Archive for 2012
08 February 2012
One of Sheffield’s most popular bus services has been boosted by five new vehicles costing £600,000 to meet demand from its growing number of users.
The Supertram Link, which connects passengers in Stocksbridge, Deepcar and Oughtibridge with the tram at Middlewood, from where they can travel into the city centre and onwards, is one of Stagecoach Sheffield’s biggest success stories.
The SL1 service, launched in June 2007 to create an integrated link with the tram, has recorded more than 600,000 passenger journeys in the last 12 months – a ten per cent increase.
The five new single decker buses, Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 models, have 37 seats compared to the 27 on the Optare Solos used on this route, providing room for an extra 60 people every hour.
They were unveiled at a special ceremony at the Middlewood Road Park and Ride, in Hillsborough, by Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, who welcomed the investment made by Stagecoach to meet passenger demand.
She said: “The Supertram Link is a vibrant reminder of the value of good local bus services which take people where they want to go quickly and easily and it is vital to workers, shoppers and people using the city’s leisure facilities.”
The wheelchair and buggy-friendly buses used on the Supertram Link, which last year was given an overall satisfaction rate of 99 per cent in a customer survey, run every ten minutes Monday to Saturday.
Paul Lynch, Stagecoach Yorkshire’s managing director, said: “Passenger growth on the service has been phenomenal and we are delighted that it is so well used and meets a demand from people living along the route. With just one ticket for both bus and tram, it is certainly a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way than bringing a car into Sheffield.
“The five new buses will enable us to cater for the increasing number of passengers on the route and to continue running the service to high standards of efficiency and comfort.”
09 February 2012
Volvo Bus has launched a special TechTool check-up service to ensure operator’s vehicles remain healthy, introduced at a 50% discounted rate.
The new service not only avoids costly downtime, but also helps to ensure greater fuel efficiency and prolong the life span of both engine and vehicle. The health check is carried out by a Master Technician at a Volvo dealership. For operators with multiple vehicles, the check-up can even be done on site, to help minimise any operational disruption.
For a limited period priced at just £49.95 the check-up includes: fault code analysis, cylinder compression tests, feed pressure inspection, evaluation injector, fuel volume, cylinder balancing test, intake and exhaust system check, clutch wear check test and brake pad testing.
For UK bus and coach operators this new Volvo service really is too good to pass up. It prevents any untimely breakdowns and helps vehicles perform better on a day-to-day basis.
“Ensuring coaches operate at the optimum efficiency and reliability level is even more important than ever in today’s tough economic climate,” explained Volvo Bus Customer Services Director, Andy Kunze. “The TechTool check-up provides preventative maintenance and ensures vehicles last longer, therefore saving the operator money in the long-term.”
To find out more or to organise your TechTool check-up, contact your local Volvo dealer.
14 February 2012
VOSA continues to support the transport industry by avoiding any general increases for the third year running. Most of the changes taking place will transfer costs between customers.
Most vehicle tests at Authorised Testing Facilities (ATFs) will now carry lower costs, as VOSA fees for testing at ATFs will reduce slightly, while fees for testing at VOSA sites will increase slightly.
The part of the fee for full tests that goes towards encouraging and enforcing the safe and legal operation of HGVs and PSVs will remain the same. VOSA will continue to use intelligence and reporting to make sure our resources are directed where they’re most needed.
For HGV operators, applications for new O-licences – or for varying or continuing O-licences – will see a small increase of 1.6%, still well below the rate of inflation. This revenue will be put towards the creation and upkeep of a national register of licensed operators and transport managers.
The national register helps road safety agencies in European Union member states to share information about operators and transport managers. This will help to create a more level playing field for international transport operations and further help to make sure that VOSA’s enforcement resources are used efficiently and effectively.
PSV operators will also be affected by the 1.6% change to O-licence application and variation fees. Fees for standard and restricted PSV O-licence applications are being equalised, so those applying for standard licences will see their fees fall, while the fees for restricted PSV O-licence applications will rise.
VOSA Chief Executive Alastair Peoples says “We understand the financial pressures operators are under. That is why I am delighted that we have been able to avoid any general increase in fees for the third year running.”
These fees will go live from Sunday 1 April. Operators will need to give some thought to how this will affect their pre-funded accounts.
09 February 2012
Folkestone-based Eley Transport South East is targeting lower fuel consumption after taking delivery of a pair of ultra-efficient Iveco ECOSTRALIS 6×2 mid-lift tractor units.
