The Transport Minister is being urged to learn from Scottish drink-drive laws after announcing his plans not to cut the limit in England and Wales.
That’s the message from road safety charity Brake after Andrew Jones confirmed there would be no review of the limit.
As reported by Sky News, Mr Jones said: “The Government believes rigorous enforcement and serious penalties for drink drivers are a more effective deterrent than changing the drink-driving limit.”
Brake said the comments seem to be at odds with Mr Jones’ stated intentions to discuss the experience of the lower limit in Scotland and get access to robust evidence of the road safety impact.
It added that figures show the number of drink drive offences fell by more than 12% in Scotland in the first nine months after the drink drive limit was lowered from 80 to 50mg/100ml of blood in December 2014. It dropped by almost 8% during the first year in total, the figure being reduced by a drink-driving spike over Christmas and New Year.
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Campaigns director for Brake, Gary Rae said: “We would urge the minister to listen to and learn from his Scottish counterpart and respect the wishes of both the British public and the police by following Scotland’s lead and dropping the drink drive limit. Early indications show a clear reduction in offences in Scotland which can only make our roads safer and mean fewer devastating preventable deaths and injuries. This would be a useful step in moving towards a complete zero tolerance of drink driving, which is the only way to make our roads safe.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Transport-Minister-says-no-plans-to-cut-drink-drive-limit-in-England-and-Wales/0434023618
Fleet operators are being asked for their help in raising funds for automotive industry charity, BEN, by completing their Fleet World/VAN Fleet World reader registrations/renewals online.
This year will once again see Dan Gilkes, industry expert and editor of VAN Fleet World, compete in the London Marathon to raise funds for BEN, which is the UK’s dedicated charity for those who work, or have worked, in the automotive and related industries and their dependants.
Dan ran on behalf of BEN in last year’s 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon, completing the race in 4 hours 46 minutes and raising over £4,000.
And this year he’s looking to beat both the amount raised and his time, hoping to be well under four hours 30 minutes.
Already Dan has received strong support from within the motor industry but to add further funds, Stag Publications, the publisher of Fleet World/VAN Fleet World, has pledged to donate £1 for every reader registration or renewal made online.
All fleet operators need to do to help BEN is fill out the online form at http://www.fleetworldsubscriptions.co.uk/
Fleets can also sponsor Dan through the dedicated website at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DanGilkes
Dan commented: “BEN continues to offer incredible support to those working in the automotive and related industries. In 2015 it reached its 110th anniversary, helping more people than ever before. But to do that BEN needs more help itself, as it intends to take annual fundraising from £4.6m to £7.7m by 2020.
“Support for Virgin Money London Marathon runners is always strong and I would like to thank Fleet World, Citroën, Renault, Iveco, JCB, Isuzu Truck, Volkswagen and many others for their backing for the second year running. It literally is backing too, as once again I’ll be wearing a running shirt with all of my major supporters on the back. There is still space for more logos on this year’s shirt for any companies that would like to donate.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Support-BEN-with-Fleet-World-registration/0434023615
Honda has given a sneak preview of its Civic concept prior to its worldwide debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
The all-new hatchback is due out in 2017 and will be produced in the UK and sold globally, including in the US.
The rear shot of the prototype that will premiere at Geneva shows likenesses to the 2016 Civic Coupe Concept revealed at the 2015 New York auto show.
Other models on the Honda stand at Geneva include the Clarity Fuel Cell, which will make its European debut following its global unveil at the Tokyo motor show in October last year.
The new NSX will also be at Geneva and will start its first European customer deliveries in 2016.
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Honda-Civic-prototype-to-be-revealed-at-Geneva/0434023617
Alphabet has announced the appointment of Nick Butler as its new head of corporate mobility.
Butler joined Alphabet’s commercial team in 2003 and has spent the last five years heading up the Intermediary and Wholesale Funding division.
He commented: “I’m thrilled to be joining the Corporate Mobility team. Advanced mobility products like AlphaCity, AlphaElectric and Electric Car Sharing are cutting edge in terms of infrastructure and technology. I look forward to managing the team as we continue to provide our customers with innovative business travel solutions. Our unique AlphaRent+ offering also continues to gain momentum as our Customers reap the benefits of a rental fleet that is fully owned by Alphabet.”
Alphabet said the new appointments are part of the business’s continued efforts to build on and enhance its operational service.
Matt Sutherland, chief operating officer at Alphabet, commented: “Kit and Nick are valuable and well respected members of our Alphabet management team. Their impressive knowledge and wealth of experience in the industry means that they understand the challenges faced by our customers. Their new roles are fundamental in driving Alphabet forward as the UK’s leading provider of Business Mobility solutions as they further strengthen our Operations team.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Nick-Butler-named-head-of-corporate-mobility-at-Alphabet/0434023616
6.9 million British drivers think that if they had to take their driving test again, they would be likely to fail.
The research, conducted by Young Driver, which provides driving lessons for 10-17 year-olds, questioned more than 1,000 UK drivers and found that 18% of qualified drivers doubt their current driving skills would get them past an examiner – rising to 24% of over 65s.
The research also found that one in four drivers struggle with parking manoeuvres.
A total of 28% of drivers said they struggled to parallel park, with a further one in four (25%), admitting that reversing into a parking bay was a challenge they preferred to avoid. For female drivers these figures increased to 36% and 30% respectively.
A quarter of all drivers (26%) said they regularly parked some distance from where they needed to be in order to get an ‘easier’ car parking space that didn’t require as much skill. One in six drivers (16%) admitted they often felt nervous when it came to parking – increasing to one in four (26%) of 18-25 year olds.
And one in six (16%) admitted they struggle to complete a turn in the road without needing to undertake significantly more manoeuvres than the traditional three-point turn.
Kim Stanton, head of Young Driver, said: “When you learn to drive you are taught specific techniques to help you get your parking and reversing spot on, every time. But once you pass your test, unless you continue to use these techniques, the skills can quickly fade. Our new research shows that before long, many drivers are actively avoiding having to try, even if it means parking a long way from their destination and walking the rest of the way to avoid certain parking spaces!”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/One-in-five-qualified-drivers-doubt-they8217d-pass-their-test-now/0434023614
Subaru has issued a teaser pic of its next-generation XV as it announces a number of updates to the current compact crossover.
The new model will debut at the Geneva Motor Show early next month and is expected to share its platform with the new Impreza family.
The current-generation XV also gets a number of midlife updates, including updates to the exterior design, such as updated headlights and a redesigned front grille and bumper, plus improvements to interior quality. It also gains Subaru’s new factory-fit 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system and Siri Eyes-Free voice control.
The engine line-up – which comprises 2.0-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel horizontally-opposed, four-cylinder Boxer engines – has been updated to bring improved economy.
Economy for the 2.0-litre turbodiesel, equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, rises to 52.3mpg on the combined cycle, while CO2 emissions fall from 146 to 141g/km.
Fuel efficiency for the petrol engine increases by 2% to a combined average of 43.5mpg when equipped with Subaru’s Lineartronic transmission (CVT) and emissions fall to 151g/km.
The 2016 XV goes on sale across the UK next month, with OTR prices remaining from £21,995.
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Subaru-to-unveil-XV-Concept-at-Geneva/0434023613
Latest Department for Transport figures showing a rise in road deaths indicate that much work is needed on road safety.
The comments come from road safety and breakdown cover specialist GEM Motoring Assist as the UK Department for Transport road safety data shows a 3% reduction in casualties for the year ending September 2015 but a 2.83% rise in road deaths to 1,780in the year ending September 2015.
GEM added that the latest figures give cause for concern and show the irresponsibility of cuts to road safety budgets across the UK.
Chief executive David Williams MBE said: “It’s good to see a fall in casualties, even with a 2.2% rise in motor traffic levels. Particularly encouraging is the 5% fall in the number of cyclists killed and seriously injured, as well as the 4% reduction for pedestrians.
