Free FORS training places up for grabs

12 June 2019

FORS will offer funded places on a selection of its driver specific training courses, to help members upskill their driving workforce.

The free-of-charge training places, exclusive to FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) members, will be available on a selection of driver training courses.

The spaces are being funded to help members fulfil the training requirements set out in the FORS Standard, and to aid progression through its tiered accreditation.

Places are available on mandatory FORS Safe Urban Driving, Van Smart, and LoCITY Driving courses, with each place allocated on a first come, first served basis.

FORS Professional Safe Urban Driving allows commercial HGV drivers to experience urban driving from the point of view of vulnerable road users such as cyclists, with each participant completing a practical cycling module.

FORS manager Sonia Hayward said, “Safe Urban Driving and Van Smart meet the FORS Silver professional development requirement, and LoCITY Driving meets the FORS Gold professional development requirement.

“In addition, each course is seven hours in duration and is Driver CPC accredited, which is helpful for drivers ahead of the CPC deadline in September.”

Hayward added, “We are happy to be able to support our members by funding these FORS Professional courses, which will not only help drivers with their professional development, but also help operators with improving their safety and environmental standards.”

Five Minutes with Murray Ellis, CV Show Director

13 June 2019

After more than 30 years in the events industry, Murray Ellis knows a thing or two about staging a successful expo. This week, TNB caught up with the new CV Show Director, to learn more about his background, his first impressions of the commercial vehicle sector and his vision for the industry’s premier annual event.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’ve been in the exhibition and event industry for 30 years or so and my last role was running the Southampton and London Boat Shows – two consumer boat shows with a global reputation.

I’m from the New Forest in Hampshire and I love all sport but have a particular passion for golf.

What’s been your first impression of the CV Show?

My first impression is that it’s a great show.

It’s visually appealing, has some very professional stands and the whole look and feel of the event is very impressive.

It’s also got a great legacy and the volume of major manufacturers exhibiting combined with the quality and quantity of visitors gives it something very special.

What does the CV Show have in common with the boat shows?

When you consider exhibitions, it doesn’t matter whether you’re running a B2B or B2C event, fundamentally it’s about putting buyers and sellers together in the right environment. I can see the CV Show is very good at doing that.

It provides the right platform for exhibitors to sell, promote and launch new products and services within a format that still appeals to visitors.

How can the CV Show remain relevant?

The CV Show has been fantastic at keeping pace with the industry and that’s been reflected in its success.

It’s done this, in part, by listening to exhibitors and visitors about what’s important to them and adapting to suit.

The industry is going through lots of change – notably with the drive to provide cleaner commercial vehicles and advances in autonomous features and telematics – and we need to continue to listen to ensure the show provides a relevant platform for the industry to come together and learn about the new available technology being developed.

How do you see the CV Show developing in years to come?

I see the show evolving gradually, building on the fantastic work that’s already been done by the team, under the leadership of my predecessor Rob Skelton.

That said, I’m driven by my passion and success so I would like to see it grow at the right pace and at the right time.

For the Show’s growth we have to look at how we can deliver new brands and products which will in turn introduce new exhibitors and visitors to the show. This however, should be within a policy of quality over quantity to ensure the show always stays relevant to the market

We also have to continue to maintain the show’s profile and cement its position as the UK’s leading commercial vehicle show.

Do you have any messages for TNB readers?

Yes. We’ll be very soon launching the 2020 CV Show with the Space Application Brochure being sent to companies in July. With a strong demand for space I would recommend companies wishing to exhibit at the 2020 show should get their applications in early

Manheim enjoys successful restart to physical HGV auctions
12 June 2019

Manheim’s return to a physical HGV auction proved a big success with total sales topping more than £800,000.

The sale, which took place at the firm’s Bruntingthorpe site, saw over 150 HGV units go under the hammer and 72% of all lots sold on the day.

More than 200 buyers attended, with 37% of the lots selling online and an overall return of 105.6% on vendors’ reserves.

Buyers had the option of either attending in person to see vehicles drive past the rostrum or logging on to bid and buy using Manheim’s award-winning Simulcast technology in real-time.

