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Archive: 2015

  1. Approval for HGV Driver Trailblazer Apprenticeship

    “Our hard work has paid off” says RHA

    The Road Haulage Association (RHA) (@RHANews) has welcomed the approval from the Business and Innovation Department (BIS) (@bisgovuk) for an LGV apprenticeship Trailblazer scheme but is pressing for confirmation that the scheme will cover the cost of licence acquisition.

    RHA chief executive Richard Burnett (@RHARichardB) said: “The approval of the LGV apprenticeship scheme is good news and a victory for our campaigning and lobbying work.  However, it is essential that the apprenticeship includes the costs of licence acquisition. After all, licence acquisition lies at the very core of training new lorry drivers. An LGV apprenticeship that doesn’t cover the cost of the licence is like having a truck without an engine. At this stage, it’s just not clear if licence acquisition is covered by the scheme so we’ll be pressing this issue with ministers in the coming days.

    “The approval of an LGV apprenticeship Trailblazer scheme is certainly a step in the right direction, but we need bold strides if we are to tackle the driver shortage.”

    While the RHA welcomes this new scheme, it will continue in its lobbying efforts for government to make £150m available, to be paid direct to hauliers so that they can fund the training for the new drivers that the industry so desperately needs.

  2. Renault Trucks Presents Two Major Zero-Emission Innovations During Cop 21 In Paris

    Renault Trucks is attending the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris from Nov 30 – Dec 11 where it is presenting two major innovations for the transport sector – an all-electric 4.5-tonne Maxity Electric vehicle and a 16-tonne Range D all-electric truck

    Renault Trucks is attending the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris from Nov 30 – Dec 11 where it is presenting two major innovations for the transport sector – an all-electric 4.5-tonne Maxity Electric vehicle and a 16-tonne Range D all-electric truck

    Renault Trucks is attending the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris from November 30 to December 11, where it is presenting two major innovations for the transport sector – an all-electric 4.5-tonne Maxity Electric vehicle operating with a hydrogen fuel cell and a 16-tonne Range D all-electric truck currently being tested under actual operating conditions on behalf of Guerlain in Paris, Symbio FCell, La Poste, McPhy Energy and the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR) are displaying the hydrogen fuel cell-powered Maxity Electric on their stand at the Bassin de la Villette, in order to highlight hydrogen-based solutions that combat climate change as part of their ‘Paris in the Future’ initiative.

    Renault Trucks and the French Post Office have been operating this vehicle with a hydrogen fuel cell developed by Symbio FCell since February 2015 which effectively doubles the vehicle’s operating range to 200 kms. The fuel cell solution makes it possible to overcome two of the major limitations which have hampered the development of electrically-powered vehicles so far: their operating range and recharging time, since the time taken to refuel a vehicle with hydrogen is comparable to that of a vehicle running on Diesel fuel.

    In addition, Renault Trucks, in association with the ‘Climate Visits’ presented by the Ile-de-France ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), is giving visitors the opportunity of discovering concrete solutions to combat climate change already underway in Paris. Visitors will have the opportunity of discovering Renault Trucks’ all-electric Range D, which has been undergoing tests under actual operating conditions for the past 18 months by Speed Distribution Logistique, a specialised Ile-de-France carrier for Guerlain, which generates no noise or polluting emissions during its nightly deliveries to Guerlain’s Boutiques in the French capital.

    It carries out full 200 km delivery rounds in all-electric mode, taking advantage of partial recharges carried out according to its battery capacity and a carefully planned delivery route.

    Renault Trucks has been testing several different technologies under actual operating conditions for some time, in partnership with clients having an assertive strategy with regard to zero-emission vehicles operating in urban environments.

    Renault Trucks’ aim is to prepare a cost-effective zero-emission solution for its clients by the year 2020.

