The return to work at the end of the summer holidays means a return to the roads for many company car drivers, something most of us do at one time or another and for many people, it’s one of the most dangerous and highly regulated activities they do.
In order to provide drivers with all the information they need, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has published a brand new edition of its Company Car Drivers’ Handbook, which has been endorsed by the Institute of Car Fleet Management (ICFM) and ACFO.
The Bus Services Bill, Brexit, devolution, and smart ticketing – some of the biggest challenges facing the bus and coach sector – will feature prominently in Euro Bus Expo’s 2016 Master Class Theatre programme.
Taking place at the NEC Birmingham on 1-3 November, the show’s speaker line-up already includes leading industry players like Mark Fowles, MD of Nottingham City Transport (NCT), Jeff Counsell, MD of Midlands-based coach and bus operator trentbarton, and Martijn Gilbert, CEO of Reading Buses. The 2016 Master Class Theatre is sponsored by SmartDrive Systems.
As in previous years, big names from the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) – the UK’s operator trade body – will also be hosting presentations.
Mellor Coachcraft's model range revision has continued with a complete redesign of its low-floor Tucana, the Tucana II, with a whole suite of major design changes.
The Tucana II has been completely re-engineered for Volkswagen's acclaimed T6 base vehicle, and is a re-imagining of the original concept. The front has been redesigned with new CAD-designed mouldings to complement the T6 styling, added to this new interior mouldings have modernised the driver and passenger areas.
FTA’s Van Excellence has appointed a new Chair of its Governance Group - Julie Davies – Fleet and Plant Compliance Manager, Amey.
Made up of van operators, the independent Governance Group steers the Van Excellence scheme by providing advice regarding standards and integrity of the industry.
A founder member of the Group since it was formed in 2010, Ms Davies was voted as Chair at a recent meeting when she was appointed the role.
Double success for Alphabet with ‘Editor’s Choice’ and ‘Best App’ awards at 2016 BusinessCar Techies
Business mobility and fleet specialist, Alphabet has announced a double win at this year’s BusinessCar Techies Awards. The new app for company car drivers and mobility users, AlphaGuide, won in the ‘Best App’ category while the Virtual Handover initiative was recognised with the prestigious ‘Editor’s Choice’ award.
Using mobile communications, online video and smartphone technology to improve the driver experience and enable alternative modes of mobility for employees, these two industry innovations are prime examples of how this can also benefit an organisation through greater operational efficiencies and duty of care for their fleet.
The BVRLA has pledged to make a strong case for salary sacrifice car schemes to receive special consideration as part of HMRC’s consultation on their future tax treatment.
The government announced the consultation earlier this month, saying that it is concerned about the rising costs of some salary sacrifice schemes and is considering limiting the Income Tax and National Insurance contribution benefits available through them.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has announced that it is currently researching and developing a Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell (SOFC)-powered system that runs on bio-ethanol electric power. The new system—a world first for automotive use—features an e-Bio Fuel-Cell with an SOFC power generator. SOFC is a fuel cell utilising the reaction of multiple fuels, including ethanol and natural gas, with oxygen to produce electricity with high efficiency.
Volvo Cars, the Swedish premium car maker, and Uber, the world’s leading ride-sharing company, are to join forces to develop next-generation autonomous driving cars.
The two companies have signed an agreement to establish a joint project that will develop new base vehicles that will be able to incorporate the latest developments in AD technologies, up to and including fully autonomous driverless cars. The base vehicles will be manufactured by Volvo Cars and then purchased from Volvo by Uber. Volvo Cars and Uber are contributing a combined USD300m to the project.
Both Uber and Volvo will use the same base vehicle for the next stage of their own autonomous car strategies. This will involve Uber adding its own self-developed autonomous driving systems to the Volvo base vehicle. Volvo will use the same base vehicle for the next stage of its own autonomous car strategy, which will involve fully autonomous driving.
FORS, the industry’s leading Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme, has announced that Lowery Limited is the 150th company to achieve FORS Gold accreditation.
The company, based in Reigate, operates in the construction sector specialising in civil engineering within the rail industry. It currently runs 43 vans and 3 HGVs around London and the South of England. Lowery Limited has been a member of FORS since 2012 and has progressed from bronze to silver and now gold standard.
New guidance on what you need to tell DVLA if you're a driver with diabetes has been published by the DVLA. For more information go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/information-for-drivers-with-diabetes
A £2 million fund to allow councils to capitalise on emerging technologies and deliver better journeys for motorists has been launched.
Local authorities have been invited by the Department for Transport to apply for a share of the money to develop projects to greatly enhance journeys. Proposals include using technology that will allow vehicles communicate with each other and roadside sensors to provide the drivers with real-time traffic information.
Councils will also look at how warnings about changing weather and traffic conditions can be sent directly to vehicles, so drivers can plan ahead - helping deliver quicker, more efficient and safer journeys.
Demand for van conversions is soaring as businesses seek to find more cost-efficient ways of using their vehicles.
Reports from a number of UK convertors that trade is moving along swiftly, has underscored what appears to be a very buoyant market with British companies showing off theirskills.
David Healy, Commercial Director of Cartwright Conversions, based in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, said, “There has been a huge expansion of the van conversion market lately as businesses focus on making sure they get the best value out of their new vehicles.
It’s not only the booming home delivery market that’s proving fruitful for convertors, with various other sectors moving away from heavy trucks towards the sub 3.5-tonne market.
