NEC Show Preview: Suppliers

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Coach and bus industry suppliers will be out in force at this year’s show, with a number of new products expected to be launched. We run through some of the key companies to look out for at the NEC

21st Century
Stand L50
21st Century, a specialist provider of tailored public transport solutions both on and off the vehicle, will be demonstrating a range of innovative new solutions on its stand.

Amongst the solutions on show will be the enhanced capability of the Journeo Edge unit and accompanying cloud-based platform. Already installed on over 2,000 buses in the UK, the Journeo solution now offers more than Remote Condition Monitoring (RCM) of the on-board system installed throughout the fleet.

The cloud-based platform can now also manage video downloads for all major DVR types installed throughout the UK. Featuring a secure evidence locker with user-defined retention periods, business critical footage can be remotely requested, downloaded and shared amongst authorised users of the system, ensuring that footage is always available and viewable only to those users that are permitted to access it.

SmartVision, the Camera Monitoring System available exclusively through 21st Century, will also be present. The wing mirror replacement system enhances a driver’s view in all lighting conditions and gives better views of Class II and Class IV zones. The technology is a key part of TfL’s Vision Zero programme to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on London’s roads by 2041 and is already being installed by fleet operators throughout the UK.

Show attendees will also be able to view the latest developments from 21st Century’s powerful display Content Management System, EPI4, that enables Local Authority users to intelligently manage the content displayed throughout their information estates and includes new developments for enhanced disruption messaging.
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Alcolock UK
Stand M10
Alcolock UK is the UK division of Alcohol Countermeasure Systems of Toronto, Canada. Alcolock UK’s breath alcohol testers are used to save lives on the nation’s roads and in the workplace. This means they’re engineered to withstand various forces of nature and are approved to European CENELEC standards.

The firm is also a tier one automotive industry supplier, offering the Alcolock V3 to many of the world’s major coach and bus manufacturers. The Alcolock V3 Ignition Interlock and the Drivesafe and Alert J5 portable breath alcohol testers are used extensively within the transportation, commercial and industrial sectors.

Alcolock V3 is used worldwide as the transportation industry’s standard, its creators say, and has been designed for commercial applications. It ensures employee safety while reducing employer liability.

The system requires the operator to blow into a mouthpiece on the handset. If the breath alcohol concentration exceeds the predetermined limit the vehicle will not start.

It can be linked into existing fleet tracking systems which can send real time alerts and messages to fleet managers.

No sim card is used, thus saving companies a service or daily charge, and all messages are relayed at no additional cost.

Alfatronix
Stand C1

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Alfaronix will announce the launch of the new Podsole at the show, which it describes as an ‘elegant, versatile and extremely rugged’ console offering both wireless and USB charging simultaneously on one single printed circuit board.

Comprehensive protection is provided against dust and moisture ingress to IP65 classification, permitting installation onto any vehicle sidewall or seatback for both OEM and retrofit applications, making this an ideal product for any vehicle.

The Podsole is designed and manufactured in the UK by Alfatronix using the latest surface-mount technology. It operates on both 12/24vdc electrical systems without manual adjustment and is a fully certified automotive product.

It will be making its way into the market on new vehicles for ‘one of the major operators’ this month, Alfatronix says.

Alliance Transport Technologies
Stand H33

Aftermarket solutions provider Alliance Transport Technologies (ATT) will be exhibiting a new product on its stand at the NEC this year.

On display will be an example of the company’s hybrid service exchange battery pack, the E400HX. This battery pack features new cells, improved battery management and live cell balancing, all of which has been developed by ATT after it identified an industry-wide need for a solution to cell degradation.

After developing the ability to identify low performing cells and predict future failures, ATT will also be providing demonstrations of this on the stand.
Also on display will be ATT’s fire suppression equipment, which is fully R107-compliant, with some retrofitted examples being exhibited with ATT manufacturer partners at the show. In addition, as a remanufacturing specialist, the ATT team will be on hand to discuss operators’ emission control equipment needs including the popular AdBlue pump service exchange scheme, utilised by most of the UK’s bus groups.

To show its support for tackling the stigma surrounding the mental health of male workers within the coach and bus industry, representatives from the MINT charity – which ATT has recently partnered with – will be on the stand to offer mental health support. The charity will be discussing how it is working with ATT to change perceptions of mental health conditions across the bus and coach sector.

