Archive for 2012
20 March 2012
By ATS Euromaster
It may only be the first day of spring, but ATS Euromaster has today announced an initial order for more than £10 million worth of cold weather tyre stocks for winter 2012/2013 – its largest winter tyre order to date.
It follows less than two years after the company became the first national tyre service provider to launch a fully-managed cold weather tyre service for UK fleets, and represents an increase of more than £4 million compared with orders placed in 2011.
The national tyre and fast-fit specialist says rising European demand coupled with limited manufacturing capacity means it is essential for both tyre distributors and fleets to secure UK stocks promptly.
Peter Fairlie, Group Sales Director at ATS Euromaster, says: “Last year we assessed customer demand early in 2011 to ensure we ordered the exact sizes of cold weather tyres our fleet customers required.
“It’s a strategy which is particularly crucial for larger fleets, which may require anything from several hundred to several thousand cold weather fitments of a particular brand and size at the same time. You simply can’t cater for that level of demand without planning ahead.”
Despite a relatively mild winter in the UK compared with previous years, ATS Euromaster says cold weather tyre sales rose significantly – with the strongest demand from home-shopping retailers, blue light operators and utilities providers.
“These three sectors have been amongst the first to recognise the added benefits that cold weather tyres deliver when the temperature drops below 7° Celsius. It’s not just about guaranteeing mobility in the event of snow and ice – there’s a far wider road safety and duty of care issue at stake,” he explains.
Modern rubber compound technology and advances in tread pattern design mean that today’s cold weather tyres deliver considerably shorter stopping distances on both wet and dry roads at low temperatures, in addition to their impressive traction credentials on snow, slush and ice. They also ensure increased longevity compared with summer tyres during winter motoring; conditions which would normally see tyre life reduced by up to 20 per cent.
Commenting on the order, Fairlie adds: “Today’s announcement is geared towards securing initial stocks to meet forecasted customer demand. We’re not ruling out additional orders over the coming months, but these will be subject to available manufacturing capacity.”
20 March 2012
By Freight Transport Association
Van Excellence, the national accreditation scheme for van operators, has enrolled its 100th operator and the scheme has grown to cover 100,000 vehicles.
Van Excellence was launched in 2010 to promote high standards of van operation and driving by accrediting operators against an industry code of good practice. Operators register their interest and receive details of the Van Excellence Code then present themselves for audit when they are ready. In the 18 months since the scheme launched, 24 fleets have achieved Van Excellence accreditation, with 33 undergoing audit and a further 43 registering interest and preparing for audit. Between them these 100 businesses operate 100,000 vans.
“We now have 100 fleets operating 100,000 vehicles”, said Mark Cartwright, Head of Van and LCVs at the Freight Transport Association, which manages the scheme. “That’s more centuries than Sachin Tendulker!”
“This double landmark confirms the groundswell of business support for this voluntary scheme that we believe is a better way to raise standards in the sector than new legislation. The Van Excellence marque is becoming a more frequent sight on accredited fleet vehicles as successful operators advertise their achievement.
“But with an average fleet size of 1,000, our goal now is to extend the scheme’s reach to smaller fleets by working with existing members to invite sub-contractors and other suppliers to join the scheme. We are also in advanced discussions with van manufacturers and leasing companies to bring Van Excellence to the attention of their smaller fleet customers.”
The Van Excellence Code was agreed by operators acting as a Governance Group and requires systems to be in place to check vehicle roadworthiness, driver entitlement, load security and other safety aspects. The standard exceeds the minimum requirements of the current law and selects and adapts the requirements of O-licensing normally applied to trucks for the van sector.
Accredited operators need to present themselves for re-audit every year to ensure standards are maintained.
20 March 2012
TTC, the UK’s first choice for CV parts & services, is delighted to receive this prestigious award from the United Aftermarket Network (UAN).
The UAN is a leading automotive buying group dedicated to its parts distributors, customers and suppliers.
In a change to the voting procedure this year, suppliers were awarded for their pound and percentage growth within the UAN group throughout 2011, with TTC being the best performer in this category.
Rachael Dickinson, UAN Operations Director commented: “It should be noted, to become UAN Supplier of the Year, a great deal of time, effort and teamwork has been put in by TTC, working in partnership with the UAN and its distributors. This award is recognition of that hard work.
“We have been impressed by TTC, they are very proactive and support the UAN commercial vehicle distributors in selling their product. The relationship between the UAN and TTC continues to go from strength to strength.”
