Innovation not in short supply

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The 21st Century stand was busy – as ever. PETER JACKSON

The industry’s suppliers brought a raft of new products with them to the show, as well as refinements and developments of their existing ranges. CBW looks at some of the highlights

21st Century
On display on the 21st Century stand was the Journeo Remote Condition Monitoring (RCM) system, which has been installed on 2,000 vehicles since its launch. It now has enhanced capabilities thanks to a new cloud-based platform: Journeo Edge.

The new system can manage video downloads for all major DVR types installed on UK coaches and buses. As part of this upgrade, a secure evidence locker with user-defined retention periods has been added.

The Ashby-de-la-Zouch-based company also showed off the SmartVision digital wing mirror system, as featured on a number of recently-delivered ADL buses.


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Alfatronix has more charging products planned for the future. PETER JACKSON

Alfatronix was showing its new Podsole at this year’s show. The device supports both wireless and USB charging of mobile devices on a single printed circuit board. Sales Director Claire Phillips explained: “The idea is that it’s totally rugged and versatile, and can be attached the back of any coach or bus seat. It also has moisture and dust ingress protection to IP65, which means it can be installed on the sidewall of a vehicle.

“It will charge any wireless-enabled phone from the wireless charger, or you can use the USB port to charge devices if you wish. It also acts as a non-slip phone holder, so the phone is held securely whilst it’s charging.

“There are also branding options,” Claire continued. “We do a lot of customisation, so you could have the Podsole fully branded on the back of your vehicles’ seats if you wanted to.”

Alfatronix has more up its sleeve in terms of future products, as Claire revealed: “We will soon offer products to charge laptops onboard, and we also have demand for quick-charge systems. So watch this space!”

BAE Systems

BAE Systems showed off its third-gen MPCS and MAPS. PETER JACKSON

BAE Systems exhibited the third-generation products from its Power & Propulsion Solutions division. Business Development Manager of the division, Scott Heyburn, talked through its 2019 offering: “We are displaying the MPCS (Modular Power Control System) and MAPS (Modular Accessory Power System). The MPCS distributes power from batteries and motors for the propulsion of the vehicle, while the MAPS is largely accessory-based. It will replace an alternator, and allows for three-phase accessories like air-conditioning and air compressors to be connected.”

The key word in the names of both products is ‘modular.’ Both systems are comprised of individual ‘slices’ with different connections, which can be added or removed depending on the vehicle’s electric motor configuration and the number of accessories it has onboard. For example, a small, low-powered electric bus with no air-conditioning won’t need as many ‘slices’ and connections as a large double-decker with a powerful motor and an array of onboard electronics. By taking this approach, any additional complexity (and cost) can be eliminated where it is not needed.

The firm was also eager to spread the word about its latest collaboration with Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), to create Brighton & Hove’s newly-delivered geofenced hybrid buses. The Enviro400ER double-deckers switch to zero-emissions mode when they enter the city’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), to improve air quality and improve fuel efficiency in start-stop city traffic.

The impressive BraunAbility stand showcased a number of new and existing products designed to make life easier for passengers and operators alike. Available for demonstration were a number of wheelchair lifts, with its team keen to point out the low weight of the products, which appeared to be of strong sturdy construction and operate smoothly and quietly, whilst folding away neatly when not in use. BraunAbility’s Q-series lift is a high-quality product that aims to be the benchmark for commercial operators, but for the more cost-conscious community transport and special needs sectors the E-series provides a quality, no-frills alternative: “We want this to be the essential lift.”

Also of interest to vehicle manufacturers and converters were the firm’s new Innotrax flooring system, which with its slim 25mm profile has been designed to maximise headroom, whilst again minimising weight. In addition, BraunAbility displayed its range of wheelchair tie-down and restraints which are essential for safe operation.

