Transport News Brief – Monday 4 February 2008

Low Emission Zone barks now, bites later The London LEZ started at one minute into the morning of Monday 4 February, affecting all trucks over 12 tonnes running into the zone, which covers 610 square miles (1,580 sq km) of Greater London. For practical purposes it is virtually anywhere inside the M25. Transport for London says truckers operating in the area have 28 days to meet its emissions standards or show that they have taken ‘all reasonable steps to comply.’ This move follows months of industry warnings that neither new trucks nor retrofit emissions kit for old ones are as readily available as TfL expected. During this ‘warning period’ operators won’t be fined, but after 28 days they’ll get penalty charge notices and they will need to show that they have ‘made all reasonable progress’ to get their trucks ready. “This strikes a fair balance between ensuring the benefits are delivered whilst giving those operators who are taking steps to meet the emissions standards a warning and the opportunity to comply,” said Nick Fairholme, head of the London Low Emission Zone. From 7 July the LEZ will also hit buses and coaches, but TfL says the 28 days ‘grace’ period will last for the life of the scheme. Unlike London’s congestion charge zone, which is lifted in the evenings and at weekends, the LEZ is in force 24 hours a day, every day. Heavy vans and light trucks will be hit from 2010. More from 132 new exhibitors at the CV Show CV Show organisers say they already have 132 new exhibitors signed up for the biggest and most successful business-to-business transport and logistics show in Europe. They expect this number will rise before the show opens on 15 April. Last year’s show attracted over 600 exhibitors and 27,000 visitors. “This is due to the enormous range of products and services covered by van, truck, trailer and support service businesses,” said David Sedgely, CV Show chairman. “For three days the NEC really does become the hub of the UK transport industry, with firms using the CV Show as the main platform to sell or launch new products and services. Whatever sector of the industry you operate in, this is one event you can’t afford to miss.” To make life easier, visitors can register on-line at for free, queue-beating and fast-track tickets and an advance copy of the show guide. “Do it now, don’t miss it!” More from Robin Dickeson on +44 (0)2 073 449 222 or [email protected] Dyson body-swap helps beat LEZ charges Vehicle recovery outfit Cedars Assist of south-east London mainly works within the M25, inside the new LEZ, running a 26 strong fleet. The firm has recycled old but serviceable recovery bodywork and lifting gear to help avoid £200 a day charges on three older trucks in the LEZ. Recovery vehicle specialist Roger Dyson moved the old kit onto newer truck chassis that will meet the emissions standards within the zone. This allows the vehicles to keep working until 2012, when the recovery equipment and replacement chassis will simultaneously reach the end of their working lives. More from Roger Dyson on +44 (0)1 905 775 808 or [email protected] AA warns of fuel price protests The Guardian on Monday February 4 reports, both in the paper and on its web site, that ‘Motorists’ organisations will hold a crisis summit over the cost of petrol tomorrow and are expected to warn the government that it faces more fuel protests. The AA, RAC Foundation and the Freight Transport Association and others are expected to discuss “consolidated action,” trying to persuade Alistair Darling, the chancellor to scrap a planned, two pence fuel duty hike for 1 April. . Edmund King, president of the AA, said the government faced fuel protests if it did not cut fuel prices. The Guardian says it is the first time such a broad coalition of the mainstream motorist and haulier organisations has been convened over fuel prices. King said the group’s aim would be to persuade the government to drop the next duty hike. That 3.5% planned rise, part of the ‘fuel duty escalator’ comes on top of a roughly 20% retail price rise for diesel over the last 12 months. King also said more than 700 businesses have signed a letter asking the chancellor to scrap the April increase, which the FTA says will cost hauliers £170m. More from Green priority for fleets Lloyds TSB Autolease says research shows that 31% of truck operators now want to tackle ‘green’ issues this year. The firm says that though this is a big change, there is still a lot of confusion among truckers about what they can do. So Lloyds aims to use the CV Show as an opportunity to show how it can help operators cut carbon footprints and increase efficiency at the same time. The firm will show three low emission vans on its stand 11-319 at the CV Show. These are the new Fiat Doblo Cargo van in electric form; the Modec electric van and a Ford Transit T280 with Connaught hybrid pack. “Our research shows there is a real appetite for change in the sector,” says Grahame Negus, head of Lloyds TSB’s specialist commercial vehicle unit. “There is also a real need for practical advice and wider choice.” More from Lawrence Hamilton on +44 (0)1 614 477 251 or [email protected] Volvo wants help to cut CO2 Volvo Trucks is challenging its hauliers to cut CO2 emissions by 20% within the next two years. The firm says this is part of its climate