What makes a good used truck?

In an upcoming edition of Commercial Motor (3 October), the winners of the inaugural Used Truck Awards will be revealed. The shortlist (CM, 1 August 2013) was drawn up by a panel of experts who proved candid and unforgiving in selecting the contenders; there was little room for sentiment.

Benchmarks for the shortlist included market opinion, the technical aspect of each vehicle, residual values, a vehicle’s versatility and whether or not it was genuinely fit for purpose.

The voting is also proving frenetic with clear, but not uncatchable, leaders in each of the six categories (you can still vote, go to commercialmotor.com).

One area the panel agreed upon that was difficult to gauge was the importance of the aftermarket. Certain manufacturers have built strong networks off the back of decent marketshare, amalgamations and multi-franchising; others are more thinly spread but what is universal is location.

More operators defer maintenance to the vehicles’ manufacturer, so there is little point buying the truck of your dreams if the nearest available dealer is 40 miles away. Downtime would be horrendous, better to source a truck where back up is on the on the doorstep.

Then it becomes a question of just how good that dealer is when it comes to doing the work, supplying parts, being affordable and delivering customer service. A manufacturer’s dealer network is only as good as its weakest member.

It is now widely accepted that no one builds a bad truck these days, but what makes a good truck might have little to do with the truck itself.

Pall-Ex Polska fuels network's growth

Pall-Ex Polska has gone live, becoming the fifth Continental territory within the UK business’s expanding pallet network. Run by KMC Services, it is Pall-Ex’s second Eastern European territory after Pall-Ex Romania, which launched in late 2011. The 19-member network, which began officially operating on 13 September in Poland, joins Pall-Ex Italia, Iberia and France, which went live in May of this year, as part of the enlarged group.

Government to publish update on winter readiness soon

The Department for Transport (DfT) is set to publish arrangements for the allocation of the UK’s strategic salt supply next month, transport minister Norman Baker has said.The update to the strategic salt protocol, setting out both the arrangements for the allocation of strategic salt and the price per tonne, should be published in early October, Baker stated recently.

BMC's UK future in doubt

The Turkish government's seizure of its national truck and coach maker BMC has put the brand's future in the UK in doubt, according to the marque's UK and Ireland importer Pelican Engineering.BMC, which makes commercial vehicles, municipal and military vehicles and bus and coaches, was seized in May 2013 by Turkey’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund, which is the governing body for fund management and insurance in the Turkish banking system.

One off auction of Volvo trucks next week

Manheim will host a one-off auction of vehicles from Volvo Trucks next week at its Leeds site.Peter Groome, used truck director at Volvo Trucks, said the sale at Leeds next Thursday (3 October 2013) for 28 tractor units is designed to pull in operators who might not buy directly from the manufacturer or its dealer network. 

Daf launches Euro-6 LF and CF Construction range

Daf has launched its LF and CF Construction truck models, following on from the global launch of the its Euro-6 tractor-units at this year's Commercial Vehicle Show. The construction version of Daf’s CF features a distinctive black grill that the manufacturer describes as “displaying strength”.