Thanks to the good folk at the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Tachoblog can bring you a roundup of Commercial Vehicle news for this week…

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New UK Daily range from Iveco

Iveco has launched its new Daily range in the UK.  This includes Daily and EcoDaily models and, the firm says, is “the most extensive and environmentally-friendly” range of van and chassis-cab models yet.  The range moves the Daily into a new sector, with UK models from 3.5 to 7.0t, up on the previous limit of 6.5t.  The new 7.0 tonner will be on sale from the second quarter of this year.  In chassis-cab form it will give a body and payload capacity of 4..7t, “more than many medium range trucks.”   The firm says this is more than three regular 3.5 tonners, meaning operators could get a 60% cut in fuel costs and emissions by using one truck in place of three.

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EC’s green transport plans

The European Commission says it may introduce CO2 emissions standards for trucks and road pricing to help cut transport greenhouse gas emissions.  This follows EC president José Manuel Barroso’s announcement last September that cutting transport carbon would be his priority in his second term as president.  The outgoing environment commissioner Stavros Dimas aims for a combined climate and transport policy to tackle the problem.

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New Daily is biggest

Iveco’s new Daily and EcoDaily range includes van, semi-window van, chassis-cab, chassis crew-cab and multi-purpose, 4×4 models.  There are ten engine ratings from 96 to 176 bhp and wide choices for wheelbase, overall length, internal height and axle ratios.  Overall there are over 7,000 configurations.  The range also includes the biggest panel van on the UK market, with a 17.2m3 capacity.  This can carry up to six Euro pallets.

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Truck roadworthiness under the microscope

David Wilcox, editor at Commercial Vehicle Engineer congratulates many UK truck workshops for recent improvements in vehicle roadworthiness.  Writing in January’s edition of the new online monthly for transport engineers and fleet managers, he analyses the latest “effectiveness report” from the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency.  The failure rate in truck roadworthiness tests is the lowest for many years and the latest year-on-year rise in pass rate is the best on record.  But the news on UK truck and trailer roadworthiness is bad.  The number of roadside prohibitions rose by 1,800.  And in the year to the end of March 2009 the number of UK roadside checks on foreign-registered trucks and trailers rocketed, with prohibitions up almost 10,000 to 24,493.

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Green EcoDaily

Iveco’s new EcoDaily models meet the heavy-duty Euro 5 emission standards and the tougher Enhanced Environmental friendly Vehicle emission standards.  The EEV models use a 3.0 litre diesel with two-stage turbo charge cooling, exhaust gas recirculation and a diesel particulate filter.  The 170 hp model is available now, with a 140hp version to follow later in the year.  There is also a natural gas powered 136hp version to run on biomethane.  This model also has a 14 litre petrol tank as an emergency fuel reserve.  Completing the green power options is an electric model, EcoDaily Electric, rated at 3.0 or 5.0 tonnes.  The drive line includes NaNiC12 batteries and a three phase motor with regenerative braking to help extend its range..  Batteries and drive train are within the engine compartment and chassis, leaving the load space clear..

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Get registered

If you register for free tickets to the CV Operator Show at, Reed Transport Group will e-mail you a direct link to the digital, online copy of the CV Operator Show Guide well before the event in April.  “Listing exhibitors as well as their stand numbers, details of exhibits and plans for the entire Show, the Guide will help you plan your visit to the biggest trade show of its type in the UK,” said Bob Sockl, organiser of the CV Operator Show.   “Advance registration also means you can pick up your pre-printed entry ticket on the door when you arrive and beat the queues.”  The CV Operator Show opens at the NEC near Birmingham on Tuesday 13 April and closes on Thursday 15.

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Daily plays safe

Iveco’s new Daily and EcoDaily range has more safety features than previous models, with the latest Electronic Stability Program and ABS to reduce the risk of skidding and cut braking distances.  This is supported by ASR, the anti-slip regulator to cut the risk of wheel spin.  Iveco says this is particularly valuable when trying to reverse up wet loading ramps.  Hydraulic Brake Assist helps braking effort and Hill Holder prevents the vehicle rolling back when pulling away on a slope.  Load Adaptive Control identifies changes in the vehicle’s weight and centre of gravity and then works with the ABS and EPS systems to deliver the best braking, traction and stability.