“But the rise in road fatalities shows just how much work needs to be done to make our roads safer for everyone.
“We must put an end to this needless loss of life, and we once again call on the UK Government to take a strong lead in making our roads safer. This could be done through reducing the drink-drive limit, introducing a graduated licence system for new drivers, tougher and more consistent sentencing of drivers who pose the greatest risks to others, and the re-introduction of casualty reduction targets.
“We must also remember the vital role of road safety education in helping to prevent collisions. Allowing local authority road safety units to shrink or even disappear can only mean that the longer-term outlook for road safety in this country remains bleak.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Rise-in-road-fatalities-shows-8216irresponsibility-of-cuts-to-road-safety-budgets8217-says-GEM/0434023611
Fleet operators are becoming more proactive on tyre management as tyre costs continue to rise, reports Chevin Fleet Solutions.
The fleet software provider said the issue is not just being forced by the increase in bigger, and more expensive, wheels and tyres being used on vehicles but also the fact that they are seemingly more susceptible to accidental damage and even more likely to be stolen.
Ashley Sowerby, managing director, said: “All of these factors lead to higher costs and fleets are increasingly trying to take managerial control in this area.
“This is something that is being seen on a wider industry basis with some of the largest fleets changing their buying arrangements and we see reflections of this in increased levels of price comparison using our software, for example.
“However, there is also a strong desire among fleets to take a greater amount of operational control over tyre costs.”
Sowerby added that Chevin offered a tyre management module as part of its FleetWave software and that this was increasingly being used to monitor tyre use.
“Successfully tackling costs in this area requires something of a change of culture, recognising that tyres are an area that respond to management attention. This is why, in our software, each tyre is recorded as a separate, specific asset.
“Managing this asset might mean actions as simple as looking at examining the different tyre replacement cycles that occur for different drivers in similar vehicles, seeing which are getting through sets of tyres more often and why?
“It might also mean identifying which drivers most often suffer accidental tyre damage and again trying to work out whether this is a result of their driving style or other factors that can be tackled.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Fleets-more-actively-managing-tyres-as-costs-rise-reports-Chevin/0434023609
Tevva Motors has received a commendation in the powered transport award category at the 2015-16 Rushlight Awards for the development of its electric range-extended powertrains.
Held at London’s Royal College of Surgeons of England, Tevva was commended for a significant achievement “that has resulted in the commercial development of forms of transport for land, sea or air, resulting in a significantly improved embedded environmental footprint”.
Asher Bennett, CEO and founder of Tevva Motors, said: “We are truly honoured to receive this commendation at the Rushlight Awards.
“The recognition we have received for our electric range-extender powertrains represents a significant step in highlighting our capabilities as we target our next phase of investment for production.”
Tevva’s electric range extender powertrain can either be fitted on the production line during the build process or as a retrofit package to an existing vehicle.
It is controlled by Tevva’s Predictive Range Extender Management System (PREMS), which enables the most efficient use of the range extender without driver input.
This ensures the range extender is only used when necessary, such as on motorways, while electric-only propulsion can be used in areas of poor air quality such as towns and cities.
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/latest-news/2016/02/10/tevva-motors-commended-at-rushlight-awards
Renault significantly outpaced the UK van market last year, reporting a 39.5% year-on-year surge in sales compared to a 15.5% rise overall.
The manufacturer registered 25,458 vehicles, increasing its full-year market share by 1.2 percentage points to 6.7%.
Strong growth was helped by the new Trafic’s first full year of sales, it registered 13,700 units last year – up 49% on 2014.
“LCV was a real success story,” said Mark Dickens, head of fleet sales at Renault Group UK. “How did we do that? A real strong performance from our conversion business. We particularly improved our volume in the Master Tipper market, improving sales by 185% year-on-year.”
The conversion market was up 31% in 2015, while Renault achieved growth of 79%.
“It’s a key area for us in 2016,” continued Dickens.
The surge in sales in the UK has also helped Renault to retain its position as the best-selling van manufacturer in Europe for the 18th consecutive year.
It registered 269,203 units, up 16.9% on 2014, and recorded a 0.7 percentage point increase in market share to 15%.
It is also targeting growth in the car market with a C-segment product offensive.
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/van-news/2016/02/10/record-breaking-year-for-renault-vans
Midland Bacon Co has taken on a rigid truck with an aerodynamic Gray & Adams temperature-controlled body mounted on a 32-tonne Scania chassis to ensure it meets axle loading regulations.
Chris Cox, managing director of the West Midlands-based processor, said: “The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) is becoming very hot on overloading issues and it’s easy to get caught out on the front axle with a 26-tonner.
“As a responsible operator I’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that my vehicles meet all legal requirements and I see this concept as being a template for the future.”
Midland Bacon Co is one of a small handful of privately-owned suppliers that provide a complete bacon processing service which encompasses butchering, curing and then slicing.
This allows it to minimise transit damage, so foodservice customers nationwide benefit from a highly consistent product.
The 32-tonner has lined up alongside the other 11 vehicles which work from Midland Bacon Co’s headquarters in Walsall.
As well as being the company’s biggest truck yet and the first with a livery – its other trucks are plain white – it is also the first with a Gray & Adams body.
The 9.0-metre insulated box was built and fitted at the manufacturer’s Doncaster production facility. Positioned very close to the back of the cab to reduce drag, it features an underslung Carrier Supra 950 u single-temperature refrigeration unit and Gray & Adams’ latest, aerodynamically profiled panel cappings.
The interior has a full chequerplate floor, stainless steel rear end and a PIR (passive infrared) lighting system.
The truck offers an 18-tonne payload and 18 pallet carrying capacity, compared to the 14-tonne payload with 16 pallet spaces that Midland Bacon Co’s 26-tonners can accommodate.
“We run out of weight before we run out of space with the six-wheelers,” added Cox, who founded his company in 1995.
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/latest-news/2016/02/10/midland-bacon-co-take-on-refrigerated-rigid-truck-to-ensure-loading-compliance
Truck rental and contract hire firm Prohire has saved more than 12,000 sheets of paper in the six months since introducing R2C Online’s i2i SMR system.
Operations Manager Mick Steele explained: “How we managed fleet maintenance compliance was a manually intensive process. Inspection sheets and supplier invoices were physically printed and processed for compliance checking and approval. We recognised that r2c Online, as a specialist solution provider to the commercial vehicle market, offered the potential to digitise and automate these processes, which would result in significant efficiency improvements for our customers, suppliers and our business.”
Steele continued: “We have greatly reduced the need to print, approve and process invoices manually and overall we are completing at least twice as many authorisations per day.”
R2C Online is currently used by over 10,000 fleets and repairers throughout the UK.
‘Issue 2 Invoice’ is a web-based SMR booking, pricing, authorisation and e-invoicing platform. After just 6 months the platform is processing more than £1 million of monthly maintenance spend, a figure which is growing exponentially every month.
“Efficiency was the main driver for us and we have already seen significant, and importantly, measurable gains for everyone. Everything is just quicker now: service inspection paperwork is automated, authorisation is electronic and easier to manage and we can divert more focus on customer service orientated tasks with the time savings we have realised. At the end of the process we receive pre-reconciled invoices, massively reducing queries and telephone calls for both customers, supplier and ourselves.”
Steele added: “Because inspection sheets, invoices and work authorisations are now processed digitally we have saved over 12,000 sheets of paper so far”.
Nick Walls, managing director of r2c Online added: “The whole premise of i2i is to provide fleets and repairers of commercial vehicles and other asset classes with an electronic method of pricing, authorising and invoicing SMR. This dramatically streamlines processes for both repairers and fleets and massively reduces queries requiring manual intervention. We have already seen great uptake of the i2i solution and with efficiency opportunities such as those Prohire has experienced, we are expecting interest levels to accelerate even higher. It is great to see Prohire enjoying these benefits within their operation.”
