As the UK logistic industry makes its way to the NEC later this month for the CV Show 2019, Dan Gilkes looks at some of the potential highlights.
The 2019 Commercial Vehicle Show looks set to be another success, as the transport and logistics industry once again descends on the NEC in Birmingham from April 30-May 2. More than 400 exhibitors will be showing everything from the latest vans and trucks, to a wealth of services and technological innovation.
With more than 21,000 visitors expected over the three days of the event, the Commercial Vehicle Show 2019 will once again, incorporate separate Workshop and Cool zones, providing a shop window on these essential sectors of the distribution business. Van Fleet World will also be present, with a stand in Hall 4.
These will certainly be plenty to see at the show and these are just some of the reasons to visit.
Dominating the main entrance to the show, Ford’s stand is always popular with visitors. This year the company will be launching the latest version of its 2-tonne Transit line, first seen at last year’s Hanover show in Germany. With deliveries due to start by August, the Transit features a revised exterior look and a new interior, taking its design cues from the latest Transit Custom.
The EcoBlue 2.0-litre diesel engines move to Euro 6.2 emissions levels and Ford will offer a 48V mild-hybrid on both full-size Transit and on Custom models. There is a new 185bhp power offering and Ford will emissions test some models to the heavy-duty cycle, that is outside of WLTP standards, though it is not yet clear which specific models this will include.
While front-wheel drive Transit will still be offered with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, some rear-drive models will be available with an optional 10-speed automatic, as seen in the new Ranger.
There are payload improvements across the range, thanks to alloy bonnets and other weight saving measures. Ford is claiming up to 50kg savings on front-drive Transit and 80kg on the rear-driven models. The vans will also get selectable driving modes, including eco and towing. Options will include power side doors and active park assist, as the vans will be equipped with electronic power assistance for the steering for the first time.
Transit and Transit Custom models will also come with an embedded modem, providing access to a host of online monitoring and driver assistance applications. Custom also benefits from the move to Euro 6.2 engines, with the new 185bhp rating replacing the previous 170bhp engine in Sport and Tourneo models. The vans will also get the selectable driving modes and the mild hybrid option, while Ford’s plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Custom will finally be offered to paying customers.
Ford’s all-new Ranger pickup will make its first public appearance at the show. Powered by a range of EcoBlue 2.0-litre diesel engines, including a new bi-turbo model, the company has recently announced that it will also keep the existing 3.2-litre diesel engine alongside the 2.0-litre models. The Ranger line-up will be joined by the extreme Raptor model over the coming months.
Citroen is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and the company will be sharing its biggest stand ever at the show with fellow PSA Groupe companies Peugeot and Vauxhall. The new Berlingo will take centre stage, backed by Dispatch and Relay. All Berlingo models will move to Euro 6.2 engines in May, along with Dispatch, with Relay making the engine change in June.
The company will be promoting its service offering to customers, with news of changes to the Business Centre network. While all of the firm’s 145 dealers can sell and service vans, Citroen now has 41 Business Centres, offering an enhanced service to fleet users. In addition, it has appointed 75 Business Active centres, that will offer additional support to business users without providing the full Business Centre service.
Peugeot will have its full van line-up on display, including the award-winning Partner range, the mid-weight Expert and the larger Boxer. The company has been working with its 180-strong dealer network to bolster its 52 Business Centres, with the development of a network of Business Essential outlets. Though not offering the full Business Centre service, the Business Essential dealers will have LCV expertise and test vehicles on offer, as well as improved levels of after-care and service.
The new British-built Vivaro will make its first appearance at the CV Show on the Vauxhall stand. Based on PSA siblings Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert, the Vivaro will be offered in a range of wheelbases and load volume capacities. Set to be formally launched in June, the van will be offered in both light commercial and people-carrying formats.
To prepare for both the new Vivaro and to accommodate the recently launched Combo, Vauxhall developed a network of 65 Van Business Centres. Each outlet will display the full range of Vauxhall LCVs, with test drive vehicles on offer. The company will employ national, all-inclusive service pricing with overnight drop-off and pick-up availability.
Visitors to the Volkswagen stand will once again be made to feel at home, in the company’s ‘house’, where there will be a chance to relax on the sofa and discuss light commercial requirements with the team. The focus will be very much on new technology though, with electric versions of the e-Caddy, e-Transporter and e-Crafter on display. The e-Caddy, which alongside the e-Transporter is built by partner ABT, will be the first to arrive in right-hand drive this year, followed by e-Transporter in 2020 and e-Crafter in 2021.
The company will also show a number of new conversions for the standard Crafter van, including a long-wheelbase CR50 riot van and a CR50-based high-roof minibus conversion, offering 17-seats. At the opposite end of the scale, VW will also demonstrate its commitment to accessible mobility, with wheelchair-accessible versions of the Caddy, Transporter and Caravelle.