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Beat the snow, Swedish style

VBG says its Onspot traction system deploys snow chains, at the press of a button in the vehicle cab.  There is no need to stop and the vehicle can travel at up to 50kph.  When back onto a good surface the chains are simply retracted, also on the move.  The firm says it has successfully sold the system for many years in Scandinavia, with emergency vehicles, school buses, milk trucks and dustcarts the main users.  “We’ve also supplied many local fire authorities in the UK for their fire tenders; mainly in Scotland and the Borders, Isle of Man and some to Ireland,” said the firm’s Howard Ostle. “The cost is around £1,500 a vehicle.”

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Daily Blue & Me

Developed between Fiat and Microsoft, and available as an option across the Daily range, Blue & Me is a hands-free communication system that uses universal voice recognition technology.  This means that it will recognise any user’s voice without the need for ‘learning.’  At its most simple it will handle ‘hands-free’ phone calls after pairing with a Bluetooth phone.  Perhaps more importantly the system also extends to integrate with Iveco’s telematics-based fleet management service.  Offered in partnership with Qualcomm, this works with the EcoDaily’s CanBus network and a GPS to deliver real-time data on fuel use, distance, speed, driver identity and engine use patterns.

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MoT failure rates published for the first time

MoT failure rates for cars and small vans have been published for the first time.  People can now get the detailed MoT records of individual models and the reasons for failure.  The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency Figures had resisted publishing the data, saying that it could be misleading and would breach vehicle makers’ commercial confidentiality.  Vosa’s reasoning is that MoT pass rates are determined by many factors, but particularly the level of use, the service and maintenance history and the ownership profile.

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Cummins joins US energy saving scheme

US engine makers Cummins says it has joined the newly launched “Save Energy Now” scheme run by the US Department of Energy.  The firm has pledged to cut energy intensity by 25% by 2015.  Cummins has now completed more than 200 energy efficiency projects, saving nearly $11m a year.

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GM going for black

AutoWired, now working with Glass’s Guide, says that “embattled” van and car maker General Motors hopes to be back into the black for the first time in six years during 2010.  This follows last year’s restructuring which saw it enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for six weeks to cut its debt pile.  Bob Lutz, GM vice-chairman said a full-year profit would depend on the speed of the US economy’s recovery and that to make a profit GM needs the US market to move 11 or 12m cars this year, against 10.4m sold in 2009.

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Tachodisc at the CV Operator show

Tachodisc says it will use stand 5774 at the CV Operator show this Spring to help promote its wide range of transport training.  The firm’s Warrington-based training school just got a ‘grade one’ mark from the Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations Joint Council for Qualifications.  The firm offers training at operator’s sites or in Warrington, including Operator and Driver Certificates of Professional Competence and courses on drivers’ hours, digital tachographs, working time, defect reporting, safe and economical driving, customer care and more.

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Ex Renault boss for Volvo

Volvo’s directors have asked Louis Schweitzer, a previous president and chairman of Renault SA to take over as chairman of Volvo’s Board until the next Annual General Meeting.  The move follows Finn Johnsson’s resignation as chairman.  Schweitzer has been an AB Volvo director since 2001.

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Optare’s quarter century

January 2010 is Optare’s 25th anniversary, with celebrations and the launch of the Olympus, the firm’s new double-decker planned.  Formed in 1985 from the Charles H Roe business in Leeds, the publicly quoted Optare plc includes the East Lancashire Coachbuilders business and the engineering team from LPD, the original Leyland Bus and the Volvo Bus design arm.  It runs from Leeds and Blackburn making and selling a range of class-leading, low weight and fuel efficient buses and midi coaches.  “I’m proud that we are now positioned as a leading ‘green bus’ maker with our Eco Drive range,” said Jim Sumner, Optare CEO, confident that the firm will do well in the next 25 years.

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Lombard and Europcar do deal

Lombard Vehicle Management has made Europcar a short-term hire partner.  Lombard says the deal is part of its plan to lead the market for customer service in its sector.  The scheme offers online booking that will send a request to the customer’s nearest branch.  Last year Lombard launched Flexi-Rental, giving fleets an alternative to the long-term commitment of leasing contracts and the expense of short-term daily hire.   “We are delighted to be awarded this contract,” said Nick Harwood, sales and marketing director for Europcar UK Group.

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Watchdog gets bus passenger boss

Passenger Focus, the independent UK passenger watchdog says David Sidebottom is its first bus passenger director.  The Department for Transport will ask the group to represent bus, coach and tram passengers in England as well as rail passengers later this year.  The deal excludes London.