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/truck-news/2016/02/10/prohire-introduces-i2i-electronic-smr-and-invoicing-platform
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) says the Mayor of London’s proposals for major new bike routes across the capital must consider the impact on all road users.
Consultation has started on a package of cycling, pedestrian and road improvements designed to reflect the fact that cycling in central London has trebled in 15 years and the number of people commuting by bike will soon overtake the number in cars.
Among the proposals are plans to allow cyclists to travel on segregated tracks or low-traffic roads from Acton and Swiss Cottage to central London, Elephant and Castle and Canary Wharf.
FTA supports the principle of safe, segregated bike routes – both to improve safety for cyclists and to encourage car users to switch to bikes – but this must balance the needs of all road users.
Natalie Chapman, head of policy for London at FTA, said: “These schemes must be well thought out so they not only serve London today, but for decades to come.
“We are already seeing massive delays on Lower Thames Street due to the construction of the East-West Cycle Superhighway.
“This is resulting in some companies putting more vans and lorries on London’s roads to deliver the same quantity of goods, either to comply with the maximum shifts required under EU Drivers’ Hours rules or to maintain customer service levels.
“This is not good for emissions, congestion, transport costs or indeed safety.
“And this is not a temporary situation – the loss of capacity will be permanent.”
FTA is calling on the next Mayor of London to work with the freight industry and the businesses it serves to ensure that future schemes are better planned for the benefit of all road users.
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/latest-news/2016/02/10/london-cycle-proposals-must-consider-all-road-users-says-fta
Anglian Water is fitting Ctrack telematics to a further 500 vans having seen a 14% reduction in the number of road accidents, a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency and a 4% drop in its carbon emisisons after fitting the system to 750 vehicles a year ago.
The latest agreement, takes the total number of vehicles tracked by the Ctrack Online system to 1,750. Ctrack was originally appointed in 2014 to implement a web-based tracking solution across Anglian Water’s treatments, waterworks and waste water operations. This included the adoption of the Driver Behaviour Indicator (DBI), an in-vehicle device that alerts drivers to any infringements when on the road by displaying a series of traffic-light coloured warning lights.
Anglian Water uses Ctrack online’s reporting tool to capture management information regarding driver performance and driving exceptions. This has enabled the company to identify areas of improvement and maximise its driver training initiative, resulting in an almost 50% reduction in the number driver exceptions – such as speeding and harsh acceleration, braking and cornering – from 25 miles per event to 49 miles per event.
As part of the driver behaviour programme, Anglian Water also operates a zero tolerance to speeding, so a bespoke speed band reporting tool has been created to enable the company to monitor where any issues are occurring.
Ctrack will continue providing a consultative service to support the ongoing success of the vehicle tracking solution. A dedicated professional services team analyses all available data to provide guidance on how best to drive operational improvements and help realise maximum value. This has included monitoring vehicle usage to identify any areas of underutilisation so Anglian Water can take steps to right size its operation or implement fleet rotation, which will reduce costs and improve residual value.
Stewart Lightbody, head of fleet services at Anglian Water, said: “We have worked closely with Ctrack to develop an effective tracking solution that supports our commitment to duty of care. The safety of our staff, other road users and pedestrians in the areas we operate is our biggest priority, so we are delighted to see such positive changes to driver behaviour. Moving forward we are targeting a 25% reduction in accidents as well further improvements in fuel efficiency.”
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/van-news/2016/02/09/anglian-water-expands-use-of-ctrack-telematics
A new car club service has been launched in London by mobility start-up Ubeeqo.
Dubbed Matcha, the scheme is simultaneously being placed in Paris and London, where a total of 29 cars have initially been made available in the borough of Wandsworth.
The cars can be picked up from on-street locations in Tooting, Battersea, Roehampton, Putney, Southfields, Earlsfield and Wandsworth Common, and there are plans to increase the local fleet over the course of the year.
Subscribers can hire the vehicles by the hour and bookings can be made via an easy-to-use mobile phone app. All bookings include the first 50 miles and fuel for free.
Drivers can register either on the Ubeeqo website or by downloading the app which is free of charge and with no usage commitment.
Benoit Chatelier, founder and CEO of Ubeeqo which was acquired last year by Europcar, said: “Ubeeqo makes urban mobility easier, more convenient, and more cost-effective, and more environmentally friendly too.”
Wandsworth Council’s transport spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook added: “We’re delighted Ubeeqo has decide to invest in Wandsworth and is bringing its network of pay-as-you-go vehicles to our borough. We want every home to have easy access to a car club so there is less need for car ownership and fewer vehicles on our streets.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/New-Ubeeqo-car-club-service-goes-live-in-London/0434023603
Plans by London Mayor Boris Johnson to open three cycle superhighways in London to meet a predicted rise in commuters cycling to work have met with a mixed reaction.
The schemes – which are now open to public consultation – would implement new cycle links between north and south London, a segregated cycle track on the Westway flyover amongst a package of cycling, pedestrian and road improvements.
In addition, cycle routes linking Bloomsbury to the West End and Farringdon with King’s Cross have also been proposed.
Tfl said the plans for new routes reflect the fact that cycling into central London has trebled in 15 years. Around a quarter of all vehicles on the roads in the centre in the morning rush hour are now bikes, while car use has fallen sharply.
It added that if the trends of the last 15 years continue, the number of people commuting into central London by bike will overtake the number of people commuting by car in a few years. Around 645,000 journeys a day are made by bike in the capital, up 10% on last year.
Leon Daniels, managing director of surface transport at TfL, said: “Cycling in London is becoming more popular by the day and our proposed Cycle Superhighways would keep London’s roads in gear with the trend. The Capital would become the European city for cycling, not just for the seasoned pros, but for everyone.
“By providing these safer direct routes across the city the roads can support a growing and changing London.”
Already plans for cycle superhighways have gained support from corporates including Microsoft, RBS, Unilever, Orange, Deloitte, Coca-Cola and the Financial Times.
However, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) says the Mayor of London’s proposals for major new bike routes across the capital must consider the impact on all road users.
Natalie Chapman, FTA’s head of policy for London, said: “These schemes must be well thought out so they not only serve London today, but for decades to come.
“We are already seeing massive delays on Lower Thames Street due to the construction of the East-West Cycle Superhighway. This is resulting in some companies putting more vans and lorries on London’s roads to deliver the same quantity of goods, either to comply with the maximum shifts required under EU Drivers’ Hours rules or to maintain customer service levels.
“This is not good for emissions, congestion, transport costs or indeed safety. And this is not a temporary situation – the loss of capacity will be permanent.”
The consultation will close on March 20. The public can respond to the East-West, North-South and Cycle Superhighway 11 consultations here: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/New-London-cycle-superhighways-intended-to-support-large-increase-in-cyclist-commuting/0434023602
Nexus Vehicle Rental has announced a record year for bookings of commercial vehicles with a 29.1% year-on year increase in December 2015.
Nexus doubled the number of vans it had out on rent year-on-year throughout December and, excluding short wheelbase vans, this number was three times higher than the same period in 2014.
Its fleet covered a combined 8,373,400 miles during December, the equivalent of 336 trips around the equator.
The spike in van rentals highlights the current strength of the UK commercial vehicle market and the unprecedented seasonal demand brought on by online shopping events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas home deliveries.
David Brennan (pictured), chief executive officer at Nexus, said: “As a leading rental provider, we are well equipped to deal with seasonal demand and can offer guaranteed availability of vehicles – we have access to over 500,000 vehicles across 2,000 UK locations covering Newquay to Elgin.
“Rentals of CVs in particular were three times those observed in December 2014. This can be explained by the trend of the increasing value of online retail spend which was 8.2% higher than last year throughout December.