strategy, which aims at carbon-neutral production. “Our emissions can be rapidly reduced through a number of measures, such as reduced fuel consumption, more efficient logistics, the use of biofuels and the replacement of old vehicles,” says Volvo Trucks’ boss, Staffan Jufors. More from Lennart Pilskog on +46 (0)3 166 4926 or [email protected] £5 VED hike on the way The UK Driver and Licensing Agency says it will raise the first registration fee for all vehicles from £50 to £55. The 10% price rise takes effect from 1 April 2008 and follows a public consultation. More from Ray Smith Group Tail Lift Parts still available says it has seen an increased demand for Ray Smith Group parts since the group went into administrative receivership last December. “Our stock levels did get a little low at one point but we have been working tirelessly during the last several weeks to re-establish supply chains,” said David Conman, managing director. “We are now seeing orders from new suppliers coming through, so we’re encouraging all our customers to continue placing orders with us for the full range of RSG parts and we will continue to offer the necessary technical support.” More from David Conman on +44 (0)1 482 504 444 or [email protected] Isuzu to get heavy at CV Show Isuzu says it’s long-awaited medium and heavy truck models will make their debut at the CV Show in April. The firm will take its biggest CV Show stand, 6-050 to show its new ‘Forward’-Series, an entirely new 4×2 rigid, heavy truck range, at 11, 12, 15 and 18 tonnes gvw. All have Isuzu’s newly developed cab, in day or sleeper form. This new cab is already successful in Japan, America and Australia. Initially the new range will have the firm’s four and six cylinder diesels, using EGR technology to meet Euro 4 emissions. All the new range will get a three-year, unlimited mileage warranties, an industry first according to Isuzu. UK customers will be able to take delivery of 11 and 12 tonne models in the late Spring this year, with 15 and 18 tonne models deliveries starting a few months later, in the Autumn. More from Keith Child on +44(0)1 920 463 962 or [email protected] Green Citroëns for Green Motion Citroën dealer Evans Halshaw just did a deal with Green Motion to supply 18 Citroën vans and cars. Green Motion says it is Europe’s first environmentally-friendly van and car hire outfit. The vans in question are C2 Enterprise 1.4HD models, which Citroën says is the UK’s most fuel-efficient van, with the lowest emissions. Through this year Green Motion plans to expand its network through franchise deals. It also plans to take its fleet from around 100 to about 2,500 and expects Citroën to play a big part in that expansion. More from Phil Reed on +44 (0)2 086 684 048 or [email protected] Vishay PM Onboard’s new van weighing system Vishay PM Onboard plans to show VanWeigh, on its stand 10-120 at the CV show this Spring. The firm says this is the latest addition to its overload protection systems portfolio. “VanWeigh is a simple-to-fit, low maintenance and cost effective way of drivers and fleet managers controlling the loading conditions of their vehicles,” says the firm. Developed specifically for the 3.5 – 7.5t GVW market sector, this is an “affordable system” to help avoid fines, points or loss of a driving licence. Other benefits include reduced wear and tear and increased fuel efficiency. “Accidents involving overloading can also be potentially detrimental to warranty, insurance and go against the duty of care policy.” More from Althea Taylor on +44 (0)1 274 771 177 or [email protected] New 500kg lift from Ratcliff Ratcliff Palfinger says it will show a new, modular 500kg capacity Flexi-Lift on its stand, 18-030 at the CV Show in April. The firm says that the UK’s growing heavy van and light truck fleet has created a big demand for 500kg capacity tail-lifts so it has developed the new lift, the RQ527. This comes in a choice of platform depths and has options such as non-slip surface, hinged ramps and safety gates. Overall Ratcliff Palfinger says it has the widest range of tail-lifts available in the UK, and is now the world’s second biggest tail-lift maker. It says it caters for the needs of all market sectors and expects the CV Show stand to reflect its position in the market. More Sally Gething on +44 (0)1 707 382 800 or [email protected] Popular specialist skip loader returns One of the UK’s best-proven specialist skip loader designs has returned to the market. A new firm, SkipLoader Limited, of Stanton, Suffolk, has begun production after buying the assets of Retech. It expects to sell well to specialist operators, like the scrap metal business, where the hostile operating environment demands premium engineering. The SkipLoader system offers additional clearance and manoeuvrability over conventional designs and can handle and stack bins without increasing the travelling height. The first, a 26 tonner, has just gone to work with Hertfordshire-based metal merchants, Robert Gibbs. Mounted on a Volvo FM six-wheeler, it joins a 35 strong truck fleet, many of which have original Retech skip handling gear. SkipLoader is now building two more 32 tonne units to work on four axle truck chassis. More from Adrian Graves on +44 (0)1 284 787 438 or [email protected] ‘Hugely significant’ Manheim deal for Lombard During the second full week of trading