ATE UK to showcase Wheel Sentry range at Freight in the City Expo

ATE UK is exhibiting at the Freight in the City Expo for the first time this year, where it will showcase its full range of Wheel Sentry products.

Wheel Sentry, says ATE, is the only combined wheel nut indicator and retainer system on the market and has been well received across a number of sectors, including the commercial vehicle industry.

The range is available to any on-road vehicle on a commercial fleet. Suitable for both retrofitting and fitting to new vehicles, Wheel Sentry comes in kit form and can be fitted through most main service providers.

Visitors to Freight in the City Expo will have the chance to take a look at the Wheel Sentry Reflector, which allows cyclists to notice and avoid turning vehicles faster.

Product Specialist Ross Bradshaw said: “Wheel Sentry is a unique product because it is the only wheel nut indicator and retainer system in the marketplace that will fit any HGV, Van or towable plant consistently.”

Join the Brigade at this year’s Freight in the City Expo

Brigade at Freight in the City Expo

Brigade Electronics will be returning to Freight in the City Expo this year with its demonstration vehicle showcasing a full suite of working products.

On board the vehicle will be a 3G/Wi-Fi capable mobile digital recorder; the Backeye 360 camera monitor system; sidescan ultrasonic detection systems; White Sound warning alarms and radar detection sensors.

Brigade’s Backeye 360 camera monitor system assists low speed maneuverability and provides the driver with a real-time surround view of the vehicle in a single image, effectively eliminating blind spots.

The live images produced by four ultra-wide-angle cameras, mounted on each side of the vehicle, are simultaneously sent to an electronic control unit (ECU) where they are instantly processed, combined, blended and stitched, according to Brigade.

When combined with the firm’s mobile digital recording device, which has the ability to capture 1164 hours of footage from up to eight cameras at any one time, the systems together can provide evidence in the case of false claims, incidents or vandalism.

Footage can also be used to support the driver, who is often the subject of increased scrutiny.

Brigade will also be showcasing its sidescan ultrasonic obstacle detection systems and real-speech side turn warning alarms, which are required to meet FORS and CLOCS specification standards.

In addition, a range of bbs-tek White Sound reversing alarms that are approved by the Noise Abatement Society and Quiet Mark for night time deliveries, will be on display on the stand.

  • Freight in the City takes place on 7 November at London’s Alexandra Palace. It is free to attend and features an exciting exhibition of urban logistics vehicles, technology and services, as well as a complementary full-day seminar programme.

Register now to attend!

Renault Trucks Master aims to sign, seal and deliver for courier sector at Freight in the City Expo

Renault Trucks will be making a special delivery at this year’s Freight in the City Expo with a brand-new product launch aimed at the multi-drop courier sector.

Making its debut at the urban logistics-themed event, the Renault Trucks Master Optilogistics van is designed to meet the challenging requirements of busy parcel carriers as part of the new ‘Ready for Business’ range.

It will feature a host of “robust, practical options” that courier firms often seek to retrofit following delivery of a new vehicle, according to the manufacturer.

“When you speak to fleet operators, they often take a standard van and spend an awful lot of time adding to it,” said Renault Trucks head of LCV, UK & Ireland, Grahame Neagus.

“We’ve taken the operational wish list of these customers and created a model, in conjunction with Bri-Stor Systems, that has them as standard,” he said.

While Renault Trucks is keeping the full list of options under wraps until launch day, can reveal they will combine both safety and operational benefits, including:

  • Robust door design to prevent hinge failures on hard-wearing, multi-drop duties
  • Hard-wearing fabrics on both seats, carpets and mats
  • Brand-new retractable racking and cargo-restraint system
  • Integrated on-board weighing to prevent illegal vehicle overloading
  • Advanced five-camera system for vehicle and pedestrian safety

Perhaps the most important element within the new Optilogistics package is an industry-first inclusion of a digital alcolock system as standard to prevent a driver operating the van under the influence of alcohol. This is linked to the van’s telematics system to also inform the transport office if a driver fails the test.

Neagus believes the new van package is a “very compelling vehicle for the parcel logistics sector” and said Renault Trucks has worked closely with its customers to get the specification right.

“This is about thinking like the operator and developing a product in tandem with them. This understanding of what commercial vehicle operators are seeking is what sets us apart from other large van manufacturers, with compliance and safety at the very heart of what we offer” he added.

Renault Trucks’ Master Range is available from 2.8 tonnes to 4.5 tonnes.

The Optilogistics model will be available to order on all new Euro-6 vans from 8 November, with an electric Master also available during next year.

  • Freight in the City takes place on 7 November at London’s Alexandra Palace. It is free to attend and features an exciting exhibition of urban logistics vehicles, technology and services, as well as a complementary full-day seminar programme.

Register now to attend!