Gary Carscadden, Head of Sales at TTC enthused: “We are delighted to be recognised by the UAN in this way. The UAN is one of the biggest CV distributor groups in the UK and is very well respected within the industry”
On 25 April at the CV Show, SMMT will host a series of workshops introducing type approval. With live demonstrations of SMMT’s online type approval guide (SENTA) and speakers from VCA, attendees will find out what to be aware of and how to get approval easily and quickly. For more information and to register for a seminar, go to smmt.co.uk/SENTA.
20 March 2012
By Penny Hydraulics
The vehicle mounted Single Wheel Lift 500 has been introduced by Penny Hydraulics so that users can handle even larger wheels and tyres in delivery, service and support applications. This light and compact platform lift has a maximum working load of 500kg and can be fitted inside the rear or side doors of a van to handle wheels and tyres of all sizes. The new device complements two existing models with 125kg and 250kg maximum working loads and is particularly suited to operators working with the larger commercial, industrial and agricultural wheels and tyres.
During use the device fully retracts the wheel or tyre in to the vehicle with no need for manual handling or lifting. The wheel or tyre can then be rolled off the platform into the load space or left in position for secure and safe stowage and transportation. A unique rollered platform and easy-to-operate locking device create the ideal tool for re-grooving tyres inside or outside the vehicle. The platform can be lowered to the ground to create a stable working area and allow wheels and tyres to be rolled on and off easily with no manual lifting. This ability to handle loads and act as a support during working makes the Single Wheel Lift 500 ideal for mobile service vehicles.
When fitted inside the rear doors of a van the device performs a similar role to a conventional tail lift. Mounted inside the side door it offers an excellent alternative where working at the rear of the vehicle is impractical or unsafe, such as at the road side or on motorway hard shoulders. Working at the side of the vehicle can also be more convenient in congested urban areas or when parking spaces are too short for convenient access to the rear doors.
After use the unit retracts completely inside the vehicle and the platform can be folded up out of the way to leave an unobstructed load space. It does not restrict access to the load area, has little effect on payload capacity and does not need to be deployed to allow entry to the vehicle. No components or services are exposed on the exterior of vehicle. This reduces the risk of damage when the vehicle is moving and enhances security when it is stationary.
Customers can choose from a range of standard and bespoke options to configure a device unique to their own application. The platform can be manufactured to match the customer’s specific application with designs matched to the load being handled. Special cradles, attachments, recesses and hitching points can be incorporated into the platform to enhance load stowage and transportation. The device can be installed by Penny Hydraulics or a customer’s chosen body builder. It connects to an available 12 or 24V power supply.
Operators control the Single Wheel Lift 500 with push buttons mounted at a convenient point inside the vehicle or using the remote wander lead supplied with the unit. This allows the operator to stand clear of the working area with an all-round view of the vehicle and load for additional safety. For even greater flexibility the unit can be supplied with radio remote control. Overload protection and battery protection are included as standard. Integrated hydraulic power provides controlled and precise load handling at all times.
The Single Wheel Lift 500 is based on the same proven design as an existing model with 250kg maximum working load. Penny Hydraulics has achieved the additional capacity by utilising heavier gauge steel and alloy materials in the unit’s construction. At the same time the company has used its advanced CAD and finite analysis applications to re-engineer individual components so that the minimum amount of material is used. This helps to reduce the overall weight and cost of manufacture without affecting the maximum working load.
All products are designed, manufactured and installed by Penny Hydraulics in the UK to the precise requirements of the specific application and customer. Exacting quality assurance standards ensure safe, economical and reliable performance with long maintenance-free service intervals. The company provides a complete design, installation and training service with a nationwide network of engineers to minimise downtime and ensure the continued reliability of equipment. Its comprehensive after sales service and maintenance programme is also designed to provide complete peace of mind and help customers meet their statutory inspection and maintenance obligations.
19 March 2012
When Holmes Chapel, Cheshire-based heavy haulage specialist Cranage Haulage Ltd were looking to upgrade to a productive, new Euro-5 emissions compliant truck to meet the 2012 London Low Emission Zone requirements, they opted for a Volvo FH16-600 double-drive tractor unit. “Although we deliver plant and construction machines all over the UK and Ireland, we’re seeing an increase in the amount of work we get in London and the south east,” says company director Gareth Edwards, who also drives the new FH16-600.
“We have two Volvo FHs now; both are STGO CAT2, so we can handle a wide variety of machines. Although the FH16-600 is new, we also have a 55 registered FH which is designed for 130 tonnes GCW operation, but which we use at 80 tonnes. The FH16 is on a five year Repair and Maintenance contract and Hardies carry out servicing to suit us, whether that’s overnight or at weekends. They give us first class service.”
