Despite the uncertainty and challenges of the wider economy, it’s been another good news month for CV vehicle registrations.Sustained investment in new and more efficient vehicles is demonstrated by continued growth across virtually every segment. Even the >6t sector, which has struggled this year, seems to have bounced back. On Tuesday I headed north to meet Penny Hydraulics, that was my 60th site visit to an SMMT member this year. It was great to see another UK success story: they design and manufacture everything in the UK and export product around the world.
    Nigel Base
    SMMT Commercial Vehicle Manager

    November van and truck market continues upward trend
    Van and truck registrations rose 19.1% to 27,187 units in November, and in the rolling year by 18.6% to 300,331. “November saw the commercial vehicle market continue on its upward trend with demand up 19.1%,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “Both the van and truck markets saw growth, reflecting sustained investment in new vehicles by businesses. London’s new Low Emission Zone comes into effect on 3 January, requiring drivers of older vans and trucks to upgrade their vehicles or pay a daily fee, so we expect to see a boost to registration levels next month and through the early part of 2012.”

    Purpose-built buses and coaches enjoy sixth rise of the year in November
    Registrations of purpose-built buses and coaches grew 63.1% in November and 6.3% for the year-to-date. The whole bus and coach sector is still struggling despite some welcome rises in the month: bus registrations rose 43.5% in November, but are still down 14.5% for the year-to-date; while coach volumes are down 17.2% in the month and by 9.1% for the year-to-date. November’s overall bus and coach volumes were up 39.6%, but down 13.8% for the year-to-date. “The purpose-built bus and coach sector dipped in only four months this year and has been stable since May, demonstrating that operators are keen to upgrade products, despite uncertainty in the sector,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive.

    Shell unveils new LubeMatch website
    Shell Lubricants has launched its new, improved Shell LubeMatch online oil selector service. With user-friendly navigation and easier-to-digest page layouts, this online service recommends the right choice of Shell engine oils and lubricants for any given vehicle, and has been designed especially for the busy workshop environment.

    Hygiene firm saves £90,000 a year with TomTom fleet management
    Zenith Hygiene Group, boasting one of the largest ranges of cleansing chemicals and ancillary products in the UK, has slashed fuel costs across its 119 vehicle fleet after installing TomTom’s WORKsmart – Eco solution. It has achieved this while maintaining between 22,000 and 24,000 deliveries per month.

    Yearsley moves over to MAN
    Frozen food sales and distribution company, The Yearsley Group, has for the first time taken delivery of a new fleet of MAN tractor units for its nationwide haulage operation. Twenty new TGX 26.442BLS 6×2 tractors entered service at the end of October and are operational out of five of Yearsley’s 12 locations.

    Top exhibitors make CV Show 2012 a must-go event
    With over 200 exhibitors already confirmed, world exclusive launches promised and 49% more space booked to date than at this point last year, CV Show 2012 is set to be a ‘must-go’ event for the UK’s commercial vehicle buyers. Major vehicle manufacturers have committed to the CV Show with Ford, Isuzu, MAN, Mercedes-Benz and Vauxhall being just one of the big names set to wow the crowds with the latest metal.

    TTC launches new range of ECE R90 brake pads
    TTC, part of the Unipart Group, is pleased to announce the launch of its new brake pads, ‘the quality alternative’ for both LCV and HGV applications. With a wide range of HGV references to cover the majority of vehicles over 7.5tonne, and LCV references to cover Sprinter, Transit, Master, Movano, Daily and Maxus models, all brake pads are supplied with accessories in a robust box design to ensure minimal transit and storage damage.

    Goodyear markets first microchipped truck tyres
    Goodyear has introduced its first commercial use of microchips in truck tyres. The new Goodyear Regional RHT II RFID (Radio Frequency Identity) 435/50R19.5 trailer tyre has a microchip built into it, which interfaces with FleetOnlineSolutions, Goodyear’s internet-based tyre management program. The new tyre offers fleet operators benefits including reduced downtime, improved tyre management and greater security.

    Commercial vehicle and engine manufacturers establish global secretariat
    European, North American and Japanese heavy-duty vehicle and engine manufacturers have decided to establish in 2012 a stronger administrative support for the activities of the annual Global Commercial Vehicle Industry Meeting and its objective of global harmonisation of heavy duty vehicle regulations.

    Mercedes-Benz trucks are the Total solution
    Darlington-based waste specialist Total Recycling has taken on a selection of Mercedes-Benz trucks from Bell Truck and Van. The order comprised three 44-tonne Actros 2544 tractor units with flat-floored MegaSpace cabs, a pair of 32-tonne Axor 3240Ks with Multilift hookloading equipment fitted by Londonderry Garage, and a 26-tonne Axor 2533 with 30ft curtainside body by CVC and DEL 1500kg tuckaway tail lift.

    £3.7m investment in new Isuzu Truck dealership in Hertfordshire
    Isuzu Hoddesdon has undertaken a major £3.7m investment in new facilities at extensive premises in Hertfordshire. With responsibility for truck sales, parts and service in the key strategic area of north of London, Isuzu Hoddesdon now has an 11-bay, over-height workshop, capable of handling all vehicles. It is also a VOSA-approved ATF.

    First ever Volvos win on fuel for M J Griffiths Transport
    Burscough, Lancashire-based fresh fruit and veg specialist M J Griffiths Transport reports that the two new Volvo FH-500 6×2 tractor units 16-strong mixed fleet of the family business are achieving between 9mpg and 10 mpg at 44-tonnes. Both trucks were supplied by Thomas Hardie Commercials on a three-year Volvo contract hire package.

    Turners (Soham) opts for Exentra remote tacho compliance
    Award-winning operator Turners (Soham) is saving around 10 man hours per week after fitting remote download devices to 20 vehicles enabling it to download tacho data every seven days. The data is downloaded in the background for analysis and reporting using Smartanalysis from Exentra. As the number of vehicles fitted with remote download devices increases, Turners expects to realise greater savings.

    And finally…
    Joloda Hydraroll loading systems played a vital part in the departure and arrival in Scotland this week of Tian Tian and Yang Guang, the two Pandas who made headlines nationwide. Federal Express, which transported the animals between China and Scotland’s Prestwick Airport, used Joloda Hydraroll twin track air-pneumatic roller bed systems to transfer the Pandas’ special containers smoothly and safely onto and off their ground transporters. Talk about pandering to your clients.