HGV news snippets

Photography by Nigel Green at www.truckpictures.co.uk
Photography by Nigel Green at www.truckpictures.co.ukHGV news snippetsHGV news snippetsHGV news snippets

HGV News Snippets

If you are in the haulage business it pays to stay abreast of HGV news, so here are a few snippets from recent press and trade reports.

Catch it on camera

Barely a day goes by without some news item about attempts by illegal immigrants to make the crossing from France to England via the ports of Calais and Dover. Many of those attempts are made, of course, by stowaways on the very lorries you might be operating.

What is worse is that if your vehicle is caught with stowaways on board you face very hefty financial penalties – so high in fact that a report published by HGV UK on the 29th of June 2015 suggests that many haulage operator are facing bankruptcy through fines they are unable to pay. In the past six years, operators have faced a total of more than £12 million in fines handed down by the courts.

The same report goes on to explain that in response to pressures such as this, there has been a significant increase in sales of CCTV monitors and sensors which are mounted on the HGVs – some of which may even alert the presence of intruders or thieves to the driver of the rig through his cell phone.

Attracting younger drivers

On the 17th of June 2015, the BBC broadcast a story about the continuing efforts being made to attract younger people to the lorry driving profession.

The current shortage of qualified drivers and the exodus of qualified drivers following the introduction of compulsory 35 hours of training every five years is made much worse in the longer term by the current age profiles of those driving HGVs – more than half of the workforce is already aged 50 or over, whilst drivers under the age of 30 account for only 7% of the total and those under 25 making up a mere 1% of all drivers.

According to the report, many potential young lorry drivers may also be put off by the relatively high cost of learning to drive an HGV and securing the necessary driving licence – an expense estimated to be an average of £3,000, even where the aspiring professional driver passes the driving test the first time around.

Latest budget – fuel duty frozen

Not surprisingly pressure groups for the haulage industry have long been campaigning for a reduction on the level of fuel duty. According to the Freight Industry Times, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has been leading the campaign for such a reduction.

In the event, in his budget on the 8th of July 2015, the Chancellor revealed that he was not reducing the fuel tax, but did agree to the present level being frozen for a further year. The concession is likely to be applauded by the FTA and by the industry as a whole of course.