Transport News Brief
Week 21, Monday 21 May 2007
Daimler ohne Chrysler
Daimler has sold an 80% stake in its US Chrysler business to German-US private equity firm Cerberus Capital, for €5.5bn. The BBC says Daimler paid around $36bn for Chrysler in 1998. The business seems to have lost $1.5bn last year and shed 13,000 jobs in the US. Cerberus, founded in 1992 buys troubled firms and cuts costs to turn them around. Analysts think that health care costs will be a particular target at Chrysler. Cerberus is part of a group with a majority stake in GM’s finance arm, General Motors Acceptance. Those same analysts think that GMAC and Chrysler Financial may merge soon.
More from www.news.bbc.co.uk
Wind to power a million engines a year from Ford
Ford says engine output at Dagenham will rise to one million a year by 2009. The firm says the wind-powered Dagenham Diesel Centre (DDC) is celebrating the successful launch of its new £130m production line. This will make low-carbon 1.4 and 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi turbo diesel engines, with 250 more people employed in readiness for the start of production. The factory has use two wind turbines working 2004 to supply all the power for the engine production lines.
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Blind spot mirrors from 1 March 2009, but….
The Societey of Motor Manufacturers and Traders expects the long awaited and controversial blind spot mirror Directive will be published in the European parliament’s Official Journal any day now. It will demand that blind spot mirrors or ‘indirect vision devices’ are fitted to virtually all trucks by 31 March 2009. The way they are fitted and their performance is very tightly defined. “That’s where we think the problems will start,” says Robin Dickeson, manager commercial vehicle affairs for the SMMT. “There are lots of important, detail questions to which we need answers; who will supply the mirrors is probably the easiest. But someone has to fit them and that process may need certification and approval too. Overall there seem to be more questions than answers.” The UK’s Department for Transport has run a consultation on this issue but has yet to publish the results
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Trailer parts importer’s CV Show success
Chichester-based Katco Parts made its CV Show debut this year, as a specialist importer of low cost parts, including wheels, tyres, landing legs and air-suspension. “We had a fantastic success,” says the firm’s Sean Downey. “We got exciting leads and good orders from major trailer makers. Customers were particularly impressed by our ability to deliver the right products from a world-wide network of local agents.” The firm offers a full scheduled delivery service across the UK.
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Fleet win for Renault
East Dorset Housing Association will replace its entire fleet with 47 Renault trucks and vans. The Association will take 21 Renault Masters, as panel vans or with caged tipper bodies and 19 long wheelbase Renault Trafics. All these have certified Sortimo racking systems, as do two of the seven Renault Kangoos. The new Renaults will help with kitchen and bathroom refurbishment work on the Association’s 3,000 properties. The Association said its existing, multi-make fleet proved costly and difficult to administer. “We decided to switch to one make to give us a single port of call and improve service delivery,” said Shelley Davies, property maintenance division manager. Renault Trucks South won the deal, which may save the Association £30,000 a year.
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HMG helps refurbish community outreach van
Independent UK paint maker, HMG Paints has given high performance commercial transport coatings for refurbishing a community outreach vehicle, owned by not-for-profit urban regeneration organisation, Community Support Plus of Cheetham Hill, Manchester. HMG also had specialist work done, free of charge by one of its customers, award winning bodyshop Commercial Contract Engineers of Rochdale.
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Land Rover – no immediate plans to go ”diesel-only
Autowired reports that Land Rover it has no plans to ditch petrol engines from its range in the UK – for the moment. “It is something we have looked at and we will continue to do so,” said John Edwards, UK managing director. “But there are no plans to go diesel-only here at the moment.” Diesels power 95% of all Land Rovers sold in the UK, which is a strong production argument for diesel only. “However, there are still some Range Rover customers and some of our more mature owners who continue to not see past petrol.”
More from www.autowired.co.uk
New orders for Ekeri from CV Show
Finnish trailer maker Ekeri says the CV Show created lots of positive leads and two new order, one from Davie Malcolm Transport and another from Dobbs Logistics. “Again the CV Show was a huge success for us,” says Rob Wise, UK sales manager. “There was a lot of interest in our side loading trailer and the unique opportunities the full side opening gives for faster and more efficient load handling.”
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Iveco’s new air suspension cuts weight
Iveco says its new Hendrickson air suspension option on 12 to 14 tonne Eurocargo models cuts unladen weight by 135 kg. The firm says the new system is available now and gives an immediate payload gain, lower chassis height and even better ride. When loading or unloading, the suspension can raised the by 100mm or lowered by 70mm. This should prove very useful when working with demountable bodies.
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More Bridgestone experts
Bridgestone UK says it gave three of its Truck Point dealers Expert Level recognition in a presentation on its stand at the CV Show. At the same time the firm says its new Expert Level Truck Point Dealer Audit Programme was very well received by both industry and press visitors. “As a Truck Point dealer, we already offered a high quality service,” said Glyn Cainey of Dexel Tyres, one of the three. “But being involved in the Expert Programme has given us the opportunity to examine and improve our performance, and make it better.” Andy Christmas of Lodge Tyres and Alex Watson of Kingsway Tyres also collected awards.
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Skills for Logistics’ new look website
Skills for Logistics, the Sector Skills Council for the freight logistics industries says it has a new website at: www.skillsforlogistics.org This aims to be easier to use with better including search facilities and a new look to complement Skills for Logistics’ corporate brand.