Cogent displayed a GM Coachworks minibus fitted with Hawk seats, owned by London Hire and destined for use with Milton Keynes Council. On display were its new M1-category seat, weighing in at 13.5kg, whilst a new bus seat designed for urban buses was also launched at the show. Speaking about the new M1 seat, Managing Director Rhys Kotschy said: “Everyone is conscious of weight, we don’t want to lose the comfort, so we have used different steels to save weight but still keep it comfortable and meet M1 standards.”

Seats are not the only strand to Cogent’s bow. Rhys explained: “We also convert vehicles, and have our own test centre too, where we’ve just opened a new tilt test facility which can cater for tri-axle coaches up to 14 metres in length. We can do Regulation 40, 80 and 17 testing. We recently moved from our 10,000 sq. ft. premises to new ones with 24,000 sq. ft. of space and land to expand. We want to bring more work in-house.”


Left to right: D4Drivers Director Hannah Campion, Customer Service Manager Stacey Morton, Operations Manager Tom Blain and Sales & Marketing Manager Ryan Vaughan. PETER JACKSON

D4Drivers’ Sales & Marketing Manager, Ryan Vaughan, revealed that the driver medical test supplier now has over 70 locations nationwide.

He explained: “We provide medicals for professional drivers for £50, with an eye test included. Often, when people go to their own GPs for medicals, they can expect a three to four-week waiting time and a charge of £150 for a medical. We usually see drivers within five days, and offer a lot of out-of-hours appointments on evenings and at weekends.

“At this event, we’re trying to push our new online booking system. Any business that wants to book medicals through us can be setup with a D4Drivers account, and can then log into a booking system to book appointments themselves or give drivers single-use virtual voucher codes to enable them to book appointments themselves. A training company could include that as part of their training package, for example.

“At the moment, we provide 4,000 medicals a month – just over 10% of the UK market. Our aim of course is to continue to increase that market share.”


DriveTech ran a competition on its stand to win a Porsche driving experience. PETER JACKSON

Part of the AA, DriveTech specialises in fleet risk and safety management and driver training. Visitors to its stand would have noticed a new service in the company’s line-up, DriveTech Pulse.

Pulse is a fleet risk health check, which looks at policies, vehicles, drivers and journeys to identify any potential compliance and duty of care issues. Although as standard it only covers vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes, larger vehicles can be included optionally – ideal for operators with mixed fleets of minibuses and coaches.

Should an operator decide to go for the health check, they’ll be sent a questionnaire prior to DriveTech’s visit to collect some basic information. With that completed, a trained fleet risk assessor will be sent out to survey the site or sites, before compiling a comprehensive written report.

The report will include red, amber and green charts, a dashboard and tables to help operators identify potential problem areas. In addition, the assessor will put together a recommended action plan, with a list of actions to prioritise (along with the operator’s current risk in each area).
Finally, the DriveTech fleet team will conduct a follow-up visit after 6-12 months to follow up on measurable improvements.


Eberspächer launched its new HS3 water heater and Airtronic 2 and Airtronic 4 heating units at the show. JONATHAN WELCH

Eberspächer’s team reported quite a bit of interest at the show. Of interest were the company’s latest products which included the new HS2 water heater and AirTronic2 and AirTronic4 2kW and 4kW heaters, which feature CANBUS wiring, silent fuel pumps and brushless motors for reliable and quiet operation. Stepless motors are now standard, meaning an infinite amount of fine control instead of the ‘1-2-3-4’ positions of the previous generation, which will mean a greater degree of comfort and user-friendliness.


Eminox’s Carlos Vicente with the new Tourismo retrofit system. PETER JACKSON

Emissions control firm Eminox launched a new retrofit system for the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo coach at the show, which has already been fitted to a Hearn’s of London vehicle.

The system will enable operators with Euro V Tourismos to use the vehicles in London’s ULEZ and in other low emission zones, as it reduces emissions to Euro VI levels – which means a roughly 95% reduction in NOx.

“After thoroughly assessing our options in the retrofit market, we considered Eminox to be the company of choice for converting our vehicles to the Euro VI standard,” said Jamie Thacker, Director of Hearn’s. “It was the only company with the scale of operations and support in the UK, along with technical capability that could give us the confidence that a solution would be provided on time and on budget. Eminox’s retrofit SCRT technology allows our existing vehicles to meet the ULEZ requirements, which is vital for our business.”

