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Archive: 2016

  1. Renault Trucks Introduces Anti-Runaway Automated Park Brake

    Renault Trucks has introduced an industry-leading Anti-Runaway Automated Park Brake (Anti-RAPB) to eliminate the risk of uncontrolled vehicle movements caused by human error when a truck is idling or static.

    The UK initiative developed in close partnership with a major fleet operator and Renault Trucks’ engineering team in Lyon, the safety back-up device is available as a software and wiring update on all Range T, C and K trucks with electronic park brakes. In the event of the driver’s door being opened at speeds of up to 3 kph (1.8 mph), the device activates the park brake automatically.

    “Renault Trucks Anti-RAPB is a great example of how we are using technology to help prevent avoidable accidents,” comments Nigel Butler, Commercial Director, Renault Trucks. “Despite advances in technology, vehicle runaway situations remain too common; drivers can get distracted when the truck is idling and simply forget to activate the park brake when they leave the vehicle to uncouple the trailer or sign a document. It only takes a slight incline for 44-tonnes to start rolling, which becomes a very serious problem, very quickly. Our Anti-RAPB solution helps reduce the consequence of human error, preventing the problem before it arises.”

    The HSE has again recently highlighted the dangers of runaway vehicles. In a review of a fatal incident in Kent in 2014, it identified that the driver’s failure to apply the park brake had resulted in a road worker becoming trapped between the trailer and another vehicle, causing his tragic death.

    Renault Trucks’ solution is to create a ‘fail-safe’ which can operate in two scenarios at speed below 3kph. In each case the Range T, C and K’s electronic park brake utilises the extensive functionality of the vehicle’s electronics systems to make the Anti-RAPB innovation possible and to communicate the system’s status to the driver through the dashboard ‘tell-tale’ messages.

    Scenario one is when the truck is in neutral, the park brake is not applied and the driver’s door is opened. Here, the ‘door open’ buzzer will sound momentarily, followed by the application of the park brake and the message ‘Park Brake Applied’. In this case, upon closing the door and selecting drive, the park brake will auto release when pulling away.

    The second scenario is when the vehicle is in gear, the park brake is not applied and the driver’s door is opened. The door open buzzer will activate, followed by the application of the park brake, with the message ‘Door open. Select Neutral position before leaving vehicle’.

    If this message is ignored, when the door is closed the park brake will not auto release when pulling away, so the driver must either select neutral and return to drive or manually release the park brake.

    Nigel Butler continues: “Safety is of utmost importance to Renault Trucks and we are committed to developing technology that provides safer environments for drivers, their colleagues working on sites or in yards as well as other road users. This device will provide a critical safety intervention in the event of an emergency, with the added interlock of speed ensuring that no action is taken if doors open above 3 kph. Addressing the risk of runaways will also bring the additional benefit of minimising downtime and reducing repair and insurance costs caused by these incidents.”

    To see Anti-Runaway Automated Park Brake (Anti-RAPB) in action, check out:

  2. Team Renault Trucks Get On Their Bikes To Kickstart Transaid

    Team Renault Trucks – Nigel Butler (Commercial Director), Pete Murray (Network Truck and LCV Director) and Tony Owen (Transport Solutions Manager) – officially launched their campaign to ‘Cycle South Africa’, a challenging 300 mile cycle ride in March 2017 to support industry charity, Transaid.

    The launch event, a turbo trainer challenge at Renault Trucks’ UK headquarters in Warwick, was timed to coincide with the company’s Cycle to Work day, supported by Evans Cycles.

    Cheered on by crowds of employees, Nigel, Pete and Tony – all wearing official Team Renault Trucks cycling gear – set themselves a collective target of 100 miles in 90 minutes.

    To vary the intensity, Tony added in several interval training bursts to represent the mix of terrains they will face in South Africa.  Averaging 24 miles an hour on the turbo (a device that enables the bike to be cycled while stationary), Team Renault Trucks successfully went the distance.

    (Left-Right) Team Renault Trucks - Tony Owen (Transport Solutions Manager), Pete Murray (Network Truck and LCV Director))and Nigel Butler (Commercial Director) – get on their bikes to launch their campaign to Cycle South Africa in support of industry charity, Transaid at Renault Trucks UK headquarters, Warwick.