“We are able to source any vehicle at incredibly short notice, ensuring courier services were not affected over the festive period.”
The parcel delivery service, Yodel, was one of the new customers Nexus served in December.
Dick Stead, executive chairman of Yodel, said: “Peak plans assumed that parcel volumes over the busy peak period would vary on a daily basis, therefore Yodel needed to find a supplier capable of quickly meeting the changing vehicle needs. Nexus delivered that promise by helping Yodel adjust vehicle supply to parcel volumes by delivery location and this helped us to deliver a record breaking quality of service and record the highest levels of customer satisfaction over the biggest parcel volume peak in UK history.”
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/van-news/2016/02/09/nexus-records-29-rise-in-van-rentals
Deluxe Beds of Huddersfield has taken delivery of two 18-tonne GVW Volvo FE rigid trucks.
In the first weeks of operation Transport Manager Bob Mitchell said: “We are over the moon with these Volvo FE trucks,” he says. “We chose them for payload and we’re delighted with the result. Our beds are transported in three pieces and we have found the 18-tonne GVW of the Volvo FE, with steel suspension front and rear, enables us to transport over a 100 pieces, which is a significant improvement on our previous vehicles.”
The two new 6.8m wheelbase FE rigids, which are fitted with single bunk sleeper cabs, feature 9.2 metre GRP Luton box bodies, hinged over the cab, which were built by Micra Truck Bodies in Wakefield.
“The bodies are built to the highest standard, like the trucks, and give us some 76m³ (2,700 ft³) of capacity, which is ideal for the transportation of beds and mattresses,” said Mitchell.
Power comes from Volvo D8K 6-cylinder, 8-litre engines producing 250hp and up to 950Nm of torque. Both trucks are equipped with 6-speed manual gearboxes. Driveability is aided by cruise control, while comfort is enhanced with air conditioning.
“These trucks will cover much of the UK and are expected to amass some 160,000km (100,000 miles) a year,” added Mitchell.
“Even in the first few weeks of more localised runs, I’ve noticed excellent fuel efficiency. What’s more, our drivers love them! There’s a tangible sense of pride shown by the drivers of these new Volvo trucks. They appreciate the comfort, power and manoeuvrability, as well as the ease of driving and the excellent visibility. I am absolutely certain that in choosing Volvo we have simultaneously helped ourselves when it comes to driver recruitment and retention.”
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/truck-news/2016/02/09/deluxe-beds-takes-delivery-of-volvo-rigids
Clancy Plant Hire has taken delivery of the first of 33 new Iveco Trakker 8×4 rigids, after expanding an order placed in 2015 with 10 additional vehicles.
The company – the UK’s largest operator of Iveco Trakker eight-wheelers – provides vehicles and plant equipment to all the Clancy Group firms, including utilities giant Clancy Docwra, which uses the fleet in support of utilities projects around the country.
Bernie Stack director at Clancy Plant Hire said: “We’re delighted to see the first of our new Trakker tippers getting down to work. We’ve enjoyed a long relationship with Iveco, and appreciate the low total cost of ownership the brand’s vehicles offer.
“We’re confident these new arrivals will continue to demonstrate the durability, reliability and flexibility the Trakker is known for across our company.”
This latest Trakker order marks the first Euro VI eight-wheelers to enter the Clancy Plant Hire fleet, each with Iveco’s HI-SCR engine technology to meet current emissions limits without the need for exhaust gas recirculation.
Commenting on the technology, Stack said: “We evaluated Euro VI solutions from a number of manufacturers, but felt Iveco’s HI-SCR system stood out for offering a less complex and yet a highly efficient approach. We have become accustomed to enjoying trouble-free performance from our Iveco drivelines, so knowing the HI-SCR technology has followed the same development path as earlier Iveco Euro IV and Euro V engines held strong appeal.”
The new trucks join a fleet of more than 60 Trakker 8x4s at Clancy Plant Hire, and are expected to remain with the company for between four and five years.
The firm’s wider fleet encompasses more than 1,400 commercial vehicles, 500 cars and over 10,000 plant assets.
Each Trakker (AD340T36) is expected to clock-up approximately 35,000 miles annually, working up to seven days a week, with some vehicles operating double shifts around the clock.
Bodybuilder Thompsons has been contracted to provide the bodies for the entire order, with each vehicle arriving equipped with an HMF crane. The new acquisitions will also carry a bespoke onboard camera and audible warning system, improving safety for pedestrians.
Clancy Plant Hire’s new Trakker fleet is powered by the Iveco Cursor 9 engine, which produces up to 360hp between 1,500 and 2,200 rev/min, and up to 1,650 Nm of torque between 1,200 and 1,500 rev/min.
The vehicles also have the EuroTronic automated gearbox, manufactured for Iveco by ZF.
Servicing, maintenance and warranty work on vehicles across the company’s Iveco range is carried out at Clancy Plant Hire’s authorised in-house Iveco workshops, where technicians trained to Iveco’s standards ensure the fleet is always operating to its maximum potential.
Iveco dealer Northern Commercials expects to deliver the last of the 33 Trakkers in the first quarter of 2016.
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/truck-news/2016/02/08/clancy-plant-hire-rolls-out-first-of-33-strong-iveco-trakker-order
Taunton Deane Borough Council has signed a new four-year contract with BT Fleet, extending their partnership until 2019.
As a local authority, Taunton Deane Borough Council is responsible for the delivery of services to both Taunton Deane and West Somerset’s residents and visitors, providing such functions as housing, council tax collection, benefits, environmental health, open space maintenance and street and toilet cleaning, amongst others. The daily demands placed on the council mean that it is critical its fleet of vehicles remain on the road and meet the stringent compliance standards required.
BT Fleet is consolidating all of the council’s requirements under one fleet management programme and is providing account management, vehicle scheduling, service, maintenance and repair, hire services, breakdown services, administrative and legislative management and access to training and support services. The Taunton workshop, which is a five-minute drive away from the council depot, offers direct support, reducing ferrying time and net downtime.
Chris Hall, assistant director of operations at Taunton Deane Borough Council, said: “Local authority organisations are coming under increased scrutiny to ensure public money is being utilised effectively. Outsourcing our fleet management to a partner we can trust means we can save a considerable amount of time and achieve significant cost savings.
“BT Fleet identifies the needs of our fleet on a day-to-day basis and ensures that vehicle downtime is kept to a minimum. This helps to ensure that our programme of works can flow as planned, without interruption. This collaborative working arrangement provides tangible operating benefits to all, which underscores how well the partnership is working.
“Since we started working with BT Fleet in 2011, we have made substantial improvements to time and cost efficiencies and we are looking forward to seeing how these results improve even further over the next four years.”
Joe Fielder, sales director at BT Fleet, added: “Expectations on local authorities to rationalise and consolidate spend are only increasing and it can be extremely challenging to deliver consistent, efficient performance. Taunton Deane Borough Council is a fantastic example of a public sector organisation approaching fleet management in an innovative way by being open to working in parternship and gaining knowledge from fleet providers such as ourselves. We have established a strong relationship with the team over the past four years and it was from this partnership we were able to really understand their needs and expectations in meeting financial challenges and procurement requirements.”
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/new-contracts/2016/02/08/taunton-deane-borough-council-extend-partnership-with-bt-fleet
Steel and timber product manufacturer, supplier and installer Fabrifen is saving more than £6,000 a year after turning to Northgate for flexible vehicle hire.
Based in the North West with offices in Widnes and Salford, Fabrifen has experienced rapid growth, which has resulted in its customer base and service requirements expanding.
The company previously owned its vehicles outright, but the ageing fleet brought about a number of problems, including an increased requirement for service, maintenance and repair (SMR), and a reduction in reliability. As such, it turned to Northgate to provide a more flexible and reliable vehicle offering.
