With a near-full complement of vehicle manufacturers and a range of technologies to help operators and fleet managers, the Commercial Vehicle Show 2013 is a must-attend event. John Challen picks out some highlights
Volvo's FH highlights Volvo Trucks returns to the CV Show after an absence of five years, with a selection of vehicles on display, predominantly from its new FH range. The big Globetrotter and XL versions of the FH13, an FH11 and an FH Classic from the used truck range will form the hub of the manufacturer's stand. While further details have not been finalised at time of going to press, visitors can expect to see Euro 6 engines, an FH truck simulator and a walk-through cab, as well as the Volvo Trucks shop, selling keyrings, clothing and other Volvo-branded merchandise. The Swedish truck manufacturer will also have a presence outside the exhibition hall, where it will display more vehicles. We understand that this will continue the FH truck theme, with the selection expected to highlight the history of its 16-litre engine, through several models. Van-tastic opportunities Having dedicated much of its efforts at last year's CV show to HGVs – chiefly the New Actros – Mercedes-Benz says this year will be the year of the van. Many visitors will have their first opportunity to see the new Citan, which will be on display beside a selection of Vitos and Sprinter panel vans. The manufacturer says delegates will get a feel for the range of options, trims and technical specifications on the Citan van range through its 'augmented reality' app on an iPod. This creates a 3D model of the vehicle, which can be modified live to suit any specification. As for the heavy-duty truck sector, Birmingham will see the launch of Mercedes-Benz's new Atego short-radius distribution vehicle. Visitors will be able to find out about the truck's Euro 6 engine options, as well as its claimed improved drive system, which now includes integrated stability control assist (ESP) as standard. Conti coach tyres debut There will be plenty new to see at the Continental Tyres stand at the NEC. The manufacturer is promising to unveil its first ever dedicated bus and coach tyres, ContiVanContact van tyres, and a new tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), ContiPressureCheck. The new all-axle bus and coach tyres, Conti Coach, Conti CityPlus and Conti Urban, are the first tyres to be introduced in Continental's so-called 'generation three' range. The firm says that Conti Coach, which was designed for long-distance PSV operations, provides excellent rolling resistance and fuel economy, as well as better mileage than its predecessors. Meanwhile, the Conti CityPlus, for regional and intercity applications, has a thicker sidewall, designed to protect the tyre from damage, as well as to provide enhanced wet braking capabilities via its new 3D tread structure. And finally, the Conti Urban, for intercity use, also has a thicker sidewall but what Continental claims is an innovative tread compound. Aimed at combating the stresses of continuous braking and acceleration. DAF gears up for show with new metal 2013 is a big year for new vehicles at DAF Trucks, and the focus at the CV Show will be on its new XF, LF and CF trucks. DAF managing director Ray Ashworth says these are key vehicles for the organisation and for operators. Indeed, he believes they are likely to be instrumental in DAF UK maintaining a market share of around 30% this year – meaning sales of 9,500 heavy trucks and 3,150 rigids of more than 6 tonnes. "We are growing the business, even when the global market has been in turmoil," he says. The general economy is wavering, and remains a little unpredictable, but I see the truck economy remaining strong." The exact vehicle line-up for Birmingham has not yet been confirmed, but Ashworth confirms that the CV Show will provide the UK launch pad for the LF and CF models, so a trip to the stand is a must for operators keen to refresh their fleets – DAF or otherwise. Telematics and tracking MiX Telematics is bringing its latest in-cab telematics solution MiX Rovi to the CV Show. In addition to connecting drivers with the office by way of integrated jobs and messaging systems, MiX Rovi provides satellite navigation and a set of alerts, designed to help fleets boost their fuel efficiency and road safety. Also being revealed is a trailer tracker solution that, says MiX, will "provide operators with reliable information as to the whereabouts of their trailer fleets, 24/7". Two options – a battery-powered unit and a wired version – will be available within MiX Telematics' trailer tracking programme. Both units operate independently of the tractor units hauling the trailers – important for operators that need to track loads pulled by subcontractors. Regcorders to order SmartWitness is using this year's transport event in Birmingham to showcase its black-box recorder for vehicles. The on-board camera system provides accurate information in the event of an accident, cutting insurance premiums by as much as one third, and protecting operators against malicious and false claims. The unit records braking and acceleration speeds and collision g-forces, as well as data about vehicle location and speed. Software allows transport managers to download data via the Internet directly to insurance brokers and others. A key part of the system is a camera