At the end of the physical drive through auction, a virtual lane auction was held. Facilitated by the new Dealer Auction team, a Cox Automotive joint venture with Auto Trader, the auctioneers offered over 40 lots to the physical audience as well as those online.

These online lots (trucks, trailers plus items of plant / equipment) were located at Manheim’s four new strategic HGV de-fleet hubs at Shotts, Washington, Gloucester and Colchester auction centres. All vehicles, regardless of location, benefited from a detailed electronic condition report and imagery available on the Manheim website prior to sale day.

Manheim also used the event to introduce Chris Mynott as its new national HGV manager to head-up this specialist division, having re-joined the company from Commercial Vehicle Auctions.

Matthew Davock, director of commercial vehicles at Manheim, said, “We know that our vendors trust us to maximise returns and that their biggest need is for de-fleet and storage facilities. Bruntingthorpe’s 600-acre site offers the necessary scale and size required to run our new HGV proposition and works perfectly when supported by the four de-fleet hubs.

“This strategic move will allow Manheim to meet customer demand in the HGV market for a flexible service that helps vendors maximise sale returns, minimise movement costs and splits duplicate model volumes. The reaction of vendors and buyers alike to the new sale and Chris’s return to the podium has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Cross Transport updates Amazon fleet

12 June 2019

Asset Alliance Group has delivered a fleet of 56 new tractor units to Cross Transport, for operation on its contract with leading e-commerce business, Amazon.

The full-service contract hire deal, valued at approximately £4.5 million, sees the supply of a new fleet of DAF XF tractors with Super Space Cabs, replacing older assets.

Dean Cross, Managing Director at Cross Transport, said, “This is a substantial order for a key part of our business, and we’re very pleased to have Asset Alliance Group’s support.

“In the time we’ve worked together, they’ve shown they understand our business needs perfectly. Initially, the Amazon contract required a bigger fleet – and fast – and Asset Alliance Group came through and delivered.”

Each new DAF is expected to cover 140,000 kilometres annually, with the contract hire agreement including all safety inspections, maintenance, servicing and repairs – covered by a single monthly payment. They will support Cross Transport’s contract with Amazon, delivering customer orders throughout the UK and Europe from its Nuneaton depot.

Iveco appoints new business director for the UK and Ireland

12 June 2019

Iveco has appointed Sascha Kaehne as its new business director for the UK and Ireland, replacing Stuart Webster.

Kaehne had been the brand’s business director for Heavy Trucks in the EMEA region since 2017, before which he was managing director for Iveco Trucks Germany for four years.

Commenting on his new role, Kaehne, who holds an MBA from Heriot-Watt University, said, “I’m in the enviable position of taking on this new role at a key moment for Iveco, just weeks after the international launch of our New Daily light commercial vehicle, and as we prepare to unveil our new heavy truck range this summer.

“The next few months promise to be very exciting; and I’m looking forward to capitalising on my heavy truck background to maximise all opportunities in this major market.”

Kaehne will be based at the UK headquarters in Basildon and replaces Webster, who has chosen to leave the brand to pursue other interests.

Webster said, “I’ve enjoyed a wonderful 19-year career within the group and having the opportunity to lead Iveco in the UK and Ireland these last four years has been a privilege. I wish everyone within the brand the very best for the future.”

Hyundai unveils electric double-decker

12 June 2019

Hyundai Motor has unveiled an electric double-decker bus as part of its effort to help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

Unveiled at the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Technology Fair in Korea, the new model has been in development for more than 18 months.

The bus can carry up to 70 passengers – 11 seats on the first floor and 59 seats on the second floor – while two fixed-in-space wheelchairs, an automatic sliding ramp and low floor design, make the model accessible for disabled and mobility impaired passengers.

It is powered by a 384 kWh water-cooled high-efficiency polymer battery, with a maximum 300 km driving range on a single charge. A full charge can be completed in 72 minutes.

ByoungWoo Hwang, Head of Commercial Vehicle Advanced Engineering team at Hyundai Motor, said, “The double-decker electric bus is an environmentally friendly vehicle optimised for global eco-friendly trends.