Fabrifen has been able to save more than £6,000 a year thanks to the reduction in maintenance, acquisition and administration costs brought about by Northgate’s all-inclusive package.
A key requirement for Fabrifen’s expanding business is the ability to meet varying client demands, which vary based on season and often touch every point of the manufacture, supply and installation journey, requiring consistent customer service.
The company’s growing customer base also means that team members in the field need to be supported across a larger geographical area.
Northgate has eight branches in the North West and a further 69 located across the UK, ensuring that Fabrifen can be supplied with vehicles of varying sizes on both a regional and national basis within a short timeframe.
Through its partnership with the AA, Northgate provides customers with a fully inclusive breakdown service, with a replacement vehicle being provided if a vehicle needs to be recovered, and a target of less than two-and-a-half hours of downtime.
Fabrifen has been able to save over £6,000 a year through Northgate’s flexible service, with savings made across vehicle acquisition, fuel consumption and maintenance.
Tony Ross, managing director of Fabrifen, said: “During our shutdown period over Christmas, Fabrifen saves approximately £1,925 thanks to the flexibility of being able to off-hire vehicles without penalty.
“Replacing our ageing vehicles with new ones has improved fuel consumption by 10%, which equates to more than £350 per month.”
He added: “Northgate’s SMR package has reduced maintenance bills and its widespread branch network has helped us to access vehicles quickly when new contracts are won on a more national level.”
Northgate’s flexible arrangement has allowed Fabrifen to change the type of vehicles it uses to transport people and materials more efficiently.
This has resulted in cashflow savings and customer service improvements.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) says any move to ban freight vehicles from London or charge for certain types would have a negative effect on safety, congestion and emissions.
Boris Johnson has asked Transport for London (TfL) to look at options for restricting freight, amongst a raft of measures aimed at ensuring the city’s roads can cope with forecast population growth to 2030.
The Mayor’s statement said he had asked TfL to look at “a range of options for banning or charging certain freight vehicle types at certain times of day. It will also consider what further incentives could be put in place to support more efficient use by freight of road space, such as consolidation centres”.
FTA’s head of national and regional policy Christopher Snelling said: “As FTA and others have repeatedly pointed out, cities rely on freight to keep functioning every day – every business and every resident depends on it. Anything that adds to the cost of freight adds to the cost of doing business and living in London.
“Banning vehicles is counterproductive – it would have negative consequences for safety, congestion and emissions if operators are forced to use smaller vehicles. Stopping them using the morning peak would make it much harder to run businesses that rely on having their goods delivered at the start of the working day.”
FTA believes there are far more intelligent ways of addressing congestion, pollution and safety that would not compromise the day-to-day running of London businesses. The Association hopes that by “incentives” the Mayor means positive measures for cleaner, greener or more load-efficient freight, such as discounts on the Congestion Charge or reform the night lorry ban.
Snelling added: “There’s often an inherent contradiction when, in statements like this, people call for some vehicles to be banned and then want more use of consolidation centres. These centres are supposed to remove vehicles from the road – banning HGVs would do the opposite, creating more traffic not less.”
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/truck-news/2016/02/08/possible-london-mayor-move-to-ban-freight-counterproductive-says-fta
Apprentices from Ford’s Dagenham diesel engine plant have restored Corporal Jones’s van from the Dad’s Army TV series.
Now owned by the Dad’s Army Museum in Thetford, Norfolk, the van made its screen debut on September 11 1969 in the first colour episode.
This month it appears in the big-screen version of Dad’s Army with stars including Sir Tom Courtenay, Toby Jones, Bill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sir Michael Gambon.
Dagenham-based Ford apprentices, under the command of Ford’s heritage vehicle technicians, helped repair the running gear of Jack Jones’s van – in the same building at Dagenham that it would have left the plant, more than 80 years ago.
The Ford BB truck was among the first commercial vehicles produced at the Ford Dagenham site, which started production in 1931. The mechanical repairs were carried out in one of Dagenham’s original buildings, which remains in use today as Ford’s heritage workshop.
Paul Neighbour, Ford Dagenham engine plant manager, said: “It has been wonderful to see the van back at Dagenham after all these years, and we’re delighted that our apprentices have had the opportunity to get involved with getting such an iconic vehicle back on the road.”
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/van-news/2016/02/08/dagenham-ford-engine-apprentices-restore-historic-dad-s-army-van
MAN Truck and Bus has held its annual dealer of the year Awards event at Wembley Stadium.
Three awards were presented recognising the success of small, medium and large dealers throughout the UK.
The winners were AN Richards of Llangollen (small), Imperial Commercials of Peterborough (medium) and HRVS Group Ripley (large), while the runners-up were, Fishlake Commercial Motors, Doncaster (small), HRVS Group Sheffield (medium) and MTB Northampton (large).
They will all receive a lump sum to invest in their businesses.
Rob Zubovic, network director for MAN, said: “The success of these six dealers is a testament to the dynamic and innovative performance of their management and the teams they have around them.
“Each operation has consistently achieved very high standards in meeting MAN’s strenuous UK service levels and those performances have formed the solid base on which these hard-fought awards are judged.”
Bryn Richards, managing director of A N Richards, said: “We are delighted to have won the title for the third year running in its current form and especially proud to have been awarded the five-star gold service award for the 10th year in a row, and the last time it is being awarded.
“It was an unexpected honour to be given a special achievement award for that too – a unique model of a truck.
“We are a family-run firm, AN Richards was founded by my mother and father and it is now run by me and my brother Gary, and my daughter and our partners are all involved.
“We have a wealth of local knowledge and pride ourselves on this and our commitment to keeping customers’ trucks on the road and working for them. We don’t have the space to have trucks waiting and we turn things around efficiently.”
“The prize money is going to be reinvested in the MAN brand.
“For the past eight years we have been building our hire fleet. MAN trucks are bulletproof as far as we are concerned and we will be investing the prize money back into the firm, either in the form of providing training or building on the hire fleet again.
“They are something we wholeheartedly believe in.”
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/latest-news/2016/02/08/man-truck-and-bus-honours-its-dealers-of-the-year
The Netherlands is the most expensive country in Europe to drive a car, new research from LeasePlan has found.
The leasing giant’s CarCost Index studied the costs of car ownership and usage in 11 European countries – said to be the first time that all the cost elements of an automobile have been mapped out in such detail at an international level using this index methodology – and found that the cost of driving a diesel car can vary as much as €350 a month across Europe.
On average, Dutch motorists spend between €600 and €800 their cars each month, depending on their fuel choice. This was followed by Italy, Spain and then the UK, where driving a petrol car costs €600 per month on average and €630 for diesels.
In Germany and the Czech Republic however, monthly costs are significantly lower, particularly for diesel cars.
The annual LeasePlan CarCost Index provides an overview of the total cost elements of a car in the C-segment (20,000km per year, on the basis of three years). This analysis is based on factors such as purchase price, depreciation, insurance, repair costs and maintenance, taxes and fuel costs. Fixed costs, such as maintenance and taxes, represent 70% of the total cost ─ indicating that motorists have minimal influence on the overall cost. Depreciation is the largest of these fixed costs, representing 36%. Within the 11 countries surveyed in Europe, the average fuel costs are highest in Italy. This is mainly due to the high VAT rate, a result of the economic crisis. Switzerland deviates the most when it comes to diesel cars. The Swiss government has been taxing this fuel type heavily for years because of its higher levels of NOx and particulate emissions. On the contrary in the Netherlands, the price of a litre of diesel is significantly lower than the price of a litre of petrol.