Metropolitan Police offering security and compliance advice at Freight in the City Expo

The Metropolitan Police Commercial Vehicle Unit will be offering a free-of-charge safety and compliance  surgery for operators and drivers at this year’s Freight in the City Expo.

Officers will be on hand at the urban-logistics themed event to provide guidance on a number of common challenges that operators face delivering into busy cities.

Advice will be available on topics including:

  • Drivers’ hours and tachograph use including the operators responsibilities in relation to record keeping.
  • CPC obligations, operator and vehicle obligations under Construction & Use plus Road Traffic Legislation, and potential draft legislation that may impact hauliers.
  • TfL initiatives within London, such as Safer Lorry Scheme, Clocs and the Direct Vision Standard.
  • The effect of Thames Tideway and Heathrow Airport construction projects on HGV use and congestion.
  • Road traffic collision advice and general policing matters.

Sergeant Wayne Watling will also be taking part in the conference programme to talk about some of the key work taking place around London to protect operators from the threat of terrorist and security incidents.

He will look at current Metropolitan Police initiatives to improve the security of HGVs and operating centres in and around the capital, as well as offering sensible advice for drivers to limit the risk in the event of a vehicle hijack and to ensure they always park securely.

Freight in the City takes place on 7 November at London’s Alexandra Palace. It is free to attend and combines a packed seminar programme focused on urban logistics best practice, with a large exhibition of vehicles, technology and services for city operations.

Register today for your free place.

DfT considers offence for dangerous or careless cycling

The government is looking at introducing a new offence equivalent to causing death or serious injury by careless or dangerous driving for cyclists.

Following recent high-profile cases involving cyclists and pedestrians, the DfT is to look at whether it should create such an offence to improve the safety of vulnerable road users.

Its review will be informed by independent legal advice and its conclusions will be reported in early 2018.

It then plans to issue a consultation on ways cycle safety could be improved for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.

The consultation is expected to consider the rules of the road, public awareness, safety risks and guidance and signage for all road users.

Transport minister Jesse Norman said: “We’ve seen the devastation that reckless cycling and driving can cause, and this review will help safeguard both Britain’s cyclists and those who share the roads with them.”

The government has claimed that its spending on cycling tripled between 2010 and 2017.

The mayor of London last week revealed plans for a ninth cycle superhighway in central London, linking Kensington Olympia to Brentford.

TfL aims to start building the cycle superhighway late next year, and hopes to extend it to Hounslow at a later date.

Astra ClearView to bring retrofit, low-level passenger door windows to Freight in the City Expo

Astra Vehicle Technologies returns to the Freight in the City Expo this year to showcase its Astra ClearView range of low-level passenger door windows.

The ClearView range is designed to improve HGV driver vision of vulnerable road users and to help reduce blind spots on the left-hand side of the vehicle.

Director John Chadderton said: “This is a unique product because it is the only retrofit window that allows the main passenger window to remain fully operational.”

The Astra ClearView range is available to all makes and models of Euro-6 trucks, including Daf, Iveco, MAN, Scania, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.

The large, low-level window can be retrofitted to all Euro-6 trucks or to new vehicles being prepared for application. It is available in kit form and can be fitted via a nationwide fitting service.

The Ellesmere Port-based company, which specialises in chassis modification services, developed the Astra ClearView range after working with Daf to produce a similar solution for its larger construction trucks.

TfL is currently consulting with industry over its proposed Direct Vision Standard, which it plans to introduce to improve safety of vulnerable road users around HGVs.

Part of the DVS plans include a proposed safety permit that will take into account additional technology fitted to lorries, such as sensors, cameras and additional window panels.

To find out more about Astra ClearView windows and explore the latest safety equipment on the market for vans and lorries, make sure you register to attend this year’s free-to-attend Freight in the City Expo on 7 November at Alexandra Palace.


Interim star rating for Direct Vision Standard released as HGV safety standard proposal emerges

cycling in London

TfL has released interim tables showing the first batch of HGVs to be star-rated under the Direct Vision Standard (DVS), while seemingly also softening the impact of the scheme on hauliers.

Revealed last year, the standard is seeking to introduce a rating system running from zero to five based on the level of direct vision a driver has from their cab.

Trucks with the lowest, zero rating would have been banned from London by 2020, with only those achieving three stars or above permitted entry from 2024.

It had been feared that as many as half of trucks travelling into London could be banned from the later date.

However, the update, published late last week after calls for more information, contains a new proposal to develop an HGV safety standard, which would recognise equipment such as cameras and audible warning devices fitted to trucks.

If approved, the proposal would see all HGVs over 12-tonnes requiring a permit to enter London from 2020.

Those with a DVS rating of one star and above would then automatically be granted a permit, while those trucks rated as zero would have to have sensors, visual warnings and undertake ‘comprehensive’ driver training before a permit is granted.