“This will not only ultimately improve the air quality, but also contribute greatly to easing commuting hour traffic congestion by accommodating more passengers.”

UK new van market grows with strong demand for smaller vans

05 June 2019

  • UK new van registrations up 5.4% in May, the fifth consecutive month of growth.
  • Strong growth for smaller vans, demand up 14.0%, but pickups stall, down -1.8%.
  • Year-to-date, market remains robust with more than 156,000 new LCVs registered.

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The UK’s new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market grew in May, up 5.4%, as 29,142 new vans were registered on British roads, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). May marked the fifth consecutive month of growth for the LCV sector, as buyers responded to new models and competitive offers on the market.

Wider trends seen throughout 2019 continued, with demand for smaller vans weighing less than
2.0-tonnes rising most in the month, up 14.0%. Registrations of mid-sized and larger vans weighing 2.0 to 2.5-tonnes and 2.5 to 3.5-tonnes also rose, up 10.2% and 5.3% respectively.

Elsewhere, pickups and 4x4s stalled, down -1.8% and -26.3% respectively. Year-to-date, however, the UK’s LCV market remains robust, up 7.5% with 156,489 new units sold and all segments posting rises.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

Another month of growth for the UK’s van market is welcome news, evidence that investment by manufacturers into new models is continuing to help attract buyers. Vans today are more high-tech than ever, with impressive fuel economy, safety features and performance. However, business purchasing is cyclical in nature and for the market to stay strong we need the right economic and political conditions.

UK bus company wins big order from Singapore

05 June 2019

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority has awarded Alexander Dennis an order for 50 new Enviro500 double-deckers built to a new three-door, two-staircase layout. The first will be delivered next year.

Alexander Dennis has developed an innovative new concept for Singapore. These Enviro500 buses will feature a full-flat floor design along with three passenger doors and two staircases, one at the front and one at the rear of the vehicle, allowing commuters to move through the vehicle quickly and safely.

The design builds upon the concept bus that Alexander Dennis developed for the LTA in 2016, adding further innovation including the use of the latest aluminium composite body technology and a host of new safety and energy-saving features.

The 50 new buses will join 216 earlier Alexander Dennis Enviro500s already in operation in Singapore. All will be supported locally from the manufacturer’s 25,000sqft facility in the north of Singapore which was opened last year.

Paul Davies, managing director for Alexander Dennis Asia Pacific, said, “This new order is a resounding confirmation of Alexander Dennis’s strategy in Singapore, where we have invested significantly to support the Land Transport Authority and its operating partners.”

Make taking the bus as simple as ordering a pizza, say teenagers

05 June 2019

Independent watchdog Transport Focus says more young people would use the bus if WiFi and USB points were fitted on all seats.

Although a report says satisfaction among 16-18-year-olds increased from 77% to 80% in 2018, this age group is still the least satisfied of all.

The youngsters who are not happy with the bus services currently on offer, say the process of buying a ticket should be made much easier by utilising smartphone apps.

The 27-page report collates best practice from a series of five workshops held across England in February and March 2019 to discuss Transport Focus research into the experiences and needs of young passengers released in February 2018.

And it is clear the wider world is getting on board with more modern-day tech on transport systems. In Guiyang, south west China buses are taking advantage of the 5G network and have incorporated full-size screens where passengers can watch HD films.

The report also said that young people would be more inclined to take the bus if the fares were reduced and were easier to understand. A flat fare of £2.20 introduced in and around Liverpool was cited as a success story and has led to a significant increase in the number of 18-year-olds using a bus.

Transport Focus Director David Sitebottom said, “Young people are the biggest users of the bus, but don’t feel services are designed for them.

“Young people want using the bus to be as simple and intuitive as ordering pizza. Bus operators and local authorities must seize the opportunity to cater for their customers of the future.”

Chief Executive of The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT), Graham Vidler, said, “The industry recognises the huge importance of meeting the expectations of younger travellers on services across the country.

“Bus companies continue to invest in services younger passengers expect, and on-board facilities including contactless and mobile ticketing, WiFi, USB charging points and leather seating are now commonplace on many services.”

