environmental standards as new ones. They come with a two-year warranty and are a viable option for maintaining optimum vehicle performance while controlling maintenance costs.

The ‘standard replacement’ procedure replaces worn or damaged vehicle parts with guaranteed original parts, such as an engine or gearbox in as-new condition.

“With eXchange parts, Renault Trucks can guarantee its customers that their vehicles’ performances will be maintained, no matter how old the vehicle is,” explains Mete Büyükakinci, head of the Remanufacturing Project at Renault Trucks.

Parts available through the scheme include engine and gearbox parts, turbos, braking systems, clutches, electrical, steering, suspension and cooling components

Reconditioning of parts takes place at the company’s factory in Limoges, France, where Renault claims the environmental impact of producing a reconditioned part is up to 60% lower than for a new component.

Electric bus batteries reused to store solar energy

12 December 2018

Batteries from retired electric buses will be used to store solar energy via a new housing association research project in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The ‘energy warehouse’ is giving electric bus batteries a second lease of life as part of a collaboration between Volvo Buses, Göteborg Energi, Riksbyggen and Johanneberg Science Park. The partners will be working together to examine electricity storage in apartment blocks that have their own electricity production via solar panels.

The research is taking place in Riksbyggen’s Viva housing cooperative in Gothenburg, an apartment complex that aims to be Sweden’s most innovative and sustainable housing project. Energy generated via the solar panels on the roof will be stored in batteries that previously powered the Volvo electric buses on Route 55.

The energy warehouse is used to cut the property’s power consumption peaks, and to store or sell surplus solar energy back to the grid.

“We know that electric bus batteries have good potential for other applications such as energy storage after the end of their life in public transport,” says Ylva Olofsson, Project Coordinator at Volvo.“What we are examining here is exactly how good that potential is. Use of the batteries in an energy warehouse gives them an extended service life which in turn means better resource utilisation and less environmental impact.

“Here at Volvo we are examining various possibilities for the reuse of bus batteries for energy storage, and Viva is one such example.”

The battery warehouse consists of 14 used lithium-ion electric bus batteries. They are installed in a battery chamber and linked together to create a 200 kWh storage pack.

Renault Trucks converts tractors into rigids

12 December 2018

Renault Trucks is to offer second-hand versions of its range-topping Range T tractor unit as custom-made rigid box trucks, converted in-house.

The Range T P-Road is the latest addition to Renault’s ‘Used Trucks Factory’ range, which consists of trucks that are converted before resale at its Bourg-en-Bresse manufacturing site, France.

At the factory workshop, used tractors are evaluated against a 200-point checklist before being converted in accordance with the truck builder’s manufacturing standards.

The cab, drive train and suspension are removed and the existing chassis rails replaced by longer rails, with a customisable wheelbase depending on customer requorements.

The Range T P-Road is available with a 4×2 rigid chassis and a choice of three wheelbase lengths (5,600, 6,000 and 6,500mm). Each P-Road is guaranteed for one year or 120,000km (78,000miles). The guarantee covers all driveline components repaired by all Renault Trucks sales and service outlets across Europe

Everywoman awards open for entries

12 December 2018

The 2019 Everywoman in Transport and Logistics Awards is now open for entries, celebrating the achievements of women in business.

Nominees have until February 11, 2019, to submit their entries, which are free of charge.

Launched 11 years ago, Everywoman demonstrates the breadth of opportunities within the industry along with highlighting the career journeys of those who have made a real impact via their occupations.

Everywoman’s co-founder, Maxine Benson MBE, said: “Each year our awards play a vital role in changing the perception of the transport and logistics industry.

“With each success story shared by our nominees, more women are inspired to explore the variety of fulfilling careers in this ever-evolving industry.

“This year, we are highlighting the role that technology plays in creating even more opportunities in the industry and how this identifies the need for many different skills.

“And because we know that businesses with a more gender diverse workforce are 46% more likely to outperform those without, it is imperative that more women enter the industry.”

The awards will recognise two winners per category; one successful industry leader, and one individual at any stage in their career who is going “Above and Beyond” for the business they work for.

The 2019 awards categories are:

  • The Freight Award – This will be awarded to two women who are innovating and excelling in their role within freight (not including passenger transport).
  • The Customer / Passenger Award – This will be awarded to two women who are excelling in their role for customers / passengers in transport, logistics and freight.
  • The Infrastructure Award – This will be awarded to two women who are innovating or excelling in their role within transportation and infrastructure.
  • The Supply Chain Award – This will be awarded to two women who are innovating and excelling in their role within the supply chain environment.
  • The Warehousing Award – This will be awarded to two women who are excelling in their role within a warehousing environment.
  • Industry Champion Award – This Award recognises a woman who is championing the progress of women working in transport and logistics.
  • Male Agent of Change – This will be awarded to a man for his active commitment to advancing the progress of women working in transport and logistics.
  • *New for 2019* Apprentice of the Year – This will be awarded to any male or female apprentice excelling in transport and logistics.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in June 2019. Entries can be submitted here.