Sven-Torsten Huster, chief operating officer of LeasePlan: “Statements are often made that certain European countries are more expensive for motorists compared to others. Yet there was insufficient research to confirm these suspicions until now. In order to compare European markets you must thoroughly understand them and have insight into regulatory differences. There is much more to take in to consideration than just purchase price or taxes.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/The-Netherlands-is-most-expensive-European-country-for-motorists-finds-LeasePlan/0434023568
A list of the top nine strangest items left behind by London passengers in the backseat of the Kabbee fleet minicabs has been revealed, with some unusual items included.
Along with mobile phones, keys, wallets, umbrellas, shoes, the quick poll of Kabbee’s 60 licensed minicab fleets revealed the top nine most unusual items are:
- Taxidermy fox
- Whip with latex underwear
- Diamond ring
- £5,000 cash
- Mini cheese grater
- Adult’s gold tooth
- Inflatable Zimmer frame
- Helium tank
Justin Peters, Kabbee CEO and founder, said: “The moment a passenger gets into a minicab, they put a great amount of trust in that driver. At Kabbee, we are encouraging our minicab fleets to reduce the amount of lost property found by drivers, by reminding passengers to check the back seat before they leave the vehicle, in the hope that no items are left behind.
“We put all licensed minicab firms through a tough 30-point check before they can provide quotes via the Kabbee app – and one of them is to ensure they have a full and accurate lost property folder, so that in the event that an item is left behind, it can be quickly returned to its owner.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Stuffed-fox-and-parrot-included-in-list-of-minicab-lost-property/0434023562
Motoring costs in the UK are the fourth highest in Europe, new research from LeasePlan has found.
The leasing giant’s CarCost Index studied the costs of car ownership and usage in 11 European countries – said to be the first time that all the cost elements of an automobile have been mapped out in such detail at an international level using this index methodology – and found that the Netherlands is the most expensive country in Europe to drive a car.
On average, Dutch motorists spend between €600 (£463) and €800 (£617) on their cars each month, depending on their fuel choice. This was followed by Italy, Spain and then the UK, where driving a petrol car costs €600 (£463) per month on average and €630 (£486) for diesels.
In Germany and the Czech Republic however, monthly costs are significantly lower, particularly for diesel cars.
LeasePlan added that the cost of driving a diesel car can vary as much as €350 (£270) a month across Europe
The annual LeasePlan CarCost Index provides an overview of the total cost elements of a car in the C-segment (20,000km per year, on the basis of three years). This analysis is based on factors such as purchase price, depreciation, insurance, repair costs and maintenance, taxes and fuel costs. Fixed costs, such as maintenance and taxes, represent 70% of the total cost ─ indicating that motorists have minimal influence on the overall cost. Depreciation is the largest of these fixed costs, representing 36%. Within the 11 countries surveyed in Europe, the average fuel costs are highest in Italy but the UK has the highest diesel price and the second highest petrol price.
The research also found that the UK has most expensive list prices for petrol cars and second most for diesels after Switzerland.
Sven-Torsten Huster, chief operating officer of LeasePlan: “Statements are often made that certain European countries are more expensive for motorists compared to others. Yet there was insufficient research to confirm these suspicions until now. In order to compare European markets you must thoroughly understand them and have insight into regulatory differences. There is much more to take in to consideration than just purchase price or taxes.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/UK-rated-fourth-most-expensive-country-in-Europe-for-motorists/0434023560
Company cars will remain one of the most sought after benefits by employees despite rising levels of benefit-in-kind taxation – but employers and drivers must increasingly focus on value rather than cost.
So said tax expert David Rawlings n a keynote address to the Fleet Industry Advisory Group’s (FIAG) Winter Workshop on ‘Will Tax Kill the Company Car – What’s in Store for 2016’.
Rawlings, director of business vehicle and taxation advisers BCF Wessex, highlighted how employee demand for company cars had proved remarkably resilient despite increases in Benefit-in-Kind taxation over many years.
The Government has already announced annual rises in company car Benefit-in-Kind taxation to the end of the 2019/2020 financial year, but Rawlings said: “The percentage increases in tax look horrible, but in pound note terms company cars still deliver great value.”
Addressing the Workshop, held at the home of Northampton Saints, the premiership rugby union side sponsored by Travis Perkins, whose group fleet director Graham Bellman is a FIAG founder, Rawlings reflected on recent history to look to the future.
He told delegates to the workshop: “When emissions-based company car Benefit-in-Kind tax was introduced in 2002 many pundits forecast the death of the company car.”
Yet, while there had been a decline in company car popularity since then, latest HM Revenue and Customs’ data shows that the number of recipients has plateaued in recent years at 940,000 yielding £1.29bn in Benefit-in-Kind tax and a further £530m in employer Class 1A National Insurance in 2013/14.
Rawlings said that despite the switch to a CO2-based company car Benefit-in-Kind tax regime and regular increases in tax thresholds, the value of company cars remain undiminished.
For example, he cited that prior to the new regime the amount of tax due for a high mileage, higher rate taxpayer per £1,000 of list price on a 2002 Ford Mondeo was £60, which was a similar amount paid by an employee at the wheel of a low emission derivative in 2016.
Rawlings said: “Company car tax rates have increased, but we are where we were 14 years ago. I don’t buy the arguments that tax has killed the company car, although what we don’t know is where company car tax levels will end up.”
The Government is currently reviewing company car Benefit-in-Kind tax from 2020/21 and an announcement is expected by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in the Budget on 16 March.
Rawlings predicted that over the coming years taxes would have to increase with revenue raised used to support the development of alternative fuel technology while the government also looked to tackle air quality issues.
Nevertheless, he concluded: “Smart employers and company car drivers should focus on value rather than cost. The company car is, and will remain, one of the most sought after benefits over the next 15 or 16 years.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Company-car-to-remain-king-but-fleets-must-focus-on-value/0434023559
Whole-life costs should be analysed at the end of a vehicle’s lifetime on the fleet as well as at the start.
So said delegates at the recent FIAG Winter Workshop entitled ‘Will Tax Kill the Company Car – What’s in Store for 2016’.
Attendees outlined that ascertaining the true value of a company car is virtually impossible because there is no correlation in the cost of a vehicle to an employer and that of an employee.
Kevin Basnett, managing partner at Wiltshire-based Goughs Solicitors, said: “The motivation for an employer to provide company cars may be to enable staff to move from one location to another or to recruit and retain employees, while for employees there is a financial cost and an emotional element.”
Although whole-life cost figures are widely acknowledged as best practice in terms of being the starting point for compiling company car choice lists, it was suggested they were only part of the decision-making process.
Basnett added: “It is important to take note of employees’ views in deciding which vehicles to put on the fleet, particularly if a job-need car. Vehicles must be fit for purpose and drivers have practical experience of what they require to do their job.
“When introducing a policy it is important to be aware of the impact it will have on drivers so consultation with staff is key. In too many companies there is a lack of joined up thinking across finance, HR, procurement and transport departments. The board of directors needs to lead because otherwise there can be conflicts.”
And it was also suggested that it was vital to analyse whole life cost figures on vehicle defleet and not just when deciding which company cars to introduce to a fleet.
Graham Bellman, director of fleet services, Travis Perkins and a founder of FIAG, said: “Whole-life costs are an indicator of likely expense, but fleet managers should also reflect back on what the data is telling them. History can be an important indicator of the future and actual service, maintenance and repair costs, remarketing and end-of-lease costs are big influencers in calculating the true cost of a company car.”
Delegates also suggested that it was important to regularly review company car choice lists with some fleet decision-makers undertaking quarterly checks to ensure policies reflected the very latest manufacturer model changes as well as legislation amendments.
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Analysing-whole-life-costs-on-vehicle-defleet-is-8216vital8217-finds-FIAG-Winter-Workshop/0434023558
A new product that can suspend mileage expense payments from drivers who don’t comply with fleet policy rules has been launched by The Miles Consultancy (TMC).
