TfL outlines road freight priorities in ULEZ consultation

Posted on: May 19, 2016

Transport for London (TfL) has provided further details of the new Mayor’s upcoming consultation on plans for the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which is currently set to be introduced in 2020.

Speaking at the Wednesday’s Microlise Transport Conference, Tim Ward, TfL Freight and Fleet Communications Manager, said that several objectives stressed in Sadiq Khan’s manifesto would be central to the consultation. These included a commitment to reduce the number of “larger lorries” on London’s roads, during the busiest times of day in particular; to promote “safer and cleaner lorries”; and to encourage greater use of the River Thames for freight transport.

Ward said, “London is in breach of European standards on air quality and we have to do something about it.”

He did acknowledge that London’s population was continuing to grow, that 90% of all freight comes into the capital by road, and that the annual value of freight moved in and out of London is around £200 billion. “We are trying to develop a strategy, balancing quality of life against economic need,” he said.

The proposals include the extension of the ULEZ area outwards from the current congestion charging zone as far as the North and South Circular roads. It will also explore the possibility of introducing ULEZ standards for heavy vehicles London-wide from 2020.

Reacting to last week’s announcement that a fresh consultation will be launched, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “SMMT welcomes this public consultation by the new Mayor of London, and will work with him to ensure the ULEZ delivers the required air quality improvements.

“The automotive industry has invested heavily to reduce emissions, with new Euro-6 cars and the latest generation of Euro-VI heavy duty vehicles already helping to address air quality issues. The biggest air quality gains will come by encouraging uptake of this latest, lowest emission technology, regardless of vehicle or fuel type.

“All vehicles are at their most efficient when moving, and local policy makers, supported by central government, have an equally important role to play in tackling congestion by improving traffic flow and road infrastructure. Policy options such as out-of-hours deliveries, anti-idling advice and investment in road capacity are key to improving local air quality. We are keen to see a consistent implementation of policy measures across the country, avoiding a patchwork approach which would confuse motorists and add complexity for businesses.”

Ward said that TfL accepted that the London Lorry Control Scheme is now 30 years old and probably needed revision to allow more truck operation at night and early in the morning. “It is a noise issue, and trucks have come a long way on this in the past 30 years,” he said. But Ward emphasised that this scheme is run by London boroughs directly, rather than by TfL.

Turbo boost at London conference

Posted on: May 18, 2016

The crucial role played by turbochargers in improving truck and bus diesel engine fuel efficiency and durability is being highlighted by several speakers at an Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) conference in London this week.

One of five papers delivered by Cummins Turbo Technologies is focused on development of a new high-temperature turbocharger for heavy-duty applications. The innovative feature of this turbocharger is its ability to cope with the high temperatures of a natural gas engine, while maintaining the levels of durability and performance expected of diesel forced induction.

One keynote presentation at the IMechE conference comes from Heijo Oelschlegel, Daimler Senior Manager for commercial vehicle powertrain research. He explains how new approaches to turbocharging have helped Daimler improve fuel economy and thus cut CO2 emissions with its latest Euro-VI truck and bus engines.The first turbocharger designed and made in-house by Daimler is fitted to the latest version of the OM471 engine in the Mercedes Actros truck range.

The engine has a Daimler-patented asymmetric turbocharger, whereby only exhaust gases from three of the six cylinders go to the turbo and gases from the other three cylinders go through the liquid-cooled exhaust gas recirculation system. The Daimler turbo has neither a wastegate to regulate maximum boost pressure nor any of variable-geometry mechanisms favoured by some other truck-makers, including Scania and Iveco, for their latest Euro-VI engines.

The Daimler turbocharger is described as a “robust and simple product”. Poor reliability of proprietary turbochargers is thought to have been a crucial factor in Daimler’s decision to design and make its own. Several thousand Borg Warner turbochargers had to be replaced in 2014 on DAF 12.9-litre MX engines in Europe following a rash of impeller failures. More recently, a number of US truck operators have reported poor reliability on many of the latest engines, with the sensors used often seen as the main culprits.

Daimler is hoping that the simplified approach of the design of its new turbocharger and complementary exhaust gas recirculation system will strike a chord with fleet operators and their maintenance engineers.

Stepping up truck safety in London

Posted on: May 17, 2016

Truck operators working in London’s booming construction sector are stepping up efforts to meet the capital’s latest safety requirements for protecting vulnerable road users.