TfL added that the safety permit scheme would “evolve over time, taking into account advances in technology”.

From 2024 only those rated three stars and above, or which have an advanced safety system, would be allowed on London’s streets. The details of the advanced safety system will be included in an autumn consultation.

There has previously been no dispensation for in-direct aids despite hauliers having spent thousands of pounds on them in recent years to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety.

Trade associations gave the latest plan a cautious welcome but said more detail around star ratings was still required.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “This only highlights the scale of the issue and reaffirms what we’ve been saying for some time, that the vast proportion of existing HGVs will not meet their currently proposed standards.

“It is positive that we now have an opportunity to work with TfL and the industry to find an effective solution to improve road safety in a balanced way and to have recognition that the issue is complex and will require a lot more work to ensure that the best possible road safety benefits are obtained.”

Burnett added that the RHA would be pushing for reassurance from TfL that any charges for the new permit scheme would cover its administration only, and not amount to a “tax on operators”.

SMMT director of communications Tamzen Isacsson said: “It’s important that the scheme recognises the role technology, including in-cab cameras and vehicle sensors, plays in improving road safety, alongside regulations governing visibility in HGV cabs.

“However, we want to see policies which encourage the uptake of the latest and safest low emission vehicles, so clarity is urgently needed on what the final ‘star rating’ system will look like.”

Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the Mineral Products Association (MPA), said: “MPA members, our construction colleagues and TfL have made great progress in improving safety awareness and taking action through the CLOCS initiative.

“We support the mayor’s drive to improve the direct vision of HGVs and look forward to engaging positively in the consultation and implementation processes.”

RT Keedwell buys urban Montracon trailers

RT Keedwell has put into service its first urban delivery vehicles, with two new 9.7m length Montracon trailers.

Replacing a 17- and 26-tonne rigid vehicle, the operator said it chose the urban trailers “as we feel they are more maneuverable and more versatile” than their predecessors.

The trailers will predominantly distribute pallets in Glasgow and Somerset.

They are mounted on second-hand Mercedes-Benz Axor tractor units, which Keedwell said it chose because they will cover relatively low mileage.

The trailers are fitted with tail lifts and rear steers. The operator said it was too early to say how the vehicles were performing.

Majority of subbies must now have FORS to tender for contracts

Clients are increasingly mandating Fors accreditation from their subcontractors, with approaching half now demanding the silver level.

A survey of 167 members of FORS found almost three-quarters had been asked to obtain FORS accreditation to gain access to contracts.

The survey also found:

  • 128 separate companies identified that specify FORS
  • Of these specifiers 7% asked companies to be registered to the scheme, 29% to be at bronze level, more than half (53%) at silver and 11% gold (the highest level)
  • The time given to gain accreditation varied from 30 days to six months
  • 40% of respondents ask companies who work in their supply chain to become FORS accredited
  • 20% of respondents asked to become FORS accredited were provided with guidance from the specifier

“This shows that sites are being serious about the wide-ranging benefits of FORS silver,” said Paul Wilkes, FORS business services manager.

“Actions to minimise road risk have become business as usual for many operators and the FORS Standard represents best practice.”

Members of FORS are encouraged to progress through the accreditation levels from bronze, to silver and then gold.

There are currently more than 800 FORS silver members.

The survey also found that 40% had asked companies in their supply chain to become FORS accredited.



TfL confirms strong compliance with London Safer Lorry Scheme

TfL figures obtained by Freightinthecity show that compliance with the London Safer Lorry Scheme (SLS) have remained consistently high since its launch in autumn 2015.

In the period where data is available – from September 2015 to March 2017 – out of 25,325 HGVs stopped, only 2.1% (531) were found to be in breach of the SLS requirements.

The SLS requires all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with sideguards and close-proximity mirrors (Class V and Class IV) in a bid to improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians on the capital’s busy roads.

It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, across the entire London Low Emission Zone and is enforced by the police, the DVSA and the Industrial HGV Taskforce through intelligence-led, predominantly targeted checks.

Those operators found flouting the rules face £50 fixed penalties or up to £1,000 at a magistrates’ court. They will also be flagged up to their regional traffic commissioner for investigation.

Steve Burton, director of enforcement and on-street operations at TfL, said: “We worked closely with the freight industry before we launched the Safer Lorry Scheme and as a result the vast majority of operators made sure they complied before it began.

“We will continue to use our targeted enforcement approach against the industry’s irresponsible minority to reduce road danger on London’s roads for all.”

In March last year, the government’s Transport Committee recommended that the impact of the SLS was explored with a view to rolling such a scheme out across the whole of the UK.

The industry is also awaiting a decision from TfL’s consultation into the introduction of a Direct Vision Standard in the capital, which would rate lorries from zero to five on the basis of how much a driver can see from their cab.

Zero-rate trucks are expected to be banned from London by 2020.