    (Left-Right) Team Renault Trucks – Tony Owen (Transport Solutions Manager), Pete Murray (Network Truck and LCV Director))and Nigel Butler (Commercial Director) – get on their bikes to launch their campaign to Cycle South Africa in support of industry charity, Transaid at Renault Trucks UK headquarters, Warwick.

    Nigel Butler says: “For Pete, Tony and I, our training programme for Cycle South Africa began several months ago. The countdown has begun, and with four months to go, we wanted to launch our official campaign with the support of our colleagues. There’s been a real buzz around today’s event: we’ve helped spread the word about Transaid, a very worthwhile cause and why we’re undertaking such a big personal commitment – and hopefully inspired a few more of the Renault Trucks team to get on their bikes !”

    Both Tony and Nigel are experienced club cyclists, but Pete Murray is a relative newcomer to the sport, so his efforts in training are all the more impressive.  Tony, who set the pace for the riders on the turbos, says: “Our initial target for today’s challenge was 75 miles between us, but following a practice session we realised that the whole team was going faster than expected, so we increased it to 100 miles. Pacing is vital, I knew we were up to the job.”

    Although much of the team’s training is on their own road bikes to build fitness and stamina, they will be riding Transaid’s ‘standard issue’ mountain bikes in South Africa, which are more suited to the challenging on and off-road terrain. Travelling from Western Cape to Cape Agulhas, the Southernmost point of South Africa, the team will face steep inclines and rapid descents in often blistering temperatures as they cycle on a route that takes them through a wide range of landscape including game reserves.

    Working closely with the UK’s Transport & Logistics industry, Transaid aims to reduce poverty and improve lives across Africa through creating better transport.  Funds raised from the Cycle South Africa 2017 challenge will contribute towards the life-saving programmes that Transaid implements.

    To support Team Renault Trucks with their fundraising efforts, visit :

  3. Renault trucks premieres its Urban Lab 2

    Renault Trucks has introduced Urban Lab 2 – its distribution concept vehicle – at this year’s Pollutec at Lyon’s Eurexpo exhibition centre until December 2nd 2016. Developed with six partners under the collaborative Efficient Distribution Truck (EDIT) project, the vehicle combines innovative technology in aerodynamics, hybridisation of the engine, tyres and vehicle-infrastructure communication to achieve potential fuel savings of up to 13%.

    Renault Trucks has launched its distribution concept vehicle - the Urban Lab 2 - at Pollutec in Lyon until December 2nd 2016.

    Renault Trucks has launched its distribution concept vehicle – the Urban Lab 2 – at Pollutec in Lyon until December 2nd 2016.

    Whereas Optifuel Lab 1 and 2 were experimental vehicles dedicated to Research and Development for Long Distance transport, Urban Lab 2, designed using a 19-tonne Renault Trucks D WIDE Euro-6, targets the urban and regional distribution sector.

    Urban Lab 2 is the result of the EDIT project, financed by the Single Inter-Ministry Fund, Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Region, Métropole de Lyon, Ain Department Council and the FEDER. The vehicle features a range of technologies developed with six partners (Valeo, Lamberet, Michelin, BeNomad, INSA Lyon (LamCoS) and IFSTTAR (LICIT) and was originally shown in model form at !AA 2014 in Hannover.

    The aim is to offer accessible innovation by 2020, focusing on four key areas: aerodynamics, driveline, connectivity and tyres.


    To reduce the aerodynamic drag of the Urban Lab 2 – and therefore its fuel consumption – engineers worked on airflow throughout the vehicle. Lamberet and Renault Trucks adapted the cab, chassis and refrigerated body to the recommendations of aerodynamic specialists, whilst meeting the regulatory and operating requirements of temperature-controlled transport.

    The first step involves reducing the front surface area: “The refrigeration unit is normally located above the cab”, explained François Savoye, Energy Efficiency Strategy Manager at Renault Trucks. “On Urban Lab 2, we decided to position it in the wheelbase of the vehicle to free up space overhead and optimise the body/tractor link to lower the body and improve airflow. This meant we could incorporate a roof deflector shaped to provide seamless continuity with the body.

    Redesigning the interior architecture of the refrigerated body has made a marked improvement in the shape of the roof, without adding to the height. As for the sides of the vehicle, these are fitted with textile side deflectors. “We have used a PVC-coated textile for the first time”, François Savoye added. “When stretched and fitted on the side protectors, it provides a light, effective and economic system.”