Feature: Understanding the London Bus Safety Standard

12 December 2018

In October, Transport for London (TfL) launched its new Bus Safety Standard – a commitment to safety across the capital’s public transport network, which will feature only the safest of buses, with a vision that by 2030 nobody is killed by, or on, a London Bus.

With the standard, TfL has produced a ‘Safety Roadmap’ highlighting a set of features relating to driver assistance, passenger assistance and protection of bus passengers and other road users, along with a timeline for them to be adopted. The Roadmap also proves guidelines to bus manufacturers of the dates by which such safety systems are considered preferable, and further dates by which they’ll become mandatory.

TfL worked with the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in order to develop the standard, with both parties consulting with some bus manufacturers and the operators on technical feasibility, timelines and implementation to work towards making the safety measures realistic.

The Bus Safety Standard requires all new-build London buses from 2019 to include systems to assist both drivers and passengers.

From a driver’s perspective, they include Intelligent Speed Assistance, which uses geofencing technology and a digital speed limit map of London to prevent bus drivers from exceeding the limit, along with blind spot mirrors, camera-assisted vision along the passenger side of the vehicle to help detect pedestrians and cyclists when making a turn, and warning pedal indicator lights, which will alert a driver if they accidentally place their foot on the accelerator instead of the brake. Driver Assault Screens will also be a regulatory requirement to help protect drivers.

For passengers, 2019’s phase of the new standard will require high-grip anti-slip flooring, while an acoustic warning system will also be required specifically for electric buses, to help warn other road users of their approach.

The next stage of mandatory requirements will come into force in 2021, requiring a ‘runaway bus’ prevention system that automatically engages the brake and disengages drive if the driver leaves his or her seat, or falls ill at the wheel, as well as Advanced Emergency Braking systems, similar to those already in use in many cars and light commercial vehicles.

At the same time, the specifications will also require greater all-round vision from the driver’s seat, along with high back seats for passenger seats and a number of collision measures on the bodywork, such as wipers and mirrors designed to fold out of the way in the event of colliding with another road user.

By 2024, the requirements will mandate that all new buses have a collision absorption element to their front profile, along with standardised pedals and enhanced occupant safety for the driver as well as all passengers.

The new standard was three years in the making, with TRL evaluating safety issues and testing proposed measures and feeding the results of the research back to TfL.

TfL estimates that the first phase measures will reduce bus-related fatalities and seriously injured casualties in London by up to 75% and up to 66% respectively, with the overall vision to completely eliminate bus-related deaths and serious injuries.

Scania opens new multi-million pound brand centre

12 December 2018

Scania has opened a new £5.3 million brand centre in Somerset, to provide a wide range of servicing, repair and maintenance as well as new and used truck sales.

The centre was opened by Sweden’s ambassador to the UK,Torbjörn Sohlström, last week, along with Scania’s UK Managing Director, Martin Hay.

The three-acre site, which employs 27 staff, is strategically placed near junction 23 of the M5 motorway and includes 11 work bays, a purpose-built recycling centre, as well as secure parking for 42 HGV’s and 51 cars.

Martin Hay, said: “This opening is especially personal for me, as I was involved with the very first opening of Bridgwater in September 1995.

“I’m extremely proud to see how it has developed. It shows that through loyal customers and dedicated staff just what can be achieved.

“We have every confidence that Scania Bridgwater will continue to provide a fantastic service in the future.”

Scania Bridgwater General Manager, Nigel Champion, added: “Our new location will enable us to continue to achieve the high levels of customer service that we are associated with.

“The new location will provide more space for vehicles to manoeuvre and reduce congestion and enable us to not only keep up with service demand, but grow the business too.”

Volvo Trucks upgrades Euro 6 engines

12 December 2018

Volvo Trucks is to upgrade its popular D11 and D13 diesel engines – found in the FH, FM and FMX vehicles – in advance of the introduction of the Euro 6 Step D regulation.

Claes Nilsson, president of Volvo Trucks, said the revised engines will also reduce the trucks’ fuel consumption.

“A combination of small improvements enables significant cost savings for our customers without compromising performance or productivity,” he stated.

The upgraded D13 engine also uses a new VDS-5 low viscous oil type and new piston oil scraper rings to reduce fuel consumption and internal friction. Additionally, the 494bhp engine saves extra fuel by having the same higher compression ratio as the 454 and 415bhp versions.

“These updates will support our customers in staying on top of the new emission regulation while improving fuel efficiency for our Volvo FH, FM and FMX trucks,” added Nilsson.

The upgraded engines are available to order from the end of December.