Transport News Brief

image of Nigel Base Following legislation aimed at limiting CO2 emissions for cars and vans, the focus is slowly but surely turning to HGVs. This Tuesday I attended a seminar organised by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology to discuss, and raise awareness among Parliamentarians, the opportunities and challenges for reducing the carbon footprint of road transport.

On Wednesday, I visited the Gloucestershire-based Ambulex exhibition for the first time. Aimed at ambulance and other rescue vehicle builders, this show had the same buzz about it I’d seen at other, larger CV shows with an interesting twist... from 29 April this year, special-purpose vehicles – including ambulances – came under new European Type Approval rules, a move that has been hard for some to adjust to... SMMT’s online Type Approval guide cropped-up in plenty of conversations.

Nigel Base
SMMT Commercial Vehicle Manager

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May sees vans join trucks in registrations rise
The van and truck market was up 10% in May with 25,327 registrations, while the rolling year was up 3.7% to 294,653, according to the SMMT’s latest data. Truck registrations rose 31.5% to 4,024 in the month, while the rolling year was up 24.5% to 47,389. Van registrations increased 6.7% to 21,303 units in May and the rolling year was up 0.4% to 247,264.

Bus and coach sector enjoys welcome lift in May
The total bus and coach sector grew 118.6% to 883 registrations in May, and was up 56.5% for January to May, according to the SMMT’s latest data. Registrations of purpose-built buses and coaches rose 14.2% in the month and 44.5% in the first five months of 2012. Converted bus registrations were up 240.9% in May and 68.5% for the year-to-date.

UK automotive industry targets all-time manufacturing records
UK automotive manufacturers have set their sights on breaking all-time manufacturing records by the end of 2015: this was the message from the SMMT International Automotive Summit held on 12 June. The confidence is fuelled by multi-billion pound investments committed to the country over the past 18 months that will see production expanded, new models introduced and thousands more people employed.

Timber merchant goes with the Mercedes-Benz grain
Timber merchant Beaumont Forest Products has celebrated its silver anniversary by taking on a pair of 16-tonne Mercedes-Benz Atego 1624 models fitted with platform bodies by Wessex Vehicle Services and Palfinger cranes. They were supplied, together with the operator’s first Fuso Canter, by Reading dealer Rygor Commercials.

Volvo FH fuel performance gives WS Dennison confidence
Irish furniture distribution specialist WS Dennison has taken delivery of two new FH-420 4x2 and two used FH-460 4x2 models from Northern Ireland’s Volvo Truck and Bus dealer, Dennison Commercials. These are the first Volvos ever purchased by the firm and the two new FHs are the first-ever new artics in the Dennison fleet.

Alexander Dennis moves on from JV to Australian acquisition
Britain’s biggest bus and coach manufacturer, Alexander Dennis has acquired Sydney-based Custom Coaches, one of Australia’s major bus manufacturers. Dennis takes 100% control of the Australian business, which employs over 400 people at manufacturing sites in Sydney and Adelaide. It has annual sales of around £55m and 24% market share.

MAN supplies Maidens of Telford
Maidens of Telford has confirmed MAN as its preferred supplier, after taking delivery of its latest fleet of premium duty TGX 26.440 6x2 midlift tractor units. The latest quartet of vehicles brings the total of MAN trucks in the Maidens fleet to 45. MAN dealer Aquila Truck Centres has taken over the repair and maintenance of Maidens’ entire fleet.

Blackwood Plant Hire unearths new 56-tonne step frame
Kilmarnock-based Blackwood Plant Hire has taken delivery of a purpose-built SFCL 56 tri-axle step frame from Andover Trailers, with low profile neck and beavertail. The 12.5m-long trailer is being used by Blackwood across the UK, carrying 30-tonne excavators on behalf of renewable energy firms tasked with constructing wind farms.
Read more....

DJ Thomas sounds out new Volvo 9700
Neath-based tour operator DJ Thomas has purchased a new tri-axle Volvo 9700 Prestige Plus coach for use on its international holiday programme. The vehicle is the second new 9700 that the Welsh operator has purchased. The 9700 is specified with a 13-litre D13C diesel engine, rated at 460hp, and fitted with the I-Shift gearbox.

Read more....

10 out of 10 new Hyva skiploaders for Holywell Haulage
Waste and recycling specialist Holywell Haulage of Hemel Hempstead has just put 10 new Hyva skiploaders into service, all mounted on 18 tonne GVW DAF LF chassis.

Ryder wins annual £3.5m MOD truck rental contract
Ryder has won a 40-month rental contract for the provision of trucks, tractors and trailers to the Ministry of Defence, covering the supply of vehicles in the UK. The contract, which is worth approximately £3.5m per annum, started in May 2012 and includes an option of a 12-month extension.

Motor Transport Awards: the winners revealed
Who won what at last night’s Motor Transport Awards? Follow the link to find out and to view pictures from the freight transport industry’s biggest night out of the year, as nearly 1,600 operators, clients, manufacturers, dealers and suppliers celebrated the innovation and outstanding achievements of the past year.

And finally...
Shock horror: a car journalist likes truck drivers! Writing in last week's Autocar (6 June issue), special correspondent Colin Goodwin penned an open letter to the Road Haulage Association in praise of commercial vehicle drivers. "Frequently, it is commercial vehicle drivers who show patience and common sense on the road. I've driven trucks on the road and it takes a lot of skill and foresight. Perhaps that's why the people who drive them for a living seem to have a lot of patience. [Commercial vehicle drivers] deserve a bit of praise once in a while." Hear, hear!
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