Dubbed Visa To Drive, the solution is aimed at all business drivers – including the ‘grey fleet’ – and is being offered by the fleet mileage and fuel audit specialist as an optional extension of its online mileage capture, audit and control system.
The new product offers a comprehensive suite of Duty of Care-related features. These include DVLA driver licence verification and checks for valid insurance policies, MOT certificates and vehicle service histories.
Because Visa To Drive is integrated into the TMC mileage recording system, customers can use it to prevent automatic payment of expenses to drivers who do not record that they are complying with company policy around vehicle use and at-work road safety.
Paul Hollick, managing director of TMC, said: “When you look at it, mileage reporting and Duty of Care are a perfect fit. Virtually every business journey results in a mileage expense claim, especially for grey fleet drivers. Visa To Drive injects Duty of Care tools into the one mechanism that every driver is virtually guaranteed to use regularly: logging their mileage so they can recoup the cost of business trips.
“The option to suspend payment of expenses to drivers who fail to provide documents or declarations is a unique capability of TMC’s system architecture. Another benefit of linking to mileage reporting is that it automatically flags up high-mileage – and therefore higher-risk – drivers.”
Fleet managers log in to their Visa To Drive control panel, which gives them access to a comprehensive suite of real-time reports on drivers’ status. Drivers are automatically prompted to provide mandates, declarations or documents as needed, when they log in to report their business mileage.
Visa To Drive can be tailored into policies with levels of intervention aligned to different groups of drivers.
“If you run a company vehicle fleet then Visa To Drive can be pared down to include just driving licence checks and confirmation of agreeing to fleet policy. Additionally, you can specify driver confirmation of vehicle safety checks. Or, if you run a grey fleet, you can use the full suite of checks to ensure that all vehicles are roadworthy and all your drivers are legally allowed to drive, including scanning MOT certificates and personal motorhome insurance policies,” added Paul Hollick.
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/New-TMC-solution-ties-payment-of-mileage-expenses-to-compliance-with-fleet-policy/0434023546
Fleet managers are important influencers in the adoption by companies of alternatives such as telephone and video conferencing, car clubs and car sharing, according to participants at the recent FIAG Winter Workshop.
Entitled ‘Will Tax Kill the Company Car – What’s in Store for 2016’, the event was held at the home of Northampton Saints, the premiership rugby union side sponsored by Travis Perkins, whose group fleet director Graham Bellman is a FIAG founder.
As fleet managers increasingly became mobility managers, Graham Bellman said: “Fleet managers have powerful information at their fingertips and it is about acting a catalyst for the business to help influence behaviour.”
Corporate social responsibility is a major focus for many employers with emission reduction and occupational road risk management to the fore.
However, it was suggested that in some organisations a two-tier policy may have emerged where tight controls were implemented in respect of company car policies – vehicle age limits, CO2 caps and other measures including driver profiling and assessment – but similar controls in respect of managing employees who drove their own cars on business, the so-called ‘grey fleet’, were missing.
Bellman said: “Businesses must identify their ‘grey fleet’ and then establish a policy that is proportionate to the risk.”
Kevin Basnett, managing partner at Wiltshire-based Goughs Solicitors and a round table ‘champion’ at the event, added: “Performance management is vital for organisations. If issues such as emissions and road safety are not managed that reflects in their performance.”
However, despite the emergence of alternatives and the growing importance of communication, as witnessed by many employees being ‘wedded’ to their smartphones, it was agreed that the company car will remain.
Graham Bellman said: “Communication is key for today’s young people as witnessed by smartphone technology, but face-to-face meetings are important. Company cars will survive.”
Kevin Basnett commented: “The popularity of the company car will remain and not shrink. Telephone and video conferencing do work at a level, but face to face is often better; and other options including public transport are not always viable. The car is still king.”
However, Marcus Bray, a FIAG founder and head of sales at Fleet Service Great Britain, said it was important for fleet decision-makers to keep an open mind as to the viability of car clubs, car share and other alternatives.
He said: “The flexibility of such options should be investigated. As a nation we like our own space and that is provided by the company car plus we have an inherent fear of change. However, the number of car clubs and car share schemes is growing, but for their use to become widespread there must be buy-in by senior management in businesses to drive change.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Fleet-managers-urged-to-set-example-in-implementing-alternatives-to-company-car/0434023556
Today’s competitive employee market means benchmarking of company car policies is “absolutely critical” in recruiting and retaining staff.
So said Marcus Bray, a founder of the Fleet Industry Advisory Group (FIAG) and head of sales at Fleet Service Great Britain, at the recent FIAG Winter Workshop entitled ‘Will Tax Kill the Company Car – What’s in Store for 2016’.
Bray, a round able ‘champion’ at the event, said: “Having gathered information employers must then decide whether they want to be above the market, mid-market or below the market.
“Some employers view cars as a tool of the job and others as a perk. Either way, if struggling to recruit or retain staff it is important to understand where the car policy sits versus competitors.”
Kevin Basnett, managing partner at Wiltshire-based Goughs Solicitors, added: “Benchmarking can be difficult because of the wide choice of vehicles available. Some employers in shaping their company car policies are conscious of the brand image presented of their business.”
However, it was acknowledged that it could be difficult to collect benchmarking information from other companies within the same sectors of business so ‘casual discussions’ with fleet decision-makers at networking events could be crucial.
Many companies offered not only company cars but also salary sacrifice and cash allowance schemes and Graham Bellman, director of fleet services, Travis Perkins and also a founder of FIAG, said: “Employees want the choice and flexibility at a moment’s notice if their lifestyle changes.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Benchmarking-company-car-policies-8216absolutely-critical8217-to-recruiting-and-retaining-staff/0434023555
Norscot Truck & Van Dundee has become the latest DVSA-appointed Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) in the DAF dealer network, bringing the total number to 55.
Norscot, which also has locations in Aberdeen, Inverness and Perth, has invested £300,000 in its new ATF lane and associated equipment. The move comes in response to an increasing number of customers, including local non-DAF operators, demanding more flexibility for their vehicles’ MOT time slots.
Ian McGregor, general manager at Norscot Truck & Van Dundee, said: “This is about providing a better service to the whole operating community, not just our DAF customers. It’s about maximising uptime, and it’s about driving up standards of safety and efficiency.
“Our modern facility here in Dundee offers truck operators significant operational benefits over their existing test facility arrangements, extended testing hours, greater flexibility on booking test ‘slots’ and reduced travelling time – all the time increasing productivity for operators.”
Norscot’s fully equipped facility in Dundee comprises: five bays including 27-metre service pit, individual wheel lifts, individual bay ramps for truck and van, and a recovery truck.
Based on the DVSA’s own ‘Preparer ID’ figures, the whole of DAF’s dealer network had a 97.5% MOT First-Time-Pass-Rate (including PRS – Passes with Rectification at Station) in 2015.
DAF now has more than 1,500 technicians independently accredited and certified under the IRTEC scheme.
More DAF locations have been identified for upgrade in 2016.
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/truck-news/2016/02/05/norscot-truck-and-van-dundee-appointed-to-daf-trucks-network
Estate agents top the league table for the UK’s best drivers by profession. That’s according to a survey of over 2,000 people by finance specialist, Zuto.
Zuto’s findings show that a massive 80% of estate agents have never received a speeding fine and a further 92% have never even run a red light.
Police officers and farmers come in at second and third, followed by chefs and artists.
In contrast, over half (54%) of accountants admitted to receiving a speeding fine, more so than any other occupation listed. And 10% of those guilty of speeding were repeat offenders, with an average of five fines compared to the national average of 1 (48%). And a quarter (26%) of those admitting to speeding said it was to get home sooner.
The survey also found that high-stress careers, such as those in the healthcare profession, struggle most with obeying road rules. Trickier manoeuvres, like the parallel park, test the patience of those in marketing and recruitment.
