Fleet Insurance

The Commercial Vehicle Show Review 2015

From April 14th-16th the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre played host to The Commercial Vehicle Show 2015.

Commercial vehicle show 2015

The largest and most comprehensive road-freight transport event in the UK, The Commercial Vehicle Show, parked itself in Birmingham’s NEC this April. Visitors from all over the country travelled to either be a part of the show or explore what exciting things are happening in the industry.

With nearly 200 businesses exhibiting, the show’s participants this year ranged from all the big hitters such as Mercedes Benz, Peugeot and Bridgestone, and new businesses like the exciting wearable & portable technology startup, Nemesis.

25.3% Growth in 2015

This years show came after a very strong commercial sales performance in March, Britain saw a 25.3% growth in commercial vehicles, which put the 18,000 strong attendance at the event in good spirits. The amazing growth in sales this year was reflected in the exhibitions as there were more tankers and trailers on display than there have been since the recession in 2008.

Larger vehicles and trucks seemed to be a large focus of this year’s show, which reflected the current market, as 2.5 and 3.5 tonne vans, and 3-axle trucks have seen sharp increases in registrations this year. It appears that fleet owners are trying to make their businesses more efficient and flexible.

Technology

The technology on show this year is staggering, TomTom, Blue Tree Systems and Telematics were showing off some outstanding new products. One of the most exciting bits of tech and engineering on show was the Stertil Koni Diamond Lift, an eco friendly commercial vehicle lift that raises two or three very minimalistic columns from inside the ground. The product can make a school bus look like it’s floating in mid air, obviously it’s not meant for magic tricks, but HGV mechanics will certainly find it a small miracle if installed in their garage.

The Commercial Vehicle Show is one of the best places to meet other fleet managers and businesses, and 2015 also saw the launch of the CV show’s Youtube channel, bringing fleet owners and businesses together all year round. Can’t wait until next year!

To enquire about our Fleet Insurance policies, please visit our Fleet page, or get in touch, we’ll get you the best deal.

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The Autonomous Future of Commercial Fleets

What effect will autonomous driving have on commercial vehicles? Think Insurance finds out.

volvo brake autonomous

As the UK Government plans to invest £100 million in driverless technology this year, Think Insurance wanted to consider what might happen to the commercial side of transport, taking in the current technology and the proposed ideas for the future, and also exploring the future of the commercial driver.

Though cars are not yet driving themselves, we have already seen certain driverless technology incorporated into commercial vehicles. Take the new Volvo Trucks, they can now be fitted with a cruise control that monitors the space between the truck and the vehicle in front, better still the car is fitted with a collision warning that will light on the windscreen and an emergency brake, which automatically assists drivers if they are likely to crash. You can watch the technology for yourself in this, honestly, terrifying video.

Other sensory technologies currently available can alert drivers if cyclists are nearby, it is thought this technology will save hundreds if not thousands of lives every year. Audible or visual alerts can be sent to the driver if a cyclist is close, allowing the driver to take extra caution.

The biggest step in autonomous commercial has come with the launch of the Daimler Future Truck. The massively comfortable looking lorry allows the driver to take their eyes of the road and relax, but if necessary the driver can swing round in their chair and take the wheel again. Launched in 2014 at the International Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover, the vehicle not only has sensors that stop it from causing collisions, it is also linked up to a central traffic control system, which feeds it information, this lets the vehicle know if emergency vehicles are nearby and will move accordingly to avoid them and let them pass.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Autonomous Fleets

The benefits of autonomous driving are multiple, they’ll be better for the environment by reducing emissions, they’ll be safer for pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers, and they’ll hopefully ease congestion on roads. There seems to be only one negative. With advances getting more and more impressive, it is possible that future employment in commercial driving could one day dry up, after all, staffing is one of the biggest costs for fleet owners. There genuinely could be a day where there is no need for drivers, and the vehicles could do the work, but until then the only autonomous cars being built still require a licensed driver to be in control of the vehicle.

At the moment the idea of autonomous controlled vehicles is being welcomed by the majority of fleet drivers, most of them suggesting it would remove stress from their working day. In a survey taken by Venson, a specialist in automotive solutions, 62% said they would welcome the technology. Though only 55% believed the vehicles could actually reduce road accidents.

Autonomous vehicles are now being tested in four UK cities, it is hoped that we’ll see the first autonomous cars available to the British public in less than a decade. Until then, fleet drivers will have to keep there eyes on the road!

If you are looking for a good deal on your fleet insurance please visit our Fleet Insurance page now.

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Can Taxis and Apps Work in Harmony?

The rise in app based taxis, car sharing and London’s unlicensed minicabs and rickshaws has driven many cabbies to despair. Their businesses are suffering because of the newer and sometimes more convenient app based services.

In June, 5,000 black cab drivers took to London and blockaded the city streets in protest against the new trend and many cities and taxi drivers the world over are angry with the situation.

The debate between the services was even brought to attention by American animated comedy, South Park, who classically lampooned the debate in their uniquely crude way.

Uber

The main business riling the cab drivers up is Uber, a taxi service, which you can hail, pay for and tip with your smartphone. The general secretary of The London Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) called them ‘a massive American monster that uses its financial muscle and army of lawyers to threaten, cajole and kowtow licensing authorities and regulators’.

