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Commercial Vehicle Engineer is the multi-award-winning online monthly for road transport engineers and fleet managers, delivering a unique blend of independent, well-informed analysis, hard-hitting comment and news on the commercial vehicle market and aftermarket. The February 2019 edition is now online.

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For the 2019 CV Engineer media kit, including forward features list, click here



As a dysfunctional UK government tears itself and the country to pieces over Brexit, what has the measurable effect been so far on the UK truck market? Now that the 2018 truck, bus and coach registration statistics for the UK have been published, at long last, it could be argued that the market is proving surprisingly resilient - down only just over 4% overall on 2017. But some manufacturers have fared far worse than this, and some much better. And in stark contrast to the UK, demand for new trucks in most of the rest of the EU is growing strongly. The full story is in the February edition.
After months of wrangling, the European Commission, Parliament and Council have agreed on the CO2 emission standards that all truck-makers will have to meet between now and 2030. We report on why they are far tougher than the manufacturers would like, and why alarm bells are being rung loudly over lack of refuelling infrastructure and unintended consequences such as sharply rising freight transport costs.

People in the news this month include Mercedes-Benz Trucks boss Stefan Buchner, explaining exactly why his company has stopped work on truck platooning after concluding that it is not worth the candle; C&C Vehicle Services managing director Mark Newnes, opening a new Wolverhampton site; and Phil Wilkes, appointed used truck sales director at Volvo Trucks UK and Ireland.











Thu 21 Feb, 2019

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February 2019

3 Comment
Slavishly adopting trendy technology can be risky We have the technology. Therefore we must always use it to the fullest extent possible. That would seem to be the approach nowadays of all too many vehicle manufacturers. Often the intentions are entirely noble: to make vehicles safer and/or more efficient, for instance, and their drivers more contented. But the actual consequences sometimes end up being nothing like what was intended or expected. Sceptical fleet managers and transport engineers who may see this as a Luddite point of view would do well to spend time reading carefully a white paper, Driving While Distracted: Challenges and Solutions, published this month by the respected road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart. Expert contributors outline compellingly how easy and dangerous it really is for drivers of all kinds to be distracted by equipment such as mobile phones (hands-free or not) and satnavs. Even more thought-provoking perhaps for commercial vehicle fleet managers and vehicle buyers is what Lisa Horn, head of Cranfield University's driving research group, has to say on advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as adaptive cruise control, which some vehicle manufacturers already consider old-hat. Horn is now adding her voice to many others, including Thatcham Research director Matthew Avery and University of Cambridge mechanical engineering professor David Cebon, warning that over-zealous introduction of such technology on a path leading to fully self-driving vehicles could make accidents more likely, not less. "It takes about one second for a manual driver to respond to a sudden and unexpected braking event," writes Horn. "It takes twice that time for a driver using ACC.”
But the IAM RoadSmart white paper is careful to acknowledge that not all ADAS technology should be tarred with the same brush, praising the true effectiveness of autonomous emergency braking systems, for example. 
One key message here surely for all commercial vehicle engineers, on both the manufacturing and operating sides of the business, is that they should always resist being seduced by the latest technology before being absolutely confident that it can deliver on its promises. Hats off then to Daimler Trucks engineers for having done just that with platooning technology, leading them to conclude that it simply is not worth pursuing any further.

6 Points of view
From Bureau Veritas on air quality improvement plans; ZF Services on why workshops need to wise up; a commercial vehicles consultant on why truck registrations secrecy must end; ParcelHero on bonkers Brexiteers and their pitiful UKCA black marks; and the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK on the high cost of free bus rides.

11 News
Distracted driver dangers highlighted by IAM RoadSmart.

12 News
Finalised EU regulation on truck CO2 emissions prompts truck-makers to warn of unintended consequences.

14 News
Platooning fails to deliver and is ditched by Daimler.

16 What next for a topsy-turvy truck market?
Demand for new trucks fell in the UK for much of last year whereas it was growing in most of the rest of the EU. But now some truck-makers are reporting unusually healthy order books here, despite all the Brexit-related uncertainty. Tim Blakemore reports on a mixed bag of registration statistics.

22 News from the north
Glasgow's LEZ plans take shape. Nine new Actros to get the Bru Thru.

25 News from the north
Advice from the Transport News Truck Advocate on roadside fixed penalties; maintenance provider quality; and pre-1996 C1 driving licences.

28 People and jobs
Brian Jenkins leaves Lawrence David to join C&C Vehicle Services. CNH Industrial's Gerrit Marx becomes ACEA commercial vehicle board chairman. Phil Wilkes is appointed used truck sales director at Volvo Trucks UK and Ireland.

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