Happy Days07 June 2017

Left to right: Bob Stringer of DAF dealer F&G Commercials, Chris Davies of customer David G Davies and Martyn Shaw of DAF Trucks regional sales celebrate the first UK DAF XF order

Three preview articles have not captured all of the news from April’s Commercial Vehicle Show. In addition to new truck, trailer, van and LCV products, there was also much talk of supply chain development. Will Dalrymple rounds off this year’s show coverage

Starting with that last point, growth and investment in the CV supply chain was a key theme at this year’s CV Show. The principal developments are profiled in brief here.

• MAN’s recently-appointed UK boss, Thomas Emmerich, stated that the UK is one of four “must-win” European markets (the others: France, Spain and Italy) where the company is committed to grow market share. As a result, the company is investing significantly in its UK network to increase its market position.

• During the CV Show, construction was underway on DAF’s £20 million new head office in Haddenham; in addition, it is expanding the network of its all-brand used part service, the TRP network.

• Michelin pointed out that it is investing “unprecedented” amounts in products, materials and distribution. That includes millions in its Stoke retreading line (see also article on pp 29-30).

• Tiger Trailers is investing £22 million in a new, purpose-built factory in Cheshire four times the size of the current facility. Building is to begin in early 2018. In the first phase, a 125,000ft2 factory built on a new site in Cheshire will offer multiple production lines, a dedicated trailer showroom and a fully equipped training school.

• Palfinger truck crane dealer TH White has invested this year in extending its Devizes bodybuilding factory, primarily to provide capacity for dropside bodies for builders’ merchants and platform bodies. A competitive advantage is that it handles the entire type approval of crane and body, saving several weeks in the purchase process.

• In line with forecasted annual turnover exceeding £130 million for the first time in the company’s 65-year history, trailer manufacturer Cartwright has invested more than £5 million in capital expenditure at its 40-acre south Manchester manufacturing complex.

• BT Fleet has acquired new mobile servicing capability, in the form of SEV Automotive and Plant, adding 40 mobile engineers to its 64 garage locations providing service, maintenance and repair.

•Also, at the show, PanelTex and Parma (distributors of wheel security brand Zafety, among others), promoted rebranding efforts.

•Finally, new managing director of Hiab UK and Ireland, Rogier van der Linde had this to say about the company’s UK investment plans: “I started nine months ago. There was quite some growth in the UK already. And our infrastructure was not ready to keep up with that growth. What we did in the first three months is, we created a new strategy. We wanted to become the number one partner in the UK.” That strategy is based around improving sales of its Procare maintenance contracts, currently sold with 25% of new products. He adds: “Differentiating yourself on service is what we are doing. So that’s where I’m making the biggest changes. We’re actually investing in our own service set-up in the Midlands and London; we’re either going to acquire some of our dealers or set up workshops ourselves.”

Trucks and trailers

One of the big tractor launches was of two new DAF trucks. The new CF and XF trucks, entering production this summer, offer 7% less fuel consumption, thanks to a new powertrain and aftertreatment system, and are also 100kg lighter for extra payload. Almost half the fuel saving comes from new MX-11 and MX-13 engines offering improved efficiency partly due to a higher torque curve that requires lower rpm at cruising speed. A quarter of the saving is due to new rear axles featuring new gear ratios (2.05 to 2.47) and a new TraXon gearbox with higher gear spread. Fuel savings also come from new driveline software and ECU package, aerodynamic changes, a new HVAC system and aftertreatment.

The DAF trucks on show boasted prototype Goodyear tyres, Super Fuelmax S steer and D drive tyre, both in size 315/70R22.5, that have both achieved fuel-saving A EU label grades. Both tyres’ tread compounds are a new silica-based formulation that further reduces rolling resistance while ensuring long tread life.

Speaking of big trucks, MAN used the show to announce it is moving from EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) to SCR (selective catalytic reduction), beginning with this year’s DO8 four- and six-cylinder Euro 6 engines for TGL and TGM trucks. The change offers improved fuel consumption and ‘driveability’, MAN says – it is also 45kg lighter. UK MD Thomas Emmerich said: “The main reason for this is actually that we can focus with this engine for the global market.”

One of the more unusual trucks on show was Terberg’s 18-tonne refrigerated urban rigid, not a concept but a production design that is expected on the roads this month. The vehicle is based on Dennis Eagle’s 4x2 Elite 6 11.8m rigid chassis with a Volvo D8K 280bhp Euro 6 engine, features a Gray & Adams dual-compartment curved-top 7.75m reefer body and Dhollandia 500kg side-loading lift incorporated into the nearside rear of the body. Safety features include the Dennis refuse collection vehicle cab plus Mobileye Shield+ collision avoidance system, along with lane change and distance control systems, a newly designed Vue CCTV system and full side length scene lighting.

Not new this year, but a sign of internal investment, was Montracon’s rigid curtainsider body design, that was said to be its first rigid body when launched last year. It is of bolted, rather than welded, construction, and so saves 140 hours of fabrication time in its Doncaster factory (where incidentally it has also installed a new £3.5 million automated paint line, expected to go live in July). The body, offered in 12-, 18- and 26-tonne gvw versions, offers an advantage of fast turnaround time from order of two to three weeks (compared to double that before) and is available for sales nationwide. So far, Montracon has made 150, and employed a new salesperson and engineer to support the new venture. At the show, a 26-tonne body (with 17-tonne payload) was exhibited shown in the livery of lead customer Asset Alliance, which has ordered more than 30 of these, as well as rigid box van bodies.