Keltbray Group and S Walsh and Sons are among many fleets to have specified new vehicles equipped with the latest safety measures. S Walsh and Sons has taken delivery of a Mercedes-Benz Econic 3235 eight-wheeler fitted with a Fruehauf steel tipping body. The low-mounted Econic cab, with its exceptionally large field of vision, is what first drew the company to the vehicle, which is currently being used on several high-profile construction projects such as Crossrail and the Battersea power station development.

Nathan Hopgood, S Walsh and Sons Senior Transport Manager, said, “The Econic offers a 19-tonne payload, which is certainly competitive. More importantly, though, it represents a major step forward in terms of safety.

“The driving position is very different to anything I’d experienced before, and I wasn’t sure how it was going to be. After just half an hour on the road, though, I realised that I really liked it. You see a lot more of what’s around you, and the fact that you sit that much lower means that you can make direct eye contact with cyclists and pedestrians, which is a big help.”

Meanwhile, the latest piece of safety equipment being trialled by Keltbray Group, an engineering, construction and demolition company, is the DawesGuard, a retro-fit addition to truck side guards which was first shown at a CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety) event in London earlier this year. The DawesGuard is designed to ensure cyclist and pedestrians cannot fall under a vehicle’s rear wheels.

Terry Good, Keltbray Group Head of Haulage Operations, said, “CCTV equipment is fitted to the front, offside and nearside of all our tipper trucks along with cycle and pedestrian sensor systems. Other safety features include side under-run guards, reversing cameras and white noise reversing sirens, cab-operated air tailgate systems, front and rear strobe lighting and hydraulic load sensors.

“However, road safety is a continuous process. So we keep investing in equipment to ensure that our vehicles are fitted with ever more modern equipment, and we are now very excited to trial the DawesGuard which we hope holds the key to optimising safety.”

Feature: Electric trucks come of age?

Posted on: May 19, 2016

Recent progress in developing electric truck drivetrains could mean that the sight of electric trucks on UK roads becomes a reality sooner rather than later.

One example of the demand for this type of technology came at the CV show last year when a battery-powered 7.5-tonne-GVW truck, produced by Tevva Motors, attracted plenty of attention over the three days.

Three months ago the company announced that Tevva Motor’s electric powertrain is now ready to be retrofitted to any 7.5-tonne truck. A pair of lithium-ion batteries is at the heart of the driveline. They fuel a single electric motor driving through a reduction gearbox to the truck’s standard rear axle. Battery power alone, mains-charged overnight, gives a range of about 80 miles – but this is enhanced by a 1.6-litre Ford diesel engine working as a range extender.Nikola One

Tevva is especially proud of its patented “Predictive Range Extender Management System”. One of the claimed benefits of the system is the ability to deliver a battery life of up to 10 years. The driveline comes from Sheffield-based Magtec, the lithium-ion battery pack from Essex-based Goodwolfe Energy.

Two of Tevva’s prototype trucks, said to have clocked up around 30,000 miles over the past six months in road tests, are based on N-series chassis-cabs from JAC of China. The third Tevva test vehicle, this time with retrofitted driveline, is based on a Mercedes-Benz Vario. Asher Bennett, Tevva Motors Chief Executive, said, “All three vehicles were built to be broken; that is how we find weaknesses and improve the design to be production-ready. The fact that all three vehicles continue to perform beyond expectation is testament to the technology. But this is only the start.”

Another development in the world of electric trucks came from US-based Nikola Motor Company, which made waves this month with the unveiling of the Nikola One.

This new product, named after inventor Nikola Tesla, is a US Class Eight (gross combination weight of 80,000lb, or 36.3-tonnes) 6×4 tractive unit, powered by six 250kW (335hp) electric motors (one at each wheel), a 320kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a 400kW range-extender turbine capable of running on natural gas, diesel or petrol.

Trevor Milton, Nikola CEO, pledged to have the first working prototype up and running “later this year”. But Milton insists that the truck is “designed and engineered” and that assembly is being “finalised”. He claims Nikola is ready to start taking orders, and is even offering one million miles worth of “free fuel” for the first 5,000 orders. Milton said, “The fuel (compressed natural gas) will be delivered through Nikola’s own gas wells and fuelling stations in every state when trucks enter service.”

Back in the UK, another fledgling company beginning to make a name for itself is Charge R&D, formerly Charge Engineering. The company claims that its modular truck and bus diesel/electric hybrid driveline has now moved several steps closer to completion. The Oxfordshire-based firm is headed by Technical Director Glenn Saint. Saint, a former Chief Technical Officer at Optare, has recruited a team of around 40 engineers to produce the driveline.

