Gas is a natural for a quiet night

Iveco says its natural gas engines are up to 50% quieter than their diesel equivalents, making them ideal for urban and night delivery work.  In the UK the firm offers 28 natural gas powered EcoDaily models from 3.5 to 7 tonnes, Eurocargo trucks from 12 to 16 tonnes and Stralis trucks from 19 to 34 tonnes.  Iveco believes that increasing pressure to keep delivery costs down will make night-time deliveries more attractive.  Lower traffic at night makes for more predictable, quicker and cheaper delivery runs, particularly in urban and suburban area.  Demonstrably quieter trucks may help persuade local authorities to relax night delivery bans.
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Limited edition golden anniversary Actros

Tilbury-based haulier C&H has ordered 102 Mercedes Actros MegaSpace customised tractor units with customised curtain-sided three-axle trailers.  The move is part of the firm’s 50th anniversary celebrations.  C&H started in 1960 on London’s Isle of Dogs and now, after its acquisition by the Charles Gee Group, runs 100 trucks and 270 trailers carrying forest products out of seven depots across the UK.  Jim Newsome, of Search Impex, which will supply the new rigs, says the special anniversary livery is “stunning.”  They are 1:50 scale models, in a certified limited edition produced exclusively for Search Impex by WSI Collectibles.
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Another Daf in Macaskill’s colours

Stornaway’s Macaskill Haulage has a new Daf XF in its livery.  The truck is a three-axle XF 105 Super Space Cab, coupled to a three-axle Carrier trailer.  Established in the 1970s the firm specialises in the fresh and frozen food transport and distribution, especially fish, but also does general haulage work.  It mostly runs between the Outer Hebrides and the Scottish mainland but also regularly carries salmon to the Continent.  “With metallic paint and fine graphics detail, the Daf unit and fridge trailer will make an exceptional addition to any model collection,” said Jim Newsome of Search Impex.  The rig is at 1:50 scale and priced at priced at £137 each, including UK delivery and VAT.
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Imexpart launches Iveco range

Independent truck parts specialist Imexpart will use stand 4L22 at the CV Show for the exhibition debut of its CaptiveX range of replacement parts for Iveco trucks.  Available in early 2011 the new range offers both fast moving Iveco parts and “some that are harder to find outside the franchised network”  The firm will hold over 10,000 Iveco parts in stock, “covering all popular UK applications,” and selling them through its seven-strong nationwide network.  Imexpart also sells truck parts for MAN and Mercedes, has an all-makes engine range and does bumpers and cab panels too.
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Auxiliary electronics control systems on show

Carnation Designs will use stand 4C60 at the CV Show to highlight the flexibility of its genisys system for specialist vehicle builders and operators.  Already a leading provider to the emergency vehicle market, Carnation produces fully customisable, easy-to-integrate systems to control auxiliary electronics and related power management in virtually any vehicle.  This offers a programmable alternative to hard-wired relays and fuses, using solid-state technology to ensure a vehicle can adapt to changing needs.
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More cash for ePower Trucks

Electric truck specialist ePower Trucks just got £1m to spend on its next growth phase.  The firm, which sells the Alke series of all-electric, road-legal utility trucks, got the deal from Yorkshire Bank.  ePower Trucks’ sales grew by 55% in 2010, with electric trucks and utility vehicles going to premier league football clubs, multinational contractors,  local authorities, health trusts and airports.  Prices for the Alke ATX series start from around £15,000, while those for the XT series, with up to 120 mile range and fast-swap battery pack, start from £30,000.  Finance packages are also available.
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Fuel price hike drives hybrid interest

Ashwoods Automotive, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of hybrid light commercial vehicles says it is seeing a “surge of interest” following the recent increase in pump prices for diesel.  The firm, which is makes its CV Show debut this year, says its Hybrid Drive now delivers a return on investment in as little as three years, based on 30,000 miles a year.  The energy recovery system cuts fuel use by 15-20%, depending on the drive cycle.  Ashwoods has launched a new website, and its new Twitter account (@ecovansdirect) already has 400 followers.
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SMMT Logistics Forum

Honda’s manufacturing plant in Swindon has hosted the first SMMT Logistics Forum of 2011.  15 SMMT member firms, including BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover the Road Haulage Association discussed the UK automotive supply chain and set a date or another meeting on 19 April 2011 at Forbes House, London.  If you’d like to know more about the Logistics Forum or how to join the group, please contact Ana Filipe.
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SMMT still needs a new CV manager

Robin Dickeson, the SMMT’s commercial vehicle man will retire and leave in mid-April, so the Society needs a new commercial vehicle affairs manager, a champion for the SMMT’s 100 or more commercial vehicle members.  Katie Milbourn, Head of Personnel at the SMMT has had some good replies to last week’s article but will welcome more.  You’ll need to know and be known by the UK commercial vehicle and road transport industries.  You’ll also need to be able to speak for the industry to a wide range of audiences.  You should know what makes dealers tick and how to work successfully with other trade associations and with government agencies.  But the ability to tie a bow tie isn’t mandatory.  If you think this could be for you, you’ll find the details on the SMMT website; go to ‘About’ and then ‘Vacancies’.  The deadline is 10 February 2010.
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And finally

New Scientist’s Feedback page reports that Tadeusz Kawecki downloaded several dozen recordings of bird calls onto his Nokia cell phone in preparation for a trip to the tropics.  To his surprise, the phone sorted them into musical genres.
It classified the song of the pied puffbird as belonging to “oldies”, the laughing falcon to “pop” and the spotted wood quail “disco”.  The dusky nightjar apparently sings “jazz”, the harpy eagle “metal”.  Various kinds of woodpecker produce “dance” music, while the hoots of 11 species of owl are classified as “country”.  What, we wonder, would bands like the Eagles, the Housemartins and the Byrds have had to say about Nokia’s classifications?
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