CM Specials


CM Specials


These free downloadable pieces offer longer, in-depth analysis of a range of different topics.

Our CM Specials are avaliable to all registered users of - and registration is free too! Click on a CM Special below to go to the download page, then click the 'Download' button at the bottom of the page and either log in or register if prompted to do so.

Browse our selection below:

Find out how, why and when commercial vehicle buyers will spend on new or used trucks

The truck-buying market remains in a state of flux. On the face of it, new truck registrations started the year in a positive manner. Comparing Q1 2018 to Q1 2019, new truck registrations were up 21.2% – from 9,785 units to 11,859 units. Rigids were up 12.9%; artics were up a staggering 32.3%. So far, so good. This type of upturn has only been seen in the past during periods of economic recovery or legislative change. But what has changed?

The truth is, nothing changed. And that is the problem. Business was busy preparing for Britain’s exit from the European Union on 31 March and, without even the barest hint of what trading conditions would look like after this deadline, stockpiled to avoid tariffs should the UK’s trading relationship with its largest partner revert to WTO rules under a no-deal Brexit.

The RHA reported that tariffs on an imported vehicle (and the majority of new trucks are vehicles imported from the EU) would be 22% for anything above 5-tonne GVW. So there is every chance that operators in need of a truck registered them before the blown Brexit date. The industry awaits the publication of the second quarter sales figures for confirmation.

Despite the uncertainty there appears to be pent-up demand for new vehicles. But just how are operators buying such vehicles?

There are a variety of options available – outright purchase, contract hire, operating lease or rental. Or maybe just taking advantage of the available stocks in the used market – where Euro-5 prices are subdued as demand slows thanks to the multitude of clean air and low emission zones cropping up across the country.

This research, conducted exclusively by Commercial Motor and Motor Transport, in association with Asset Alliance Group; Hireco; MAN Financial Services; Renault Trucks, Scania Financial Services and Volvo Trucks UK, shows how operators engage with the market when it comes to adding and replacing trucks on the fleet.

It also points towards two alarming trends developing in 2019 – firstly, a drop in appetite among truck operators compared to last year, and then the shrinking use of the used truck market, which finds itself increasingly polarised to one customer set, the small and micro-business. It also points towards just how diverse the market is and how vendors will have to adapt in the long-term to customers wants and needs.

Find out what alternatively fuelled future MAN see for HGVs, and how they will meet the challenge

The legislative environment for the UK truck manufacturing industry has never been more challenging, and operators and manufacturers are under increasing pressure to reduce emissions. Yet MAN is unfazed by the challenge:

"MAN is confident that manufacturers and operators will deliver the environmental improvements demanded of us, while maintaining the safe, reliable, time-critical and cost-effective service consumers expect from the modern logistics sector" Thomas Hammerich, MD, MAN Truck & Bus

This CM Special, written using data from fleet operators who filled out a May 2019 survey, will reveal more about some of the alternative fuel technologies that will be part of MAN’s exciting journey towards a truly sustainable future.

We begin by interviewing MAN’s product marketing manager for truck emobility, who gives us his take on how OEMs can meet EU emissions targets.

Then we move onto hydrogen and electric power, and why they’re still not practical for HGV use.

This is followed by a look into gas and biofuels, and the best way to bolster your green credentials.

Finally, we crunch the numbers from the tables and charts which feature throughout this Special, which show some of the headline results from online research completed by 165 fleet operators.

Plan for future Euro standards by looking at the progress made so far in this emissions special

Emissions have dropped dramatically since the introduction of Euro-1 in 1992. But what does the future hold?

Since the introduction of Euro-1 standards in 1992, there has been much talk within the road transport industry about emissions. Now, almost 30 years later, it seems an appropriate time to take an overview of the progress made so far and what the future might look like. Over the course of this CM Special Martin Flach uses his four decades of industry experience, gained with both IVECO and Ford, to bring some clarity to the subject.

This special is split into 4 sections, find out what each section is about below:

Emission Possible

This first section looks at the difference between local air quality and global warming emissions, light vs heavy duty emissions regulations and truck CO2 emissions.

The Power and the Glory

The second section examines the challenges of using electric power with heavier vehicles, as well as the range of hybrid options available.

How Low can we go?

Here we discover what other low-carbon alternatives to diesel there are available. These include hydrogen, natural gas, biodiesels and synthetic fuels.