Supplied by Haynes Trucks in Maidstone, the ECOSTRALIS Active Space Super3 tractors (AS440S46TX/P) will operate primarily between the South East of England and Northern France, bringing bottled water across the Channel and delivering it to regional distribution centres. Paul Eley, Managing Director, says: “Our biggest concern right now is the cost of fuel. We were in the market for two new trucks and we wanted to select the most fuel-efficient 44 tonners on the market.
“Iveco has clearly tried something new with ECOSTRALIS and we liked what we saw. They seem to fit the bill perfectly and have been well received by our drivers.”
Both ECOSTRALIS tractors stand out from regular Stralis models thanks to an EEV-rated Cursor 10 engine featuring revised engine mapping which reduces fuel consumption whilst maintaining performance. They are capable of producing up to 460 hp and a maximum torque of 2,100 Nm between 1,050 and 1,550 rev/min.
ECOSTRALIS models also feature a standard specification which includes a Blue&Me Fleet telematics system and an ECOSWITCH that uses the vehicle weight information from the ECAS / EBS systems to limit engine torque according to the gross vehicle weight – ensuring overall performance in line with that of a fully laden vehicle.
This allows fuel consumption to be minimised during acceleration without affecting overall speed capability. They also incorporate a EuroTronic transmission with a new ECOfleet mode which automatically adjusts to the loading of the unit to fine-tune fuel economy. Michelin X Energy SaverGreen low rolling resistance tyres, a higher gearing and an 85 km/h speed limiter contribute to the optimised fuel performance.
Commenting on the Blue&Me Fleet system, Eley adds: “This is a superb bit of kit as it allows us to monitor vehicle movements and individual truck performance. It also integrates the Iveco Assistance Non Stop service, meaning our drivers can contact Iveco for roadside assistance across Europe at the touch of a button. Plus it allows them to use their company mobile phones in hands-free mode.”
Eley Transport South East is running its own in-house comparisons between the two ECOSTRALIS tractors, by increasing the speed limiter in one vehicle from 85km/h to 90km/h. The company hopes to measure precisely what impact the 5km/h reduction has on fuel consumption. The result may impact future fleet policy on vehicle speeds.
Both ECOSTRALIS’ have been supplied on a three year lease backed by a comprehensive repair and maintenance agreement with Iveco Capital. They also benefit from a comprehensive three year / 420,000 km* vehicle warranty.
09 February 2012
By Isuzu Truck
Leading commercial vehicle manufacturer Isuzu Truck UK is continuing with its drive to expand its dealer network during 2012. It appointed 7 new dealers during 2011 and as early as January 2012 has already made its first significant strategic addition to its UK dealer network. This new appointment is Commercial Motors (Wales) Ltd in Newport, Gwent as full sales, parts and service dealer for the area.
Announcing details of this latest dealer news, Keith Child, marketing director at Isuzu Truck UK said; “Ideally located alongside the busy M4 corridor, Commercial Motors (Wales) is a key appointment for us in this area of South Wales and will strengthen our overall presence here. Complimenting our existing dealer arrangements, we are now in an even stronger position to further develop the Isuzu vehicle parc in this region. Plus of course it also ensures that our existing and future customer base will receive the highest level of our customer Care and after sales support at all times.”
The new full main dealership in Newport is based at:
Commercial Motors (Wales) Ltd, Frederick Street, Newport NP20 2DR
Sales/Service Tel: 01633 251576, E-mail: email@example.com
09 February 2012
A purpose-designed, low-entry cab and the promise of top-quality dealer back-up tempted ASH Waste Services to invest in its first Mercedes-Benz truck.
The 6×4 Econic 2629LL was supplied to the Wrexham-based recycling specialist, which covers the North of England and North Wales, by Deeside dealer Road Range Commercials. It is powered by a 290hp, 7.2-litre Euro 5 engine which, as with all Econics, drives through an Allison six-speed automatic gearbox with cruise control function.
The chassis rides on air suspension all round, while the Mercedes-Benz Axle Load Indicator system connected to each individual airbag monitors the vehicle’s load and helps the operator stay safe and legal at all times.
Together, ASH Waste Services and sister operation Alan’s Skip Hire run a fleet of 65 trucks.
“Historically we’ve sourced our vehicles from another manufacturer, so this represents a bold step for us,” said Neil Hassall, a Director of both firms. “But we’re confident it’s the right move.”
Key to the Econic’s appeal was its comfortable and user-friendly low-entry cab. “We’ve held discussions with our staff and feel the easily accessed cab will prove safer, more efficient and easier to use. It’s a very ergonomic layout, with deep windscreen, low floor and high ceiling, and a bus-style bi-fold door on the passenger side.