Alongside this, the firm announced its ‘Retrofit Routes to Euro VI’ initiative, which includes a development roadmap for future retrofits. On the list of planned products is a system for the Irizar i6, Neoplan’s Starliner and Cityliner, the Scania K360, Setra S416 GT-HD and Volvo’s B12B and B12M chassis.

We spoke to Eminox’s Retrofit Sales Director, Carlos Vicente. He asked us the first question: “How many B9R retrofits do you think we’ve sold, having been first to market,” he said. He then revealed that it was as low as 20-30 units.

“The roadmap we’ve released includes the best-selling vehicles, but if somebody comes to us with an order for 50 systems for a vehicle that isn’t on the list, they will immediately go straight to the top of the list,” he said.

“The companies that are buying our B9R retrofits are refurb companies, who are turning former National Express coaches into school buses. Fitting our system to one of those vehicles is the cheapest route to a Euro VI coach.

“The haulage industry is really putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to retrofits – we can’t wait for coaches.”

The company is trying to offer systems for a mix of lower and higher-end coaches, Carlos explained, the theory being that owners of Setras and Neoplans may be more likely to purchase retrofits as the resale value of the base vehicle is higher than something like a B9R. As always however, Eminox is open to ideas for other retrofit systems if the interest is there.

“When we have to take the development cost up-front and are selling systems in ones and twos, it’s difficult to justify.”
Euroliners, part of parent company Wheel and Motion Ltd, had a stand packed full of wheel trims and associated accessories. The family-run firm has been going for over 35 years, and designs, manufactures and supplies wheel covers for a range of vehicles – including coaches, buses and minibuses.

Recent additions to the range include covers for the Renault Master, Vauxhall Movano and Nissan NV400, which are now in stock at the company’s Gomersal, West Yorkshire headquarters.

“It’s rare for us to find a wheel that we can’t cover,” said Director Pepa Smith. “We have been challenged a few times, but it’s still possible!

“We’re forever trying to bring new designs out, and if we can improve a product, we will. We try to make the designs more streamlined and closer to the vehicle where possible, to reduce the risk of them getting damaged.”

Freeway Fleet Systems

Freeway had a DeLorean DMC-12 on its stand. PETER JACKSON

Freeway had a particularly eye-catching stand at this year’s show, displaying a DeLorean DMC-12 – the stainless steel-bodied sports car made famous by Back to the Future. This low mileage example attracted quite a bit of attention from passing visitors.

Displayed behind the car was a board with the tagline ‘Freeway to the Future.’ The description beneath read: “Don’t get stuck in the past. It’s time to switch to digital. Real-time fleet information at your fingertips – anywhere, anytime.”

Managing Director Patrick Tandy told us more: “One of the key things we see in the industry is that people are still using paper to keep records of everything. The DeLorean really symbolises us trying to move people from the paper past to the digital future. We’ve been around as long as the DeLorean as a company, so we’ve seen that gradual move to digital over the years. We’re now trying to push everything towards that.

“This year we’ve introduced a new browser-based app called Fleet in Your Pocket – which can do pretty much all of the regular day-to-day activities which are traditionally recorded on paper.

“By creating a web app (which works through a browser) as opposed to a downloadable application, we can be much more flexible in the way we develop things,” Patrick explained. “It also means that the connectivity between the person using the app and the data source is immediate.”

A fire suppression system designed specifically for electric vehicles was displayed by Firetrace.

The system uses a non-conductive agent, Novec 1230, which is forced out of a pressurised tube once it is compromised due to heat beyond 115C. Novec 1230 boils at room temperature and leaves nothing to clean up once it is triggered. The agent will only fight a fire when in gas form, but is brought out of the system in this form.

Tommy Crombleholme, Field Sales Engineer at Firetrace, demonstrated how safe the agent is around electrical equipment by spraying it in liquid form all over a nearby television. No negative impact whatsoever was made on the device and the liquid quickly evaporated.