- Worst at parallel parking – recruitment professionals
- Worst at three-point turns – marketers
- Worst at stopping at Zebra crossings – doctors
- Worst at indicating – artists
- Worst at obeying traffic lights – nurses
James Wilkinson, CEO of Zuto, said: “It’s interesting to see that our driving habits could be influenced by our jobs and it’s reassuring that occupations where people tend to drive others around such as estate agents and police officers, see driving habits and overall safety improve as a result.”
Zuto is also running a competition on its research, with an advanced driving course up for grabs. For more details, click here.
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Estate-agents-are-UK8217s-best-drivers-research-suggests/0434023542
Fiat Professional has launched a range of business contract hire promotions with prices starting at £146 per month, plus an initial rental of £876 (excluding VAT).
All contract hire customers also receive free ply-lining in their vehicle load bays, a GAP waiver insurance policy, pan-European breakdown assistance and inclusive road fund licence for the duration of the contract.
Those opting to include maintenance won’t have to budget for any routine servicing, as specified in the vehicle handbook, while replacement batteries, exhaust systems and tyres, subject to normal wear and tear, are also covered.
The most compact van in the Fiat Professional range, the Fiat Fiorino Van 1.3 Multijet SX with standard near-side sliding side door, is available with monthly fixed rental payments of £146 or £173 including maintenance, while the Fiat Doblò Cargo 1.3 MultiJet II 90hp has a monthly rental of £159 (£184 including maintenance).
The Fiorino has an initial rental payment of £876 while the Doblò Cargo has an initial rental of £954 (£1,038 and £1,104 respectively including maintenance).
For an additional £17 per month, customers can upgrade their Doblò to the Tecnico version which includes air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, a TomTom satellite navigation unit, front fog lights, rear parking sensors and heated electric mirrors, all as standard.
For those in need of more carrying capacity, the standard wheelbase Fiat Ducato 2.3 MultiJet II 110hp is available from £189 per month with an initial rental of £1,134 (£226 and £1,356 respectively, including maintenance) with the medium-wheelbase, 3.5-tonne Ducato 2.3 MultiJet II 130hp available from £229 per month and an initial rental of £1,374 (£245 and £1,470 initial payment, including maintenance).
All rental costs exclude VAT and do not include options. Payments are based on an advance payment of six rentals, followed by 47 monthly rentals, with annual vehicle mileage allowance of 10,000 miles.
At the end of the contract, typically between 24 and 60 months, the vehicle is returned to the supplying dealership.
Fiat Professional dealers also have the flexibility to arrange contract hire agreements tailored to each customer’s requirements at competitive rates.
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/van-news/2016/02/05/fiat-professional-offers-contract-hire-from-146-per-month
The countdown is on for this year’s BVRLA Annual Dinner, which will welcome more than 950 leading figures from the automotive sector.
The 2016 Annual Dinner, which takes place on Thursday 3 March at the London Hilton on Park Lane, comes after a year in which the association grew its membership in every category and saw its combined member fleet rise to a record high of nearly 4.5 million vehicles.
To celebrate the industry’s achievements, the BVRLA has lined-up broadcaster Jeremy Paxman as the keynote speaker for the evening, while comedy will be supplied by acclaimed stand-up Jimmy McGhie.
This year’s Annual Dinner will be supported by CCAS, Ebbon-Dacs, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Lombard, MS Automotive (London) Ltd, Paragon, Volkswagen Passenger Cars and VRS.
The Annual Dinner will also celebrate the achievements of the sector’s most deserving staff, with awards on the night for the industry’s unsung heroes and the top performers in the BVRLA’s training courses.
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/BVRLA-Annual-Dinner-to-welcome-over-950-leading-figures-from-automotive-sector/0434023541
Total Motion has teamed up with Leicester City Football Club to offer the chance to win a brand new car for a whole year.
The move is intended to help raise £50,000 by the end of this year’s football season in aid of two local charities: Warning Zone and LCFC’s Foxes Foundation. Warning Zone aims to provide an interactive education in Leicester, which encourages young people to explore issues around risk, peer pressure, anti-social behaviour and personal responsibility.
LCFC Foxes Foundation work alongside their chosen charities to enrich lives of children and young adults in the surrounding Leicestershire area.
Richard Grudgings, operations manager at Warning Zone commented: “Total Motion’s support of Warning Zone has been invaluable, a prize draw to win a car, is an inspired idea and is already proving very popular. The main thing about Total Motion is that they actually understand what we are doing at Warning Zone and the important messages we are sending out. A huge thanks to Simon and his team for allowing Warning Zone to benefit as a charity from this exciting giveaway.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Total-Motion-teams-up-with-Leicester-City-Football-Club-to-raise-50000-pounds/0434023540
International transport and logistics company GEFCO UK has signed a six-year contract hire deal with commercial vehicle fleet services provider Fraikin for the supply and maintenance of 10 new car and van transporters.
The new contract is a further extension of the long-term relationship between the two companies, which sees Fraikin providing fleet services to GEFCO in France, Poland, Switzerland and now the UK.
Each of the 44-tonne DAF CF trucks and Rolfo tri-axle trailers has been supplied by Fraikin on full service contract which includes all servicing, maintenance and repairs, road fund licencing, six-weekly safety inspections, annual MOT testing, tyre management and 24/7 roadside assistance.
John Stocker, finished vehicles logistics director at GEFCO UK, says: “We are thrilled with the extension of the existing GEFCO/Fraikin European relationship and their continued support throughout this process.”
GEFCO UK is able to access real-time information on the fleet through Fraikin View – a web portal for Fraikin customers which provides management information about the availability and compliance of their vehicles.
The system allows customers to report vehicle defects online, access a vehicle’s full service history and monitor the up-to-the-minute progress of vehicle breakdowns.
It also lists planned maintenance work, helping customers to optimise fleet scheduling, and hosts vehicle documentation and fleet information to aid compliance.
The original article can be found at http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/latest-news/2016/02/05/fraikin-to-supply-10-car-and-van-transporters-to-gefco-uk
Ecotricity signs will now appear on motorway service signs to show electric car drivers at which services they can charge up.
Ecotricity, whose 260 ‘Ecotricity Pumps’ cover almost the entire motorway network, will appear on Roadchef signs alongside household names as WH Smith, McDonald’s and Costa.
Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity and the Electric Highway, said: “We launched the Electric Highway in 2011 to kickstart the electric car revolution in Britain, and we can see that’s well and truly underway now.
“There are now over 50,000 electric cars in Britain; that’s more than a tenfold increase in two years, and this exponential growth is reflected in the use of the Electric Highway, which powered 15 million miles of emission free driving last year – all powered from the wind and the sun.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/Motorway-service-signs-to-show-Ecotricity-charging-points/0434023543
New guidelines have been issued by the Tyre Recovery Association to improve standards, share good practice and improve road safety across the UK.
With 98% of part worn tyres being sold failing to meet basic regulations, the new protocol is intended to demonstrate to drivers that the part worn tyres they are purchasing have been through a rigorous safety check to ensure they are roadworthy and fit for purpose.
Participating TRA members will work to a detailed list of examination standards by qualified operatives who will be subject to regular technical audit.
Peter Taylor, secretary general of the Tyre Recovery Association (TRA), said: “Tyres are a vehicle’s primary safety feature. Alarmingly only 2% of part worn tyres are sold legally.
“The sale of part worn tyres that do not meet legal requirements is not only a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection Act, but also a serious safety risk to drivers, their passengers and other road users. This new protocol will ensure retailers selling second hand tyres follow industry best practice, which will in turn draw attention to those who do not.”
“It will give consumers the confidence that the retailer is putting tyre safety first.”
The original article can be found at http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2016/Feb/The-Tyre-Recovery-Association-publishes-new-guidelines-to-improve-part-worn-tyre-safety/0434023547