Every year there is greater demand for renewable energy sources across every sector of industry. Road transportation is no different, with a drive for more energy-efficient trucks becoming a greater priority for both manufacturers and haulage companies like Dyce Carriers.
Some of the biggest developments that are set to take place across the haulage sector in the next decade will lead to trucks not only being more efficient, but also quieter and more environmentally friendly.
As the demand for alternatives to diesel and hydrocarbons in general, rises, one of the most promising solutions is biofuel. Created from hydrotreatment of vegetable oils (HVO), the result is a substance with a chemical structure very similar to regular diesel, but one that releases 90% less carbon dioxide when used to power a vehicle.
These biofuels come with a large variety of benefits which can make them an attractive alternative to conventional fuel. Being made from renewable materials means that the price of using it as fuel is not linked to the price of oil. This stability and predictability around the price, has a significant advantage when budgeting for a fleet of vehicles.
Additionally, due to the chemical design of these fuels, many of them are completely compatible with diesel engines, meaning that haulage companies wouldn’t need to update their fleet in order to take advantage of this innovation. Truck manufacturer DAF has ensured that all it’s trucks from the newest generation going forward, are totally compatible with HVO.
Having a truck that is compatible with biofuels, but is also still a standard diesel engine means that they can retain the inherent advantages of a diesel engine, such as reliability, durability, operating costs and re-sale value, but at the same time, releases 89% less Co2 into the environment when running on HVO.
However, whilst biofuels such as HVO offer a persuasive and viable alternative to using traditional fossil fuels, the higher cost of purchasing the fuel, and running a fleet of trucks on it, means that this environmentally friendly option is still out of reach for many haulage providers.
Whilst some governments in Europe have introduced incentives and tax breaks to help haulage companies with the transition to HVO, making an important step towards a carbon neutral future, many countries, including the UK, have yet to do so.
Another alternative to using petrol or diesel for fuel is to use electric engines. Electric vehicles have been in use for decades, and have been growing in popularity since developments in lithium batteries have improved the distance that an electric vehicle can travel on a single charge.
The batteries in modern electric trucks have enough power to allow travel of up to 300 km, with fast charging that can be used to re-power the batteries during loadings and unloading.
Amongst other big truck manufacturers, DAF is again blazing a trail in the electric truck sector. They currently have two fully electric trucks on the market. Intended mostly for inner city distribution, where silence and low emissions are particularly critical. The DAF LF electric innovation truck features a 195kW/266 HP electric motor, which is powered by a battery pack of up to 222kWh, which means it has a range of 220 kilometres, when the truck is fully laden.
Additionally, electric motors come with significant advantages over conventional engines. Due to the nature of the engine, electric vehicles are very responsive and have very good torque, making them safer and easier to drive. Moreover, electric engines have a smaller number of moving components within the actual engine, compared to traditional internal-combustion engines, which contributes to a lower maintenance cost as well as decreasing the likelihood of a breakdown.
However, despite these advantages, there are still issues that hold electric trucks back from becoming the staple vehicle of the industry.
There is still not enough capacity in even the most advanced lithium batteries to allow for uninterrupted, country-wide trunk routes to be completed by electric vehicles, without having to stop and recharge.
The technological advances do represent a step in the right direction though. In the coming decades, as this technology is developed further, we may see a wide variety of new improvements made to batteries and power efficiency, making electric trucks that can travel the length of the country un-interrupted, a reality.
While not a completely carbon neutral method of creating fuel, a half-way step towards a more renewable future may be in form of gas-to-liquid fuel. Gas-to-liquid or GTL is a process where natural gas -the least polluting fossil fuel- is converted into high quality liquid fuel which would otherwise be made from crude oil.
One of the main advantages of this type of fuel is that they contain almost none of the impurities found in crude oil, such as sulphur or nitrogen. This in turn means that when it is burned in order to power a vehicle, less airborne pollutants are released, making it less harmful to the environment and significantly less toxic.
Much like biofuel, the fuel that is created through GTL is already compatible with diesel engines and thus requires no switch over of equipment for haulage companies. Additionally, due to the higher cetane number of GTL fuel, using it in trucks can lead to better starting performance in cold conditions.
Whilst GTL represents another more environmentally friendly source of fuel for the haulage industry, it may be sometime in the future before we see Dyce Carrier’s trucks benefit from this technological advancement. Currently there is limited production for this type of fuel, and while this is expected to change in the future, there is currently no scope for distribution to trucks in the UK.
While there is still progress to be made on each of the technological fronts that this article has covered, inroads have been made with alternative and renewable power clearly becoming an achievable goal for the road haulage industry. While there is still a length to go, it is clear that the future of road haulage is bright.
As a leading haulage provider, it goes without saying that at Dyce Carriers, we take road safety extremely seriously. As our drivers carry loads of up to 44-tons the length and breadth of this country every day, the safety of our staff, cargo and equipment is firmly at the front of our minds.
