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The 2016 Commercial Vehicle Show – but where were the trucks?

Jun 13, 2016
This year’s Commercial Vehicle Show held at the NEC Birmingham 26-28 April was a sell out with over 460 exhibitors filling every square metre of available space across Halls 3a, 4 and 5.

The CV Show is Britain’s best attended commercial transport event with around 20,000 visitors passing through its doors during the two public days.  As always the event is free to attend – if you don’t count the £12 car parking fee - and is an opportunity to view all that is new in business transport under one roof. 

Surprising then that all but one of the major truck manufacturers chose not to take part this year, with brands including Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, DAF, Scania and Renault conspicuous by their absence.  The sole exception was Iveco who took the opportunity to grab Mercedes’ historical prime spot at the entrance to Hall 5 to show off its latest vehicles. 

The van sector however was better represented with impressive displays of all the latest kit from Ford, Toyota, LDV, Fiat, VW and Renault.  

With compliance being at the forefront of every transport manager’s mind there was no shortage of electronic devices and systems on show to help monitor driver behavior, optimise route planning and improve safety. Several companies showcased composite systems featuring telematics, navigation and time management tools for mobile workers. At least one system even created a score card of drivers' behavior showing speed, acceleration, heavy braking and other driving characteristics for the transport manager to measure against the company’s targets. Clearly the days of the humble analogue tachograph are over and our Orwellian way of life continues to thrive in the name of compliance and safety.  

Hall 4 played host to the Workshop Zone where manufacturers displayed a massive range of products ranging from diagnostic testing equipment to hydraulic lifts, specialist tools and vehicle washing machines.  Representatives from major tyre manufacturers including Pirelli, Good Year, Bridgestone and Hankook were on hand to demonstrate the latest developments in tyre technology and advise operators on the most suitable fitment for their vehicles and applications. 

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) took the opportunity to launch its new Truck Excellence scheme, which sets out ‘demanding but achievable standards for truck operators’. The new accreditation scheme is open to all operators, not just FTA members, and aims to raise standards in the industry and ensure the legal compliance of its participants. 

Although the CV Show is aimed at the general transport industry, many of the products and services are relevant and of interest to the removal sector.  The show’s central location in Birmingham also makes it easy to reach from most parts of the UK and well worth devoting a day to if you have room in your diary. 

Next year’s show is scheduled to take place on 25-27 April.  Perhaps this time the likes of Mercedes-Benz and Scania will decide to grace it with their presence? 

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