    Lateral airflow is also boosted by streamlined wheels and the fitting of rear deflectors that are perfectly in keeping with the architecture and continuity of the tailgate. These deflectors are angled so as to reduce depression in the slipstream of the vehicle and do not require any manual operation when handling the doors. The access step is completely covered thanks to a mobile guard opened by door extensions that provides a seamless continuity between the upper and lower sections of the cab. Ground clearance is further optimised by the addition of flexible components, thus optimising air flow in the understructure.

    In addition, replacing wing mirrors with a system of profiled cameras and internal feedback screens also helps reduce vehicle air resistance.

    Stop&start and micro-hybrid

    To reduce fuel consumption, Urban Lab 2 also proves innovative in its engine design, with a system combining Stop&Start and micro-hybrid technology, developed in partnership with Valeo.

    The Stop&Start system cuts the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop (i.e. at a red light) thereby reducing fuel consumption. In addition, the micro-hybrid system recovers ‘free’ energy, such as energy generated during foot lift or braking, via a high-power (48 V) reversible electric machine. This energy can be used to drive the electrical accessories of the vehicle or reduce the mechanical power required by the thermal engine. Renault Trucks has also been working with the Lyon INSA to reduce friction in the front face of the engine in order to optimise the overall efficiency of the micro-hybrid system.

    For Renault Trucks, drivers play a key role in reducing fuel consumption. This is why Urban Lab 2 features technology to help them with their driving by connecting the vehicle to infrastructures.

    Working with the company BeNomad, engineers have developed special navigation software that to provide this connectivity. For each journey, the GPS suggests the most efficient route that uses the least fuel, estimating both the predicted journey time and fuel consumption. This software has been configured to take not only fuel consumption into account, but also, and above all, the operational constraints of a distribution vehicle.

    Finally, Urban Lab 2 is connected to infrastructures to optimise driving through green lights. When Urban Lab 2 approaches traffic lights, it receives information from the lights and the system calculates if it is more efficient to brake or accelerate, when conditions and regulations allow. This therefore limits the amount of stop-start driving, which has such a high impact on fuel consumption.

    The traffic modelling expertise of LICIT has helped Renault Trucks to effectively integrate the effect of traffic on fuel consumption.


    Already a partner on the Optifuel Lab 1 and 2 projects, Michelin is again working with Renault Trucks to develop energy-saving tyres specially designed for distribution vehicles.

    “The objective of these tyres is to further reduce rolling resistance, without negatively impacting other performance criteria, such as safety, grip or longevity”, explained Jean-François Cordonnier, Truck Pre-development Manager at Michelin.

    To this end, Michelin has deployed a wide range of technologies, in particular Infini-Coil technology, to guarantee tyre endurance and safety. Firstly, the self-generating tread ensures a lasting grip throughout the life of the tyre and secondly silica is used as a reinforcing agent in the tread to improve the compromise between longevity and rolling resistance.

    Finally, Renault Trucks and its partners have set themselves the ambitious target of reducing fuel consumption by 13% compared to an equivalent Renault Trucks D WIDE. The vehicle was tested for the first time on a closed circuit in November 2016 and will be road tested in Bordeaux from February 2017 onwards.

    The results will be presented at the end of the project, which is scheduled for 2018.

  4. Renault Trucks Celebrates The 100th Anniversary of its Lyon Site

    During 2016 Renault Trucks has been actively engaged in paying tribute to Marius Berliet and celebrating the history of the men and women who helped spread the French truck’s reputation from their bases in Vénissieux and Saint-Priest on the outskirts of Lyon. The Lyon site, the cradle of the Renault Trucks brand, continues to design and build tomorrow’s transport solutions.

    Renault Trucks is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its Lyon site in France

    Renault Trucks is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its Lyon site in France

    In 1915, Marius Berliet made the decision to buy up a large number of plots of land in the east of Lyon and build a production plant in Vénissieux. After outgrowing the Monplaisir site in Lyon’s 8th arrondissement, he needed room to undertake his ambitious projects, meet the urgent demand for trucks and contribute to the war effort by producing weapons for the French Army in the grip of the First World War.