GoMedia & Icomera

GoMedia Managing Director Roger Matthews. PETER JACKSON

GoMedia announced a partnership with Icomera ahead of the show, with the two companies jointly exhibiting on the Icomera stand. We covered the announcement of what the partnership describes as ‘the UK coach and bus industry’s first real-time customer information solution’ in CBW1413, but met up with GoMedia Managing Director Roger Matthews at the NEC to find out more.

“From our previous experience of travelling into London via train and coach, we realised how important on-board passenger information is. Naturally, people want to know where they are, whether they’re going to reach their destination on time and whether there are going to be any delays. So, we did a lot of backend work to create a cloud-based processing system which ingests APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) from multiple inputs – including coach and bus trackers – to identify the vehicle that the device is on and work out what service the vehicle is running.

“Passengers will then use the local WiFi on a coach or bus (they won’t need an external internet connection) to then check whether their service is on time. That information gets updated whenever there’s a schedule update, so the information is always as near to real-time as possible.

“We’ve launched that service on FirstGroup vehicles already in the UK, and we’re going to be launching it in Europe and the USA later this year too.

“Off the back of that, we’ve developed a product called Share my Ride. Passengers can then share via text, WhatsApp or email their journey details with their loved ones – so that they too can see whether the service is on-time.

“We do live maps for three of our operators at the moment, which can show in real-time where the vehicle is on a map too.”

All of this new functionality is made possible by Icomera’s new VTC ICR-2 mobile router box, which has more processing power than the company’s previous products.

How’s My Driving?

How’s My Driving? was raising awareness of its Battling Suicide campaign. PETER JACKSON

Road safety specialists How’s My Driving? partnered with a very worthy cause for this year’s show: 5asideCHESS and its Battling Suicide bus.

The organisation is a social enterprise, which means it reinvests all profits from its road safety sticker scheme back into other projects to help road safety. For 2019, it decided to sponsor 5asideCHESS’ attendance to the show and help create a joint campaign called ‘Driving Better Mental Health.’

Tom Footitt, Business Development Manager at How’s My Driving? told us more: “For the last 18 months, we’ve had the Battling Suicide bus out on the road to raise awareness of social isolation and loneliness. Naturally, in this industry there can be a lot of time away from home, long hours and often a lot of pressure on drivers. Increased traffic on the roads is the most common reason we hear as to why drivers are leaving the industry.

“We wanted to address this, as it’s easy to talk about mental health but the next step is to do something about it. So, we came up with this 5asideCHESS game. It takes four minutes to play the whole game; it’s not about the game of chess though, but about using it as a catalyst for conversation.

“It gets people to put their phone down and ask each other, ‘what’s going on with you, how’s your life?’ Most people say that they’re busy and don’t have time, but we’re all busy. Life’s busy. But those four minutes can really help.

“The stories scattered across the bus are all from those who’ve been affected by loss through suicide. There are too many messages on there. What we’re offering here is a tool to spark genuine conversation – and you learn a lot through it.”

INIT showcased its latest products at the NEC, including live feedback for drivers to improve efficiency and automated passenger counting.

Jens Mullak, INIT UK’s Managing Director, said: “Providers of public transport are under increasing pressure to deliver services which support the national agenda to reduce toxic fumes in our cities, meet the needs of the local authorities and deliver a safe and convenient service for customers.

“Our R&D team is already working on tomorrow’s challenges and we are constantly looking at ways of developing solutions and services which respond to these changing requirements, by creating innovative technology which integrates all operational processes for the deployment of electric vehicles.

“INIT is over 35 years old; this provides transport organisations with stability and also vast experience; these experts attended the show to hear about operational problem areas whilst showcasing how we can solve these problems.”

Mobile Onboard
Mobile Onboard’s latest generation mTicketr and Beam WiFi products were on show this year.

The mTicketr is a system designed to take contactless and mobile payments from operators who don’t require ITSO. This means a full feature product can be provided at a lower price point.