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Successful CV Show debut launch for safety camera
Vehicle Camera Systems are hailing the launch of their Truscene accident camera at the CV Show a great success. “Following the show, several big fleets have signed for trials,” said Dean Taylor, technical director. “We’ve strong interest from insurance companies that want to try the units with some of their larger clients too. Ours is the only digital vehicle camera where the images may be used as evidence in court.” Taylor says the system can also be used as a training tool and with the emergency locator co-ordinates, it can cut breakdown recovery times. “You don’t just have to have an accident to benefit for the system.” Despite the CV Show success, the firm is still keen to sign up more fleets for trials and demonstrations and now offers lease and purchase deals.
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Survey shows shortage of women truckers
Just 3% of Irish truck fleets a female truck driver, according to joint Fleet Transport and Michelin ‘Transport Barometer’, a monthly survey of top owners and managers in the Irish road transport industry. “The data shows that despite the small number of lady truckers, feedback from employers with female drivers is extremely positive, helping to debunk the myth that truck driving is a ‘man’s job,” says Jarlath Sweeney, Editor of monthly commercial vehicle magazine Fleet Transport. “The Irish road transport industry is not alone in being male dominated, and it’s a situation which is reflected in most European countries. This is despite hefty insurance premiums for drivers under the age of 25 and a lack of ‘young blood’ choosing to follow a career in road transport. The full details are in the May edition of Fleet Transport.
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Getting women into the driving seat
Clearstone, which says it is the UK’s leading truck driver training and recruitment outfit says it won deal to offer subsidised truck driver training to women across the East Midlands, West Midlands and London. This is part of the ‘Women & Work – Women into Transport’ plan by Skills for Logistics, the Sector Skills Council for the freight logistics industries. It aims to attract more women into truck driving as a career
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Fleet managers need to think financial engineering
TLS Vehicle Rental says its new website aims to get fleet managers and other van users thinking more about funding. Hosted by iVan, an interactive online character, www.tls.co.uk/askivan shows the pros and cons of different vehicle acquisition methods in an unbiased manner. There are short, online presentations about different funding options, alongside fleet testimonials. “One of our biggest hurdles is that the vast majority of van operators do not stop to question the funding method they currently use,” says Duncan Frame, marketing and services leader at TLS.
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Road safety conference in Cardiff
The Association of Industrial Road Safety Officers says it plans a road safety conference at the Angel Hotel, Cardiff on Wednesday 18h July 2007. The event is mainly, but not exclusively for people who work and live in Wales and are involved in road safety promotion and education. “This will be a high value, low cost event,” says Graham Feest at Airso. “People developing road safety and risk management policies in public, private and voluntary sectors will all find it very helpful.”
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More Masters for North West Ambulance Service
The North West Ambulance Service just got 43 new Renault Master ambulances as part of the Service’s vehicle replacement programme. Based in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria the new Masters join 500-strong ambulance fleet, working across Cheshire, Merseyside, Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester. Renault Trucks dealer JDS Trucks won the deal on the back of its round the clock aftersales support. The firm has worked successfully with NWAS for over 15 years. Each Master has an air-operated system to lower the rear end of the vehicle, so that patients have easier access.
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New ‘one drop, one invoice’ food delivery service
Heart of England Fine Foods and wholesaler Blakemore Foods have set up a new food distribution service to help smaller producers in the West Midlands. The two firms will pool skills and resources and logistics experience to deliver a ‘one drop, one invoice’ system across the region.
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Johnston’s clean sweep at the CV Show
Johnston Sweepers, at the CV Show for a second year, says it is pleased with the ‘significant’ increase in visitors to its stand, particularly the range of senior decision makers, several of whom actually placed orders for Johnston products during their visit. “With so much of interest on our stand and plenty of tyres to kick, we’re delighted with this year’s CV Show,” said Steve Douglas, marketing director.
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Fuchs launch new Titan oils For Mazda and Ford.
Fuchs Lubricants says its new Titan GT1 PRO C-1 SAE 5W-30 premium synthetic engine oil is aimed at Ford and Mazda engines fitted with exhaust treatment systems such as particulate filters or CRTs. The firm says the new oil comes with the relevant manufacturers’ recommendations and should cut fuel consumption and extend the life of particulate filters and other related engine parts. “This high performance, fuel economy oil is applicable for all vehicles where ACEA C1 engine oils are specified,” says Fuchs.
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Ryder wants apprentices
Ryder Europe says it wants “10 talented people” to join its new Trainee Technician Apprentice programme. “There is a shortage of apprentices throughout the industry,” says Peter Backhouse, managing director and vice president on Ryder Europe. He says the firm will make big investments to grow the skilled technicians who can be part of the firm’s future. The trainees will go to college for two week periods, four times a year, studying for the Institute of the Motor Industry level 2 Certificate in Heavy Vehicle Maintenance and Repair, Ryder will meet all the costs.
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Astra exhausted but on pole
With an Astra exhaust system on almost every Hino vehicle at the recent CV show and orders for many more taken across all other makes, Astra Vehicle Technologies says it had an exhausting time. But it was delighted with results from the Show and now claims pole position as the leading brand name in replacement stainless steel exhaust systems for commercial vehicles.
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Over 50% more enquiries for BSP Hydraulics
“This year’s CV show has been a huge success,” said Doug Conyers, managing director at BSP Hydraulics. “We saw an increase of over 50% in inquires for the three days.” With a bigger stand this year the firm showed its full range of hydraulic pumps, power take offs and directional valves.
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