With exhibitors ranging from manufacturers Alexander Dennis, Irizar, King Long, Mercedes-Benz, Optare, Plaxton, Volvo Bus and Wrightbus, to Alcoa, Backhouse Jones, Dawson Rentals, DVSA, Gemco, Giti, Lytx, Millbrook, Texa, Totalkare and TruTac, there's something for everyone
FORS (the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) will be celebrating an increase of 129% of gold accredited operators in the last few months since the scheme was rolled out nationally earlier this year. This UK's truck and operator accreditation scheme aims to improve the safety of fleet activity, while also bearing down on emissions and raising transport industry standards.
FORS is graduated into three levels – bronze, silver and gold – with operators achieving the FORS gold accreditation demonstrating exceptional performance in road safety and reducing emissions alongside a total commitment to raising standards.
Staff from IRTE (the Institute of Road Transport Engineers) will be at the NEC to talk about irtec, IRTE Workshop Accreditation and the value of individual and corporate membership.
Coach & Bus Live 2015 will also see the launch of the IRTE Skills Challenge 2016. Now engineering its sixth year, this competition for bus and coach technicians has already been widely embraced by UK operators keen to recognise and reward the outstanding work done by their technicians – and to raise industry standards.
Meanwhile, IRTE's irtec licensing scheme for road transport technicians has become the premier industry standard for technical competence in the passenger carrying vehicles sector. Similarly, Workshop Accreditation is the benchmark for maintenance providers, which are independently assessed for best practice and compliance.
3 Volvo Bus
Core values of quality, safety and environmental care will be at the heart of the Volvo Bus message in Birmingham, according to the company – particularly in relation to vehicle innovations.
Visitors will be able to see two Euro 6 vehicles – a B11R 9700 and a B8R with the new Sunsundegui SC5 bodywork. Details of the entire vehicle range, support packages and sustainable transport solutions will also be available.
Visitors to Bridgestone's standwill be able to find out more about the tyre manufacturer's services. Instead of talking solely about tyres, the firm says it will major on bespoke services under which its managers aim to work closely with fleet managers to ensure they get best performance from their tyres.
Bridgestone will also talk about its holistic maintenance and support programmes, including tyre pressure checks, retread facilities and business facilities. Fleet operations manager Matt Millington is hoping the show will mark "the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the bus and coach team".
Head to the Eberspächer stand to see the company's third-generation digital controllers for climate and air conditioning aimed at mini and midi buses. Additionally, there will be cooling and heating units on show designed and built in the UK – this range also covering applications for coach-built mini and midi busses.
Eberspächer's Sutrak AC420 roof top air-conditioning unit will be among the stars – described as "the most compact unit in the range". The firm says its lineup includes units for every bus and coach application, whether roof-top or split systems for double-deckers.
Samples of the latest heaters will be available, covering everything from 2kW air heaters to 30kW water heaters.
Wheel safety and new steel wheels will be the two main attractions at the Motor Wheel Service Distribution (MWSD) stand. For the former, the focus will be on the EU Roadworthiness Act, which became law in May 2014 and must be implemented by member states by 2017.
As for the wheels, beyond MWSD's Xlite forged aluminium units, Chevron steel wheels, which claim to "assist operators in choosing quality, fit-for-purpose products while aiding traceability" can also be viewed.
Visitors to Texa's stand will see tools and diagnostics systems that, while designed for trucks, offer extensive cover on coach and bus electronics systems. There will also be air conditioning service stations and Texa says it will promote its recently released IDC4E diagnostic software, with experts on hand to advise on how it can improve your workshop operation.
If you need brake testing equipment, head to Bowmonk's stand, which you will find its portable brake tester BrakeCheck. The unit records and prints brake test results, and is approved for interim safety inspection tests, as well as the three-monthly voluntary brake test, recently introduced under the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness.
Other products on display will include: Bowmonk SensorCheck; Crypton HLA2400-HGV headlamp aligner; and Crypton CSP800 diesel smoke meter.
9 VL Test Systems
Brake testers and evaluation equipment will also be on VL Test Systems stand. Specialising in designing, planning and installing ATF lanes, the company offers everything from tools and signs, to the installation of whole systems.
VL Test Systems manufacturers its own equipment. The company says it guarantees excellent service as well as the best warranties in the business.
Power technology will feature on Ceteor's stand, with the company's lithium booster packs on show, alongside its range of AGM packs. All carry a two-year warranty and feature the same cables and curved clamps with LED light supplied with the AGM boosters.
Ceteor says that, compared with lead-acid batteries, the packs offer three times the energy density, increased service life, and reduced self-discharge – less than 15% a year.