Charge is not quite ready to reveal full technical details of their first project but Saint is confident the driveline is nearing completion. A prototype six-tonnes-GVW truck based on a Fuso Canter cab and the Charge driveline has been undergoing tests at the Millbrook proving ground in Bedfordshire since late last year.Charge prototype at Millbrook

Saint said, “We believe that very soon we will be able to demonstrate that we have found the ultimate target of emissions-free heavy vehicle technology – ultra-low emissions at much less than the cost of diesel power.” The cost of the Charge driveline (excluding battery cost) will be no more than that of a conventional comparable diesel engine driveline, it is promised. Saint said, “It will be financially attractive to operate without external incentive while offering users advanced features new to the commercial vehicle sector.”

Last month Charge became the official supplier of trucks used at Formula E electric vehicle races around the world. With logistics giant DHL as a big Formula E sponsor, this deal could be far more significant for Charge, and indeed for the future of electric trucks in general, than it may seem at first glance.

Last week’s sales round-up – 16 May

Posted on: May 17, 2016

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has supplied Currie European, a Dumfries-based operator, with 10 Actros 2545 tractors. These units come with BigSpace cabs and are expected to cover 220,000 km per year.

Alexander Dennis has delivered the first five buses in an order for 74 Enviro400 hybrid double decks to Go Ahead London. These additions form part of a strategy that will see Go Ahead London increase its hybrid fleet to 600 by the end 2016,

Alexander Dennis has also delivered two Enviro200 midi buses to JMB Travel. These buses join a fleet of 60 vehicles providing services across Lanark, Carluke, Motherwell, Wishaw, Shotts and Hamilton.

Volvo Buses has delivered its 1,000th B5LH hybrid bus. The vehicle in question has gone to long-time customer RATP Dev London.The B5LH is a low-floor hybrid double deck bus chassis and is the only vehicle of its type in the UK that uses a parallel hybrid drive system.

Volvo Buses has also delivered four new Volvo B8RLE buses to East Yorkshire Motor Services (EYMS).The new Volvo vehicles have joined a fleet of more than 300 vehicles.

Renault Trucks has delivered a 40-tonne Range T tractor and a Master van to Hamilton based operator, Karen Yuill Recovery. The Range T430 4×2 tractor is specified with a Night and Day cab and is a multi-car transporter; the Renault Trucks Master L1 H1 will be used to deliver roadside services.

Scania has supplied Bullocks Coaches in Cheadle with two K 360 IB Scania Irizar i6 coaches. The 53-seater vehicles have leather headrests, three-point seatbelts, centre washroom, Bosch professional line AV systems and kerb lighting systems.

Scania also delivered to Kent last week. Bayliss Executive Travel has taken delivery of its first new Scania coach, one of three to be delivered this year. The 12.1m-long vehicle has Scania Touring HD bodywork fitted to Scania’s Euro 6 K 360 IB4x2 chassis.

Size matters in super-efficient truck tyres

Posted on: May 11, 2016

A significant shift in buying patterns among UK truck operators, away from traditional 295/80 tyres in favour of 315/70s, continues to gather pace in 2016.

For many years, the top-selling truck tyre size in the UK has been the 295/80 R 22.5. This size of tyre features a nominal section width of 295mm with an “aspect ratio” of 80 per cent on a 22.5-inch diameter rim.

Three years ago these 295/80 R22.5 tyres were estimated to account for 25 per cent of the UK’s truck and bus tyre replacement market. But in 2014 a pronounced swing towards 315/70s began, both in the original equipment and replacement sectors of the market, despite the wider tyre costing more.

Guy Heywood, Michelin Tyre Commercial Director in the UK, said, “More and more operators are realising that moving to 315/70 tyres can reduce their running costs and open access to the very latest generations of products, which tend to be developed in this size first due to its popularity across Europe. Our own surveys, and trials we’ve carried out in conjunction with truck manufacturers, have shown the benefits offered by 315/70 tyres – particularly in terms of fuel efficiency and tyre longevity. Now operators are experiencing these benefits in their own fleets too. It’s driving one of the most notable changes in tyre- buying habits we’ve seen this side of the millennium.”

John Comer, Volvo Group UK Truck Product Manager, explained that of all the Volvo tractive units on 22.5-inch wheels sold in the UK in 2014, 48 per cent were specified on 315/70 tyres, compared to 30 per cent on 295/80s.

