New industry speaker service

ProSpeke International is new, free-to-use speaker service.  This provides expert business speakers who can deliver “much more” than simple motivational talks or celebrity gossip.  “Our people entertain, educate, inspire and add value for the audiences they address,” said Dale Howarth, who runs the service.  “It is simple to use and free, with no agency fees or commissions to pay to ProSpeke.”  People using the web-based service at www.prospeke.com have full, direct access to speakers and can negotiate their own terms and fees directly.”  This saves time and money and makes it easier to adapt the content to better suit a specific audience or event.
More from Dale Howarth at dalehowarth@prospeke.com

Van values stabilise in October

Manheim Remarketing’s latest monthly Market Analysis for Vans shows that at £4,092, average wholesale used van values fell by just 0.8% or £34 following an increase of 3.2% or £127 in September.  It says this levelling off follows an increase in average age to 52 months plus an increase in average mileage to 75,065.  “The underlying strength of the market is demonstrated further by the fact that average values are 14.0% or £502 higher than the same period last year. In tougher economic times a used van offers better value and a lower financial outlay for an SME operator than a new van,” said James Davis, general manager, commercial vehicles at Manheim Remarketing.
More from Andrew Andersz on +44 (0)1 865 343 100 or andrew.andersz@thejjgroup.com

EU fails to understand vans again

The EU Council Presidency wants to limit van CO2 emission to 140g CO2/km in 2020.  Its “compromise proposal” sets this as target for the average emissions for new vans.  The plans is to use this figure as the basis for bargaining and reach an agreement on the final performance figure for vans.  The Commission aims to extend the ideas it used to set car CO2 emissions to vans and other light commercial vehicles and the Belgian Presidency wants for a deal by the end of the year.  Parliament will vote in late November.  Many industry observers worry about bureaucrats and politicians who so clearly showing their complete failure to understand the differences between the way private people use cars and business use commercial vehicles.
More from Alex Robinson on +44 (0)2 073 441 614 or arobisonson@smmt.co.uk

New Ingimex dropside meets new standards.

Ingimex has launched the third version of its one stop dropside.  The new model could be the first European light truck dropside to be designed and tested to meet the requirements of EN12642, EN12640 and DIN75410 standards.  These govern the structural strength of the body and its ability to retain loads.  “These standards are quoted on some CV components, but we suspect that we are the first to have tested the complete body structure and load restraint points as a final assembly,” said Jeremy Gallen, engineering director.  Incorporating these standards early in the design phase meant a very modest cost increase but “during testing, we discovered that our design exceeded the requirements of the “XL” rating in EN12642 at 4.6T GVW”.
More from Justin Gallen on +44 (0)1 952 585 833 or jgallen@ingimex.com

More H2 buses for London

€5.67m from the EU means Transport for London can afford three more hydrogen hybrid fuel cell buses.  This means TfL can use H2 to run an entire London bus route, helping improve local air quality.  The deal is part of the EU’s Cleaner Hydrogen in Cities plan.  The three extra buses will join five others due to start running on route RV1 later this year.  All eight should be working by the end of 2011 and the extra cash means the trial can run for four rather than three years.  Wrightbus will supply the buses, ISE Corporation will maintain them with Ballard supplying the fuel cells and Air Products the H2
More from David Edwards on +44 (0)2 071 264 062 or david.b.edwards@tfl.gov.uk

FTA dismayed

The Freight Transport Association says it is “dismayed” at the government’s failure to establish Operator Licensing in Northern Ireland.  The necessary bill, the long-awaited Goods Vehicle (Operator Licensing) Bill got its Royal Assent in January this year.  “The momentum that we saw earlier in the year seems to have been lost,” according to Tom Wilson, the FTA’s head of policy for Northern Ireland.  “When it comes to improving the safety of our roads and applying the same standards that operators face in the rest of the UK, there is no room for complacency and there really ought to be a greater sense of urgency from government.”
More from Liam Northfield on +44 (0)1 892 552 244 or lnorthfield@fta.co.uk

Don’t lose your nuts

HGV Direct says that Department for Transport data show that up to 400 wheels come off trucks and trailers each year, causing, on average 134 accidents, 27 injuries and seven deaths.  The firm says loose wheel nuts are the main cause and so it has done a deal with Sweden’s Nord Lock to supply its patented locking wheel nuts.  It says the move could help cut the number of wheel loses and accidents.  “These nuts are more effective and 30% cheaper than any other nut security system on the market,” says Chris Knowles, operations director.  He is so confident that he’ll give a free set of ‘Checkpoint’ nut indicators to any customer ordering a set of Nord Lock locking nuts.
More from Paul Brook on +44 (0)1 159 856 954 or paul@freestyleuk.com

CV Show bookings blossom

“Over 15,000 square metres of stand space is now covered by exhibitors who have now signed up for next year’s UK Commercial Vehicle Show,” says CV Show organiser, Bob Sockl.  “We’ve bookings from many of the industry’s major players and we’re talking to dozens of others.”  The CV Show and its Workshop counterpart will run from Tuesday 12 to Thursday 14 April at the National Exhibition Centre, near Birmingham.  Sockl is quietly confident about the Show, which he says will provide an “unrivalled” shop window for firms keen to market their way out the recession. A current floor plan is available by calling 01634 261262 or email enquiries@cvshow.com
More from Bob Sockl on +44 (0)1 634 261 262 or bob.s@crystal-communications.co.uk

Mind the Mexican scam

CV Show and ATS organisers say that exhibitors are being hit by an online exhibitions and events directory called Expo Guide, based in Mexico.  Typically Expo Guide faxes a misleading form that looks like an organiser’s free catalogue listing service.  This invites them to sign up for an entry in an on-line directory.  “If you fall for it, you’ll find yourself locked into what looks like an irrevocable three year contract that costs €1,181 a year,” says Bob Sockl of Crystal Communications, organiser for the CV Show.  “All you seem to get for you money is a list giving your firm’s contact details and logo, but no stand number or list of exhibits.”  Check Expo Guide on Google and you’ll find lots of advice on this and similar scams.  Most suggest that if you get caught you should ignore all the letters and threats.  Also check the Association of Exhibition Organisers which has been successfully scam busting for years.  “Do check, it could save a lot of grief,” says Sockl.
More from Bob Sockl on +44 (0)1 634 261 262 or bob.s@crystal-communications.co.uk

And finally

My colleague Bob Davis, who amongst his many talents is also the SMMT’s bus man, saw the following recently in Coach and Bus Week; it is a part of a quote from a Stagecoach manager: “…during winter weather, Chipping Norton is located at the highest geographical point in the county.” Bob wants to know where Chipping Norton goes in summer?
More from Robin Dickeson on +44 (0)2 073 449 222 or rdickeson@smmt.co.uk