Transport News Brief – Week 33 Tuesday 12 August 2008

New tyre pressure monitoring systemSafe Europe plc says it new Monityre system can save operators cash by cutting fuel costs and accident damage.  The firm’s Charles Rabbidge says regular monitoring of truck and trailer tyre pressures can cut fuel bills dramatically.  He estimates that a fleet of 100 trailers could save around £100,000 a year on its annual fuel costs, with further benefits from improved vehicle uptime and tyre life.  The Monityre system consists of four main components; pressure sensors – one per tyre – an in-cab DIN display unit and, for artics, a trailer mounted Smart Booster and a programming hand tool.  “Perhaps the most unique part of the system is its ability to cope with the dropping and swapping of trailers,” said Rabbidge.More from David Nash on +44 (0)1 614 567 870 or [email protected] New Premiums for KibbleMotor Transport Haulier of the Year Matthew Kibble Transport has four new Renault Premiums, three 18 tonners and a 7.5 tonne tonner, all with curtainside bodies.  The new trucks are the first Renaults to join the firm’s 23-strong fleet.  Matthew Kibble Transport is part of the Fortec Pallet Network and does full and part load overnight pallet work from its 22,000ft2 warehouse in Calne, Lancashire.  The new trucks will do local deliveries for 300 customers.  JDS Trucks at Blackburn won the business and has all the new trucks on a repair and maintenance contract.  It also has an order for another 18 tonne Premium for Kibble.More from Penny Randall on +44 (0)1 582 479 619 or [email protected] Alexander Dennis hybrid to cut fuel by 40%Colin Robertson, chief executive of Falkirk-based bus and coach maker Alexander Dennis Limited says it will “very shortly” take the wraps of its new generation hybrid buses.  The firm suggests these may cut fuel consumption and thus greenhouse gas emissions by between 30 and 40%.More from Bill Simpson on +44 (0)1 483 571 271 or [email protected] Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Nice cars, do you do electric vans too?Electric vehicle company Nice (no internal combustion engine) says around one in five serious leads at the recent Motor Show were from visitors interested in buying light commercial vehicles.  “The Motor Show is a consumer exhibition so cars took centre stage on our stand,” said co-founder Evert Geurtsen.  “We were surprised by the significant interest shown in our growing range of commercial vehicles.  In the next few weeks we’ll be following-up our leads.  We’ll also start making plans for a bigger presence at next year’s Commercial Vehicle Show.”More from Nigel Wonnacott +44(0)7 954 326 528 or [email protected] Pirelli to spend $65m to hike Egyptian productionThe Pirelli Group says it will spend $65m on its radial tyre production capacity in Egypt 50%.  The firm’s factory in Alexandria makes tyres for trucks and buses in Alexandria.  Its capacity will rise to one million units a year, the biggest commercial vehicle tyre output in the Middle East and Africa.More from Sarah Brown on +44 (0)1 283 525 479 or [email protected] successThe Society of Motor Manufacturers and Trader’s two Type Approval seminars on Thursday 7 August at Warwick were a “great success” according to Robin Dickeson, manager, commercial vehicle affairs for the Society.  The aim was to tell people about the wide-ranging changes that will start to affect the commercial vehicle industry from next April.  “In particular we wanted to alert people to the DfT consultation on the issue,” said Dickeson.  “This closes on 22 August and we hope that as many as possible will use the opportunity to have their say.”  Over 150 people, mostly non-members, from body-builders, truck and trailer makers and component firms came along and the event was hugely oversubscribed, with a waiting list of over 80.  “Our thanks to Volvo for its hospitality and to the Vehicle Certification Agency team for their support.”More from Robin Dickeson on +44 (0)2 073 449 222 or [email protected] Good habits to cut costsCurbing bad driving habits could cut thousands of pounds off a fleet’s fuel costs.  Research by Gensis Communications using its xTrack system shows that careful drivers can save up to £5,000 a year with over revving, harsh braking and cruise control override some of the main causes of excess diesel consumption.  The real-time system monitors driver behaviour, fuel use and carbon emissions to show fleet managers where vehicles are, their road, engine speed and fuel use.   The system also gives league tables of the best or worst performers.  The firm says this data could help businesses make big fuel savings.More from Katie Colledge on +44 (0)1 612 350 316 or [email protected] Daf moves the metal for FleggBuckinghamshire-based machinery movers Flegg Transport has chosen high spec Euro 5 Daf XF105s for its 2008 fleet replacement programme.  A FAS three-axle rigid and a pair of mid-lift axle FTG tractors, all at 460 horsepower, have already gone to work in firm’s fleet, with another FTG at 510 hp due this month.  