Taking a Leap of Faith

Finally we focus on the experiences of John Lewis Partnership and Gnewt Cargo, who are already running alternatively fuelled vehicles in their fleets.

Everything you need to know about new digital tachograph legislation

June 2019 saw the biggest change in tachograph legislation in 12 years, with the introduction of the new generation of on-board mandatory digital recorders to enforce drivers’ hours rules.

In order for operators to transition through this major change to tachograph legislation, Commercial Motor teamed up with leading digital tachograph analysis specialists Aquarius to bring you an exclusive webinar.

This one hour CM Special webinar recorded on 18 June 2019, explains how roadside enforcement will work, what geo-positioning of smart tachographs means for road transport operators and how it works in conjunction with earned recognition.

About the presenters:

Guy Reynolds

Guy Reynolds is Technical Director at Aquarius. He co-created the ClockWatcher instant analysis software in 2005 and is an authority of the use and development of tachograph technology in the UK.

Christopher Walton

Christopher Walton is Editor-in-Chief of Commercial Motor, Motor Transport and Truck & Driver.

Discover how in-cab and forward-facing cameras are purchased and deployed in this case-study-rich report

The fitting of in-cab and forward-facing cameras has increasingly become the norm among road hauliers in the UK.

The benefits of the technology are enormous. It can be used to prevent crime, raise driving standards, and lower insurance premiums, as well as boost road safety. And adoption continues to increase as the technology becomes cheaper, smaller and more user-friendly.

This CM Special, brought to you in conjunction with Brigade, Fastview360, SmartDrive Systems, Trakm8 and VisionTrack, looks at the way such technology is purchased and deployed.

Along the way, it examines the relationships between buyers and sellers and how the market is evolving in terms of added value and features.

Readers can find out about distracted driving and driver fatigue, purchasing patterns, supplier satisfaction and value and features along with five case studies.

We hope you find this study a useful insight into the use of this increasingly popular technology.

Learn about the product innovation which has made SDC Trailers the UK’s leading trailer builder

In this free downloadable CM Special we celebrate the 40th anniversary of SDC Trailers by examining the company’s history of innovation.

After an introduction from CEO Enda Cushnahan, we take a look back at the story so far. After being established 40 years ago in a small shed SDC has become the UK’s leading trailer builder, making them a great example of a UK manufacturing success. Although technology has moved on in the intervening decades, SDC has held on to their principle of designing and building exactly what the customer needs for their particular operation. “That’s one of our USPs” says Cushnahan.

Now 40 years on we still set ourselves the challenge of trying to translate what the customer wants rather than building an off the shelf product. Each trailer on the production line is being built specifically for a customer.” Enda Cushnahan, chief executive officer, SDC Trailers

From page 8 we round off this CM Special by looking at examples of what drives SDC forward – product innovation. This includes the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) semi-trailer, launched in 2016 as a world-first. SDC’s patented KERS trailer can deliver a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 25% by capturing electrical energy during vehicle deceleration in a bank of graphene ultra-capacitors.

Examine all things MAN from their Fleet Management Suite to their Financial Services

Our CM Special offers a look into MAN’s telematics solutions, along with case studies of their users. It also features a look at the TGX’s new interior, MAN’s second-generation SCR-only D08 Euro-6 engine, and financing options offered by the company.

We begin by exploring MAN’s telematics solution consisting of MAN Check, MAN Ecostyle and MAN Track, which represent its diagnostics, driver performance and tracking products. These will be extended to all new vehicles.

For the next 12 months we will be focusing on our proactive vehicle health services, which will be a game changer for operators” Dave Cussans, UK truck sales director, MAN

We then take a look at real world users of the Fleet Management suite, with Lockwood Haulage, Bibby Distribution and John Mitchell. These companies tell us about the measurable improvements they have seen in fuel economy and accident rates since they started using MAN telematics.

We’ve used MAN telematics for approximately five years now… we quickly realised that we could use it to improve our drivers’ driving styles as well as our fuel efficiency and competitiveness.” Wayne Evans, operations director, Lockwood Haulage

From there we delve into the updated cab of the MAN TGX with more floor space, easier-to-use controls and better soundproofing. Then onto MAN’s second-generation SCR-only D08 Euro-6 engine, which is lighter and more frugal than its predecessor.