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Vacu-Lug’s new retread tyre production kit

Vacu-Lug Traction Tyres says it has spent £150,000 on the latest buffing machine to ensure accuracy in its retread tyre casings.  The firm uses the new, fully-automated buffing machine working to a one millimetre tolerance, in the production of its Duramold range of premium quality retread tyres.  “This enables us to work to the most exacting quality standards, with a perfect result every time for any retread tyre from 17.5″ through to the largest super-single,” said Brian Barron, plant manager for Vacu-Lug.

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Green graphics

Vehicle graphics specialist Sign Language says its new, large format printer uses water-soluble ink give quicker drying times for vehicle wraps and graphics.  The lack of volatile organic solvents makes for a quicker and more environmentally friendly service without the normal and harmful chemicals widely used in the industry.

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Geodis wins Donaldson deal

Geodis Calberson, part of the Goedis group has won an e-auction to land a big, new three-year contract with Donaldson Filtration, which makes and sells filtration systems around the world.  The deal covers all UK and European road transport linked to Donaldson’s plant in Leicester, one of the firm’s 13 European depots and one of its more important European manufacturing plants.  Geodis will collect and deliver some 100 pallets a week across Europe through its Fortec pallet network.

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Twits follow Reading buses

Reading Transport has set up its own official Twitter site so that Twitter enthusiasts can keep up to date with their local buses.  The account name is reading_buses and it carries “all the latest news” from its website  “Within a couple of days” of its start it proved popular and is “attracting a continuous stream of followers,” said Nikki Honer, Reading Transport’s publicity manager.  Initially, Reading will only feed the site with stories from its website but it will check the Twitter account regularly for customer comments and “will try and respond to requests that can be managed from the website..”

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First Navistar trucks for India

Navistar has shown its first trucks for India, with its joint venture Mahindra, at the 10th India Auto Expo in Dehli.  Mahindra-Navistar Automotives Ltd unveiled a range 40 to 49 tonne trucks.  It has already shown new 25 to 31t models.  The trucks are developed and made in India for the local market.  Over the next two years the firm aims to expand its truck and bus range to 3.5-49t, working from Mahindra & Mahindra’s new plant at Chakan, near Pune.  The new heavy trucks will use Navistar MaxxForce 7.2 litre diesels to deliver “stricter adherence” to Indian and Euro emission levels.  MNAL has added 50 new dealers to its Indian network to help sell and service the new truck range.

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Transport Engineer’s overhaul

The Institute of Road Transport Engineers and Findlay Media have overhauled Transport Engineer magazine’s website at  “This is the official homepage for qualified transport technicians, fleet engineers and operations managers,” says the IRTE.  “Whether you maintain or run a large fleet or just one commercial vehicle, everything you need is here.”  The site caries industry news and a supplier directory for vans, trucks, parts, equipment and services.  There are also technical and management archives, videos, white papers, product and legal news, vehicle recall data and more.

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Renault sales up in 2009

The Renault Group says it hit its target to increase its share of the world automotive market in 2009.  The firm ended the year up 0.1% to 3.7% of the world market, on the back of increased production, a renewed range and 2.309m vehicle sales.  Renault has led the European van market since 1998 and has third position in the European car market.

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Tachodisc’s grade one training

Tachodisc says its training school has been awarded the highest level of compliance by the Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations Joint Council for Qualifications.  The firm was graded level one, after a recent check.  From its Warrington training school Tachodisc runs a wide range of training courses including Operator and Driver Certificates of Professional Competence.

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Stagecoach buys Islwyn

The E-bulletin from Bus and Coach Professional reports that Stagecoach has bought Islwyn Borough Transport from Caerphilly council.  The Blackwood-based IBT employs 62 people and runs 33 buses.

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US truck sales up in December, down 28% for 2009

Trailer-Body Builder’s email news letter reports US medium and heavy truck sales were up 2% in December over the same period a year ago and down 28% for the year, according to figures compiled by Wards Communications.

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And finally

Transport News Brief reader Owen Ryder of Cummins recently bought a birthday card for his baby daughter.  On the front it read “Happy Birthday To A Special Girl On Your First Birthday”.  On the back it said, in small print “Not suitable for children under 3 years old”.  He’s now not sure for whom this card is suitable.

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