One of the latest to do this is civil engineering contractor, Amey, which has just added a range of specialist vehicles to its fleet that draw on the technology and innovation of the UK’s diverse convertor network.
Amey is responsible for more than 10,000km of road infrastructure in Gloucestershire, as well as nationwide projects for Highways England and surface maintenance on the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland.
The contractor has this month added a fleet of 3.5-tonne tippers based on a mixture of Citroën and Renault chassis, and completed by convertor Bevan Specialist Products.
The 16 Citroën short-body tippers used on the Gloucestershire highways project are fitted with an innovative ‘Safe-T-Drop’ system, which is designed to eliminate any risk of a fall from crew working on the vehicle bed, this being especially useful for road workers when putting out traffic cones for lane closures.
The contract has also benefited another British conversion specialist, Penny Hydraulics, which has supplied 16 250kg SwingLift miniloader cranes for the tippers.
Meanwhile, Bevan Specialist Products has supplied Amey with a further 19 Renault 3.5-tonners. These are all dropsiders and also fitted with Safe-T-Drop systems. Twelve are traffic management vehicles with rear-mounted light boards. They wear a Highways England livery and are used to assist with mobile – as opposed to static – lane closures, which minimise disruption to traffic.
The remaining seven are based in Scotland, where they are assigned to Amey’s Forth Road Bridge project. Three are short-bodied mobile workstations, tool pods and, in one case, a welding plant.
Two, which also have short bodies, are fitted with rear-mounted cranes from UK-supplier HMF and are used for bridge maintenance, and the remaining pair has longer bodies for carrying scaffold equipment.
Bevan Specialist Products operates from a factory in Stone, Staffordshire, and has just celebrated its first anniversary following the acquisition by parent company Bevan Group of the former Stag Bodies. It caters for niches in the LCV market, helping customers meet the challenge of individual vehicle type approval, and has seen strong sales growth in the past 12 months as operators increasingly move towards smaller, lighter vehicles that do not require specialist licences.
A leading tyre manufacturer has warned that around one in four trucks on UK roads is running on under-inflated tyres, and has called for Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) to be fitted to all commercial vehicles.
Research released this week by Continental Tyres shows that up to a quarter of tyres on trucks may be running underinflated by 10%, which not only leads to higher fuel costs but contributes to the likelihood of tyre failure, which is currently responsible for 20% of all truck breakdowns.
Conversions come in all shapes and sizes, but it’s the ones with blue lights on the roof that lead the most dramatic lives. Luckily, thanks to some great British convertors, emergency services all over the world benefit from their innovation.
Urban parts of Greater Manchester look set to follow the lead of London after plans to develop the area’s low-emissions strategy were approved by council leaders.
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has agreed a revised Greater Manchester Low-Emission Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan following a public consultation, which ended last week.
The plans include a range of measures to improve air quality and reduce emissions across Greater Manchester, focusing on urban centres and major roads that currently fail to meet Government and EU air quality targets.
UTILITY FLEET FORUM 16 – SPONSORED BY BT FLEET
DINNER I CONFERENCE I EXHIBITION 21-22nd November 2016
Venue: Imperial War Museum North - Manchester
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE - 22ND NOVEMBER 16
The tens of thousands of vehicles operated by the Utilities and Contractors involved in Essential Services are an absolutely vital resource in supporting, maintaining and building the infrastructure of the UK. Managing those vehicles and drivers is an ever more demanding and complex task for Fleet Professionals and Utility Fleet Forum is the unique event that will provide the very best advice and solutions, tailored specifically for Essential Services fleet professionals.
Conference Organiser and Director at JDM; Debbie Cheadle commented:
“We recognise the huge pressures on operators in this sector to be legally compliant, efficient and of course, safe. We also recognise that many of the delegates at Utility Fleet Forum will be at the forefront of meeting these challenges, but at the same time have a great appetite for high quality guidance.”
Telematics and fleet management specialist, Trakm8, has announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Roadsense Technology Ltd.
Roadsense is an established supplier of fleet telematics and safety products and provides solutions nationwide to fleets consisting of between one and 1,500 vehicles.
Specialist demolition, decontamination and recycling contractors, J Mould (Reading), has taken delivery of its first-ever new Renault Trucks.
The Range Cs are additional vehicles for J Mould’s 30+ strong fleet, delivering crushed concrete, aggregate and topsoil to and from building sites within a 25 mile radius of the company’s Reading-base.
This is the first time in 15 years that J Mould has turned to a new vehicle manufacturer and it was the Range C that had the edge as General Manager, Jay Mould, explains: “The time was right for our business to see what other vehicles were on the market. We trialled the Range C against some of its leading competitors and, for us, it performed head and shoulders above them. The Range C ticked all the boxes; it’s a solid, robust lorry which is also really nice to drive and the extra payload it’s delivering is an added bonus. It’s a fantastic all-rounder that we can use off-site, in the tips and on multi-purpose jobs.”
In-vehicle CCTV specialist, Vision Track is calling for the Government to waive the Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) for fleets adopting accident-reducing camera telematics technology.
This comes after a similar plea from the British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) last week for telematics insurance products aimed at young drivers to be exempt from the duty*, which now stands at 10%. Research from its members showed a 40% drop in incident risks among new drivers who use telematics so the trade body is keen to incentivise the take-up of such technology.
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