The recent Commercial Vehicle show gave a chance to see the latest developments for those with an interest in all things transport-related. Geoff Ashcroft toured the halls.
Mercedes’ latest Vito model is bigger and more generously equipped than the model it replaces. And for the first time, Vito can be specified in front- or rear-wheel drive.
It is also available with three gross weights, in three lengths and with a choice of two turbodiesel engines covering five power ratings.
Power units meet Euro 6 emissions regulations, and include six-speed manual or seven-speed auto. Service intervals of up to 25,000 miles or two years should help to reduce operating costs. Prices start from £17,855.
Citroen’s latest Berlingo van reaches Euro 6 emissions with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for its BlueHDi diesel engines rated at 100hp and 120hp, with the lower-powered model achieving an emissions level of 109g/km.
Internally, LX and Enterprise trim levels get cruise control and a programmable speed limiter. Berlingo Enterprise spec also gets a 7-inch touch screen with an upgraded DAB audio system.
Options are plentiful and include front parking sensors and a reversing camera while all new Berlingos get Teletrac Smartnav satellite navigation and Trackstar stolen vehicle tracking as standard. The range is priced from £12,515.
Following collaboration with TomTom, Peugeot is to equip its latest Professional range of Bipper, Partner and Expert vans with a TomTom Go 5000 sat-nav system as standard.
The 5-inch touch screen allows users to pinch, swipe the interactive 3D mapping and road information displayed. As part of the deal, the Go 5000 system is equipped with Lifetime TomTom Traffic service to help avoid delays.
With a payload of 571kg, Vauxhall’s latest Corsavan offers an increased carrying capacity over the model it replaces.
Internal space adds up to 920-litres, fuel economy is up to 85.6mpg, while safety features have been improved to include six airbags, plus active safety systems, tyre pressure monitoring, electronic stability programme and hill start assist.
In addition, Vivaro customers can now take advantage of an in-house sign writing and wrapping service, as well as racking conversions, for new Vivaro vans being built at the Luton plant.
Colchester-based distributor ATE, showed its latest innovation to keep any loose wheel nuts contained, the Wheel Sentry.
The combined wheel nut indicator and retainer uses fluorescent green nut covers which are linked together using a Viton rubber band. ATE says the band allows any rogue nut to loosen slightly, but not undo. At this point, the band holds the loose nut at a lower torque level, offering rapid identification of any nut which has worked loose.
The individual nature of the nut covers and retaining band allows the Wheel Sentry system to be fitted to hubs with an odd number of nuts. Wheel nut sizes of 17mm, 19mm, 24mm, 27mm and 32mm can be monitored.
Prices start from £28.40 for a pack of 20 Wheel Sentry indicators.
Wheels Solutions’ latest TyrePal device is an in-cab, remote tyre pressure monitoring system which uses transponders fitted to trailer wheels, in place of dust caps.
Transponders measure tyre pressure every 12 seconds and send data to the in-cab screen. The system can also be used as an alarm mechanism to warn if pressures exceed low- and high- preset thresholds, and also to warn of excessive tyre temperature.
Vehicle-specific data can also be sent to office-based fleet management systems using GPRS and cloud-based technology, to provide vehicle tyre pressure, temperature and location data. Expect a typical 12-sensor system with in-cab monitor and smart signal repeater to cost about £430.
The Backeye 360 Camera monitoring system from Brigade Electronics cleverly combines the images from four cameras placed front, rear, left- and right-side of a vehicle, and creates a 360-degree aerial view to help drivers of large vehicles to deal with blind spots.
Using four wide-angle cameras mounted high on the vehicle and each with a viewing angle of over 180-degrees, the live images are sent to a digital processor which blends and stitches the images together, giving a clear, smooth image on the in-cab 7-inch monitor.
The monitor simultaneously plays the 360-degree image alongside a rear-view image.
In addition, when direction indicators are activated, the system substitutes the rear-view image with a side view corresponding to the direction indicator.
While the system has been developed for trucks, it could prove an ideal companion for operators of large self-propelled machinery, such as harvesters and sprayers. The Backeye 360 costs £1,500, fitted.
Duster Commercial is Dacia’s first foray into producing a four-wheel drive van. Converted at the Dacia factory, the van gets a flat rear cargo deck measuring almost 1.4m in length in place of the rear seats, along with additional tie-down points and options of half-height and full height bulkheads.
Black-out film is added to the rear side windows, while the rear screen can be darkened as an option. Payload however, is not the most generous at 550kg, though it compliments the vehicle’s 1,500kg towing capacity.
Power comes from a 1.5-litre dCi engine offering 105hp. Specification includes Ambience and Laureate trim levels, and both are available in two- and four-wheel drive formats. Could the £11,295 4wd Ambience be the ultimate mobile workshop?
Iveco has introduced ZF’s eight-speed automatic transmission to its new Daily light van range – the first transmission of its kind in this class of vehicle.
Called Hi-Matic, the transmission offers a spread of ratios said to be better suited to the operating range of the Daily’s diesel engine, ensuring the 106hp and 123hp 2.3-litre and 170hp and 205hp 3.0-litre engines remain in their optimum working range.
As a result, Iveco says the new gearbox offers a 4 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and a 4kg weight saving compared to the previous AGile gearbox.