“It works well for express commuter services where concessionary travel is not a requirement,” said Corbin Adler, Director of Mobile Onboard. “It’s already in use with The Kings Ferry and Clarkes of London. It’s also useful for school services and Park & Ride.

“The system can be supplied with built-in Beam Wifi, which can connect to other systems such as CCTV. Despite this extra kit, the new mTicketr machine does not have a much larger footprint than the original. It can also be attached to a number of surfaces quite easily thanks to a small bolt-on platform, which is ideal as many commuter vehicles do not have much space to place a ticket machine on.”

The new generation of Beam WiFi products includes the compact Beam Xpress i device, which is small enough to fit in your average jacket pocket. This device is designed for use on minibuses and other smaller vehicles, and includes built-in tracking.

The 5i – an ‘all rounder’ – and the range-topping 8i designed for up to 80 simultaneous device connections, were also on display. The two larger devices feature a new diagnostic screen on the front to help quickly identify technical faults and issues.

All of the new Beam products have lower price points than previous generations.

NMI Seating

NMI’s Managing Director Ilan Alfassa was keen to show off the Sit Safe patented combined adult and child seat, which seems like an ideal solution for young children travelling by coach. In its normal position, the seat looks like any other, but by pulling one lever and folding the backrest forwards it converts to a rear-facing child seat. With M1 and M2 versions also available, the seat is aimed at all markets.

“Facing backwards is the safest way for a child to travel,” said Ilan, “and parents don’t need to carry a separate seat.” It also means that children can sit facing their parents on a journey, he said, adding that fitting four of these seats per coach would be enough for most operators’ needs, yet make a big difference in terms of safety and convenience for passengers.

Additionally, NMI offers a range of adaptable wheelchair restraints which are designed to protect wheelchair-bound passengers’ heads and backs by offering a solid backrest. The RIPS+ seat folds to provide a wheelchair space, and neatly swivels through 90 degrees at the pull of a lever to create more manoeuvring room in the aisle. When in use as a normal seat, it is just like any other, with full seatbelt and able to recline.

NMI also displayed their flooring systems: “There are lots on the market,” said Ilan, “but ours is composite and very light.”

Notlost was promoting its lost property management system to the coach and bus industry for the first time, having seen success in other industries. The company has worked with the O2 Arena and Eurostar, and recently added Oxford Bus Company to its clientbase. It claims that the operator has seen its lost property handling time reduced by 80% in the 12 months since the companies started working together.

The system uses image recognition to quickly identify what the lost item is, so it can be searched for very easily when a passenger makes an inquiry. A demonstration was carried out using a television remote control, where the system identified the colour of the remote, the fact it was a TV remote and even the brand of the television.

The system also includes options for postage and invoicing, input details for where the object was found and the ability to submit a lost item without a photo for sensitive objects like passports and bank cards. It can also be tied into an operator’s website, allowing passengers to make enquiries through a website form instead of taking up a member of staff’s time on the phone.

Omnibus took its latest innovation to the show, a next generation cloud-based Allocation System, which it says will ‘revolutionise’ depot allocation. Also on show was an all-new cloud-based timetable management system with integrated mapping.

Both systems are designed to save operators time, by integrating geographical information into schedules without the need for multiple applications.
The company took a redesigned stand to this year’s show, too, which incorporated bus stop displays showing off its OmniSTOPdesign software. The product is designed to give operators full control over what is displayed at bus stops, including branding, in a straightforward and intuitive way.

Omnibus developers are also working on adding ‘internal intelligence’ to all the scheduling products, to provide users with the option to automate more of the process if they choose, and also to guide them to better and more robust solutions. These features are designed to benefit advanced users, while also being accessible and valuable to those with less experience of computer scheduling.

Managing Director Peter Crichton commented: “We have spent nearly 30 years in this industry, continuously innovating and leading the way. We put our customers at the heart of every innovation, ensuring that customers remain in complete control of all Omnibus cloud-based products, with all the benefits this technology brings.”