All four trucks have AS-tronic automated transmissions and each will do some 80,000 km a year on extended service intervals.  The tractors will pull Royen low-deck curtainside trailers.  The firm’s boss, Jayson Flegg says he wants the new trucks to make a statement about the firm’s professionalism and high standards in its specialist area.  “As well as that, we want to make sure that our crews travel in comfort.”More from David Rowlands on +44 (0)2 074 948 050 or [email protected] And finally New Scientist’s Feedback column reports that reader Terence Saffell saw the following sign in his local supermarket offering:  “Healthy Living Chicken Breasts” on sale.More from New gear from the FTAThe Freight Transport Association says its Shopfta 2008 catalogue is now out.  It covers over 150 new goodies, including work wear and clothing, footwear, safety posters, driver-training DVDs, racking accessories and a selection of warning and mandatory signs.  These supplement the FTA’s range of transport support stuff for vehicle and driver management, tachographs, health and safety and more.  Shopfta is now available online at 24 hours a day, seven days a week or on +44 (0)8 717 111 111 from 0900 to 1700.  FTA members get discounts on many items.More from Samantha Law on +44 (0)1 892 552 368 or [email protected] New electronic bulletin service from BoschBosch says its latest ESI(tronic) Technical Service Bulletins use data taken direct from vehicle makers.  The new package adds to the Bosch diagnosis and repair programme.  It should help technicians identify and repair common vehicle problems quickly and will be available on a free trial basis until the end of this year.  It covers 5,466 vehicles with added regular updates.  The firm says its TSBs are designed with the user in mind, using an easily understood format, a clear description of the problem, validated repair tips and images to guide the technician.More from Marco Ferrari on +44 (0) 2 074 948 050 or [email protected] Aldi puts Krone to the testSupermarket chain Aldi just got its first Krone Cool Liner trailer.  The new vehicle was built to Aldi’s strict criteria and will be closely monitored to ensure it meets the firm’s standards.  The Cool Liner trailer operates as both a chiller and freezer, depending on the needs of the load, and has been built with a lifting axle and rear steering and a 10 year anti-corrosion guarantee.  Aldi use the Darlington site to test the specification and suitability of a range of vehicles and equipment before adding company’s to its preferred supplier lists.  It runs over 330 delivery vehicles with depots and stores all over the UK.More from Jason Chipchase on +44 (0)1 469 571 626 or [email protected] Sales and marketing moves at Renault Trucks Renault Trucks says Nigel Butler, its UK sales and marketing director will now handle all used vehicle sales, as well as his existing responsibilities for new sales.  He will also manage the Renault Trucks’ importers in Malta, Cyprus and Ireland and the firm’s product marketing team.  Penny Randall marketing and communications manager will handle UK marketing, reporting to Laurent Farman, Renault Trucks’ managing director.  Separately Chris Sharp is promoted to aftermarket director and Marcus Kemp joins the firm as general sales manager for fleet sales.More from Penny Randall on +44 (0)1 582 479 619 or [email protected] Bus and coach driver CPCs soonThe Driving Standards Agency says that on 10 September it will introduce a new qualification, the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence, for all professional bus and coach drivers.  This is part of a Europe-wide plan to improve road safety.  For new drivers the CPC will involve a theory test, and hazard perception assessment, a new Driver CPC case studies test, a longer practical test to give more time on a wider variety of roads and an additional practical safety test.  On top of that, all drivers will need to do 35 hours of training every five years to keep their Driver CPC status.  Existing drivers won’t need to do the initial test but they will need to do 35 hours of periodic training by 2013 and then every five years.  A similar scheme for truck drivers is due to start in September 2009. More from Alexander Dennis wins £80m, 500-bus dealFalkirk-based bus and coach maker Alexander Dennis Limited says it has won what is believes is one of the biggest orders ever in the UK bus industry; the firm will deliver over 250 buses to FirstGroup this year and in the first quarter of next.  The deal also includes the option for a similar, follow-up order in 2009-2010, which would push the value for the 500 vehicles to over £80m.  “We’re delighted to be working on long-range projects such as this with FirstGroup,” said Colin Robertson, chief executive.  He says that as virtually all the buses for FirstGroup are integrates models, using our chassis and our bodywork, “this must represent one of the most significant contract arrangements ever struck in the UK bus sector.”More from Bill Simpson on +44 (0)1 483 571 271 or [email protected] Mixed fortunes in July bus and coach registrationsFigures for minibus, coach and bus registrations show double-deckers underpinning the rolling year growth in total bus and coach registrations.  