For more information contact Laura Cooper, Head of Marketing at Alliance Transport Technologies, on 07530 001 183, or visit www.alliancett.co.uk.

Asset Alliance Group
Stand M2

Asset Alliance Group’s team has 20 years’ experience in the coach and bus industry, providing specialist financial advice, lending and highly competitive broker services.

The firm will be providing free and independent expert advice on the most cost-effective finance solutions for any fleet requirements.

It has access to a large network of finance providers, both nationally and internationally, as well as its own Group funds – a unique combination of support that means smaller fleets can benefit from the same funding options as the UK’s largest operators.

Michael Bycroft, Managing Director, Bus & Coach and Asset Funding said: “The show is a perfect opportunity for us to spend quality time with many of our customers as well as some of our prospects who might be looking to understand more about the best finance options for new vehicle orders from the show.

“Whether it’s a single vehicle or a fleet of buses or coaches, our knowledgeable and proactive team will be able to suggest the best value asset management solutions and offer some of the most competitive pricing on the market.”

Asset Alliance Group provides tailored packages for coach and bus fleets including operating lease, hire purchase and finance lease, and takes into consideration all variables including deposit requirements, funding terms and even seasonal payment options if required.

For more information, visit www.assetalliancegroup.co.uk or call 01425 485685.

BAE Systems
Stand L10

BAE Systems is setting its sights on helping bus operators make the switch to zero-emissions vehicles, no matter where they are today on that journey. Not everyone can or will want to take a leap to all-electric systems, the firm recognises, so it provides incremental steps for operators of all sizes.

With more than 10,000 systems in operation around the globe, BAE’s series hybrid system aims to offer a cost-effective first step on the road to zero emissions. With political drive for zero emissions growing, the market recognises that challenges still exist for the large-scale deployment of EV charging infrastructure. To address this, BAE Systems produces the Series-ER: Electric Range hybrid solution, which is designed to provide a low-cost, low-risk path to full electric.

The Series-ER, along with optional plug-in capabilities, delivers low- and zero-emission operation wherever there is emerging demand for clean air zones, without the complication and expense of charging infrastructure. Plus, with Series-ER and infrastructure in place, suppliers and operators will already be on a proven path to full electric solutions, for whenever they are ready to make the transition.

Visitors to this year’s show will be able to learn about BAE Systems’ low-emission and next generation zero-emission solutions on its stand. “We’re excited to show our game-changing Series-EV Battery Electric system including new light-weight, modular electronic systems for high efficiency. Also see our latest high torque, high reliability electric propulsion motor, purpose built for the bus industry,” the company said.

For more information, visit www.gettozero.com

BraunAbility
Stand C4

BraunAbility offers a full range of safe and reliable products to provide complete accessibility solutions for the public and private transport sector.
Its wheelchair lifts include the BraunAbility A-series cassette lift, developed for the European public transport market.

The Q-Series inboard lift combines quiet operation and rigidity with contemporary design in both a split and full platform commercial version.
The goal of the E-Series is to be the essential lift. There are no unnecessary or costly exclusive features, but it shares its superior platform stability with the premium Q-series.

BraunAbility’s custom-built step lifts provide wheelchair users and able-bodied passengers easy access to the vehicle using one entrance, and are an ideal solution for mobile service vehicles, urban buses and coaches.

The new Innotrax flooring system has a low 25mm profile, providing maximum headroom and versatility. Meanwhile, SpaceFloor, an aluminium bonded and tailored floor surface, offers high structural strength at a very low weight.

The Seat Locker is a discreet low-built lockable engineered to be rattle free. A simple step on the actuator locks the seat into the tracking. The TwinLock console is a joined set of seat legs with a mechanism to secure the seat in the floor or rail.

The BraunAbility range of wheelchair tie-downs and occupant restraints offers a wide choice of complete systems for purpose-made solutions to provide optimum safety to passengers and staff in all transport environments. See www.braunability.eu for more information.

Brigade Electronics
Stand B11

Brigade Electronics offers a range of safety devices to suit all commercial vehicles. Since 1976 when it introduced the very first reversing alarm to Europe, it has championed the cause of vehicle and plant safety and continues to launch new products and develop new technology. Brigade’s solutions reduce the risk of collisions and protect vulnerable road users by minimising vehicle blind-spots and assisting drivers to manoeuver safely.