in 2008, Lombard Vehicle Management sold 225 vans through three separate Manheim Auction centres, at Haydock, Glasgow and Gloucester, on three consecutive days. At each, Lombard had exclusive use of the auction centre for the day under Manheim’s Centre-for-a-day deal. Because of the numbers of used vans on the market and the seasonal factors, “the result was hugely significant,” said James Davis, group commercial sales manager for Manheim. Lombard now aims to sell a minimum of 250 vans at a monthly exclusive auction at Haydock. More from Maddy Phelps on 44 (0)7 720 299 163 or [email protected] HiQ takes Maxus vans Fast-fit firm HiQ has taken 25 LDV Maxus vans to help grow its business. The firm does tyres, exhausts, batteries, brakes, suspension, steering, servicing and MoT tests. The first batch of 25 vans are long wheelbase and high-roof models. As the firm expands its fleet service activities through 2008 it is likely to take more vans and LDV is clearly keen that it will do the business again. More from Hazel Crawford on +44 (0)1 902 714 957 or [email protected] Johnston offers customers at CV Show 2008 an exclusive discount Johnston Sweepers Customer Support will offer a 20% deal on servicing costs to customers visiting the firm’s stand, 19-030 during the 2008 CV show. This will and cut the price of a service by between £100 and £250 at any of Johnston’s seven nationwide service centres. The details are at The firm will also mail the all its mainland UK customers and will have the details available be on the CV Show stand. Johnston believes its network of six regional service centres is unique to the UK sweeper industry and plans this deal to help show the benefits. Each centre offers local service support and parts supply as well as technicians to give advice and technical support. More from Joyce Hack on +44 (0)1 306 874 564 or [email protected] On-board weighing goes digital for reliability. Avery Weigh-Tronix says it will show its underbody and skip weighing systems to the transport industry for the first time at the CV Show in April on its stand 17-150. The firm says the new digital load cell technology will make on-board weighing more reliable and is a first for the UK. “More and more organisations are realising that accurate on-board weighing is fast becoming a necessity,” said Chris McAllister, market manager for transport and logistics. “Overloading a vehicle is legally an absolute offence, which means that the haulier is responsible. Equally with fuel prices increasing and margins tight, you do not want to err too much on the side of caution and significantly under-load.” Avery Weigh-Tronix believes its system will cut downtime by up to 80% and says that it is also quick and easy to maintain. More from David Spencer on +44 (0)1 785 255 146 or [email protected] Continental back to 2008 CV Show Following its hugely successful return to the CV show in 2007, Continental Tyre Group will be back in 2008 with a range of new products and services for commercial vehicle operators on its stand 7-131. The firm will show a new trailer tyre for regional work – the 385/65R22.5, as well as new steer and drive tyres in 295/80R22.5 and 11R22.5 sizes for construction or off-road jobs. The ContiRe retread range’s new 315/80R22.5 drive tyre for regional work will be on show for the first time. Other innovations on the stand will include a new Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, a tyre management package available from ContiEuroService Fleet Management and the new ContiNetwork dealer network, due to be announced soon. More from Belle Moss on +44 (0)2 074 948 050 or [email protected] New parts sales boss at Imperial Imperial Commercials, which says it is one of the UK’s leading commercial vehicle dealer groups with a turnover of £200m, has given Michael Heeley the new job of group parts sales director. He joins from Daf Trucks where he had been UK parts sales manager for over four years. Imperial holds a parts stock worth £7m and sells some 3,800 new trucks and vans a year through 25 dealer points handling Daf, Hino, Isuzu Trucks, MAN, Renault Trucks, Fiat Professional and LDV vans. More from Simon Small on +44 (0)1 622 812 961 or [email protected] New truck and trailer magazine to launch at CV Show Campbells Commercial Vehicle Marketing Group says it will launch a new monthly transport title, Professional Truck and Trailer Magazine. Campbells’ plan a preview issue in March and the first regular issue available for the CV Show in April. “It’s not very often that a new independent monthly truck magazine is launched but if the reaction from the industry is anything to go by, it was certainly needed,” said John Fife, the new magazine’s editor. Campbells said that since it successfully launched Professional Van and Light Truck in 2003 to its 12,500 subscribers, it planned a sister magazine on trucks and trailers. The Group expects the new magazine will settle to a rather higher circulation, going to between 13,000 and 15,000 subscribers. More from Matt Eisenegger on +44 (0)1 772 433 303 or [email protected] And finally New Scientist Feedback says an entry for the year 1815 in the Encyclopedia of Dates and Events states that “Olber discovered comet bearing his name.” “Now there’s a coincidence,” observes Tony Holkham. More from Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more