CM Show 2020: Join Mercedes-Benz in the virtual world

Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK is showcasing its market-leading products and services at the Commercial Motor Show 2020.

The jewel in the crown for Mercedes-Benz Trucks is the new Actros. Show attendees can find out why the truck was crowned International Truck of the Year 2020, and learn about its pioneering innovations, including MirrorCam, Multimedia Cockpit, Enhanced Predictive Powertrain Control, Active Brake Assist 5 and Active Drive Assist.

These features increase driver comfort, business efficiency and safety, all of which will be in the spotlight at the show. Both the new Actros and the new Arocs are capable of obtaining four-star ratings under the Direct Vision Standard, subject to specification, and this will be highlighted at the show.

Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz Econic has also been awarded a five-star rating by Transport for London, meaning no additional equipment is required to obtain a 10 year HGV Safety Permit.

eMobility is set to be a hot topic at the show, and Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK’s parent – Daimler Trucks – leads the way in this area. It was the first manufacturer to offer a series-production all-electric 7.5-tonner – the FUSO eCanter, which has been in operation by several UK customerssince 2018. Furthermore, the Mercedes-Benz eActros and eEconic are on the way – Mercedes-Benz Trucks will be detailing its electric truck plans at the show.

The manufacturer is committed to keeping businesses connected and moving, so experts from its Connectivity and Customer Service teams will be on hand to discuss Fleetboard, Mercedes-Benz Uptime, the Truck App Portal and Authorised Repairer network. A Tech Talk at the show will give insight into an innovative partnership with Continental, while there will also be a competition running to win a driving experience at Mercedes-Benz World.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK head of product and marketing Ross Paterson said: “We’re delighted to be exhibiting at this brand-new event for the commercial road transport industry. This innovative new platform fits perfectly with our market-leading products and technologically advanced services, and we hope to speak to plenty of attendees over the course of the three days.”

Fatal collision operator put out of business

Immingham

A haulage company whose vehicle was involved in a fatal collision with a cyclist because the driver’s vision was obscured by a table top on the dashboard has now had its licence revoked.

Traffic commissioner Nick Denton said S&J Transport had known before the crash in Birmingham that drivers were obscuring their windscreens with satnavs and toys, but had not done anything about it.

In October 2017, a lorry driven by Robert Bradbury hit cyclist Dr Suzanna Bull after failing to spot her when it turned left, due to the cluttered dashboard.

In December 2019, Bradbury was sentenced to 21 months in prison for causing death by careless driving and S&J Transport was fined £112,500 (CM 19 December 2019).

At a Birmingham public inquiry, director and transport manager Stephen Adams told TC Denton that he had been unaware his driver fitted the table to the dashboard.

However, during an adjournment, PC Mark Crozier from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit of West Midlands police, who was in the public gallery, emailed the TC to say this contradicted evidence given at the trial.

At a reconvened PI in July, barrister Christopher Hopkins admitted that the company had misled the TC and it had been aware that Bradbury drove with a dashboard table in place.

S&J Transport accepted that it failed to put in place a blanket ban and had failed to enforce the removal of tables used by drivers.

Adams was no longer involved in the company, having retired in March 2020 due to ill health, and his sons Brian and David Adams had now been appointed directors.

Hopkins listed a range of changes at the firm, including the tightening up of driver discipline, maintenance standards and driver checks, but the TC said management of drivers had been weak and ineffective.

Two years after the fatal incident a vehicle was found to have a large satnav obscuring the driver’s vision and the vehicle’s windscreen and nearside mirror were in such a state that the mirror was rendered useless.

“Drivers committing very serious drivers’ hours infringements were producing risible excuses equivalent to ‘the dog ate my homework’ which were simply being accepted by the operator,” the TC said.

“The impression I received was very much of a company which simply could not or would not manage its drivers.”

TC Denton found that the company and its transport manager Stephen Adams had lost their repute, he revoked the licence and disqualified the directors Stephen and Jane Adams for five years each.