Its product portfolio includes 360° camera systems, camera monitor systems, Quiet Vehicle Sounder (AVAS), White Sound reversing alarms, obstacle detection sensors, radar and digital recorders.

Brigade’s products are designed to save lives. The Backeye360, for example, is an intelligent camera monitor system which eliminates blind spots with a comprehensive view of the surrounding area in a single image, reducing the potential for collisions with people and objects.

Its award-winning Quiet Vehicle Sounder warns pedestrians and other vulnerable road users that a quiet vehicle is approaching. The bbs-tek patented technology is a multi-frequency sound which is directional and locatable, meaning the sound is only heard in the hazard zone.

To find out more, visit brigade-electronics.com

Chapman Driver Seating
Stand H25

Chapman Driver Seating is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of bus driver seats for new vehicles and aftermarket through its network of appointed distributors.

With a range of industry standard products, Chapman Driver Seating is the only manufacturer in the UK to supply and support its entire range of products. As part of A E Harris & Co (Birmingham) Ltd, Chapman will be featured at the show with products from the recently-acquired firm Commercial Handrail Systems, which will include passenger grab rails and luggage storage systems.

D4Drivers
Stand M54

D4Drivers is exhibiting at Coach & Bus UK for the first time this year. The company supplies driver medical and occupational health services to the coach and bus industry and will be showcasing its latest services and offers on its stand.

Additionally, the firm will unveil its new location-based medical booking portal, available to business customers from 2019, which it says will ‘revolutionise’ the way coach and bus operators book medicals for new and existing drivers. It will also be showcasing other business services available at its network of clinics.

D4Drivers says it is looking forward to networking at the event with companies who might be able to benefit from its benchmarked national medical service, comprising over 200 doctors and 70 clinic locations, ensuring drivers are compliant with current DVLA medical legislation.

Dr Charlesworth-Jones, D4Drivers’ Medical Director, said: “We understand the importance of a fit and healthy workforce as well as the fundamental requirement of businesses to keep their drivers road legal.

“Coach and Bus UK provides an excellent opportunity for D4Drivers to engage with decision makers in the industry and demonstrate first-hand why we are the market leader when it comes to driver medical compliance.”

Distinctive Systems
Stand G2

Distinctive Systems will be demonstrating the latest enhancements to its Coach Manager booking system, Tour Booking System (TBS) and Vehicle Maintenance System (VMS) at the show.

Coach Manager is described as a ‘start to finish solution’ for the management of private hire and contract work and is specially designed for coach, minibus, chauffeur and community transport operators.

TBS, meanwhile, is a complete management solution for back office and online passenger reservations on extended tours, day excursions and express services. VMS is a workshop management package specially designed for coach, bus and truck operators. It has been accepted by the DVSA for use with the Earned Recognition scheme.

On show will be a new Driver App and the latest enhancements to the Coach Manager online portals, the VMS Electronic Job Card and the company’s Walk-around Check mobile app.

The Driver App allows drivers to view a list of the bookings they have been allocated to. On selecting a booking, the driver can view its full details and then be guided step-by-step through each stage.

The three online portals bring extensive cloud-based functionality to Coach Manager that is designed to benefit any operator looking to modernise key areas of their business.

The VMS Electronic Job Card not only allows the workshop to become paperless, but also goes way beyond what can be achieved with a traditional paper document. Finally, the Walk-around Check mobile app is free of charge with any of the company’s three main systems.

For further information, visit www.distinctive-systems.com or call 01904 692269.

DriveTech
Stand B13

Driver training and driver risk management service provider DriveTech, part of the AA, has some valued associations and trading relationships in the coach and bus sector. It is also a supplier member of the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) – the main show sponsors.

As well as the DriveTech team presenting its range of services including Driver Quality Monitoring (DQM), On-Road Driver Training and Driver CPC, it is officially launching its End Point Assessment (for apprentice drivers) at the show, and will be available to discuss supporting operators’ apprentice driver programmes – as it is now an approved End Point Assessor organisation.

Find out more about DriveTech and its wide range of fleet and driver risk management products and services on its website at drivetech.co.uk.

Eberspächer
Stand D30

Climate control specialist Eberspächer will be attending this year’s show having recently acquired the entirety of rival firm Kalori SAS, based in Lyon, France.

Kalori has been operating for 25 years, growing turnover to 22 million euros, and specialises in systems for construction, agricultural and forestry machinery, as well as marine, ambulances, minibuses, buses, utility vehicles and RVs.