Toyota is extending its light commercial vehicle line with the launch of a car-derived compact model. The company will continue its cooperation with the PSA Groupe, basing its new model on the latest Peugeot Partner, Citroen Berlingo and Vauxhall Combo. That should mean short and long wheelbase models with payload of up to 1-tonne on either chassis.
The new model will build on Toyota’s success with Proace, itself based on the mid-weight PSA van line. The company will also show some exterior specification changes on the Hilux Invincible X model, increasing its range-topping status.
Though Mitsubishi’s next generation L200 pickup will not be making an appearance in the UK until later this year, the company will have two new LCVs on offer in Birmingham. Both the Shogun Sport Commercial and the Outlander PHEV Commercial have recently been added to the firm’s line-up, offering customers a conventional diesel and a hybrid driveline in the 4×4 van market.
In the run up to the show, Mitsubishi will also be running an online social media competition to design a truck of the future, with a show truck being built to display some of the winning ideas.
Fiat Professional will once again be focused on trade customers, with each of the vans on its stand built to reflect a specific trade use. This will include a sandwich van, an ambulance and a painter and decorator’s vehicle. The stand will feature three Doblo Cargos, a Fiorino Sportivo, a Talento van and a Ducato with a tipper body.
As one of the few heavy truck manufacturers to consistently exhibit at the show, DAF will have its largest display to date, across two stands, with a full line-up of vehicles. Yet, with no brand new models to show, much of the emphasis will be on customer support, including DAF Connect, an online fleet management system. The firm also offers a comprehensive range of maintenance and support packages to keep fleets on the road an ensure compliance.
DAF Trucks will also be promoting a driver training voucher scheme. When acquiring new CF and XF trucks, retail customers’ drivers will be entitled to around 2.5 hours of professional driver training, through 25 dedicated DAF Dealer Driver Trainers.
MAN Truck & Bus
MAN Truck & Bus will offer customers a full line-up of commercial vehicles, from the 3.0-tonne TGE van to a 44-tonne tractor unit on the stand at this year’s show. For van buyers, the TGE is the focus of interest, offered from 3.0-5.5 tonnes GVW, the TGE is of course based on parent company Volkswagen’s Crafter.
This year MAN will offer the TGE as a minibus, based on the 5.0-tonne chassis and will also demonstrate a 3.5-tonne TGE Flatframe chassis cowl. Based on a front-wheel drive chassis, the Flatframe sits 190mm lower than the standard frame TGE chassis cab. It has been designed for specialist body builders to base conversions upon, such as low height Luton bodies and boxes.
Isuzu will base its display on the theme of award winning, as its D-Max pickup has indeed won 10 awards in the last 12 months. The D-Max line-up will include a variety of trim levels, along with an SSE branded working truck and a tipper conversion.
Body builders and conversions
Popular bodybuilder VFS (Southampton) will have six bodies on display, including an aluminium tipper with a tool pod and cage, from Ford’s One-Stop-Shop range of pre-bodied vehicles. The tipper has a five-stage underbody hydraulic ram and a 2kW electro-hydraulic power pack. A steel bodied Transit tipper will also be on show for comparison.
In addition, the firm will show a steel 3.5-tonne dropside body with a host of optional extras, including a Penny Hydraulic crane, Chapter 8 livery, a bulkhead storage box, working at height rails and an LP13 light arrow, to demonstrate the range of options available to customers. Moving up in size, VFS will demonstrate a 7.5-tonne tipping body from parent company Scattolini. Designed for vehicles like the Fuso Canter, the firm is also looking at Iveco’s Daily 7.2-tonne chassis.
Alongside its traditional dropside and tipper lines, the company will show a Luton body, equipped with a 500kg DEL tail lift. With an aluminium frame, the roof construction is a translucent GRP sheet, while the body sides and bulkhead are made from 33mm Foamcore composite panels.
Specialist bodybuilder Cartwright Group will be launching a 3.5-tonne low ride rigid box van, for parcel delivery companies that is said to offer up to 15% more payload than competitive models. Flush rear doors have a slam-lock feature and there is a step in the bulkhead with hand poles to allow the operator to access the space over the cab. The body, which has been built onto a Movano chassis, comes with PIR controlled lighting.
Cartwright will also show a 7.5-tonne box based on an Iveco EuroCargo NP, powered by compressed natural gas. Plus, the stand will feature a 13.6m curtainside trailer with redesigned cant rail for easier side loading and a double-deck fridge trailer with a low height of 4.65m.