  3. Expansion at Alfreton

    RH Commercial Vehicles is looking for experienced HGV technicians to join the team – having invested in £400,000 to increase workshop space to meet growing demand.

    left to right Paul Pearson and Nigel Baxter at RHCV in Alfreton

    left to right Paul Pearson and Nigel Baxter at RHCV in Alfreton

    RHCV has been providing service and repair of all makes of heavy and light commercial vehicles across the region for three decades. The business is based on a 6,000m2 site on Clover Nook Road on the popular Cotes Park Industrial Estate in Alfreton and employs a team of eight.

    The firm constructed three new workshop bays to add to its existing four bay facilities. The additional capacity enables RHCV to increase the volume of work and breadth of services. In particular the investment means that RHCV will be able to offer an ATF (authorised testing facility) for heavy and light commercials.

    Over the past two years RHCV has already added new local Renault parts stock, diagnostic equipment and tooling introduced to boost the service offered to new and existing customers.

    This latest investment and expansion enables the firm to take advantage of the economic upturn as it serves local vehicle operators who need a local workshop reducing downtime for their vehicles.

    The commercial vehicle market is growing overall. Year to date, commercial vehicle registrations have increased by 19.2 per cent on 2014’s figures, according to figures released earlier this month by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Boosted by the new 65-plate introduction, overall commercial registrations were up by a fifth last month, led by a 24.8 per cent increase in trucks, while van demand grew 19.6 per cent.
    Nigel Baxter, Managing Director at RHCV comments: “As technology develops apace customers with both new and older vehicles are increasingly recognising the value of investing in maintenance for their fleet. This is coupled with the growth in the local market both of which require local technical expertise and facilities on their doorstep.”

    RHCV has two other sites in Nottingham and Leicester and purchased the Alfreton site, in April 2013 for an undisclosed sum, as part of its strategic expansion into Derbyshire and across the East Midlands.

    Nigel added: “This latest investment is vital to the on-going development in our network so that we can provide first class sales, parts, and service and repair facilities to our existing and expanding customer base.”

    RHCV is an authorised distributor for Renault Trucks and provides new and used sales, service and parts for the full Renault Trucks range as well as all-makes parts and servicing for commercial vehicles. RHCV’s purpose built facilities in Nottingham delivers a full range of sales and aftermarket services including a dedicated paint shop and a designated ATF bay. It also has a Leicester site which operates as a full Renault Trucks Repairer providing repair, maintenance and vehicle supply.

  4. Renault Trucks Launches ‘Ready for Business’ Range of Pre-Bodied Renault Master by Renault Trucks

    Renault Trucks is pleased to launch a ‘Ready for Business’ range of pre-bodied Luton, Tipper and Dropside vehicles built on the Renault Master by Renault Trucks platform. Pre-converted by Renault Trucks’ nominated coachbuilder, VFS Southampton, with full European vehicle type approvals, the Ready for Business range can be delivered from stock or with short body lead-times. All the vehicles in the range come with a three-year (or 100,000 mile) warranty for both chassis and body.


    “Designed with customers in mind, our Ready for Business range provides the ideal specification for a multitude of applications,” says Richard Chamberlain, LCV Manager, Renault Trucks. “The excellent build quality and performance of the Master provides the perfect vehicle for this hardworking series and we are delighted to be working with VFS, one the UK’s premier body suppliers for vans, to ensure build integrity throughout. This pre-converted range, ready for work and with competitive prices, low maintenance costs and extended service intervals, together with the back-up and support of our network of commercial vehicle workshops, is an attractive, business-focused offer for van operators.”

    The Master Dropside delivers an impressive payload, in excess of 1.3t, and is fitted with a VFS high-strength steel body that is durable, reliable and hardworking. Standard features include up to 4.4m body length, six internal load lashing points, removable rear corner pillars, front bulkhead ladder rack and 400mm side boards in anodised aluminium. Towing equipment, 500kg tail-lift and working at height safety rails are available as options.

    The Master Luton, constructed with GRP Aero panels, which are incredibly light and strong, offers leading load space of 20m3 and payload in excess of 1-tonne, even with a tail-lift. The lightweight aluminium framework, sub-frame and roller shutter rear door with internal release, dual rail Load-Lok system and internal LED lighting are all fitted as standard.