    Marius was up against a huge challenge: in record time, he had to design, build and outfit his plant even as production began. After successfully meeting this challenge, successive extensions took the site’s total area to 387 hectares on the eve of the Second World War.

    But Marius Berliet had set his sights on greater things than simply building a plant: “The only motivation behind all my hard work is the burning desire to finally realise my life’s dream: to create a vast, thriving industrial city”. This vision gave birth to the Cité Berliet in 1917, which was built to cater for the plant’s operations. This self-contained town contained housing, a school, a crèche and a farm.

    Today the Lyon site houses the nerve centre of Renault Trucks and is a key component of the industrial and global engineering facilities of the Volvo Group, which the Renault Trucks brand joined in 2001. It hosts over 4,000 people work on a 180 hectare site straddling the municipalities of Vénissieux and Saint-Priest. The site is home to an engine assembly plant, a bridge and axle assembly plant, a swaging centre and a parts logistics centre.

    In addition to Renault Trucks’ headquarters and global management team, the Lyon site accommodates numerous tertiary activities, including a research facility with a staff of 1,300. It is mainly devoted to developing medium-duty trucks and their engines, as well as transport solutions for urban areas. A design studio boasts a team of international designer to whom we owe the design of Renault Trucks’ new range of trucks launched in 2013 and whose flagship vehicle – the Renault Trucks T – was voted ‘International Truck of the Year 2015’.

    The high point of the celebrations was an anniversary ceremony on November 10th 2016, which was attended by all Lyon employees, together with Martin Lundstedt (CEO of the Volvo Group) and Bruno Blin (CEO of Renault Trucks).

    To help celebrate its centenary, the Lyon site is getting into the party spirit and organising a series of events to spotlight the establishment and its people

  5. Training the next Generation

    A staunch advocate of apprenticeships,  RH Commercial Vehicles is responding to a shortage of HGV technicians in the motor transport industry by training its own.

    22-year-old Jessica Blanchard, RHCV’s latest HGV apprentice.

    22-year-old Jessica Blanchard, RHCV’s latest HGV apprentice.

    This shortage has been growing over the past few years as more and more qualified technicians reach retirement age and there are not enough new professionals to take their place.

    Recruited alongside three other apprentices during one of its recent intakes was 22-year-old Jessica Blanchard from Nottingham, who having been with the business less than six months is already being recognised as a top talent.

    The company’s first female HGV technician, Jessica comments on her experience so far: “I’ve had a few jobs since finishing school but there was never really anything that I could get into or build a career in. I have always had an interest in cars and engines and so when I saw this role with RH Commercial Vehicles, and knowing their reputation as a business, it seemed like a fantastic opportunity!”

    RH Commercial Vehicles (RHCV) is one of the largest commercial vehicle dealerships in the East Midlands and has a reputation for training and retaining some of the best transport industry talent in the region.

    Stephen Astill, Jessica’s manager, comments on her progress: “Jessica comes to work with the right attitude and an enthusiasm to learn. She is our first female technician and is a role model for the mindset and behaviour we value at RHCV. She is only in the first year in her apprenticeship but I have faith she will go far.”

    RHCV is known for investing in young, local talent, recruiting new apprentices each year. James Daykin from Derbyshire joined RHCV aged 17 as a parts trainee, he is now Dealer Point Manager for the company’s Leicester branch.

    Nigel Baxter Managing Director at RHCV, comments: “Jessica is the sort of young person we like to encourage in our business, hard-working and enthusiastic, she sets a great example to others in our apprenticeship scheme, and we would welcome more young people like her. We certainly value the level of skill and expertise we have within our business and we complement this with a focused programme of training for our staff and apprentices in partnership with Renault Trucks.”

    RHCV employs a team of 80 including 16 apprentices and is currently recruiting for experienced HGV technicians to join its teams, complementing the wealth of talent across its three sites: Nottingham, Cossington (near Leicester) and Alfreton.

  6. Renault Trucks Débuts at ‘Freight in the City’

    Renault Trucks is to make its inaugural appearance at the Freight in the City Expo at Alexandra Palace, London on 2nd November 2016, where its robust and efficient distribution ranges will be showcased, each with enhanced safety features for businesses operating in urban environments.