The new Volvo is a fully specced up with Kelsa extra lights and Eminox twin stainless steel stacks. Like the 55 registered FH, It is plated for STGO CAT2 operation (up to 80 tonnes GCW) and is equipped with Volvo’s 12-speed manual transmission and full air suspension on the drive axles. “We prefer air suspension on the bogie for 80 tonnes,” says Cranage Haulage Ltd’s Gareth Edwards.
“We find it helps the drive axle wheels follow the ground contours better than steel and provides improved traction; for example on landfill sites. We also find that it couples perfectly to our Faymonville four-axle step-frame trailers,” explains Gareth. According to Gareth, payload on the FH16-600 when coupled to the four-axle Faymonville step frame is 56 tonnes – enabling them to haul, without problem, machines like the Volvo artic hauler A30E dumper that is pictured in the accompanying photographs.
14 March 2012
At this year’s CV Show, vehicle enhancement specialist Bott (stand 1D44) will be exhibiting its Bott Vario storage system, as well as promoting the breadth of its offer, its one-stop-shop approach and bespoke specialist conversions.
Visitors to the Bott stand will be able to see Bott Vario installed in three different vehicles – a Vauxhall Combo, a Vauxhall Movano and a VW Crafter – demonstrating its flexibility.
Bott Vario comprises drawers, containers, boxes and shelving units – which all fix and lock securely into place. The result of a three-year multi-million pound development programme, Bott Vario combines anodised aluminium, powder-coated high-strength steel and high-grade plastic, which gives the system a sleek appearance and offers a weight reduction when compared to traditional systems.
Kevin Woodward, managing director of the Vehicle Enhancement Division of Bott, said: “The CV Show gives us a fantastic opportunity to meet with existing and potential customers, and explain the breadth of our offer. At the show we’d like to demonstrate the flexibility of our Bott Vario storage system, but we’re also keen to talk to visitors about our dedication to customer service, our one-stop-shop approach and our specialist vehicle conversions, which can be tailored to specific requirements.”
Bott’s Vehicle Enhancement Division offers in-vehicle storage solutions, ensuring that tools and equipment can be safely and efficiently organised, transported and easily accessed when required. The company also offers bespoke, specialist solutions. Further information can be obtained by calling 0845 330 1090 or visiting www.bottltd.co.uk.
18 March 2012
- Considerable time saving when operating the tarpaulins
- Large through-load width of over eleven meters
- Innovative hybrid concepts: Opening and closing possible both pneumatically and conventionally
- High quality with outstanding price to performance ratio
The trailer manufacturer Kögel sets new standards in the field of pneumatic tarpaulin interlocking with the new quick opening mechanism. With its intelligent combination of frame and closing technology, the system allows reduction of handling time for opening and closing. In comparison with the conventional closing system of a trailer with DIN EN 12642 Code XL certification, the closing and opening times of the side tarpaulins are reduced considerably. The driver and the transport company are thus able to meet the requirements of the automotive and beverage industries for shorter loading times.
Engineering skill at Kögel makes this possible in less than 30 seconds – drawing the tarpaulin, tensioning with the winding shaft and the locking points close automatically via rotary switch. Opening is achieved in 36 seconds and takes place in reverse order, just the winding shaft needs to be released before actuating the switch.
Kögel relies on 19 clamping units per side, for better sealing between the framework and the tarpaulin, in contrast to the competition. The hooks are standard commercial components. Kögel is therefore offering a hybrid concept: Opening and closing possible both pneumatically and conventionally. In addition, for partial loading and unloading, the front and rear sections can be opened simply by hand in the normal way. Also, this means that a de-coupled trailer with de-pressurised air receiver remains available for use. Kögel uses a standard tarpaulin for the new quick opening mechanism. This takes up only 1.90 metres in the closed condition. This means that the Kögel Cargo Trailer with quick opening mechanism has a through-loading width of over eleven metres. The new Kögel quick closing system is also certified in accordance with DIN EN 12642 Code XL, including beverages. With form-locked loads this means that additional load-securing is unnecessary, and this saves time as well. For use in the automotive sector, the Kögel quick opening mechanism meets the requirements of the Daimler Guideline for long-securing 9.5.
“In the development of the new Kögel quick opening mechanism, our top aim was to significantly increase transport efficiency“, says Thomas Eschey, Managing Director Technology and Production at Kögel. “We have achieved this with our 36 seconds for opening and less than 30 seconds for closing the side tarpaulin.”