    The high-strength steel body of the Master Tipper is tough, durable and easy to maintain. Delivering a payload of over 1.3t, and up to 3.2m body length, the Master Tipper features 5 stage underfloor ram with chromium plated cylinders, bison steel platform, headboard and subframe and aluminium finish one piece extruded boards.

    The Renault Master by Renault Trucks is designed to deliver lowest cost of ownership, with excellent fuel efficiency of up to 41mpg, along with advanced technology features including extended grip, lane departure warning, active brake assist, stability control and DAB audio with bluetooth integration.

    VFS – part of the Faist and Scattolini Group – specialises in the LCV market up to 4.5t. Independently accredited with ISO/TS 16949, one of the highest quality standards held by any LCV converter, complements its ISO9001 and VCA CoP (Conformity of Production) accreditations, quality of design, manufacture and service are the keystone attributes of every VFS product.

  5. Spain Wins the Optifuel Challenge 2015

    On 7th October, 37 drivers from 20 countries competed against each other in Lisbon during the third International Final of the Optifuel Challenge eco-driving competition organised by Renault Trucks. José Ramón Jano Gago from Spain was declared the winner ahead of a Lithuanian driver and a driver from Portugal in third place.

    The drivers each took up the eco-driving and cost-efficiency challenge at the wheel of a Renault Trucks T, voted ‘International Truck of the Year’ for 2015. The challenge was eventually won in a close contest by José Ramón Jano Gago, a driver and manager of Spanish hauliers Janocargo. He was followed in second place by Vytautas Luotè, a Lithuanian driver for Stella Nova with Vitor Pereira, a driver for the Portuguese company, JLS in third place.

    José Ramón Jano Gago won the Best Eco-driver of 2015 title. “I don’t drive for my company every day,” he explains. “But despite all my careful preparations, I was very nervous, particularly since the route used for the tests was highly technical. I’m really very pleased with this result and I think my drivers will be proud of me.” On a day-to-day basis, José Ramón Jano Gago pays great attention to his vehicles’ cost efficiency: “Every time I buy a new vehicle I test its consumption performance for myself and I make sure that every new driver who joins the company is given instruction in eco-driving.”

    The Janocargo fleet is made up of 22 vehicles, 17 of which are Renault Trucks. Furthermore, José Ramón Jano Gago has recently taken delivery of four Renault Trucks T vehicles. “I appreciate these vehicles’ technical qualities,” he adds. “Particularly all the technologies they have on board to reduce fuel consumption even more. In addition, I always pay great attention to my drivers’ comfort and I’m very satisfied with what the Renault Trucks T offers in this regard.”

    José Ramón Jano Gago wins an €8,000 (£6,000) voucher to be used in a store of his choice and the Janocargo company earns one year’s full-service rental of a Renault Trucks T Optifuel.

    Vytautas Luotè, the Lithuanian driver in second place said, “I was very pleased with my result, particularly since the route was very practical, with its roundabouts and undulating road surface.”

    Elected best driver out of a team of 18 – all trained in eco-driving, Vytautas Luotè has six years’ experience on a Renault Magnum and, for the last year, has been driving a Renault Trucks T. “I appreciate the safety options offered on the Renault Trucks T, the Optiroll and the Soft Cruise Control,” he explains. “I also find the cab insulation to be absolutely incredible, giving me real driving comfort every single day.”

    His company’s fleet of 12 trucks is entirely made up of Renault Trucks vehicles. recently acquired 4 Renault Trucks T High models. Vytautas Luotè wins a €2,000 (£1,500) shopping voucher and earns his company, Stella Nova, €3,000 (£2,250) worth of vouchers for purchases from Renault Trucks.

    The third place was taken by Vitor Pereira, a driver with Portuguese haulage company JLS. “I entered because I wanted to show what I could do as far as rational driving is concerned, and I’m very pleased with my result,” he explains. “Instruction in economic driving is very important for our company; every one of our 250 drivers has been through the training.” The company owns, at this moment, 3 Renault Trucks T vehicles. Vitor Pereira enjoys driving so much: “I feel particularly comfortable with using Optiroll and the cab… It’s amazingly comfortable!”