We round off the CM Special with an examination of MAN Financial Services, and what makes their manufacturer-led finance market leading, with 67% penetration rate for new trucks and 62% for used.

Everything you wanted to know about the DAF XF and CF ranges, plus a detailed company history

Fresh from its 2018 International Truck of the Year win, in this CM Special we find out what makes the DAF XF and CF ranges such world beaters. We also take a look down memory lane at the highlights of DAF Trucks' first 90 years.

With the introduction of the XF/CF series, DAF has delivered a heavy-duty truck range that sets a new standard in terms of driveline energy efficiency and overall performance.” Gianenrico Griffini, IToY chairman

The introduction provides readers with a detailed history of DAF in the UK, including Commercial Motor’s own road test of the first T1800 tractors to arrive from the Netherlands in 1967.

Pages 4–11 offer a review of the new DAF XF and CF, featuring slippery new exteriors, engine innovations, and improved drivelines, which result in reduced fuel consumption by up to 7%. Beginning with an overview of changes across the two models, this CM Special then provides separate detailed analysis of the XF and CF models, before examining the upgraded engines in the new models. While their ability to sip fuel will please operators, the list of interior enhancements will appeal most to drivers.

We’ve got eight of the New CFs, and we’re really pleased with them. They’re excellent fleet vehicles, they’re extremely reliable, and they’re helping with driver retention too.” Peter Ham, workshop general manager, R Swain Group

From founding a small construction workshop in Eindhoven in 1928, to 90th anniversary celebrations last year, the deep dive into DAFs past is continued with a complete timeline of the company across pages 12-15.

The CM Special concludes with DAFs 90th anniversary. As part of the celebrations, DAF held a special ride and drive event at its Eindhoven test track. In addition to a full range of modern trucks, journalists were given the chance to experience a number of classic vehicles. We made a beeline for the DAF FA2600DKA, DAF FTG3600DKZ and DAF 44. Read about our experiences in these vehicles from pages 16-19.

Find out how Hireco expanded from trailer rental to much much more

Discover the details of Hireco’s expansion with our free to download CM Special. All you need to do is register for a free account.

Here's what you'll be missing out on if you don't...

Find out how Hireco came from humble beginnings to become the UK’s biggest trailer buyer. Group MD James Smith charts the firm’s history on page 4.

Sales Director Tim Gibson explains why younger is better for the firm's trailers on page 5. The company’s bread and butter has always been – and still is – its trailer contract hire. It remains the biggest trailer buyer in the UK and sports a gargantuan fleet in the region of 6,500 units, which are replaced regularly. On page 8, sales MD Paul Jackson explains why the plain blue look of the vast majority of their used trailers is a winner with customers.

It’s a high-volume, high-turnover business in terms of assets. Anything over three years, if it’s not on a contract, is for sale.” Tim Gibson, sales director, Hireco

In September 2018 the firm announced its move into truck rental. Its intention is to “just do what we’ve done with trailers with trucks” according to director of contracts, Michael Williams. This means absorbing all the difficult bits and making life as easy as possible for customers who were expressing interest before Hireco had even placed orders for its first vehicles. You can find out more about this latest venture on pages 6 and 7.

Director of Servico, Aaron Hunter explains how the company’s service and maintenance division is broadening its reach to operators across the country on page 9.

Finance director Tim McCarthy describes how partnerships with funders, ex-banking staff in the finance team and understanding business funding make the finance division a one-stop-shop for any kind of commercial funding, on page 10.

We’ve moved into any type of commercial equipment – so it’s not just trucks and trailers but really wide-ranging assets, such as tippers, tugs and shunters” Tim McCarthy, finance director, Hireco

Hireco’s mission to clean up the image of truckstops is documented on page 11. The company opened its new 5-acre truck park at London Gateway in August 2018. The park is kitted out with a multitude of modern amenities, including male, female and disabled toilets, shower and shaving facilities, as well as plans to add AdBlue and tyre pressure top-up facilities and Wi-Fi throughout the premises that can be accessed in cabs. The park also has its own restaurant - Marlon’s Bistro On The Port offers a range of top-quality healthy meals and snacks.

Join Commercial Motor as we take an exclusive tour of MV Commercial’s new multi-million pound, 9-acre central hub

MV Commercial supplies purpose-built commercial vehicles, including crane-mounted rigids and tractor units, tippers and grabs, recovery vehicles, box vans, curtains, mainstream tractor units and LCVs.