    Showcasing the enhanced safety features across its construction and distribution ranges with a 32-tonne Euro-6 Range C430 8x4 Wilcox-bodied tipper and 3.5-tonne Euro-6-compliant Renault Trucks Master panel van on display

    Showcasing the enhanced safety features across its construction and distribution ranges with a 32-tonne Euro-6 Range C430 8×4 Wilcox-bodied tipper and 3.5-tonne Euro-6-compliant Renault Trucks Master panel van on display.

    On the Renault Trucks stand (W14), visitors will be able to see a 32-tonne Euro-6 Range C430 8×4 tipper with a Wilcox insulated aggregate body bristling with a comprehensive array of safety features. These include a 360º five-camera recording system – which also works as a blind spot and reverse camera – Cycle Minder with audio (‘warning vehicle turning left’), BBS reverse alarm (white noise), front and rear LED amber strobe units and overhead high voltage detection warning.

    Alongside will be a 3.5-tonne Euro 6-compliant Renault Trucks Master panel van, with voice-synthesised turning left alarm, full-length nearside pedestrian/cyclist proximity sensors and rear proximity sensors with rear stalk light.

    “Attending the ‘Freight in the City’ underlines our commitment to urban freight and distribution,” comments Nigel Butler, Commercial Director at Renault Trucks UK. “Powered by Euro-6 engines which offer exceptional fuel economy, reduced CO2 and lower vehicle noise, the Renault Trucks range, from 2.8-tonnes to 44-tonnes, meets the demands of businesses that deliver in built-up areas.”

    “In addition, Renault Trucks understand the challenges faced by operators working in urban environments like London, sharing congested city streets with cyclists and pedestrians, and we are proud to showcase our intelligent vehicle design and the enhanced safety features that make a difference for all road users,” he explains.

    “Indeed,” he continues, “Renault Trucks welcome any measure that promotes the safety of vulnerable road users and are pleased to see that the new London Mayor, Sadiq Khan intends to continue pressing the EU to introduce new EU-wide safety standards for HGVs. We, of course, look forward to continuing to support the protection for all vulnerable road users as this is most certainly the most effective route to properly constructed, deliverable safety improvements for all road users.

    “However,” adds Nigel, “The tone of Mr Khan’s comments that ‘dangerous 1970s lorries have no place on the street in the 21st century’ is very disappointing in that it is grossly misleading. Today’s trucks are operated by some very professional safety conscious operators and benefit from over thirty years of technological advancement that have dramatically improved road safety for all.”

  7. New Service and New Jobs at Alfreton

    After the recent successful launch of a new ‘twilight hours’ service, RH Commercial Vehicles on Clover Nook Road in Alfreton is expanding its workforce, with the appointment of three new members of staff.

    Nigel Baxter, Managing Director at RHCV, comments: “It’s fantastic to have seen the positive take up of our new service, by offering later opening hours we are keeping our customers on the road. Our customers rely on continual access to their vehicles and so the twilight hours service minimises their down time.

    “Off the back of the success of this service we are already looking to invest and expand the business further with the appointment of new staff to enable us support the growing demand we’re experiencing.”

    RHCV launched the new ‘twilight hours’ service, adapting to provide the type of service its customer’s need. This followed a £40,000 investment in the site’s original workshop space earlier this year, adding two new pits in place of two hardstanding bays, allowing the experienced team of technicians better access to vehicles for repair in the workshops, speeding up repair times, a benefit to both RHCV and its customers.

    Across its three site RHCV employs a team of 80 including 11 apprentices. The company is currently recruiting for experienced HGV technicians, complementing the wealth of talent across its three sites: Nottingham, Cossington (near Leicester) and Alfreton.

  8. Business Growth set in Concrete

    L-R Simon Bailey (RHCV), Richard Wade (GR Wade) and Paul Pearson (RHCV)

    L-R Simon Bailey (RHCV), Richard Wade (GR Wade) and Paul Pearson (RHCV)

    Watnall based GR Wade & Sons has invested in a new top of the range truck, bringing the latest technology to a fleet which has doubled in size in recent years.

    The 26-year-old firm provides delivery and transport services for some top businesses in the precast concrete industry including Hansons and FP Mcann.

    Working with some of the big names in precast concrete, GR Wade has invested over £100,000 with  RH Commercial Vehicles (RHCV) on its new Renault truck.