equipped with a wide-angle, 170° lens. SilentWitness says the cameras are available in lockable, tamper-proof versions and have E9 European Approval, certified as suitable for commercial vehicle installation and a mandatory requirement for additional vehicle electronics. Keeping vehicles cool Visitors to the Eberspächer UK stand at the CV Show can expect to see a range of minibus and commercial vehicle heating and air conditioning products. Alongside that range, the company says it will also display minibuses, and welfare and utility vehicles from UK manufacturers, featuring Eberspächer's heating and climate control systems. Making their CV Show debut are Eberspächer UK's new EV and HV range of compact, modular air conditioning and climate units. These two are available in cooling-only or cooling/heating versions. Also on the company's stand will be the latest Eberspächer Airtronic and Hydronic independent, diesel-fuelled air and water heating systems. The company has also promised news about further expansions to the range during 2013. Lightweight racking Operators looking to save fuel costs may find the latest developments from Tevo a welcome introduction. The company has developed a racking system that is cast in ultra-high strength steel (four times stronger than mild steel), thereby reducing overall weight of a vehicle fitted with the systems, with no compromise on safety or robustness. As well as the lighter products helping to achieve lower fuel consumption and carbon emissions, load capacity is increased. More equipment can be loaded into the vehicle so the number of journeys reduces, saving time and further money. When it launches, this will be Tevo's third generation of lightweight racking systems, but the company is promising it won't be the last. Visitors to the stand might find out more details about Tevo's plans. Workshop technologies Star of the Stoneridge stand is a new product that will, according to the company, help to increase workshop efficiency. The Optimo has been designed for the tachograph workshop environment, and contains many useful applications, making it much more than just a tachograph programmer. Building on the success of the Stoneridge MKII tachograph programmer, Optimo focuses on speed and ease of use, providing wireless programming and calibration for all radio style tachographs. The Tacho Swap application saves time when replacing tachographs, eliminating the need to write down important tachograph parameters, as Optimo will read, store and send data automatically. Stoneridge will also be promoting its new Fleet Health Check, a tool developed for OEMs. It promises to show them how to make savings – for example how many minutes drivers can save per day, and the payback period for an investment in a SE5000 Exakt Duo. Schumacher on a charge Battery charging and maintenance firm Schumacher UK will show its PMI 7A OBD memory saver charger, which aims to eradicate all the usual problems of battery removal, as well as its SpeedCharge battery chargers, designed to provide the fastest and safest charging technology. The company has been designing and manufacturing battery chargers and associated equipment since 1947, and works with some of the world's largest battery and vehicle manufacturers. Software scheduling Fleet operators can learn about Paragon Software's routing and scheduling innovations, including an automatic low-bridge avoidance option, and an interface to Google's UK live traffic information. Visitors will also have the opportunity to hear how INRIX road speed data can be used to help fine tune transport plans. Paragon's low-bridge NAVTEQ mapping option eliminates the need to enter bridge height data manually for high vehicles. Customers can enter their own bridge height data if necessary. New shell engine oils Making an appearance on the Shell Lubricants stand will be the company's latest Rimula R6 LM and LME engine oils. Shell Rimula R6 LM is a 10W-40 viscosity oil that aims to cut maintenance costs and provide extra protection against wear and deposits, thanks to the addition of a new anti-wear protection system. Shell says it has used more active additives in the new formula, designed to provide better results. The second new line, LME, is a 5W-30 viscosity oil, designed to provide the benefits of Rimula R6 technology, alongside fuel economy. The lubricant has been independently proven to improve fuel economy by up to 2%, compared with 10W-40 oil. More importantly, LME has been developed to meet the requirements of Euro 6 vehicle engines. Indeed, Shell has been selected as first fill oil supplier for Daimler's new engine generation, HDEP, for Europe. Shine some light A wider selection of LED lighting can be expected from LED Autolamps, in Birmingham. Since last year's CV Show, the company has introduced new lamp designs, as well as building on existing vehicle lighting designs. For example, three is the 95 series Round European style lamp range, which is housed behind a tough polycarbonate lens with an ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) base. The design also takes into account flexibility and ease of installation with a simple surface mounting bracket. The company will also have news of its trailer harness system, developed for both small and articulated trailers. The system incorporates patented push-and-seal connectors, which make wiring quick