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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 July 2019 edition is now online.

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



A battery-powered, self-driving Volvo truck with neither a driver nor even a cab is causing quite a stir in its home town of Gothenburg, Sweden where it has started work, hauling containers for DFDS. But a far more significant development in Volvo Group’s journey on a path leading to autonomous trucks and buses has tended to be overshadowed by Vera’s seductive head-turning charms. The world’s second-biggest truck-maker has teamed up with Nvidia, a fast-growing US-based technology company specialising in computer chipsets, graphics processing units, and the entire artificial intelligence computer architecture on which self-driving vehicles will depend. The full story is in the July edition.

We also report from the Freight Transport Association’s latest fleet engineer conference where one of the highlights was a no-nonsense presentation from Wincanton’s head of sustainability, Steve Tainton, on the true strengths and weaknesses of various alternative fuels.

Among other people in the news this month are Sascha Kaehne, newly appointed boss of Iveco’s UK & Ireland sales and marketing operation following Stuart Webster’s departure; and Renault Trucks UK & Ireland retail development director Derek Leech, outlining why he is convinced that a trial of Optiview headsets by Renault Trucks technicians could point to an imminent step-change in workshop efficiency.











Sat 29 Jun, 2019

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June 2019

3 Comment
Meanwhile in the real world...... The next three decades are going to be challenging for freight transport. So said Steve Tainton, with more than a hint of understatement, at last month's excellent Freight Transport Association conference for fleet engineers. As head of sustainability at Britain's biggest third-party logistics company, Wincanton, Tainton understands fully what decarbonising road transport means in the real world, as distinct from the fantasy planet occupied by a disturbingly large number of UK politicians content to lie through their teeth to the public almost as much about crucial environmental decisions and their consequences, it would seem, as they routinely do about Brexit. Sadly, and unlike Brexit, deep misunderstanding about the practicalities of decarbonising commercial vehicles is not confined to these shores. ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles), a big Brussels-based European association of vehicle manufacturers, this month joined forces with UITP, a huge global association representing public transport operators, to call on the European Commission and national governments throughout Europe to take "urgent action" on a woeful lack of charging and refuelling infrastructure which is holding back operators from adopting low- and zero-emission buses. A similar theme was echoed time and again last month at the FTA conference. Portland Fuel managing director James Spencer cheerfully debunked the notion beloved of so many UK politicians and their dutiful journalist followers at present that hydrogen is the panacea we are looking for. UK road transport at present consumes 50 billion litres of fuel annually, supplied through six refineries, eight import terminals, four rail-loading sites, 6,350 miles of pipeline, 20 inland depots, 30,000 road tankers, 8,500 forecourts and 140,000 dispensing nozzles. How long would it take and how much would it cost to convert this little lot to hydrogen, he mused, tongue planted firmly in cheek. There is a more immediate and altogether more manageable fuel supply problem in the UK which the government shows no sign of understanding, let alone helping to solve. Practically everyone seems to agree that HVO (hydro-treated vegetable oil) brings useful environmental benefits over diesel and crucially is a "drop-in" fuel. Yet there is only a single supplier in the UK and it would need to be producing about ten times more than at present to justify the cost of setting up a UK refinery. So guess what? The price of HVO stays prohibitively high and it remains hard to find at any price.

6 Points of view
From Scania (Great Britain) on misguided government plans to cut apprentceship funding; ParcelHero on Brexit and logistics company collapses; Harman International and Brigade Electronics on the silence of the vans; and Pailton Engineering on greas nipple pluses and minuses

11 News
All change at the top of Scania (Great Britain).

12 News
As Iveco gears up for the launch of a long-awaited new heavy truck range, a new boss starts work at its UK sales and marketing operation.

14 News
Game on in Vera's first port of call.

17 News
Onward and upward, vow Renault Trucks bosses. The Volvo Group division's truck sales are growing fast in the UK and Ireland but Jean-Claude Bailly and Carlos Rodrigues remain determined to step up the pace.

18 News
Information technology going to their heads. Why optical head-mounted displays may soon be as familiar to truck technicians as torque wrenches and open-ended spanners.

20 The nitty-gritty of 21st-century fleet engineering
Fleet engineers facing up to an unprecedented array of challenges have less time than ever for marketing hyperbole. Straight talking and reliable data are what they appreciate. This year's FTA fleet engineer conference did not disappoint. Tim Blakemore was there.

22 News from the north
From a standing start to blue-chip customers. Transport News editor Alistair Vallance visits Coatbridge to learn about trailer maintenance the CEM way.

24 News from the north
The Transport News Truck Advocate approaches the bench with advice on smart tachographs; driver CPC periodic training; and consequences for drivers caught using mobile phones.

25 People and jobs
Why the latest National Refuse Championships competition in Weston-super-Mare was anything but rubbish. TRL has a new boss. Paul Emery joins Hankook as UK truck and bus tyre sales manager.

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