The company, founded in 2001, recently opened a multi-million pound, 9-acre central hub in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, formerly operated by TOM Vehicle Rental – bringing its sales, hire, leasing, finance, maintenance, engineering and painting facilities, all under one roof. The facility includes 90,000sq ft of internal work space with several fabrication workshops with 36 commercial vehicle ramps, HGV inspection pits, a paint and blast facility with eight booths, ATF test lanes, tacho bay and class 7 MoT testing facilities.

We have an experienced and friendly team of great people here that can do everything to a truck on this site from fitting cranes to MoTs” Steven Cairns, group MD, MV Commercial

Group MD Steven Cairns says the one-stop-shop will improve the firm’s effectiveness and raise standards to another level. “The presentation, clarity, space and scale of the site means the customer can visualise what they want,” he explains. “Customers will benefit not only from even better build times, but it also gives them confidence and shows the level and standards we work to. It’s transformational and gives us the platform to kick on as a business.”

Discover the secrets behind Volvo’s FH range success story

After 26 years since its initial launch in 1993 the Volvo FH accounts for nearly 20% of sales in its sector. The FH has been voted International Truck of the Year on three occasions and it has also collected many transport industry magazine awards along the way, including Motor Transport’s Fleet Truck of the Year in 2017.

"Once in service with our customers it soon became clear that it was a world-beater" Mike Corcoran, commercial director, Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland

However, this success has not been achieved by resting on its laurels. During the past 25 years Volvo has continually developed and delivered many new technologies, alongside world leading safety features. A timeline of these innovations, key moments and awards can be found within these pages.

Reliability and longevity are the cornerstones of any profitable heavy truck and a wide range of customers across the globe rely on the Volvo FH. Long-established haulage contractor Des Hartley & Sons Transport of Birstall, Leeds is one of a select few operators that still use all four Volvo FH generations on frontline haulage duties. The story of this remarkable family-run firm follows on pages 12 and 13.

Finally, looking to the future, we round off this publication with a focus on Volvo’s FH 25 Year Edition truck and the LNG powered FH range. Both these exciting vehicles will be making the news and raising the bar further in future, as the FH range enters its 26th year in production.

Find out how after over 50 years in operation Stuarts Truck and Bus continue to be recognised for excellence

After being named Dealer of the Year 2018 at the Volvo Truck Dealer Awards, we take a look back at the Stuart family’s 50-year association with Volvo Trucks.

The arrival of the first Volvo F88 tractor unit to the UK in 1968, along with the first double-decker livestock trailer for full-sized cattle, revolutionised Stuarts Truck & Bus, which started more than 20 years earlier. More Volvo trucks followed in that F88’s tyre tracks and in 1977, Roy and Ross Stuart were approached by Volvo Trucks UK to step in as a temporary dealer, for three months. Now, 41 years later, Stuarts Truck & Bus continues to provide a range of dealerpoint services for Volvo Trucks customers in Devon and Cornwall from three state-of-the-art premises in Exeter, Plymouth and Victoria.

The family has always worked with the ethos that nothing stays the same, and vision is required to progress change” Ross Stuart, director, Stuarts Truck and Bus

“That factor has been key to driving growth within our Volvo Truck dealership since 1977" says Stuart. "With three generations of Stuarts now employed in a variety of roles across our businesses, the same philosophy will continue to be applied with use of the latest technologies to maximise efficiencies and deliver unparalleled levels of customer service”.

A Deep Dive into the FUSO Canter range

FUSO Canter can trace its history back to the 1930s - learn all about one of the longest established brands in truck history with our free downloadable CM Special.

Today FUSO Canter is firmly settled as part of the Daimler Trucks global family. It is one of the brands that makes Daimler the largest truck manufacturer in the world and it plays an important role in the development of light duty and electric-powered trucks across the business.

In this CM Special, we take a look at the FUSO Canter in operation. We find out that it is at the heart of the evolving urban distribution operation at one of Britain’s largest operators; that it helps small businesses to expand and keeps Britain’s roads clear throughout winter. We also speak to the people who deliver the service to operators and keep FUSO Canter on the road, from Gorebridge, Scotland where sales support is winning rave reviews from customers down to Hertfordshire where a team keeps trucks on the road, 24/7. From 3.5 tonne through to 4x4, Eco Hybrid to 7.5 tonne, this supplement should answer your questions about the Canter.