Racking specialist Tevo is to change its operating name to that of parent company Modul-System, though customers should not notice any other difference in operations. The company will have a number of updates on offer, including a lightweight workbench top that is made from the same material that the company uses for van flooring. Weighing just 7kg, the new worktop will be considerably lighter than the current 19kg wooden surface.
Modul-System has also developed a range of roof bars and lockable pipe tubes, to complement its racking lines. The roof accessories will use the vehicle manufacturer’s fixing points, so there is no requirement to drill into van bodies. The company is also updating its Modul Connect plug and play wiring system. This will now incorporate wireless and Bluetooth activation for components. The system can also include a SIM card, to allow communication between the vehicle and its operating base.
System Edstrom returns to this year’s CV Show with a Meet and Fleet Café, a dedicated refreshment area where fleet professionals can meet and chat. The fim’s latest racking products will be displayed on an electric Renault Kangoo Z.E. 33 van, where reduced component weight is said to improve potential payloads. The company will also demonstrate an on-board power system for electric and hybrid light commercials.
Truckman has developed the RS-3 hardtop range with three lockable gull-wing doors, that will be available later this year for all leading pick-up truck bodies. The hardtop is ideal for engineers and technicians that require a mobile workshop facility with off-road capabilities. Available with an intelligent racking system, that can be accessed through the rear or gull-wing side doors, the RS-3 hardtop has the option of built-in electrical conduit, allowing installers to fit additional lighting and alarms. The hardtop can be colour matched to the host vehicle or provided in an easy clean white finish.
Vehicle conversion company Ring Carnation is launching a new generation of vehicle power management. The Genisys II ECU system has increased processing power with a larger memory and greater control capability. In addition, the firm’s Wireless Switching Power Hub provides up to eight output ports with a total rating of 60A, making it easy to connect ancillary electrical items. The updated Power Hub can reduce the installation time on a typical installation of a light bar, two working lamps, three interior lights and a hand wash from three to two hours.
LED lighting firm Labcraft will present three of its lighting solutions this year. Banksman BM3 is a Regulation 23-compliant manoeuvring lamp that can be mounted at various points on the underside of the chassis. It can be set to work when reversing or when travelling forwards at speeds up to 6.4mph.
Vanlite is direct replacement for OEM workspace lighting within vans. The LED light is seven times brighter than conventional interior lighting and plugs directly into the OEM lighting apertures, making it quick and easy to install. Si9 Scenelite if the firm’s first scene light, for use on a wide range of applications, such as tail-lifts and on utility vans and rescue vehicles.
Auto power systems supplier Mastervolt will make its first appearance at the show this year, with parent company Power Products (Mobile Solutions). The company will show a range of batteries, inverters, power systems, chargers and monitoring equipment, based on a Volkswagen Crafter chassis.
The Thermo King and Frigoblock divisions of Ingersoll-Rand will be present at the show, displaying a range of temperature-control solutions for future low and zero-emissions vehicles. The display will include the E-200 all-electric refrigeration unit for vans and trucks below 3.5-tonnes.
A new controller allows the refrigeration unit to adapt its capacity based on the actual need and available power. When equipped with an optional TK battery, the controller manages different power sources at the same time.
Thermo King will also be promoting its connectivity and telematic capabilities, that improve customer uptime, operational efficiency and can contribute to proactive predictive maintenance.
Temperature-controlled bodybuilder CoolKit will base its stand around the latest VW Crafter equipped with a dual-temperature conversion capable of carrying frozen and chilled goods. The vehicle has a moveable lightweight bulkhead, providing flexibility of compartment size, even permitting the full cargo area to be used for frozen or chilled.
The body features CoolKit’s CurtAir system on both side and rear doors, creating an effective climate separation between the inner temperature and the outside, ambient temperature. The company also claims that weight savings throughout the build have resulted in payload improvements of up to 150kg, depending on van make and model.
Van Guard will be launching a number of vehicle security and loading systems at the show, including the Van Guard Ladder Loading System and a quick release ladder clamping solution. The company will also bring a range of trade van racking options, roof bars and roof rack storage systems.
Safety and compliance
Axle weighing company Axtec has updated its OnBoard Axle Load Indicator system. Suitable for all commercial vehicles, from light vans to 44-tonne trucks, the revised system comes with a choice of 5” or 7” touchscreen displays, providing a clearer graphic. All management functions are password-protected and there are no manual controls for drivers, to ensure failsafe protection from overloading.
The new screens use less power than previous models and now provide outputs to tracking systems and other telematic devices. Options include remote calibration, video recording and analysis of vehicle data.
Vehicle Weighing Solutions is launching VWS Live, a smart data system to provide customers with immediate access to weight, alerts and location data. The company will also have its Vehicle Overload Protection System VOPS2 on the stand. VOPS2 can be installed on most commercial vehicles from 3.5-tonnes upwards.