The department of transportation has recently published their ‘Road Safety Statement’ for 2019 in which they evaluate what is being done to help prevent tragic accidents on the road. Despite the UK having the third lowest number of fatalities on the road out of every country in Europe, coming behind Norway and Sweden, there is naturally, still more to be done to prevent these horrific events from occurring.
The statement sets out a 74-point plan on how road safety can be improved even further, and we’ve written up a handy guide as to how these proposed changes could affect the day to day life’s our truckers and haulage professionals.
Broadly speaking the report aims at four types of motorists, Young Road Users, Rural Road Users, Motorcyclists, and Older Vulnerable Road Users. Whilst none of the changes directly affect truck drivers, that does not mean that the proposed changes won’t indirectly affect them, hopefully making life on the road safer.
Proposed changes include greater penalties for those caught not wearing their seatbelt, as well as increased usage of photo capable devices such as dashcams to catch people who are driving recklessly. This could contribute to a safer road environment for everyone, including HGV drivers.
The bottom line for truckers
The report has a whole section dedicated to the safety of people who drive for a living, within it is a section of guidelines concerning how the safety of HGV drivers can be promoted. Of particular concern in the statement is to ensure that all trucks are fitted with sideguards, that can work to deflect vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, who get to close to the vehicle. At Dyce Carriers we always make sure our vehicles are up to code and fitted with all the required safety equipment.
Whilst the fitting of these sideguards have been mandatory since 2014, there have been historic exemptions which permits the removal of these guards from specific vehicles, including car transporters. The suggested change is to close these exemptions, to ensure that all HGV’s are fitted with them.
Hopefully, if the items addressed and suggested in this report are carried out, then 2019 will see less crashes and collisions then ever before, meaning a greater level of safety and security for truckers. At Dyce Carriers we take our safety extremely seriously, with the lives of our staff, our cargo and other road users always being our primary concern. You can read the full report from the department of transport, here:
Dyce Carriers Ltd are saddened to announce the passing of co-founder, David Moir, after a lengthy, courageous battle with vasculitis on the 18th April 2019 at Donbank, Inverurie Hospital.
From the beginning, way back in 1973, David, along with Jean built up a successful haulage company, Dyce Carriers. In 2013 he handed the reins of the company over to his son Jason and daughter in-law Candice, to enjoy early retirement travelling the world and spending time in his holiday home in sunny Spain.
R.I.P 12th October 1951 – 18th of April 2019
A new map was released this year revealing the UK’s most dangerous roads.
In July this year, Teletrac Navman released a map which indicates fatality data gathered by the Department of Transport and the Police Service of Northern Ireland over a 5-year period. It identifies the UK’s most dangerous highways, routes that our drivers take on a daily basis.
Between 2012 and 2016 a scary total of 8,534 fatal road accidents occurred across the UK. The worst being on the A6 between Luton and Cumbria, where a total of 70 fatalities were recorded. These statistics make this road the deadliest in the UK.
Moreover, the most hazardous road in the UK is the A6, connecting London to Holyhead with 67 fatal accidents, and the A40 from London to Fishguard is not far behind with 65 fatalities.
The map shows the deadliest roads from country to country. As previously mentioned Rutland, England has the highest number of fatal incidents with 5.181 per 10,000 residents, followed by Powys, Wales with 4.312, Fermanagh & Omagh, Northern Ireland with 4.150 and the Orkney Islands, Scotland, 4.110.
However, not all roads in the UK are bad. Scotland’s smallest City, Clackmannanshire, according to the map, has the safest roads in the UK and recorded no fatalities during 2012 and 2016. Cardiff, Tyne and Wear and Belfast City were next, with low fatality rates per 10,000 residents.
The map also provides important fleet operations across the UK with greater visibility and access to powerful fleet management tools that contribute to keeping our roads safer and more efficient. Check the detailed map out below or if you drive roads like these, use our handy insurance checker to ensure you’re properly covered.
If there is one industry across the world that people take for granted it’s the trucking industry. It is not only people across the UK that rely heavily on truck drivers but also businesses. We solely depend on the trucking industry and their drivers to maintain fast delivery, delivering products safety and securely to their destination.
We should consider carefully what it would mean if all truck drivers were taken off the road. It would be a catastrophe. It has been estimated that there would be a perishable goods shortage within 3 days; drinking water would disappear within 2 – 4 weeks; food supplies in hospitals would be gone in 24 hours and cash machines would be empty in 2 – 3 days. Quite a scary thought when you put into perspective. There is no doubting the significance of the trucking industry to the people of the UK and around the world.
It should be made aware just how important truck drivers are. After all, in recent years (since 2015) there has been a trucker shortage. In 2015, the UK saw a shortage in fully trained and qualified HGV drivers, meaning bad news for the UK’s economy. According to Mike Farrall (Chairman of Farrall’s Transport), “I can find a driver today, probably quite easy, but is he skilled? No way. I would go through quite a lot of people before finding a half decent guy.” Some of you may think that it is easy to become a qualified HGV driver. But, this isn’t the case, the UK continue to put up barriers to becoming a lorry driver. Many in the UK blame the proliferation of regulations for raising costs and complicating the driver’s job. The introduction of the Driver Certificate Competence or CPC training has also made it difficult for HGV drivers. This raised the cost of obtaining and maintaining a HGV license. Many were quickly put off by this new regulation in 2014.