The new Kögel quick opening mechanism is available immediately for the Kögel Cargo and we anticipate it being available for the Kögel Mega in the autumn, and will have an outstanding price to performance ratio.
16 March 2012
Avonmouth-based haulier Wrings Transport Ltd remains dedicated to Continental, three years after choosing the tyre manufacturer as it’s supplier of choice.
The operator has recently welcomed three new Scania trucks onto its fleet, and a further seven tractor units are already on order, scheduled for arrival in the coming months. All 10 of the new trucks have been specified with Continental HSR2 steers, as well as ContiRe tyres on the drive axles.
The decision to depend on Continental is continuing to prove a shrewd one. After a straightforward switch between tyre manufacturers, Wrings has nothing but praise for the company’s products, and continues to be impressed by the efforts made by Continental staff.
“We wanted a tyre provider that we could rely on, and my contact at Continental always answers the phone and responds to my messages,” explains Wrings Transport managing director Stuart Wring.
“I am delighted with the quality product that we’ve got on our trucks,” says Mr Wring. “We put the HSR2s on the steer axles of our arctics, and when they are part-worn, we switch them onto the rigids. So a brand new HSR2 steer tyre will go through two trucks, instead of one, which helps us reduce our overheads, and allows us to get the most out of the products we have specified.”
But the tyres are not the only items that Continental has provided to Wrings Transport. Mr Wring explains that other areas of his company’s operations have also benefitted thanks to Continental’s portfolio of products and services.
“A day’s training was organised for myself and our maintenance guys at Continental’s distribution centre, which was brilliant,” continues Mr Wring. “We had an instructor who was passionate about tyres, and were shown what telltale signs to look for when trying to spot faulty tyres.”
Despite being self-taught, Mr Wring maintains that the one-to-one training with a Continental expert was a fantastic opportunity, the benefits of which are now being felt in the company’s operations. “We learned about the importance of pressures, and how to address issues with them, and now one of our maintenance team continually check our fleet’s tyre pressures.”
Wrings Transport Ltd was established in August 1995 with just a solitary van on its fleet. Since then, the company has flourished and now runs a 48-truck mixed fleet that is responsible for a range of long-distance and distribution work. Situated in Hallen, near Avonmouth, Bristol, Wrings is the largest privately owned transport company in the surrounding area.
15 March 2012
London wine wholesaler Liberty Wines is boosting its delivery service with an advanced route planning and scheduling system from Paragon Software Systems. The software incorporates street level mapping for accurate routing and has special Olympics planning functionality to ensure that Liberty’s customers receive their daily orders on time during the games. The software will integrate with Liberty’s order processing system (Vintner) to speed the planning process. Liberty also anticipates that Paragon’s Single Depot software solution will enable better use of its delivery fleet resources.
“Paragon will enable us to plan more efficiently and effectively, making better use of our vehicle fleet and improving the service to our customers. The street level-mapping option we have selected takes account of road constraints such as one-way streets, no-entries and turn restrictions. This will help us to plan and manage our London deliveries with greater accuracy, where timed deliveries to leading restaurants are a key part of our service offering. The pre-programmed Olympic planning feature is extremely important as we are located on the Olympic Route Network and this will ensure we provide the best service during the games,” says Ben Marriott, Customer Services Manager at Liberty Wines.
Liberty Wines runs a fleet of large delivery vans for daily deliveries throughout London and once weekly deliveries to customers throughout the Home Counties. About 80 per cent of fleet resources are subcontractors, with some Liberty Wines’ own vehicles and drivers. The new software will maximise their loads and plan the delivery schedules and routes automatically, highlighting where there is spare capacity.
“The majority of our drivers are subcontractors who are paid a daily rate. When we plan manually we can only estimate start and finish of their runs, but with Paragon we’ll have visibility of their workloads,” says Ben Marriott. “We’ll also have the added benefit of knowing precisely which vehicle and driver is delivering each order without searching through paperwork; the information will be available to us at the push of a button.”
Liberty Wines offers a unique customer service that allows London customers to place orders at any time of the day or night for delivery the next day. This around the clock ordering is what sets the company apart from its competitors, resulting in as many as 200 deliveries a day. To streamline order processing and fulfilment, the company’s Vintner system will export the order and delivery requirements into Paragon, which will then automatically create the delivery routes and schedules. This information is uploaded back to the order processing system to update the customer records. This also provides accurate data for management reporting on delivery performance.