Behind the shed

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This year Palletways is helping to drive out male cancer by raising funds and awareness for the Institute of Cancer Research ‘Everyman’ scheme. Palletways is hoping to raise £100,000 for the national campaign which helps battle prostate and testicular cancer. James Wilson, chief executive of Palletways said: “As there is a large proportion of males in the logistics industry, we are delighted to be able to put the weight of our network behind the ‘Everyman’ campaign.”

Certainly not an every kind of man is Jonathan Hall, who has won Asda’s ‘Driver of the Year 2005’ award after only two years as an LGV driver. Hall fended off challenges from his 2,800-plus Asda truck driving colleagues to win the prize of a personalised Topline Scania R-series tractor. Hall was trained by Asda through its ‘Driving Ambition Programme’ which helps develop drivers’ skills. Actor and now author Ricky Tomlinson, also stopped by to join in the celebrations while promoting his new book “Football, my arse”.

Michelin have launched a new web site to stop the growing problem of ‘Thirsty Tyres’. What is a thirsty tyre you might ask? Well according to Bibendum (the Michelin Man) ‘Thirsty Tyres’ is a campaign to help hauliers improve fuel economy through better tyre management. The web site has been redesigned with tips for operators and also includes a personalised technical response from Bibendum himself.

Commercial Vehicles Solutions, the truck rental and contract hire company, has released a promotional video advertising their services in an effort to persuade customers away from larger inflexible companies. The film follows the story of Chris Peacock, a local haulier who has an international fleet of vehicles. Challenged with growth and change, Chris must find a support mechanism to ensure his business and that of his customers is efficient & effective. Chris travels the route of so many before him, assuming that if they are the biggest and have a well-known brand, then they must be the best for him. The film was made in association with Art Café and Port 11 media and is available to view on the company web site The film offers an alternative and sometimes rather surreal view of smaller firms determined to survive in the industry alongside the big name brands. As promotional films go, its good to see companies actively attacking current issues head on, but unfortunately the lack of a decent script and bizarre mix of art-house humour and Hollywood action-movie (including a speed boat, cigars and swimsuits) unfortunately allows the film to fall short of carrying its message effectively.

Speaking at the recent DAF Trucks 2005 Review, Professor Garel Rhys, outlined some of his views regarding how the UK truck market might look in the year 2020. Using his impressive wealth of industry experience, he helped set the scene for the future of trucking in the UK. He predicted how he saw the sector moving forward to meeting demand for ever-cleaner emissions and perhaps even leading to a Euro10 engine. Rhys pointed out, that the future is not as far away as people might think. He said: “2020 is only fifteen years away. If you go back the other way, you’re back to 1990 and that doesn’t seem so very long ago.”

In examining the past as a means of preparing for the future, he discussed how fifty years ago, demand was centred around the need for professionalism in the market, which is very similar to today.

A major difference between now and then is the kind of international market that we have. He said: “We have international haulage in a way today that we did not have in 1955. International business has changed so much.”

He pointed out that the roadways of yesteryear just weren’t up to the demands laid upon them and it was the coming of the motorways that revolutionised the country and created the “truly British economy” by reducing travelling times.

For the future, Rhys looked toward hybrid technology which he predicted would be more popular within the North American market. He predicted that in 2020, diesel would be favoured by the Europeans and argued that pedestrian safety would become a key issue and in-cab technology would work towards increasing pedestrian safety.

He said the catch word would become ‘anticipation’ with fitted heads-up displays, dead-man brakes, early warning devices and so on.

“Roads are going to have to become intelligent highways, keeping the people away from the vehicles.” This ‘separated culture’ already exists to a degree in North America, with pedestrians and traffic mixing less than they do in Europe.

Likening the leading truck manufacturers to football teams; in 2020 Rhys saw that DAF would be the Chelsea of the truck market, doing well because of its vertical integration.

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