Trakm8 has unveiled a mobile app for fleet managers using its Trakm8 Prime solution. The Trakm8 Prime Fleet Manager app delivers important insights into driver behaviour and vehicle condition. The launch follows a recent move to 30-day rolling contracts, providing companies with increased flexibility. The company has also updated its RH600 in-cab camera system to include driver concentration alerts.
SmartWitness will launch three new and upgraded video telematic solutions this year – SmartView, SmartGuard and SmartAPI. SmartView is a video tracking fleet software system that provides instant HD video on demand from all cameras on the vehicle. Maps show where the fleet is at any time and managers can track routes taken.
SmartGuard is a full service software package upgraded this year with driver league tables, that can be used as a virtual fleet manager. It can be used to simplify the vast amounts of data available to fleet managers into simple to use league tables. Smart API is an application that allows traditional telematics providers to add video to their own systems. The system has already been adopted by CMS Supatrak.
ECCO Safety Group
ECCO Safety Group will participate at the show under its own name for the first time this year. The Group, which owns Britax, Vision Alert and Premier Hazard, will offer a range of safety solutions for fleet vehicles, in sound, vision and lighting areas.
VisionTrack will show an enhanced advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) solution and an extended range of forward and rear-facing cameras for LCVs. The connected ADAS system combines a forward-facing camera with an in-vehicle fatigue and distraction monitor, driver feedback device and HD mobile digital video recorder.
The ADAS camera identifies lane departure forward collisions, tailgating and vulnerable pedestrians or cyclists, while the in-vehicle camera can identify a tired or distracted driver. The driver can be alerted to potential dangers and office-based managers can monitor areas of concern both in real-time and historically.
FleetCheck has updated its Vehicle Inspection app, which is currently used to carry out more than 3,000 vehicle checks in the UK each day. The app now includes access to tyre pressure data for a wide range of vans. It delivers a paper-free vehicle check process, including uploading relevant photos from drivers and bespoke checks for specialist equipment.
BT Fleet Solutions
BT Fleet Solutions will be promoting a range of apps and systems that can make life easier for van drivers and fleet managers. From daily checks to MOT and service alerts, defect notification to pre-booking of repairs, the BT Fleet Solutions app, offers a complete operational support structure, to reduce downtime and boost operational profitability.
Tachograph and compliance provider TruTac has updated its TruLicence system, to make it easier for fleet managers to verify driver licence and tachograph data. Key features include online driving licence checks, validation of correct information, current endorsements and points, entitlement to drive, confirmation of vehicle categories and checks against disqualified drivers.
Tachograph specialist VDO, part of Continental, will be hosting a range of free seminars in the Workshop area of the show. Lastly one hour, the seminars will cover Smart Tachographs and Future Technology Within the Transport World. The aim is to provide a brief introduction to the changes within the transport industry with new tachograph legislation and to outline Continental’s future innovations.
Workshop and leasing
Tyre manufacturer Yokohama will make its first appearance at this year’s show, with a full range of premium van, 4×4 and high-performance tyres. The company is pushing into the van market and has recently won a number of LCV fleet deals, from companies including Comet Car Hire and European logistics firm X One Wholesale.
Selsia will showcase its centrally managed multi-site accident repair network and the benefits that it can bring to van fleets. The company works to take over the hassle and complication of managing accident repairs, no matter how large or diverse the fleet. With more than 200 approved accident repair centres across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, Selsia works to keep repair costs down, while minimising vehicle loss of use.
With over 65,000 commercial vehicles on its fleet, LeasePlan will be communicating four major messages at the show this year. This will include a focus on electric light commercial vehicles, looking at the challenges and opportunities that fleets face. The perennial question of whether to lease or to purchase will also be addressed, while the company will also look at ways in which customers can improve operating efficiency through better management of their vehicles. Lastly, safety and compliance will be a tackled, with LeasePlan one of the first leasing companies to be fully accredited by FORS as a fleet vehicle provider. This can help particularly smaller companies to achieve the FORS Bronze, Silver and Gold standards of operation, by providing a telematic paper trail.
Representative from both FORS and electric charging provider Chargemaster will be available on the stand to answer customer questions and to provide advice to potential leasing users.
LeasePlan has launched its own internal CV Academy. All employees within the company now have to be at least at the bronze level of LCV awareness, with those regularly involved in the LCV market achieving the higher Silver and Gold standards.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA), one of the three CV Show partner organisations, is celebrating its 75th Anniversary at this year’s event. Visitors to the stand will be able to take a trip down memory lane, to see how the industry has changed and the impact that the Association has had since its start in 1944. There will also be a helpdesk facility, providing the opportunity to have one-to-one discussions with experts on a range of issues.