    With 17 staff and a fleet of 14 trucks, GR Wade has enjoyed rapid expansion in recent years, leading to the purchase of six new vehicles over the past three years, almost doubling in size.

    Speaking about the company’s increasing fleet, GR Wade’s Managing Director Richard Wade, commented: “This latest investment in our fleet has allowed us to increase capacity, taking on more orders at a time of positivity for the construction industry. RH Commercial Vehicles range of experience across sectors means they don’t just sell you a truck they sell you a solution suited for your business and industry.”

    Paul Pearson, Commercial Director at RHCV, said “GR Wade is a great company to work with, and it’s fantastic to be able to advise and introduce the latest technologies to an ever growing fleet. Having worked with a variety of businesses across the East Midlands, we know what our customers need and work with them to find their best possible solution.”

  9. Ten for T at RH Rentals

    L-R Robert Pick and Nigel Baxter of RH Commercial Vehicles

    Caption: L-R Robert Pick and Nigel Baxter of RH Commercial Vehicles

    RH Rentals, the specialist rentals offer from East Midlands company RH Commercial Vehicles (RHCV), has invested £800,000 in ten new Renault T Range trucks at a time of rapid expansion for the business.

    RH Rentals is expanding its offer and fleet with the purchase of the ten new top of the range trucks. With more vehicles planned for later in the year, the business will see its fleet grow almost 25 per cent in total by the end of the year.

    The commercial vehicle rental sector is enjoying a buoyant time with many firms choosing the flexible option of renting or leasing trucks and commercial vehicles.

    Robert Pick, Financial Director at RH Commercial Vehicles, comments:

    “It’s a really exciting time for the business and indeed the rental market. We started the year with significant enquiries, which has now delivered record orders post-Brexit and we will be continuing our plans for expansion in both the fleet and division.

    “We have a range of business to business customers across the East Midlands working in a variety of different sectors from printers to food manufacturers for whom contract hire offers a flexible option for getting their good and services from A to B. We may have a regional customer base, but we have a national reach.”

  10. IAA 2016: Robustness & Adventure with Renault Trucks

    Renault Trucks will present its entire range of vehicles at the biennial IAA trade fair in Hannover from 22nd to 29th September 2016. From the Renault Trucks T Maxispace High Edition through to the already iconic K range, this year it is the brand’s robustness that is being showcased. Visitors will also find the MKR truck just back from the Dakar Rally and the Silk Road Race on the Renault Trucks stand, together with a number of simulations.

    Renault Trucks

    Renault Trucks will exhibit nine vehicles at the 66th IAA 2016 Show (Hall 17, stand A21). Long distance, construction, distribution, rally truck and Simulations will all attest to the historical robustness of the diamond brand.

    Where long distance trucks are concerned, visitors will exclusively be able to see for themselves a special edition of the T520 – the Renault Trucks Range T Maxispace High Edition. In addition, visitors will be able to climb aboard a cut-open cab of the T High so that they can appreciate the ergonomics, the visibility and in particular test the comfort of this vehicle, voted ‘International Truck of the Year 2015’ at the last Show.

    As regards the construction sector, a highlight will be a very special version of the Range K, specific to the German market – the Renault Trucks K480 Skorpion.

    Another highpoint should prove to be the MKR Adventure Range K truck just back from its recent performances at the Dakar Rally and the Silk Road Race, being presented to the public for the first time. This truck will be the subject of particular attention because it will be possible to experience the sensation of driving on board it in rally raid, thanks to two driving simulators.

    Visitors at the Renault Trucks stand will also be able to view a special truck customisation workshop, ‘Pimp my truck !’. Sven Punke, Marcel Barth and their team from the Truck Tuning Centre, who were amongst the winners with their truck ‘Avatar’ at the last Truck-Grand-Prix at the Nürburgring, working hard in the 300m2 space that Renault Trucks has reserved for them. Airbrushing, removal and fitting of parts, or even the original upholstery of the cab interior, a Renault Trucks Range T High will be undergoing customisation throughout the Show. Spectators will appreciate not only the tuning activity and accessories used, but also the ruggedness of the vehicle.

    To allow visitors to follow current events on the stand and in particular the customisation progress, Renault Trucks will be offering regular news updates and will also retransmit the show ‘Pimp my truck!’ on social networks..