    Vitor Pereira’s third place earns him a €1,000 (£750) shopping voucher and his company receives €2,000 (£1,500) worth of vouchers for purchases from Renault Trucks.

    There were two parts to the competition: firstly all the finalists had to answer a questionnaire designed to test their knowledge of economical driving. Then they had to complete a 40 minutes journey on the open road in a Renault Trucks T Optifuel. This offer combines a vehicle benefiting from the latest technologies with an offering of dedicated services: Optifuel Training driving instruction developed by Renault Trucks with Optifuel Infomax driving mode monitoring software to track and analyse drivers’ performance.

    During this driving phase, which accounts for 90% of the final marks, drivers were judged on the quality of their rational driving, their journey speed and fuel consumption. All this data is then assessed, largely on the basis of information supplied by Optifuel Infomax.

    Once this phase was completed, each finalist discussed the issue of saving fuel and economic driving with a Renault Trucks expert, in order to give a more comprehensive view of their approach to driving.

  6. Rentals Investment for RH

    As the market for rental and lease vehicles grows East Midlands RH Commercial Vehicles (RHCV) has boosted its rentals division RH Rentals, investing £6.4m to expand its offer and team.

    The commercial vehicle rental sector is enjoying a buoyant time with many firms choosing to rent or lease trucks and commercial vehicles to avoid large capital investment.

    left to right Nigel Baxter, Paul Pearson, Dan Stevenson and Robert Pick from RHCV

    left to right Nigel Baxter, Paul Pearson, Dan Stevenson and Robert Pick from RHCV

    RHCV is one of the largest commercial vehicle dealers in the East Midlands, employing 70 staff at sites on Lenton Lane in Nottingham, Cossington (near Leicester) and Alfreton (Derbushire).  RHCV specialises in sales, parts and servicing for heavy and light commercial vehicles and is an authorised selling agent for Renault Trucks as well as all-makes parts and servicing for commercial vehicles.

    As part of RHCV’s investment in RH Rentals two new members of staff just been appointed, both bringing with them a wealth of expertise in truck and trailer rental.

    RH Rentals offers a range of flexible options for SMEs across the East Midlands. Its tailored services includes contract hire, fleet management, and truck and trailer rental and contract maintenance.

    Robert Pick joins RHCV in the new position of Financial Director.  Previously the Financial Director at Charthire, the Tollerton based national commercial vehicle rental business which was acquired by TOM Vehicle Rental last year. Robert brings a vast amount of specialist experience in particular in the financial options for businesses looking at contract hire and truck and trailer rental.

    As well as having spent nearly three years at Charthire, Robert also has over 20 years of experience in the financial sector as Corporate Director with Barclays Bank locally and NatWest in Sheffield.


    Robert is joined by Dan Stevenson, previously part of the RHCV team has rejoined from local rentals firm Prohire. Bringing 25 year experience to the new role of Rentals Manager, Dan is responsible for managing RH Rentals growing fleet of vehicles.

    Nigel Baxter, Managing Director at RHCV added; “We are already seeing an upshift in interest in business owners across the region looking at flexible approaches to acquiring new commercial vehicles.

    “We’re delighted that Robert and Dan have joined the team, it is a huge boost to RH Rentals, giving us even more expertise at a time of growth in this sector.  Their appointment and the investment in new vehicles to boost our fleet, reflects the growth in the UK commercial vehicles rentals sector which is expected to grow, with the leasing market worth of £2billion.

  7. Renault Trucks Brings the Best Eco Drivers Together in Lisbon

    37 drivers from 20 countries are going head-to-head on October 7th during the final of the Optifuel Challenge 2015, an international competition focused on economic driving organised by Renault Trucks. The finalists will be driving Renault Trucks’ International Truck of the Year 2015 Range T trucks and the winner will be the driver who uses the least fuel while maintaining the required journey speed.

    After Seville (2010) and Nice (2014), Lisbon will be hosting the international finals of the Optifuel Challenge 2015 where some 37 competitors from twenty countries from Europe and Northern Africa will send their best eco-drivers to the event to compete against each other for the ‘Best Eco-driver of 2015’ title.