The app has its conveniences. Licensed drivers, a range of sizes and vehicle qualities, and at the end of the night when all your cash is spent you can pay on your phone and split the bill evenly with your mates.

The app’s negatives are also very clear, their screening of drivers is inadequate. The world over there have been attacks, sexual harassment and assault from Uber drivers, some of whom have had a cluttered criminal past, and in some cases their drivers have no knowledge of the city they operate in.

The Knowledge of London

To get your green badge license that allows London Taxi Drivers to drive around the whole of Greater London they must pass a medical, pass an enhanced criminal records check, and learn ‘The Knowledge of London’. The Knowledge of London test ensures LTD drivers have an intimate knowledge of London’s streets and traffic, something that a satellite navigation system cannot offer. It is known as the world’s most intensive taxi driving course and often takes around 12 attempts to pass the final test and nearly three years of preparation.

It is understandable why LTD drivers are upset. Their hard work and investiture in their business will be for nothing if Uber takes over. That being said, their should be a way that LTD and an app based service can work together.

Hailo

Hailo is an app co founded by internet entrepreneurs and taxi drivers with over 50 years of experience between them. They work only with licensed black cabs, allowing drivers to find a fair should they need the business, they have a cancellation system in place, which charges users small fee if they cancel after a certain period of time, and it works in a similar simple vane as Uber, you hail, you pay and you tip with your phone.

So it is possible for fully licensed drivers to get along with the age of the app. It would be a truly dreadful day if the hard work and effort that cabbies put into their business were to end. Hopefully that day never has to come, and that new apps like Hailo can be developed that work alongside drivers rather than trying to muscle them out.

For information on Taxi Insurance please visit our site.

 

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Taxi Insurance FAQ

At Think Insurance we have over thirty years of experience in the taxi insurance market. We know what taxi drivers want, probably more than most as our Taxi Insurance Sales Manager used to be a Birmingham Taxi driver.

Taxi Cyclist

Photo by Dave Bleasdale / CC BY

With all these years of experience behind us we know how to take care of any queries you might have about Taxi Driver insurance. Here we’ve compiled a list of our customer’s most frequently asked questions. If you have any more questions don’t hesitate to visit our main Think Taxi Insurance page and ask us.

Do you insure brand new taxi drivers?

Yes we do! We insure brand new drivers who are just starting out. Here at Think we don’t think you’ll be irresponsible as a new driver, and so we are happy to insure brand new taxi drivers. If you have private car no claims bonus we may be able to transfer this to your Taxi Insurance.

Welcome to the job!

What are the age limits for insuring Taxi Drivers?

Taxi Drivers must be between the ages of 21 and 70 years old. You are unable to hold a taxi license until you are 21 years of age, so we are unable to insure a driver under 21.

(We have Taxi insurance rates for drivers age 21+ for private hire drivers.)

What vehicles do you insure?

We insure Black cabs, saloons, MPVs and Minibuses. We can cover almost any type of vehicle, whether for private hire, public hire or Chauffer’s.

Photo by Moon Lee / CC BY

Photo by Moon Lee / CC BY

Do you Insure Taxi Fleets?

Yes, we do offer taxi fleet insurance. If you own a fleet of taxis, we’ll happily insure every one of them for you.

Could my spouse drive the taxi for non-work related purposes?

Yes, you can get your spouse insured on your taxi, but first make sure your licensing authority allows this or that your partner is a licensed private or public hire driver. If they are not, they may be unable to drive your taxi.

What happens if my vehicle is written off?

If you have comprehensive cover and your vehicle is written off, you will be paid its market value at the time of the accident. If your car is written off, this will help massively in getting you right back to work as soon as possible.

What is a no claims discount?

If you do not make an insurance claim and remain incident free for a year, you will can earn a no claims bonus discount on your insurance. Each year you do not make a claim your discount will increase. Basically, the better you drive, the less you pay!

Here at Think we insure Taxis and Fleets, take a look now.

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South London bus crashes into a tree injuring more than 20 people.

article-2526978-1A38499A00000578-344_634x787

A south London bus has crashed into a tree while swerving to avoid an emergency vehicle. The crash has left more than 20 people injured, 2 of which are in critical condition.

Emergency crews are now using a cherry picker to gain access to the back of the bus where 2 people are believed to be trapped.

The number 59 bus, which was heading to King’s Cross at the time, crashed into the tree on Kennington Road, Kennington, near the Ship pub.

‘Around a dozen people are believed to have been injured and firefighters are working to release two people who are believed to be trapped.

‘Four fire engines are on the scene from Soho, Westminster, and Lambeth fire stations. London Ambulance Service, the air ambulance, and the Metropolitan police are also at the scene.’

London fire brigade station manager Clive Robinson, who is at the scene, said: ‘We are working to release two people who are trapped on the top deck of the bus.

‘A number of people are have been injured and being taken care of by paramedics. Our priority at the moment is to help the people who are trapped, and firefighters are working very hard to free them at the moment.’

 

If you need fleet or minibus that needs insuring, get in touch with Think Insurance today for a quote.

 

 

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