Rigid dropsides for builders’ merchants may appreciate a new crane exhibited by Palfinger/Epsilon, sold in the UK by TH White as the BM26 grab, offering lifting capacity of 1,680kg at 8m reach. It has a new hose design to minimise the risk of damage from trees.

Crane competitor Hiab also showed the similar J1200RS grab loader crane in the show’s outside area. Based on an existing forestry crane, the model marks the company’s entry into bucket cranes and the start of what UK MD Rogier van der Linde humorously called a “bloody war with Epsilon”. He also said that it is investing in heavy loader cranes, in the 50-100tm range, which he estimates is a market of 350 units per year in the UK.

Turning to trailers, Trans UK Equipment Management is the new UK dealer of German volume trailer Kögel. The 10-year-old business previously only offered rental and trailer leasing, with stocks of some 800. In March, managing director Mike Wilkes said: “Our visit to Kögel’s main factory in Germany gave us great confidence in the careful assembly and quality of the trailers.” On show was the Mega trailer with sliding roof for loading.

Suitable for trailer doors is Maple’s self-powered lock and seal. Every opening is date- and time-stamped; in an emergency it can also be overridden by a one-time PIN. Maple also used the show to launch a security guide (available via https://is.gd/zigure).

A trailer maintenance inspection book launched by Novadata complements its similar publication for vehicles. Devised to help comply with O licence undertakings, both include IM codes and checklists of key items.

Vans and LCVs

New designs of refrigerated box bodies for 3.5-tonne trucks were one of the more common sights at the CV Show. Solomon’s claims a 1,350kg payload on Iveco Daily chassis, including a 115kg fridge. Other models were shown by Coolkit, Doyle’s and Lawrence David.

Doyle’s showed a prototype Ford low-floor chassis fitted with its own body. The Ford Aduro is due to launch in June 2018, following completion of manufacturer testing in Belgium. Although shown on a short wheelbase chassis, in fact Doyle’s will be converting the long wheelbase version, initially with a 2.2m high, 2.1m inside-width body; walk-through door is an option.

The Citroën Relay-based ‘Ready to Run’ range of ready-bodied conversions was enhanced with a new car transporter conversion built by Advanced KFS.

And Ingimex unveiled new T6-Pick-up and T6-Tip-up bodies for the Volkswagen Transporter chassis, enabling end users – for the first time – to benefit from increased payloads of 1 tonne and 1.2 tonnes, respectively.

Two new engine lubricants for light commercial vehicles were said to be the first specific light duty engine oil offer for Europe launched by ExxonMobil. The two products are the Mobil Delvac City Logistics synthetic 5W-30 (P, V, F, M) and Mobil Delvac Light Commercial Vehicle E 10W-40 semi-synthetic engine lubricant for older CVs. Both have approvals from LCV manufacturers including Peugeot, Citroen, Iveco, Volkswagen, Ford and Mercedes-Benz.

CV News in brief

• Apollo Tyres launched a new range of truck and bus radial tyres, available to purchase exclusively online (www.apollotyresdirect.com). Claiming to be the only tyre manufacturer to use this direct online route to market, Apollo says its web platform offers buyers access to products “without unnecessary ancillary expenses” and offers “performance tyres at cost-effective prices”.

• Carrier Transcold showed the Iceland undermount refrigeration unit, with cooling capacity up to 18.4 kW, that does not use its own engine but harvests energy from the truck engine using its Eco-Drive GenSet.

• Certas Energy promoted its drop-in diesel alternative GTL, a synthetic paraffinic fuel (according to EN 15940) produced by a gas-to-liquid process that is claimed to have emissions and handling benefits over standard diesel. Available in the UK since June 2016, fleet testing was underway in April.

• The Eberspächer Euroengel refrigerated containers range has been extended up to 1,640-litre capacity. They operate on either 12 or 24V power.

• From the end of 2017, Hankook’s construction tyre SmartWork will be fitted to new trucks made in Scania’s three European truck manufacturing plants. The Korean-based tyre maker has been a Scania supplier since 2016, and a supplier to its Volkswagen Group corporate cousin MAN since 2015.

• In terms of workshop equipment, Texa showed a laser calibration system for alignment and calibration of Wabco, TRW and Knorr radars for driver assistance systems such as lane departure assist. In addition, camera calibration panels are available for various manufacturers.

• Transdec is testing an auto-weigh function for its double-decker trailer lifting deck that it plans to launch as a marketable product in the next year.

• Shell promoted its new FluidThinking social media network, featuring articles, features and videos, news, opinions and commentary: http://fluidthinking.shell.co.uk

Will Dalrymple

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DAF Trucks Ltd
Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK Ltd
Ingimex Ltd
Koegel Fahrzeugwerke AG
Koegel Trailer GmbH & Co KG
Lawrence David Ltd
MAN Diesel & Turbo UK Ltd
Maple Fleet Services Ltd
Michelin Tyre plc
Montracon Ltd
Novadata TAB Ltd
Paneltex Ltd
Parma Group
PSA Group
Solomon Commercials Ltd
Terberg DTS (UK) Ltd
The Cartwright Group
Tiger Trailers

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