Euro Bus Expo 1403 October 2014

The latest products and services for the coach and bus market are set to hit the NEC, Birmingham, as Euro Bus Expo 14 opens its doors. John Challen picks out some highlights

ADL thinks bigger
Alexander Dennis is planning to wow the crowds in Birmingham with the launch of a single deck bus, based on its Enviro 200. Building on everything the company has learned from the Enviro 400, the new midi bus is said to be lighter, more fuel efficient and able to carry even more passengers.

Additionally, while details are scarce as we go to press, ADL says it has figured out ways of navigating the current length limits for midi buses. Hence, while its vehicles are now longer, manoeuvrability is still good and the turning circle still on track, yet the number of seats ha been increased beyond that typically available in a midi bus.

Texa says it will be using Euro Bus Expo 2014 to open up discussion around operators' current requirements for service and diagnostic tools. With the range of OEM diagnostic tools available from large coach manufactures, the firm claims its Multibrand coverage is ideal for workshops maintaining mixed vehicle fleets.

Beyond that, Texa will also be focusing its latest hardware, including the Axone 4 diagnostic tool, which provides technical and service information for larger workshops with specialist service technicians.

Another highlight will be Texa's technical training programme, with latest courses including 'Selective catalytic reduction' and 'Commercial vehicle common rail systems'. More than 3,000 technicians have already attended a Texa course.

Shift for lifts
Vehicle lifting specialist Stertil Koni will showcase its ST1075FWF wireless mobile column lift. With each column offering a capacity of 7.5 tonnes and the lifts designed for use in sets of two, four, six or eight, total lifting capacities up to 60 tonnes can be achieved.

Each set can be controlled from any of the control boxes mounted on the columns themselves to raise vehicles up to heights of 1.85m within 70 seconds, making this workshop vehicle lift one of the fastest on the market. Stertil Koni says that, in addition to speed, however, safety is at the heart of the unit, pointing to the absence of trip-risk power cables.

Telematics for PSVs
The latest telematics proposition for passenger transport, which includes 'remaining driving time' functionality, will be displayed by Auto Electrical Services (AES), an official reseller partner for TomTom Telematics systems.

Remaining driving time is a new add-on available with TomTom's Webfleet, which provides operators with a real-time overview of their employees' daily and weekly remaining driving time, as required under EU working time regulations. The figures for remaining driving time are displayed in a map view in real time, and operators also get notifications of when drivers are due to take breaks, shift are about to end, or infringements have been committed.

Message for the market
The European bus and coach industry should throw away the outmoded idea that tyre checks only need to be undertaken every six weeks, and move instead to daily monitoring. That is the message being brought to Euro Bus Expo 14 by WheelRight, which will be making its debut at the show.

WheelRight contends that its drive-over monitoring system will enable operators to take control of their own tyre monitoring, giving them a credible alternative to existing PPK (price per kilometre) contracts. The company claims that operators adopting the system have saved thousands of pounds in fuel costs per year.

Tacho analysis
Software and tachograph company TruTac will have two highlights worth attention at this year's Euro Bus Expo. First, it will be launching what it claims is the first-ever tachograph analysis system designed for PSV fleets.

The firm says TruControl PSV calculates its data in real-time and incorporates driver monitoring as well as an enhanced de-briefing system. It also provides critical data in graphical dashboard format, as well as reports with alerts for compliance management.

Secondly, while TruTac has provided analysis services to PSV operators for more than 20 years, a major development is the decision by National Express to contract TruTrac for all its compliance services. After an in-depth selection process, National Express chose TruControl PSV because the operator believes this system will enable it to remain an industry leader in driver education and safety, constantly monitoring all aspects of compliance.

Cable-free fare
Visitors to Euro Bus Expo will see a selection of wireless mobile column lifts on the Somerstotalkare stand. The firm aims to show visitors that these units represent the best solution where workshops require manoeuvrability and flexibility alongside safe lifting of coaches and buses.

The company's cable-free range can be configured as a set of four or six, with the absence of interconnecting cables helping to reduce health and safety issues associated with slips, trips and falls. Ancillary devices will also be on display, including tall support stands and a transmission jack, while Alexander Dennis will be helping to demonstrate the flexibility and effectiveness of the Somerstotalkare cable-free lift range by providing an Enviro 400 double decker bus.

Heat and greet
Products on show at the Grayson Thermal Systems stand at Euro Bus Expo include the company's e-drive cooling system, which can be retrofitted to diesel-powered or hybrid drive buses and coaches. Claimed advantages include improved temperature control and fuel economy, optimised powertrain durability, and reduced service time, as well as noise and vibration.

The e-drive cooling system, launched by the heat exchange company at Euro Bus Expo 2010, is now being fitted all around the world. The system's fans and pumps kick in only when required, hence reducing energy losses and improving engine efficiency.

Tyre technology
Making its debut at Euro Bus Expo is GSR225 Combi Road, the latest generation steer axle tyre from GT Radial. It is designed to perform in both regional and long-haul operations across a range of bus and coach operations, and is said to feature advanced tread compounds. These promise improved mileage, while its wider tread pattern delivers optimum wet and dry handling with extra resistance to tearing and kerb damage.

GSR225 is available in 295/80R22.5, 315/80R22.5, 315/70R22.5, 275/70R22.5 and 315/60R22.5 sizes, and is just one of the many products visitors will see on the stand. Others include: GAU861, the all position urban bus tyre; a version of the GAR820 regional all-position tyre for 17.5in rim segments; GDL617, a non-directional long-haul drive axle; and GT629 – a drive axle tyre for coach and regional bus operations.

Saving fuel and DPFs
The Envirox range of fuel additives – produced by Energenics Europe – looks interesting for bus and coach operators seeking to reduce the impact of fuel price increases, while getting on top of DPF (diesel particulate filter) maintenance.

The Oxford-based producer says it will use Euro Bus Expo to promote the benefits of Envirox, which has had a growing profile in the UK bus industry since Stagecoach adopted it nationally in 2005.

While fuel prices have risen in recent years, the cost of Envirox has remained stable, so it now adds well below 1% to the fuel cost. Energenics believes these figures make a compelling financial case when weighed against fuel savings of 4—11%. The company maintains that: no engine modifications are required; it has no negative impact on lubricant performance; and the additive dosing rate is extremely low.

Show shorts

Autocraft Equipment will debut its Traction DuoCharge 12/24V commercial battery charger and the BSU4 12/24V battery support unit, plus Delphi diesel test equipment. Also displayed will be a range of Texa diagnostic systems, and both Autocraft Smartcharge and Texa air conditioning service stations.

Compliance specialist Lloyd Morgan Group is due to display its range of compliance and training services at Euro Bus Expo. The company specialises in vehicle inspections, maintenance system compliance audits, gate checks, tachograph analysis and licence checks.

John Challen

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Related Companies
Alexander Dennis Ltd
Giti Tire (Europe) BV
Grayson Thermal Systems Ltd
Lloyd Morgan Group Ltd
Stertil UK Ltd
Texa UK Ltd
TruTac Ltd
WheelRight Ltd

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