Minibus registrations to 3.5t fell steeply in contrast to midibuses while large coaches beat last year’s volumes at 1,119 units.  “In the current economic climate, there is relatively good news from the passenger carrying sector.  Although year to date bus and coach registrations are down 7.8%, buses over 8.5 tonnes and all coaches show double digit growth”, said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.  “While we can expect the market to remain stable over the immediate months, the mid-term outlook should be treated with caution”.More from Robin Dickeson on +44 (0)2 073 449 222 or [email protected] Strong business for electric vehiclesElectric vehicle maker Aixam Mega says strong business interest and rising fuel prices meant it had a successful time at the recent motor show British International Motor Show.  Lawrence Holland, Aixam Mega Ltd’s managing director, said there were two clear trends, with businesses investigating the two and four seat Mega City models as a cost-effective alternative pool car and small, town-based firms businesses showing strong interest in the Mega Multitruck van.  “Businesses are finding their margins under growing pressure and reducing motoring costs is a priority,” said Holland.  “Fuelling our electric vehicles costs less than two pence a mile, compared with around 20p a mile for an average petrol car.More from Christine Gormley on +44 (0)2 476 407 422 or [email protected] Trucks lead July CV registrationsRecent data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show van and truck registrations down 13.2% in July and up 2.9% to 391,531 for the rolling year.  Against that background trucks were up 9.2% in July and 21.5% to 58,664 for the rolling year, with vans down 16.7% for the month and up 0.2% to 332,867 for the rolling year.  “Strong truck registrations continue to balance weaker performances in other commercial vehicle sectors,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.  “In the current economic climate, it is no surprise to see that van registrations have fallen and at 2.5% down year to date, give a strong indication of the pressures being felt by businesses in the UK. We do, however, expect to maintain the overall van and truck registration levels we saw last year.”More from Robin Dickeson on +44 (0)2 073 449 222 or [email protected] New bosses at PaccarPaccar says its Board of Directors elected Tom Plimpton vice-chairman.  He starts his new job on 1 September 2008.  Jim Cardillo takes over as president on the same date and Mike Tembreull will retire as vice-chairman and director in January 2009.More from Martin Hayes on +44 (0) 2 074 948 050 or [email protected] Supatrak launch Ecotrak+CMS SupaTrak says its new vehicle tracking kit, EcoTrak+ “promises” to save businesses “in excess of 10% on fuel costs.”  The firm says the new system can save cash by allowing fleet managers to monitor and manage their fuel use in real time.  They can also compare the behaviour of individual drivers, looking at speed, fuel use and cruise time.  It says that combining both EcoTrak and EcoTrak+, firms could save over 20%.  “The key to cutting fuel costs and carbon emissions and fuel costs is to combine driver education with vehicle tracking solutions like EcoTrak+, says Jason Airey, managing director of CMS SupaTrak.More from Kate Lloyd on +44 (0)8 444 774 870 or [email protected] Iveco targets 50% share of planned maintenance contractsIveco has launched a new range of planned maintenance contracts called ‘Elements’ to support its full line-up of vans and trucks which span the 3.5 to 44 tonne sectors.  The move follows a year-long review of the market and aims to help the firm hit its target of a 50% share of the planned maintenance contracts market by 2011.  This is to support of its strategy for sales growth across the Daily, Eurocargo, Stralis and Trakker ranges.  “Keeping vehicles on the road with minimal interruptions for maintenance and repairs is everyone’s priority,” said Bob Lowden, director of customer service at Iveco UK.  “With Elements we have introduced a comprehensive choice of services to suit any commercial vehicle application.”More from James Keeler on +44 (0)2 083 991 184 or [email protected] Record results for RH GroupThe RH Group Ltd has announced another set of record results.  The firm, which says it is the UK‘s largest European freight operator, has reported a pre tax profit of £3.57m (€4.53m) for the year to 31 December 2007, up 20% on the previous year.  Turnover was £122.3m (€155m) up 3% from the previous year.  “2007 was another solid year for RH despite a challenging market.  After 32% turnover growth in 2006 we turned our focus to growing our bottom line,”   said Ian Baxter, managing director.  RH delivers daily to 18 European cities, employs 700 people and last year delivered over 400,000 consignments across the continent.More from Kathryn Greenwood on +44 (0)1 158 524 717 or [email protected]

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