Optibus UK & Eire General Manager Dave Joshua. PETER JACKSON

Planning, scheduling and rostering software developer Optibus was promoting its cloud-based systems. “Unlike a lot of traditional products, ours are built around trying to help particularly newer schedulers – and some of the older schedulers too who have a lot of great ideas – model different scenarios around the current schedule,” Optibus UK & Eire General Manager Dave Joshua told CBW.

“We’re doing it quicker than other systems too; what might take somebody three or four hours in their existing system can take just a few minutes. We’ve had a really good response from existing clients to the new products, and from new ones. They like the way it looks and the way it works.

“We have map system, which uses Google Maps and Street View. You can go right down to street level to see where the bus station and bus stops are visually, and build routes as if you’re ‘driving’ on the road. And there’s so much more coming, too – it’s really exciting.

“Any route changes can be integrated automatically into the timetable as well, so there’s no need to have multiple windows open and use different programmes. This does it all in one system. If you build a route on the map, it will also automatically build its own timetable based on the distances between the stops, which you can then manipulate as you wish. There’s a lot more automation to make it easier for schedulers.”

Phoenix Seating

Design Engineer Craig Fox shows off Phoenix’s new Vega urban bus seat. JONATHAN WELCH

Besides existing products, Phoenix was keen to show off its new Vega seat, which was launched at the show. “This is our first bus seat,” said Sales and Marketing Manager Becky Hadley, “it is designed to be modular, we can attach various parts to the basic seat, such as USB ports. It is designed and manufactured in the UK.”

The smart-looking seat was designed by Design Engineer Craig Fox. “It is very different to what we are used to,” he said, “it has no seatbelts for example, and the M3 test is different to M1 or M2. We had to come up with ideas to make it lighter, and we made it easy to change parts.”

Since urban bus seats have a much harder life than community or school buses, the latter is an important consideration to operators. “It is very versatile,” Craig concluded.

Q-Straint had on display a number of items from its range of products. The Quantum restraint is designed to hold passengers’ wheelchairs securely in place on a moving bus, whilst allowing the user to board and alight independently without holding up the bus or needing intervention from the driver. Q-Straint’s heavy duty restraints can secure up to 200kgs.

Also on display was the lightweight OmniSurface flooring system, which is most often fitted to M2 vehicles and glues to the OEM vehicle floor. It provides compatibility with the firm’s range of tie-down equipment.


Rescroft displayed its new range of lightweight seating. JONATHAN WELCH

Seating manufacturer Rescroft launched its latest range at the show. “These are our long-awaited new products,” Sales Director Neil Widdowfield said. “They are derivatives of our CT Light range, and more eco friendly. They are lighter, use less steel and are more cost effective. They now weigh just 12kg for a single seat.”

Commendably, the plastic backs also use recycled ABS plastic. “Our main sectors, which are local authorities and special education, are very much driven by price and weight,” he continued. “In the 3.5 tonne vehicle market, which is important as it can be driven with a D1 licence, 1.5kg off a seat might not seem much but multiplied by 16 it makes a big difference.

“We’ve had a lot of positive enquiries and arranged meetings with some existing clients in the near future. The benefit of a show like this is that all the vehicle manufacturers are here, it’s good to see them all.”

Road Tech

Road Tech is rightly proud of its new Tachomaster DOT, which has gone down well with operators. PETER JACKSON

The Road Tech team was on-hand at the NEC this year to promote its latest product, Tachomaster DOT. We first covered DOT back in CBW1391, since when Road Tech has had considerable interest in the system, which downloads vehicle and driver tachograph data daily to be analysed in its own Tachomaster software.

“To be honest with you, it’s absolutely taken off,” said the company’s Sales Manager Maureen Ballance. “It’s even surprised us. Before we launched it back in April, we made up what we thought was good stack of units – but they went out of the door like you would not believe!

“When you think about it, it’s one of the most aggravating things in a traffic office. You’ve got to get the vehicle where you want it, get the driver’s card downloaded… it’s aggravation. With this, you don’t have to do anything. It does it all for you. You just have to be a Tachomaster customer, as that analyses all of the data.