“However,” he continued, “while we were impressed with the Econic’s design, we also had to be confident that the truck would be reliable and cost-effective to operate, and that the after sales support from the dealer would be up to scratch.
“The team at Road Range have worked very hard to win us over, and have given us all the assurances we needed. So we’re looking forward to building an excellent working relationship with the dealer.”
The Econic chassis is fitted with a rear-end loader body by Heil and is working on ASH’s trade and commercial waste contracts, collecting wheeled bins from business premises across the North-West of England and North Wales.
Although the truck is not currently being used on landfill sites, its 6×4 configuration and under-chassis protection, coupled with the fact that the air suspension allows the driver to raise its ride height, mean it is perfectly equipped for off-tarmac work should the need arise.
Mr Hassall added: “The Mercedes-Benz brand is synonymous with quality, while the Econic is also very quiet in operation and impressively clean in terms of its emissions – minimising the impact of our operations on the environment is something that we take very seriously, and our customers demand.”
The truck will be maintained by Road Range Commercials’ Deeside service team under a five-year Mercedes-Benz repair & maintenance contract.
08 February 2012
By Gray & Adams
Deli XL Foodservice wholesaler now operates environmentally friendly Long Heavy Vehicles (LHVs), also called ‘ecotrucks’. The company, in partnership with Gray & Adams, Ducarbo (Gray & Adams service partner in Netherlands), DAF Trucks (EBAG) and TRS refrigeration, has developed a twenty five metre long truck that meets the stringent environmental standards as Euro 5EVV. The use of long heavy vehicles at Deli XL reduces transportation costs and contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions by the company.
“An LHV combination can carry 50% more volume compared to a normal truck combination. The fuel consumption is by, all measures, just a fraction higher”, says Jan Willem Gosseling, Fleet Manager at Deli XL.
The company has bought six rigid trucks that are different in specification and design to the rest of the fleet. A key feature of this combination is the PIEK accreditation awarded to the Gray & Adams product. This award has been heavily supported by the Noise Abatement Society in the UK, who have, in conjunction with the ‘Silent Approach’ quiet night time delivery scheme, adopted the Dutch PIEK certification scheme for vehicles and equipment operating under 60dB which will be suitable for use in night time deliveries without causing noise disturbance. Calvin Morrice (MD) Gray & Adams Dunfermline attributed the success of the award to stringent manufacturing guidelines carried out by his team in Dunfermline and third party suppliers.
The trucks are also equipped with roof spoiler and fender sets for improved aerodynamics. Like the four drawbar trailers purchased, these trucks are equipped with a generator fridge, which Gosseling explains results in lower fuel consumption.
The six trucks and four drawbar trailers together provide the possibility of combining two LHVs. During the day the truck and one drawbar trailer are used for customer delivery. In the evening and at night the second trailer is added and used as an ecotruck combination, used for trunk routes between Deli XL depots. This way the new vehicles can be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Rene Schreiner, Manager of the National Distribution Centre in Ede, sees many opportunities for the use of LHVs. “We are the central distribution hub for our depots in Holland. With the use of LHVs, we can efficiently fulfil this role and deliver ambient, fresh and frozen at the same time.
When constructing the body, Deli XL had taken into account the transport of different types of roll cages and pallets. The internal length and width are adjusted accordingly. “Deli XL always challenge us with their demanding specifications. We continue to develop, design and produce a product that surpasses customer expectations which in turn benefits many of our existing customers” said Morrice.
There is a group of 10 drivers trained for an additional license.
The combination supplied to Deli XL Holland is not currently legal in the UK but demonstrates the bespoke capability of the Gray & Adams engineering expertise.
09 February 2012
Paragon Software Systems has launched its Olympic Planning Pack, which includes special map edits, filters and congestion profiles designed to help clients model and route vehicle movements during the London Olympic and Paralympic games. With this useful, free of charge pack for Paragon customers, Paragon is reinforcing its commitment to delivering useful software solutions that meet the demands of today’s logistics industry.
With only six months left to plan for the start of the 2012 Olympics – and the Paralympics beginning when the Olympics finish – Paragon is focussing on ensuring that its clients can minimise likely disruption to any London logistics operations. The pack will help with planning optimised delivery routes that avoid road closures and congestion from 27 July when the Olympics begin to the 9 September when the Paralympics ends.
