Facing Olympic challenges, but can you go for gold? 01 August 2012

As we go to press, with London on the countdown to the 2012 Olympics – and security surprises notwithstanding, still the greatest show on earth – the haulage sector is in the final throes of gearing itself up for what are bound to be challenging times.

Specialist vehicle supplier Terberg DTS (UK), for example, has been working with some of its logistics customers, positioning several of its YT distribution vehicles, including the rental fleet, at what it believes are key locations around the M25. The hope: those involved in supplying goods and services within the Olympic venues and surrounding areas will be able to make it.

However, for most of the industry, the additional traffic movements in and around London, and the corridors to and from the other big Olympic venues, are simply going to be even more congested than usual. And that means extra strain on an already fragile network. Yes, help is at hand, particularly in the form of the Freight Transport Association (FTA), with its app for iPhone and Android devices, providing updates, details of Games Lanes, and information on delivery arrangements etc. And there's also its system of email bulletins, and SMS messages and emergency alerts. But, in the end, there's no escape.

For fleet managers everywhere, it's a major headache among many others, including: the ongoing Driver CPC issue (with just 12 months for bus and coach drivers, and two years for freight, the deadline is now uncomfortably close); likely problems resulting from the closure of all regional DVLA offices next year; greenhouse gas emissions reporting for listed companies, also next year; and so on. All of which is on top of the day job – keeping the fleet safe, compliant and efficient, while continuing to bear down on costs in the face of ageing fleets and the certainty of far more expensive trucks when the Euro 6 emissions legislation bites in less than 18 months.

That is precisely why the IRTE, in conjunction with Transport Engineer, has this year chosen as its annual conference theme 'Strategies for cost-effective fleet management and operations'. The 2012 event, being staged at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, on 13 September, covers all of the bases, from updates on regulations to existing technologies still crying out to be adopted.
Senior traffic commissioner Beverley Bell and VOSA chief exec Alastair Peoples will deliver keynotes on legislation and compliance for operators, their fleets and employees – and the new and important roles of irtec licensing and the IRTE's accredited workshops scheme. Then engineering experts from Cummins, Delphi Diesel, Iveco and Scania will join Andrew Nicol, technical specialist for heavy-duty engines at world-renowned Ricardo, to give their take on Euro 6 trucks, and the engineering issues and current solutions – as well as the cost, weight, fuel consumption and maintenance implications.

Other speakers include: Catherine Crouch, group CRS director at Howard Tenens; Nick Elliott, national transport manager with Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete; Darren O'Donnell, logistics asset manager at Coca-Cola Enterprises; Paul Wreaves, operations director at ETS Distribution; Ian Ford, group procurement director for transport at DS Smith; Adam Baillie, group fleet manager for Travis Perkins; and Rob Stubbs, fleet services director for Veolia. Visit: www.irteconference.co.uk

Brian Tinham BSc CEng MInstMC FSOE FIRTE

Related Companies
Cummins Diesel
Delphi Diesel Systems
Ricardo UK Ltd
Scania (Great Britain) Ltd

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