FEATURE: MAN achieves real-world platooning trial success

06 June 2019

Platooning has long been mooted as a potential solution for a logistics industry looking to reduce both the cost and environmental impact of vehicle movements.

The idea’s a simple one…using connected and autonomous technology, trucks are able to form convoys and drive closer together over long distances, thus cutting air drag friction, bringing down fuel consumption and cutting costs.

Figures produced by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) projected that platooning could reduce the CO2 emissions of trailing vehicles by up to 16% and of lead convoy vehicles by 8%.

Platooning is now closer to reality as proven by MAN Truck and Bus and its partnership with DB Schenker and Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in German.

Together they conducted the first real-world trials of platooning – carrying real cargo on actual roads, including the German autobahn network – and reached the conclusion that platooning is not only possible but ‘safe, technically reliable and easily applicable in the routine of a logistics company’.

As part of a research project sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), professional drivers drove two electronically linked vehicles on the Autobahn 9 between the Nuremberg and Munich branches of the logistics company DB Schenker over the course of seven months. Having covered some 35,000 test kilometres, the truck drivers, who drove at only 15 to 21 meters, praised the driving comfort and the general sense of safety. The field test also demonstrated savings in fuel consumption.

According to the project partners, the use of truck platoons could also ensure more efficient use of space on motorways, less congestion and increased road safety.

Commenting after the trials, Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure said, “The mobility of the future will be automated and networked. Of course, this is also true for logistics. I therefore fully support the industry in bringing technologies such as platooning to market maturity.

“We want to make the processes even safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly, all along the value chain. The drivers have a key role to play here. In a digital truck they will be modern logistics specialists. This will open up new prospects for the profession.”

According to DB Schenker’s research, platooning can be used extensively in the logistics network. Alexander Doll, Member of the Management Board for Finance, Freight Transport and Logistics at Deutsche Bahn AG said, “We have analysed our European transport network and it is safe to say that around 40% of the kilometres travelled could be carried out in platoons.

“For this, however, further tests and ensuring the regulatory framework would be necessary. Customers would also benefit. “With platooning we can offer even more reliable transports.”

The platooning system installed in the MAN trucks operated smoothly 98% of the time. Active interventions by the driver were necessary only once every 2,000km. In addition, the pilot project demonstrated a 3 to 4 percent reduction in fuel consumption.

“We were able to show that platooning has the potential to contribute to the reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. First and foremost, we are pleased that the system works reliably and can increase safety on the motorway. Accordingly, platooning is an important step for us on the way to automation,” said Joachim Drees, Chairman of the Management Board of MAN Truck & Bus SE.

Meanwhile, scientists from the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences investigated the psychosocial and neurophysiological effects on the drivers. Having experienced the actual field test brought about a significant change in the previously sceptical attitude of the drivers.

“A general sense of safety and trust in the technology is echoed in the drivers’ assessment of specific driving situations. None of these were described as uncontrollable,” said Professor Sabine Hammer from the Institute for the Science of Complex Systems (Institut für komplexe Systemforschung, IKS) at the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences.

The drivers experienced vehicles of other road users cutting in from adjacent lanes or cutting across multiple lanes as “disagreeable”, but not critical.

“Due to the fast response times of the system, drivers would now prefer a distance of 10-15 meters,” said Hammer.

Professor Christian Haas, Director of the IKS added, “The EEG measurements show no systematic differences between platoon runs and normal runs when it comes to the neurophysiological stress placed on drivers, i.e. in terms of concentration or fatigue,”.

For international use, the scientists recommend further research with longer periods in platooning mode. The project partners are convinced that the potential of truck platooning can be further increased by future developments. In addition, new digital business models in logistics are conceivable.

In the UK, Thomas Hemmerich, Managing Director MAN Truck & Bus UK Ltd, said, “It’s really interesting to see the statistics from the trial, which involves moving customer goods, and how platooning has demonstrated clear savings in terms of reduced fuel consumption and CO2, while at the same time free up valuable road space.

“What is also interesting is the positive feedback from both the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences and the drivers involved, and how they have monitored neurophysiological stress placed on drivers which shows no systematic differences between platoon runs and normal runs.”