2016 showed no signs of improvement. The Road Haulage Association says it is short of 60,000 drivers, with an aging workforce shedding another 40,000 in 2017. But is it the Government making it difficult to start a career in HGV driving or is it the employers within the trucking industry that are the problem? Few companies around the UK run their own training schemes and are requesting fully trained drivers with years’ of experience. Difficult for those just starting out their career as a HGV driver. Many new to the trucking industry are travelling abroad, with many countries mainly in Eastern Europe hiring 60,000 drivers.
Hopefully 2017 can turn things around for the trucking industry and the public gain more respect for truck drivers and realise how important they are to everyday life. More training is key, without the proper training the truck driver shortage will continue in 2017 and we all now know the continued dangers and threats this causes to the public and the economy of the UK.
There is nothing more important than sticking to the legislation rules set by the government to ensure HGV drivers like yourself remain safe and secure at all times.
As a HGV driver you will already be aware of the driving rules that surround the amount of time you can drive your vehicle at any one time. GOV.uk have outlined the number of hours and breaks you should be having when transporting goods on the roads.
According to GOV.uk, “A break is any period during which a driver may not carry out any driving or any other work and which is used exclusively for recuperation. A break may be taken in a moving vehicle, provided no other work is undertaken.”
You should drive no more than 4.5 hours, after this an uninterrupted break of 45 minutes should be taken unless you take a rest period. There are of course a number of ways you can take your 45-minute break. For example, one break of at least 15 minutes followed by another break of at least 30 minutes is allowed. You ‘wipe the slate clean’ if you have taken your 45-minute break (or breaks that make up 45 minutes) before or at the end of a 4.5 hour driving period. A reminder that this is only a very quick summary and you should look to the GOV.uk website for more information, www.gov.uk/drivers-hours.
It’s the tachograph that records all information about your driving time, speed and distance. It is used to ensure all drivers are sticking to the rules on drivers’ hours. There are 2 types of tachograph, analogue and digital. As of May 2006 all commercial vehicles must be fitted with a digital tachograph. Although an analogue tachograph can still be used. Take a look on GOV.uk’s website for more useful information on tachographs, https://www.gov.uk/tachographs
We came across this great link which reveals all the trucking information any trucker would need when on their travels around the UK. The useful link contains an interactive map with an endless list of safe places to park including, truckstops, lorry parks and other overnight HGV parking areas around the UK. Unlike most, this interactive map is updated regularly with new stops and cafes making it a good and reliable source.
A user friendly link, truckstops and lorry parks are marked clearly making routes easier to plan. The map allows for zooming in and out on different areas by double-clicking meaning you can zone in on the exact locations by viewing street names or primary routes in and around the area. A sidebar on the left lists the various stops across the UK, which is great as once clicked it appears on the map. Now you can pin point that recommended place for food your friend was speaking about.
Because the map is from Google, it enables the factuality of Google Street View. This feature provides panoramic views from positions along main streets and roads allowing you to explore from the comfort of your own home or lorry.
The site also lets you print the map off. A handy functionality, it means after you’ve picked all your checkpoints you’ll be able to print it off and refer back to it on your travels.
Check it out! http://truckanddriver.co.uk/truckstop-map/
Want to become a HGV driver but don’t know where to start? The world of HGV and how to become a professional driver can be daunting when you’re faced with an abundance of information all at once. We’ve tried our best to simplify the essential information you need to become an HGV driver. You’ll be on the roads in no time!
Becoming an HGV driver opens all kinds of doors to various job opportunities and earning potential. With an estimated 60k vacancies around the UK and a starting salary of £25k, now is the time to start your HGV training in preparation for your full license. First of all, you need to be 18 and have a full car licence before you even think about applying to become an HGV driver. Now you need to apply for your provisional. The category of your provisional depends on the type of vehicle you want to drive. These forms can be found on gov.uk’s website. Click here to view. If all goes well you should get your provisional driving license within 3 weeks from DVLA. Next up, obtain a professional driving qualification called the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
So what exactly is a CPC? CPC is a set of standards applied to initial driver training and career-long continuing education. It is a set of standards established by the European Union to ensure all professional HGV drivers are both competent and proficient as well as developing their knowledge and skills. On the road to becoming a professional HGV driver, you must first pass all 4 initial tests to qualify for CPC. Thereafter you must complete 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to maintain your HGV qualification. If you do not obtain this qualification and you are driving professionally you could face a hefty fine of £1000. Definitely not worth it.
Upon passing all 4 CPC tests you’ll be sent a Driver CPC card. This is sometimes called a ‘driver qualification card’ or ‘DQC’. You are now a qualified HGV driver prepped and ready to take on the roads with your forty something tonne truck.
There are many training school and courses out there for you to get started on your new worthwhile journey to a life changing career as a HGV driver. Below are just a few to get you started: