The latest new trucks, legal news, as well as updates from dealers and used truck sellers. Whether you’re interested in artics, rigids or tippers; drivers' hours law, driving standards or health and safety regulations; or simply want to know the latest updates from the rental, leasing or finance markets. Our product, dealer and compliance news pages will keep you updated.

Knowles increases profit by a third

Knowles (Transport) is "satisfied" with its profit levels after increasing pre-tax profit by one-third.Pre-tax profit at the Cambridgeshire haulage contractors has risen to £2.84m in the year to December 31, 2005, from £2.12m in 2004.Turnover grew by 9%, to £23.9m in 2005, from £21.9m in 2004, while operating profit rose to £2.27m in 2005 from £1.58m in 2004.The latest results note that "further improvements and investments continue" at the company, aimed at enhancing customer service.Group results show a growth in assets to £24.7m in 2005, from £23.4m in 2004.

Carmans brings its business into profit

Carmans Transport is back in profit after a business restructure in 2004, says managing director Rod Carman. He tells Motor Transport that a re-focus of business activities and a number of significant write-offs of equipment have produced "better business results which has started to show through 2005". And results for the 2006 financial year are looking promising, he says.

DfT admits we were right about Lorry Road User Charge

Motor Transport's sustained criticism of the failed Lorry Road User Charging project has been vindicated - by the DfT minister Stephen Ladyman. With wording that reflects exactly what MT has said consistently since 2002 and was repeatedly rejected by the government as ill-informed and irresponsible, Ladyman says: "We did a thorough feasibility study, and published it, of Lorry Road User Charging and came to the conclusion that if we went ahead with that charge on its own, it would cost several billion pounds and deliver us only several hundred million pounds in reve

Ladyman plays down accident risk of foreign trucks

Transport minister Stephen Ladyman has played down the significance of foreign trucks in side-swiping. "A significant number of side-swiping accidents are caused by British vehicles," he says. DfT statistics show that there were 443 such accidents in 2005 involving foreign trucks compared with 696 involving UK trucks - but there are 35 times as many UK trucks as foreign ones in the UK. Ladyman says that close-proximity mirrors will only partly overcome the problem.

DfT moves on wheel nuts

The DfT should investigate making mandatory the use of wheel nut retention devices or movement indicators. It should also consider a fundamental re-design of the method of wheel attachment in heavy vehicles, says transport  research organisation TRL.TRL adds that a large proportion of drivers fail to adhere to best practice to avoid wheel detachment and that there is no standard approach to torque levels or lubrication, it says.

The Euro exhaust emissions regulations

Emissions regulations seem to dominate the development of vehicle technology, and it is instructive to look at the history of regulations governing commercial vehicle emissions. In 1971 British Standard BS AU 141 laid down procedures for measuring a commercial vehicle’s performance, in particular distinguishing net and gross horsepower figures. It was part of the then new type-approval/homologation process. At the same time it enabled different manufacturers’ powertrains to be fairly compared by prospective buyers.

Croydon to receive retail freight centre

A Croydon-based transport and warehousing firm has expressed an ambition to run the first retail consolidation centre in London.PF Whitehead already runs home-delivery operations for retailers Ikea and B&Q from a site in Beddington, Surrey. It is also a member of the Palletways network.

Dutch extend trials of longer, heavier trucks

The Dutch have moved closer to permanently allowing longer, heavy trucks on their roads but legislation is still a long way off. Trials of the European Modular System (EMS), in which two 25.25m drawbar rigs do the same work as three regular artics, ended this month.

Toyota acquires share in Isuzu

Toyota has acquired a 5.9% share in Isuzu Motors Japan to become Isuzu's third largest shareholder. The move seems designed to bolster Toyota's diesel engine supply and R&D capacity, leaving it free to concentrate on petrol and hybrid technology.However, this does not appear to herald an all-out merger bid by Toyota.

Scottish Nationalists give hauliers support and sympathy

At the Scottish Parliament's freight sector debate, sympathy for Scotland's hauliers came mostly from Scottish National Party MSPs. Fergus Ewing said foreign hauliers are paying less for their fuel and spend less money on maintenance. "How can Scottish hauliers compete with two hands tied behind their backs?" he asked. The tax demands on them are "unfair, unreasonable and onerous". Kenny MacAskill said it is not enough to say that foreign competition in haulage is a matter for Westminster.