    The countries represented are: Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain, France, UK, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Morocco, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Turkey.

    The Optifuel Challenge illustrates Renault Trucks’ commitment to reducing its customers’ operating costs by offering them a global approach to reducing fuel consumption.

    The competition consists of two phases: firstly all the finalists will answer a questionnaire designed to test their knowledge of optimised driving. Then they will follow a predetermined on-road route in a Renault Trucks Range T Optifuel featuring the very latest technological advances with the judges assessing key dynamic driving behaviours that affect fuel economy, such as time in the green economy zone, idling time, rolling speed, coasting time and use of the brakes, all measured against the clock – and critically fuel consumption.

    After the driving trial, finalists will also be able to get feedback on their performance from one of Renault Trucks’ experts on fuel saving and economic driving.

    The eventual winner will be announced during the evening, with the company represented winning one year’s full service rental of a Renault Trucks Range T-460 Optifuel.

    You can also follow the event on Twitter: #optifuelchallenge

  8. Supermarkets Sweep the Board in Renault Trucks’ Optifuel Challenge

    Two drivers from leading supermarket chains, Iceland and Sainsbury’s, have been crowned joint winners of the Renault Trucks’ Optifuel Challenge in a closely fought competition to discover the country’s most fuel efficient driver. The winners, Simon Ellis from Sainsbury’s and Iceland’s Les Burkey, will go on to represent the UK at the Optifuel Challenge International Final to be held in Lisbon, Portugal, 6-8th October 2015.

    Supermarket Sweep

    The UK final, a two-day event at the Millbrook Proving Ground, Bedfordshire, 12-13th August, saw the best drivers from some of the country’s most prestigious fleets put through their paces behind the wheel of a 32-tonne Renault Range T460 tractor unit. Adhering to the Highway Code at all times, competitors undertook a series of challenges around the Millbrook Bowl, One Mile Straight and Hill Loops 1 & 2, a course designed to replicate mixed terrain and road types.

    The judges assessed key dynamic driving behaviours that affect fuel economy, including time in the green economy zone, idling time, rolling speed, coasting time and use of the brakes, all measured against the clock – and fuel consumption. Drivers also completed a short questionnaire to test their knowledge of optimised driving.

    Following a close contest, Simon Ellis and Les Burkey were declared joint first for driving efficiency and each received £2,000 to spend in the Renault Trucks’ Reward Store, as well as a free 2-month rental of the Range T for their companies. They will now take on winners from 20 countries at the Optifuel Challenge International Final, where the overall champion will be awarded £6,000 and their company will have the use of a Range T for a year.

    Nigel Butler, Renault Trucks’ UK Commercial Director comments: “When the Renault Range T was crowned 2015 International Truck of the Year, fuel economy was identified as one of its major strengths. The Optifuel Challenge showcases the Range T’s exceptional efficiency as well as the skills of the best professional drivers on our roads.”

    He continues: “Every fleet operator knows that with such a high proportion of operating costs coming from fuel it is critical that a vehicle is correctly specified and driven in a way which delivers the maximum benefits from the technology within the truck. The Optifuel Challenge is a great way of reinforcing that message while giving the drivers a chance to win some valuable prizes. We wish both Simon and Les the very best of luck as they compete for the Optifuel Challenge International title.”

  9. Renault Range T Optifuel Delivers 10.9% Fuel Saving Independently Certified By TÜV Rheinland

    Renault Trucks is pleased to report that leading global test agency, TÜV Rheinland, has independently certified a 10.9% fuel saving for the Renault Range T Optifuel with driver training compared to a standard Range T.

    Nigel Butler, Renault Trucks’ UK Commercial Director, says: “Excellent fuel efficiency is central to the Range T’s advanced vehicle technology and aerodynamic design, delivering lowest total cost of ownership. These results, measured and certified by the highly respected TÜV Rheinland, will give operators full confidence that our Range T Optifuel efficiency claims are independently validated, and this truck will provide class-leading fuel economy and profitability for their business.”

