The 2022 Commercial Vehicle show was held 24-26 May at NEC, Birmingham, UK.
The event organisers said visitor registration opened in February and the response proved strong with operators keen to explore the latest developments in road transport.
“We have attended the Commercial Vehicle Show since 2016, ever since we announced we were ‘Back in Business’ with commercial vehicles,” said David Crouch of Toyota GB.
“Each year we have used the show to highlight a new element of our commercial vehicle strategy. It provides a platform for us to engage with both new and existing customers about current and future products as we look to increase our position in the UK commercial vehicle market.”
Diya Patel, of ProtectaVan/TVL Group also commented: “We are delighted to be back at the Commercial Vehicle Show this year, where we will be showcasing our latest security products and a unique interactive experience with the TVL Innovation Team. Alongside TVL is ProtectAVan’s complete offering of commercial vehicle accessories. We also have a very exciting initiative to share with visitors at the show, come and see us to find out more.”
Two live Theatres – Workshop Theatre, in association with Commercial Vehicle Workshop, and the Road Ahead Theatre – were used as platforms for keynote presentations on industry megatrends and panel discussions which addressed important topics concerning commercial vehicles, workshop equipment, aftermarket, refrigerated transport solutions and cost-effective technologies.
Tackling driver shortages
With a national shortfall of drivers, there is a lot of work to be done to recruit into the industry.
At the beginning of May, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that record numbers of HGV driver tests have taken place over the last six months.
Policy lead for skills at the RHA, Sally Gilson, – who participated in the Theatre presentations during the three days of the show – has been encouraged by the news: “These record results show what happens when a government prioritises and promotes a sector. If the numbers continue to look this good, it shows the extent to which bringing a flexible, fully-funded training program can impact the HGV and logistics industry.”
In addition, at an exclusive Live Theatre session, the RHA’s Tom Cornwell presented on the provision for adequate driver facilities being ‘a right, not a privilege’. The RHA has launched a petition calling on the government to fast-track a program to improve facilities such as toilets, showers and food. Approximately 11,000 more spaces are needed for drivers parking overnight and this shortfall is resulting in lorries being parked up in unsafe laybys and on industrial estates nationwide.
Glen Mullins, Managing Director of exhibiting company VUE Systems, said: “For over 20 years, VUE has provided fleets with the necessary tools to keep their drivers, vehicles, and others on the road safe. Driver shortage and inadequate driver facilities are big-picture issues, needing the cooperation of government, haulage companies and representative bodies. Vehicle safety and telematics technology helps road transport companies recruit and retain drivers by offering security, tracking and support. We’re delighted to play our part in tackling these important issues and look forward to exploring more ways in which VUE can help businesses upskill their drivers and streamline their fleet operations more cost-effectively.”
RHA Managing Director, Richard Smith, said: “Commercial vehicle drivers continue to put up with poor facilities out on the road and it’s just not good enough. People at work should feel safe and respected; our drivers expect better and deserve better.”
Diversity and inclusion
Facilities issues are also compounding an ongoing discrepancy in gender representation in the road transport sector, with women still accounting for only 1.0 per cent of the UK’s driver workforce. With sophisticated automatic transmission technology available in all modern trucks, coupled with dedicated cargo handlers at distribution centres, any misconceptions over physical handling requirements for a HGV driving job are outdated.
Murray Ellis, Show Director, was hopeful that the 2022 Commercial Vehicle Show would deliver answers for large operators and SMEs to take their business successfully into the next decade of change.
Commercial Vehicle Show is owned and operated by The Commercial Vehicle Show LLP whose members are the Institute of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE), the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Commercial Vehicle Show is the leading, most comprehensive and best-attended commercial vehicle and road transport event in the UK.