“We’re always developing our existing systems as well, and we’re currently writing another one too. Two of our customers are trialling it at the moment; if the trials go well, then we’ll be launching it later this year.”

TD Tyres
Accredited nationwide tyre supplier to coach and bus operators, TD Tyres, has been in the industry for 17 years. At this year’s show, it took the opportunity to display something which it has never offered before: Continental’s Urban HA3 315/60R22.5 tyre aimed at electric buses.

The new product, which was launched worldwide back in April, has been developed to support greater gross vehicle weight and withstand the instant torque delivery typical of electric motors. It is able to do this thanks to what TD describes as an ‘extremely robust’ casing, which features high wire density. The result is a load carrying capacity of eight tonnes per axle – half a tonne more than the equivalent normal tyre. This is the first tyre Continental has offered which is specifically designed for electric buses in city traffic.

Elsewhere on the TD Tyres stand, a selection of other coach, bus and minibus tyres were on display from both Continental and Barum.

The upcoming Kazoot app was being promoted by Ticketer, which has been designed to help operators better communicate with passengers.

The app brings together real time information and the ability to sell mobile tickets. It helps passengers to locate bus services close to them, for which they can easily purchase tickets if the operator is enrolled on the system and has a compatible Ticketer machine on its buses. There is no charge for operators to be enrolled on the system and it is cleanly designed to allow easy integration of branding, though Ticketer does take a small cut of mobile ticket sales on the platform.

Ticketer is aiming to get the product out years ahead of open data legislation, and will use the same data operators use to effectively run their services to ensure accuracy. A soft launch is planned for December.


TotalKare is about more than just lifts in 2019. PETER JACKSON

Traditionally known as a lift manufacturer, TotalKare has of late expanded into producing other workshop equipment – including brake testers and headlight beam testers – and plans to add mobile wheel alignment equipment machines to its line-up in future.

To coincide with the show, the company also announced investment from Grayson Thermal Systems to kit its workshop out with T8DC cable-free mobile column lifts. The lifts will be used to retrofit 637 National Express West Midlands buses to enable them to meet Euro VI standards; these include ADL Enviro200s and Enviro 400s, Volvo B7RLEs, Scania OmniCitys and OmniLinks, as well as Euro III Dennis Tridents. 20 vehicles are to be completed every week until the end of 2019.

“A lot of city centres are looking at how they manage traffic and deliver cleaner vehicles and we are really pleased that our heavy-duty lifting technology and expertise is being used in a project that will generate better air quality for Birmingham – just a few miles from our HQ in Halesowen,” said James Radford, Sales and Marketing Director at TotalKare.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Grayson Thermal Systems and the recent investment sees eight sets of our state-of-the-art T8DC mobile column lifts now working alongside two of our older lifts.”

Compliance software developer TruTac introduced four new compliance tools at this year’s event. The first of these was a new remote file integration system, which allows operators to set up their own digital file remote download links with TruTac-partnered suppliers. These individual links can then be used to enable remote downloads from over 20 suppliers, including Trakm8, Microlise, Volvo Dynafleet, Renault OptiFleet, TomTom, Mercedes Fleetboard, Qualcomm and Scania.

Next up was a touchscreen digital signature system, which provides a sign-on screen and pin validation for driver debriefs. The company says that this will save operators time and money, allowing them greater control over driver debriefs and eliminating paper entirely.

A new Earned Recognition support package was also unveiled at the show, which TruTac describes as ‘handholding’ to support operators as they go through the ER validation process, while delivering continuous monitoring and reporting of drivers’ hours and KPIs to DVSA.”

Finally, the firm launched a CPT-approved licence check, which verifies driving licences online. CPT members benefit from a 20-25% discount on the service.

“As always, our mission is to work closely with industry to provide practical and compliance-based fleet management solutions for the PSV sector,” said Director of Commercial Operations and Marketing Jemma James. “In that regard, we are delighted to add these innovative management tools to our existing product suite.”