Other truck-makers’ experiences support this trend. DAF Trucks, for example, switched from 295/80 to 315/70 as its standard tyre size when it introduced its Euro VI range. The main reason for this switch was to allow for the extra front axle loading added by Euro VI exhaust after-treatment kits. A steer axle shod with 295/80s is limited to a 7.1 tonnes plate in the UK whereas the same axle on 315/70s can go to 7.5 tonnes.

Meanwhile, Goodyear claims to be the first truck tyre-maker with a completely new steer-axle size: 375/45 R22.5. The new specification is designed to help reduce chassis height on tractor units pulling high-volume semi-trailers, with load volumes greater than 100 cubic metres, all while remaining within an overall vehicle height limit of four metres.

An automatic answer to refuse collection prayers

Posted on: May 10, 2016

Around 40 DAF LF 12-tonner trucks which have gone into service with four local authority fleets are believed to be the first of their kind in the UK with Allison fully-automatic (epicyclic) gearboxes, helping to boost DAF’s presence in the refuse truck market with the British-built LF.

The LF180 trucks are powered by the four-cylinder, 4.5-litre Euro-VI Cummins ISB4.5 engine. In the LF, this usually drives through a ZF six-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) or a nine-speed manual. Allison transmissions have previously only been offered as an option on the LF with the six-cylinder, 6.7-litre ISB 6.7 engine at higher power ratings.

The request for combining the Allison fully-automatic gearbox with the four-cylinder engine came from Irish bodybuilder Romaquip, who placed an order for 180 vehicles so equipped. Romaquip claims that no automated manual transmission can tolerate the ultra-low speeds and relentless stop-start operation involved in refuse collection work. The company is supplying the trucks with its Kerb-Sort bodywork for kerbside sorting and collection of up to ten sorts of waste.

DAF Trucks and Allison engineers co-operated to make the 2500 Allison gearbox available with the four-cylinder engine. Romaquip has ordered a total of 160 LF180 chassis-cabs, and the first 40 have already gone into service with local authorities in Wrexham, the Lake District, Devon and Flintshire.

John McKeown, Romaquip Technical Director, said, “The preferred transmission for the refuse and municipal sector is an Allison, owing to its quality, reliability and ability to protect the driveline.

“Along with Allison’s UK team, we were able to work with the DAF engineering team based in Leyland to secure the release of the ideal specification for our application. We also considered the six-cylinder DAF LF220 with an Allison 3000-series transmission, but that configuration would have added half a tonne, putting too much additional weight on the front axle.”

Kerb weight was critical, according to McKeown, because the Kerb-Sort body can compact up to four tonnes of waste into a 35 cubic-metre collection space.

The Kerb-Sort has proved popular with many local authorities and waste management fleets in Britain since its introduction five years ago. One of its main attractions is a fully automatic unloading system, which means a truck can be unloaded in less than seven minutes.

Feature: Engine braking on the double

Posted on: May 11, 2016

Truck technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, with engine downsizing, improved aerodynamics and reduced rolling resistance all helping to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. However, these improvements have tended to come at the expense of engine braking systems.

Jacobs Vehicle Systems has been developing a new version of its long-serving Jake Brake to provide significantly improved performance from the engine braking system, as well as greatly reducing noise.

Although its distinctive loud chattering noise is often unwelcome in urban environments, engine braking has long provided superior secondary braking performance to hydrodynamic or electromagnetic retarder systems. The Jacobs Jake Brake is fitted as standard to a number of Euro-VI engines, such as the 12.8-litre OM471 in the Mercedes Actros range and the PACCAR 10.8-litre MX-11 and 12.9-litre MX-13 units used by DAF.

Now Jacobs has previewed its next-generation Jake Brake in the UK for the first time. Engineers from a host of European truck and engine manufacturers were invited to Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire recently to experience at first hand a prototype of the latest High Power Density (HPD) Jake Brake in action. Transport News Brief joined them.HPD valve control

The HPD brake is not yet in production but is described as “production-ready”. It follows the established “compression release” principle to produce braking torque, but manages to more than double braking performance at low engine speed. The HPD brake, it is claimed, can produce as much braking effort at an engine speed of 1,400rpm as a conventional Jake Brake can at an engine speed of 2,100rpm. It does this courtesy of a clever adaptation of the established engine-valve control mechanism, bringing inlet valves as well as exhaust valves into play when the brake is activated and thus doubling the number of piston strokes on which braking is available. In effect the HPD system delivers two-stroke braking from a four-stroke engine.