    The TÜV Rheinland test measured and validated the fuel savings of a 40 tonne Renault Range T430 4×2 Optifuel driven by two experienced drivers, both of whom received Optifuel Training by Renault Trucks Instructors to optimise fuel efficient driving behaviours. A standard Renault Range T430 4×2 with no Optifuel options was used as the comparison vehicle and tested by the drivers before they received any fuel efficiency driving instruction.

    TÜV Rheinland conducted its test over a tough 200km route, typical of a European long distance haulage run, with both vehicles carrying a 32 tonne load over a 3 day period. The stringent test procedure made it possible to isolate the two vehicles’ intrinsic performance and exclude any impact on consumption from outside factors, such as ambient temperature, differences in trailers’ rolling resistance or the prevailing road traffic. The TUV Rheinland experts certified that, after driver instruction, the Renault Range T Optifuel consumed 10.9% less fuel than the standard Renault Range T.

    “While the TÜV test was performed on a Range T Optifuel 4×2 tractor in Europe, the theory and methodology is the same for a 44 tonne Renault Range T460 Optifuel in the UK,” comments Nigel Butler. “A Renault Range T Optifuel, optimised to reduce fuel consumption combined with Optifuel driver training, is proven to be significantly more fuel efficient.”

    The Optifuel version of the Renault Range T offers optimised configuration, with driveline matched to the fuel efficient DXi 11 Euro 6 engine, with Optidrive, 2.64 rear axle ratio and Michelin X Line low rolling resistance 315/70R22.5 tyres. It is also equipped with Eco Pack (Optiroll controlled freewheeling function, idle shutdown, E-cruise, variable ratio power steering pump and clutchable compressor), correctly set air deflector, lightweight alloy wheels and air tanks.

    TUV Rheinland is a leading international technical service provider for testing, inspection, certification, consultation and training.

  10. Renault Range T Retains ‘Irish Truck of the Year’ Title for 2016

    The Renault Range T, in winning ‘Irish Fleet Truck of the Year 2016’ at the Fleet Transport Awards, has successfully retained its title for the second consecutive year. Elected by a judging panel of industry experts, the Renault Range T was up against all the leading manufacturers in the heavy duty truck sector. The awards were presented to Nigel Butler, Commercial Director, Renault Trucks UK and Harry Nash of Setanta Vehicle Sales, Renault Trucks’ Irish representatives, during the Fleet Transport Awards Gala Dinner held at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin, on 3rd September 2015.

    Renault Trucks UK’s Commercial Director, Nigel Butler (centre) and Harry Nash (2nd right) of Setanta Vehicle Sales receive the ‘Irish Fleet Truck of the Year 2016’ award from award sponsor, Mike Murphy of Mike Murphy Insurance (2nd left) whilst Marty Whelan, Master of Ceremonies (far left) and Jarlath Sweeney (far right), Group Editor of Fleet Publications look on.

    Accepting Ireland’s Best Fleet Truck of the Year 2016 award, sponsored by Mike Murphy Insurance, Nigel Butler said: “Winning this coveted title for two years running is further recognition of the Renault Range T’s outstanding qualities that deliver for both operator and driver. The Range T revolutionised the market in terms of efficiency, technology, drivability and style, and it is continuing to set the standards for our customers.”

    He continues, “This is the truck that is designed for lowest total cost of ownership, a profit centre you can rely on to get the job done productively, with your drivers working in comfort at the wheel and when resting. And this is why the Range T is a multi-award-winning truck, fully supported by the class-leading back up from our dedicated network of strategically located service providers.”

    The Renault Range T has several received top accolades since launch in September 2013, and this second ‘Irish Truck of the Year’ award follows the ‘International Truck of the Year 2015’ title.

    Fleet Transport’s Jarlath Sweeney praised the Range T on behalf of the expert judging panel, which comprised experienced commercial vehicle journalists, technicians and professional drivers: “We like its space age design, both inside and out, and know that drivers have really taken to the new flagship from the French brand, particularly for its spaciousness and comfort.”