Many Paragon customers have already begun planning their transport strategy for the games. This includes modelling routes and schedules that will service the anticipated demand for consumables and for managing changes to delivery times, unloading times and delivery frequency. For ease of planning, they will be able to use the special filters and congestion profiles that Paragon provides.
The software development undertaken by Paragon will help its customers to prepare for the disruption and challenges such as automatically identifying delivery points that may be affected and understanding where the likely areas of congestion will be due to specific road-based events. They will also be able to identify and exclude those sections of the network likely to affect their delivery operations so that delivery vehicles avoid them on the day of the event.
“There is still time available to model, plan and prepare for the impact that the Olympic Games will have on our clients and their distribution operations,” comments William Salter, Paragon’s Managing Director. “We are actively encouraging Paragon customers to use the added functionality we are offering with the free Olympic Planning Pack to help them with maintaining good service and allow them to enjoy playing their part in making both games a great success for the UK.”
08 February 2012
By H.E. SERVICES
The UK’s largest specialist excavator hire company has taken delivery of three new 32 tonne DAF CF85 8×2 rigids, mounted with Andover Trailers plant bodies. A further four are currently under construction and will go into service shortly.
H.E. SERVICES, which boasts an excavator fleet of more than 2,000, will use the vehicles to transport equipment across the company’s 12 depots throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
Peter Durey, Managing Director of H.E. SERVICES, says: “We’ve had a long-running relationship with Andover Trailers and they understand that we expect a product which is reliable and strong.
“You know that when you buy an Andover Trailers plant body, it is built to last. I have no doubt that with the quality of these trucks they could be easily in service for a decade – although at H.E. SERVICES we only keep them on our fleet for three years.”
The LPPB 32 body features fuel-saving hydraulic fold-forward ramps – a design pioneered by Andover Trailers. Measuring 2.7m by 1m wide, they fold flat against the deck – minimising aerodynamic drag while the truck is moving.
The specification also includes hydraulic steady legs, which ensure a stable platform for loading and unloading, as well as six pairs of lashing points in the floor to hold equipment down securely.
All seven vehicles are equipped with red diesel tanks with hose and nozzle, which will be used to refuel H.E. SERVICES’ construction machinery on-site or on- the-move.
The DAF chassis have been provided by Channel Commercials, each finished in H.E. SERVICES’ distinctive orange and blue livery.
The excavator hire company has also ordered six 48-tonne, two 53-tonne and two four-axle 67-tonne step frames from Andover Trailers – each specified with heavy- duty SAF disc brake axles.
Durey adds: “We have used drum brakes in the past and have had a few problems with them cracking which we wanted to avoid. Specifying these top quality SAF disc brakes made sense.”
09 February 2012
Robinsons Holidays of Great Harwood, Blackburn have recently taken delivery of the very first B13R Volvo coach in Lancashire.
“I wasn’t initially aware that it was the first in the county, until Volvo Bus Regional Sales Manager, Duncan Crosby pointed it out and obviously we were absolutely delighted to have secured the first one,” explained Robinsons Holidays Director, David Lord.
The three axle, 14 metre, high specification coach features Jonckheere bodywork and the powerful and fuel efficient Euro 5, Volvo D13C engine. The new vehicle has a fully integrated driveline, including the Volvo I-Shift and Volvo RS 1228C rear axle.
“The coach met our requirements particularly because the three axle chassis allows for extra seating,” continued David Lord. “It also provides increased leg room, which is important considering the vehicle will be doing a lot of tour work down to the South Coast, where we have our holiday hotels.”
“We have 16 coaches in our fleet now, 10 of which are on a Volvo chassis,” he continued. “Fuel efficiency and overall performance were the other key considerations in our decision to choose Volvo again. Added to that is the tremendous backup and support we get from Thomas Hardie Commercials.”
Fitted to an extremely high standard, the new Robinsons Holidays B13R features 59 passenger seats in blue, with leather trim. The vehicle is specified with an onboard toilet, servery and fridge. It also features TV monitors, CD/DVD player and sound system, whilst an integrated reversing camera provides an important aid for the driver when manoeuvring.
Externally the new Volvo B13R is finished in the company’s traditional and highly recognisable dark blue livery.
“This is a very special vehicle,” enthused Volvo Bus, Regional Sales Manager, Duncan Crosby. “It’s the very first Volvo B13R in Lancashire and I’m delighted it’s gone to Robinsons Travel because they’re a loyal Volvo customer and a pleasure to deal with.”
He added, “We’ve built a solid relationship with David Lord and the team at Robinsons Travel over a number of years and this new coach will no doubt be turning heads, on its way up and down the country taking tourists on holiday.”