Whereas a conventional engine brake has one compression release and one brake gas recirculation “event” per camshaft rotation, the HPD system offers two braking events per cam rotation.

The latest generation of disc brakes, complete with autonomous emergency braking systems since last October, may have virtually consigned old drum brake problems such as overheating and fading to the history books, but ever-increasing truck weights and the aforementioned efficiency improvements have meant that strong secondary braking performance is as important as ever.

The demonstration at Millbrook compared a Mercedes-Benz Actros fitted with the conventional Jake Brake with a similar Actros equipped with the prototype HPD version.

The prototype HPD system was notably quieter in its operation and provided much more effective braking at low engine speeds. This was perhaps best illustrated on one of the steepest gradients on Millbrook’s hill route: a 350-metre down slope including 100 metres at 21%.

Unsurprisingly, at 40 tonnes GCW, the truck with a conventional engine brake needed a couple of gentle dabs on the footbrake to keep speed under control on this degree of slope, even with the Jake Brake set at maximum engine braking and the gearbox downshifting a couple of ratios to keep engine speed up. With the HPD-equipped truck, however, the engine brake alone was powerful enough to control speed on this sharp downhill stretch.

Jacobs claims that the HPD brake is the culmination of more than five years of development work, and came about after the company identified several trends in truck design which were reducing the effectiveness of existing engine brake designs and were likely to have a big impact on the company’s core Jake Brake product.

Disc brakes were getting better all the time. Vehicle operators and manufacturers were demanding better retardation in general. Truck gross weights were tending to go up, whereas both rolling resistance and air drag were tending to fall, with the advent of low-rolling-resistance tyres, low-friction lubricants, and better aerodynamic efficiency from trucks and trailers. The upshot is that newer trucks tend to maintain speed for longer when the driver’s foot comes off the accelerator pedal: good news for fuel economy, but not so helpful for any secondary braking system. But perhaps most significant of all was the growing tendency for truck engine downsizing.

The Jake Brake’s operation has always depended on pressure build-up in the engine’s cylinders. It is the sudden repeated release of this pressure that causes the engine brake’s distinctive noise. The maximum cylinder pressure in a 13-litre engine with a conventional Jake Brake is about 80bar (1,100psi).

Steve Ernest, Jacobs Engineering and Business Development Vice President, calculated that engine downsizing would mean that the cylinder pressure would have had to have been increased to over 100bar (1,450 psi) just to maintain the existing level of engine brake performance. This was key to the company pursuing the idea of two-stroke braking, which ultimately led to today’s HPD.

Ernest said, “Because the new system operates twice as many times, we only need a cylinder pressure of about 60bar (870psi). That two-stroke operation at 60bar gives us more braking effort than four-stroke operation at 80bar. It’s quieter and there are twice as many pulses going into the turbocharger at a lower pressure.”

Lex and Mercedes-Benz add weight to van safety debate

Posted on: May 9, 2016

Van operators need to start implementing policies that ensure their vehicles are operating legally and safely if they haven’t already done so, according to industry representatives speaking on van safety last week.

Andy Hill, Lex Autolease Commercial Vehicle Manager, said that such policies should cover every aspect of fleet operations, including checks to ensure drivers have valid driving licences and operators requiring that their drivers perform walk-around checks of their vans every morning.

Loads being secured in vehicles is another safety concern identified by Hill. Speaking at a van seminar organised by the Association of Car Fleet Operators (ACFO), he said, “You don’t want to end up with a situation where a driver opens the van’s back doors only to have a loaded pallet fall on his feet because the cargo has shifted. Furthermore, all vans should be fitted with a full-height steel bulkhead to protect the driver if the load moves forwards.”

Hill also pointed out that the cargo can often be too heavy for the vehicle concerned. He said, “Remember that as a rule of thumb vans grossing at 3.5 tonnes can typically carry no more than 1.2 to 1.3 tonnes of payload.”

That payload figure is a lot smaller than some operators realise. Speaking at the same seminar, Carol Kirk, Mercedes-Benz UK Strategic Account Manager, explained how there are still some operators who confuse gross weight with payload. The penalties incurred for over-loading can be severe.

Kirk said, “A gross overload, a front axle overload and a rear axle overload are each counted as separate offences and can each result in a fine of up to £5,000 on conviction.”