and easy, with no need for specialist tools or training. Recordable solutions from RoadPixel If you are in the market for an in-vehicle video system, then see the folk at RoadPixel. At the CV Show, the company will launch its Defender-Pro rugged windscreen-mounted HD drive recorders and multi-camera DVRs. Benefits include reduced fuel costs and insurance claims, improved driver performance and prevention of bogus whiplash claims. Defender-Pro is said to be suitable for all commercial vehicles. There is the option of either forward-facing recording in HD, or, where recording is required for driver monitoring, safety compliance or training, there is the option for both forward and cab recording. RoadPixel will also be inviting visitors to ask the expert, with accident investigator Andy Garden, who spent 20 years as a traffic police officer specialising in vehicle examination and accident investigation. Garden is now a forensic collision investigator and consultant on driver safety and fleet risk management. Mini Clubvan set for CV Show debut As well as the majority of the commercial vehicle manufacturers, Birmingam will welcome MINI, which will be displaying its Clubvan. Representing the popular car brand's first entry into the CV market, the Clubvan has been commended, according to MINI, for "delivering style, efficiency and class-leading driving dynamics and fuel efficiency levels not usually found in light commercial vehicles". "We are looking forward to showing how the Clubvan combines both the practicality of an 860-litre load capacity with premium features already familiar to MINI customers," comments James Morrison, corporate marketing manager for MINI UK. "The MINI Clubvan offers commercial customers both style and substance on the road." All-round vision offered by Brigade Electronics Brigade Electronics will return to the CV show in April to launch what the company says is the most intelligent camera monitor system it has ever developed. The Smarteye is powered by ASL360 and provides the driver with a bird's-eye view of the vehicle for easier manoeuvring. An all-round view is possible, thanks to four ultra-wide angle cameras, with 187° lenses, so eliminating vehicle blind spots. For better perspective and image quality, software flattens the raw fisheye images, while bespoke blending techniques stitch them together. The stitch lines can be positioned to suit your vehicle, providing the best visibility for blind spots at all heights. The software also balances the lighting across all views for an even, real-time image. Planning for efficiency Visitors to the CV Show can learn about a joint initiative between CMS SupaTrak and Route Monkey, covering vehicle telematics, route optimisation and scheduling. The innovation, called EcoPlan, was conceived when the companies were brought together by mutual customers in the transport and logistics sector to create a joined up solution. Operators can integrate existing routing and planning systems with Route Monkey, which optimises plans according to average road speeds, site access times, road restrictions and driving/working hours. Information is then imported into the CMS SupaTrak system and integrated with vehicle telematics data to planned routes versus journeys taken. All data can be pushed to in-cab devices, including CMS SupaTrak's recently launched SDA 2. Smarter smartphones News of more apps for the transport industry will be revealed in Birmingham, with VDO highlighting the benefits of its Driver app, which works with the company's communication technology, DTCO SmartLink. Using this setup, smartphones can be turned into an interface between the driver, tachograph and fleet manager. By plugging the DTCO SmartLink into the interface on the front of the DTCO, drivers can use their smartphones as remote controls for tachographs. As well as offering convenience, the app allows drivers to call up driving and rest times. allowing them to quickly check their progress during a shift. Other functions include a calendar display that outputs driver information to the smartphone when the driver card is inserted. Training from Tachodisc Compliance management is the key message on Tachodisc's stand at this year's CV Show, with the company demonstrating how operators and transport managers can combine technologies to streamline all areas of a transport operation and have access to real-time, meaningful data. With less than a year and half to go for professional HGV drivers to complete the required 35 hours Driver CPC training, Tachodisc's training team will also provide support on the types of courses available and how they can spread the cost of the training. Electronic evolutions Isotrak will demonstrate its latest ATMSi (Active Transport Management System) at this year's Commercial Vehicle Show. The Milton Keynes vehicle tracking and telematics firm will be showing new dashboard functionality for integrating mobile data communications and electronic proof of delivery (EPOD). By integrating EPOD with ATMSi, the system provides paperless data capture and communication to the office, thus eliminating paper delivery notes. Isotrak will also demonstrate the benefits of using its mobile data module. Using mobile data, the system leads drivers through job workflows to electronic manifests, guiding them through their shifts.

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