Twenty Wrightbus hydrogen double-decker buses have been ordered by Birmingham City Council as part of its Clean Air Hydrogen Bus Pilot. The buses will be added to the National Express West Midlands fleet and will operate from April 2021. The city already has 29 battery-electric double-decker buses in circulation and this order represents the council’s latest move to drive down emissions.
Private equity firm Palatine Private Equity has completed the acquisition of a majority shareholding in NRG Fleet Services Ltd, a fast-growing provider of specialist services to the commercial vehicle sector. Headquartered in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, and operating 10 national technical centres, NRG has annual revenues of £90m and employs 280 people. It comprises two divisions, Riverside Truck Rental and Direct Tyre Management.
John Sutch Cranes has confirmed it will specify Michelin tyres across its fleet of mobile cranes, tractor units, trailers and rigid trucks, after a trial set of Michelins covered more than twice the distance normally seen from the firm’s previous tyre of choice. The family business compared the performance of the 445/95 R25 Michelin X-Crane + tyres fitted to one of its three-axle Liebherr cranes, versus an identical crane doing similar work, but running on the same size tyres from another premium brand.
Staffordshire-based N.S. Clarke Transport has specified Michelin tyres as original equipment across 30 new Volvo FH 6×2 500hp tractors joining its fleet, praising the tyre company for its impressive pence per kilometre running costs and its innovative accidental damage guarantee.
Webfleet Solutions and Bridgestone say that the virtual Commercial Motor Show represents an “incredible opportunity” to publicise their latest products and connected mobility solutions. The companies are working together to demonstrate the advantages of advanced fleet technologies. They say latest solutions can help truck and van operators drive efficiencies, realise cost-savings, reduce their carbon footprint and raise the bar in service delivery. The virtual exhibition and conference runs from 29 September to 1 October. It will present visitors with the latest vehicles, products, and services alongside webinars, live exhibitor chats, video calls, and product demonstrations.
Mobile tyre fitting specialist Mid Beds Tyres says it is benefiting from improved traction and an increased range of up to 40 miles per tank of fuel as a result of replacing the original equipment tyres on its MAN TGE 4×4 van with a set of Michelin Agilis CrossClimates. The company removed the original equipment rubber after just 15,000 miles in service; the Agilis CrossClimate tyres have clocked-up 35,000 miles with 6mm of tread still remaining.
British Gas has announced that it has ordered 1,000 new all-electric Vivaro-e vans from Vauxhall – the largest commercial BEV (battery electric vehicle) order in the UK to date. The BEVs will arrive over the next 12 months and be rolled out nationwide across the British Gas engineer workforce. Centrica, owner of British Gas, has committed to electrifying its 12,000 strong fleet by 2030 and will be making further orders with Vauxhall for electric vehicles as soon as they are available. This may include the all-electric Combo-e – available from Summer 2021.
Go-Ahead London, the capital’s largest bus operator, have seen numerous improvements to workshop safety and vehicle repairs since using a portable induction heater at their New Cross accident and repair centre. Supplied by Automotive Equipment Solutions (AES), the UK distributor for Josam commercial vehicle workshop products, the JH1000 heat inductor is ideal for lighter straightening and loosening of heavy vehicle parts but without needing a naked flame – a conventional method which can present safety issues and damage wiring or other connected parts.
Bridgestone has collaborated with Microsoft in the development of a new monitoring system for the real-time detection of tyre damage. The UK’s Department for Transport 2018 statistics show tyre issues contribute to 30 per cent of all car accidents caused by technical failure. Bridgestone says its Tyre Damage Monitoring System is the “final piece in tracking tyre issues.” The system offers similar applications to recent market solutions that process live data using algorithms to predict the effects of tyre damage and notify drivers, fleet operators and service providers. What separates it from existing systems is that no additional hardware need be installed, the manufacturer adds.
Michelin has signed a new tyre supply agreement with one of Europe’s largest asset finance, leasing and rental specialists. The tyre manufacturer’s Services & Solutions division will supply all tyres to BNP Paribas Rental Solutions’ UK fleet. It will also fully manage the nationwide fleet of specialist mission-critical vehicles. Its vehicles have individual policies tailored to meet the needs of BNP Paribas Rental Solutions’ customers.
FreshLinc Group has moved its entire bulk transport fleet onto its existing Effitires tyre management contract. The company’s fleet now runs exclusively on Michelin tyres as a result. FreshLinc has grown into one of the UK’s biggest logistics firms, having been established in 2996. It operates four separate divisions – FreshLinc Chilled, FLX Logistics, DirectLinc and FLB – with a combined fleet of approximately 400 commercial vehicles. The company has fitted Michelin tyre for more than a decade.
Venson Automotive Solutions is urging fleet managers to encourage company car drivers to ensure their vehicles are road ready as the nation anticipates an easing of lockdown. The advice from Venson follows its latest survey of UK motorists which revealed that one in five do not know when their MOT is due, and 69 per cent are unclear about when the Government’s six-month MOT exemption came into play.
Independent parcel carrier Yodel is rolling out a new generation of tyres designed to maximise the safety and mobility of its delivery vans in all weathers, including on dry, wet, icy and snow-covered roads. The Michelin Agilis CrossClimate tyres will initially be fitted across Yodel’s fleet of 550 Mercedes-Benz Sprinters, directly supporting the firm’s ability to deliver on-time to every UK postcode. Their introduction forms part of a new three-year fully-managed Effitires contract with Michelin, which also covers Yodel’s 1,326 rigid trucks, tractor units and trailers – which will all continue to run on premium Michelin tyres.
Last week, Michelin issued special guidance for firms parking fleets of lorries for extended periods during the COVID-19 pandemic, and today the company offers similar guidance for cars and vans that have been taken off the road. Brian Porteous, Michelin’s technical manager – Car, Van, 4×4 and Government Contracts, has detailed steps to follow before laying up vehicles, along with advice on periodic inspections and preparing assets to re-enter service.