Figures recently published by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) revealed that almost 90% of the 2,381 vans it weighed last year had too much weight on board, which threatens to undermine the technological advances being developed by van manufacturers to improve safety standards.

At last month’s CV Show, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “With a record 4 million vans now on our roads, it is a concern that this in-use safety record remains so poor. Manufacturers are investing significant amounts in new safety technology, but this can only do part of the job. We continue to urge operators and owners to comply with the law to keep themselves and others safe, avoid the risk of fines and keep the threat of further legislation at bay.”

Mark Cartwright, Freight Transport Association Head of Vans and Light Commercial Vehicles, described the lack of attention to maintenance by many van operators as another key area of concern. He cited a worrying DVSA statistic in his presentation at the AFCO seminar – that almost 50% of vans grossing from 3.0 to 3.5 tonnes fail their Class VII MOT test first time round. This represents a significantly higher failure rate than that of any other category of vehicle, and warned that complacency could be costly.

He said, “It’s the sort of figure that’s like a red rag to legislators.”

Cartwright went on to point out that failure is often the consequence of a headlight not working or a bald tyre; a defect that is obvious to even a casual observer. “That tells you that some operators aren’t even bothering to look at their vans before they present them for test,” he said.

Vans below three tonnes fall into Classes III and IV for MOT testing purposes. It is a category that also embraces cars, but the failure rates for cars and vans are not separated out. Cartwright believes, however, that there is no reason to suppose that light vans are any more successful at passing their MOT test first time round than their heavier brethren. “That means there could be as many as 1.65 million un-roadworthy vans on the road,” he said.

Cartwright said that the situation was one the authorities are not likely to ignore, and van operators can expect the police and DVSA to adopt a far tougher line in the near future when it comes to enforcing existing legislation. He expects them to be homing in on poor maintenance and overloading in particular – and a lot of businesses risk being caught out. “Vans have had a charmed life up until now from an enforcement viewpoint but that’s about to end,” he said. “So far as the enforcers are concerned it’ll be like shooting fish in a barrel.”

Businesses that fail to check licences, don’t ensure their drivers sign a declaration that they are fit to be behind the wheel and allow vans onto the highway with defective brakes could face severe penalties if the vehicle is involved in a serious accident resulting in fatalities or life-changing injuries.

New guidelines issued to the courts by the Sentencing Council earlier this year mandate heavy fines related to the size of a firm’s turnover and prison sentences for company executives in the worst cases.

Innovative tipper technology and safety to the fore

Posted on: May 6, 2016

Vulnerable road-user safety and truck weight-saving technology will be among the main topics at the forefront of operators’ minds as they head to the annual Tip-ex show in Yorkshire next month.

Scania is the UK’s top-selling manufacturer of four-axle rigid tipper chassis and will be exhibiting at Tip-ex this year. The company’s latest Urban Tipper, on show at the Scania stand, incorporates a host of features with vulnerable road user safety in mind.

Most four-axle tippers have two steered and two driven axles. This one is an 8×2 with three steered axles and one driven axle, making it highly manoeuvrable and well-suited to urban operations where scarcely any time is spent off-road. Full air suspension allows chassis height easily to be lowered in urban areas, minimising the driver’s blind spot areas. The passenger door is fitted with a lower window to give the diver a clearer view to the front nearside. The truck is also fitted with a Brigade Electronics camera system.

Hyva (UK) is best known for its range of front-end tipping gear. But also on the company’s Tip-ex stand this year will be a range of cranes aimed at the building supplies sector. Hyva’s latest FCA 129 tipping equipment is claimed to be the lightest of its kind for 8×4 tippers in the UK. A plastic oil tank is believed to save around 20kg in kerb weight compared with the usual steel tank.

Thompsons (UK), one of the UK’s biggest bodybuilding groups specialising in the tipper and wastes management sector, will have its new Paymaster trailer on show for the first time in Harrogate next month.

In other Thompsons news, a new £500,000 shot blast and paint facility started work recently at Thompsons’ factory in Blackburn, Lancashire. The company’s plant in Croydon, South London is due to get a similar shotblast and paint upgrade this summer. Thompsons says the main benefit of all this is that it now has complete control over quality of the entire tipper body production process, from the first cutting of steel sheet through to delivery of a fully finished truck ready to start work.

The all-steel Paymaster trailer being prepared for the Harrogate show has been bought by Clive Hurt Plant Hire of Leyland, Lancashire and is designed for carrying stone and aggregates, with a maximum payload around 28 tonnes.