The acquisition will compliment Eberspächer UK’s existing business and enable it to do more business in a greater number of industry sectors. Kalori’s product portfolio includes the TrimLine range of ducting outlets, fan blowers and AC components as well as a range of evaporators and condenser components. Unique pressurisation technology complements in-cabin heating and cooling components, providing clean air in the driver’s cab, even in dusty work conditions.

Vince Lee, Managing Director of Eberspächer UK commented: “Thanks to Kalori’s comprehensive range, we will be able to offer new solutions for environmental and climate control systems for special vehicles.

“The objective for making this acquisition is to expand our markets and build on our existing business with established customers. The net result will be a greater flow of Eberspächer approved components into new and existing markets and for us, being the one stop shop for cooling and heating solutions whatever the cab design and in any application.”

Eclipse Automotive Technology
Stand B1

The ability to properly maintain and repair vehicles that contain increasing levels of electronics demands the use of a sophisticated and well supported diagnostic product, says Eclipse Automotive Technology. It must also be regularly upgraded to reflect the changing models and specifications of a wide range of manufacturers.

Eclipse supplies multi-brand diagnostics and has installed more than 2,500 units so far. The Eclipse Jaltest package aims to act as a complete diagnostic solution for coach and bus workshops, with all leading manufacturers covered in one package.

Eclipse’s Jaltest software has become a popular choice due to its extensive coverage (over 50 manufacturers) of buses, both city and long distance. The software supports a wide range of manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Optare, Irisbus, Neoplan, Optare, Setra, Van Hool, and many more. It also supports a wide range of key vehicle systems such as gearboxes (Allison, ZF and Voith etc), engines (Cummins and others) and other vehicle systems (suspension, brakes etc) and much more.

Eclipse has developed its business around the core philosophy of ‘Vehicle Related Customer Support.’ This service is available from when the system is first purchased and throughout its life.

For more information, visit www.eclipse-tech.co.uk, email [email protected] or call 03454 66 66 99.

Eminox
Stand L60

Eminox’s coach development centre

Clean air zones, including the expansion of London’s ULEZ, are being planned in cities across the UK from 2020. For this reason, Euro VI compliance is becoming a priority for coach and bus operators.

Eminox will be revealing details of its ‘Retrofit Routes to Euro VI’ at Coach & Bus UK. This cost-effective alternative to new vehicles will be based on market-leading SCRT retrofit technology and a growing range of approvals for the UK’s most popular coaches and buses.

Only vehicles meeting Euro VI at manufacture or retrofitted with Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)-approved technology will be allowed into these new zones without being subject to daily charges.

Eminox was the first company to receive CVRAS approval for coach and bus systems and can already offer a range of approved compliance solutions.

The company has decided to share its future development programme to help operators make informed decisions on which vehicles to invest in for Euro VI compliance.

Eminox has now upgraded more than 5,000 vehicles. More information is available at www.eminox.com.

First Corporate Clothing
Stand J30

First Corporate Clothing is a specialist supplier of uniform to a growing number of coach and bus operators.

Its team of business managers have extensive experience in the passenger transport industry and will work with operators to deliver solutions to all of their uniform requirements – from design through to delivery.

“We pride ourselves on our ability to put together a corporate wardrobe that enhances your brand, is comfortable and practical to wear and will be delivered on time and within budget for the lifetime of the business relationship,” said Marketing Executive Kayleigh Morgan.

The firm’s services include:
• Bespoke-designed uniforms;
• A range of uniforms available from stock;
• On-site sizing and issuing service;
• Delivery in personalised uniform packs;
• In-house personalisation and branding; and
• A variety of ordering methods tailored to the needs of individual businesses, including online ordering.

Freeway Fleet Systems
Stand A34

Fleet management software supplier Freeway is launching a series of innovations at this year’s event. The company’s stand will also have a rare gull-winged DeLorean sports car on display as part of its ‘Freeway to the Future’ campaign to promote the switch from paper to digital working.

Of the new products on show, Freeway is most proud of its ‘Fleet in your pocket’ app, which provides control of fleet management thanks to real-time insights into essential fleet information and tasks. The app is designed for management and staff with responsibility for planning and assigning work or authorising purchases relating to fleet maintenance and compliance.

A single smartphone interface provides access to everything from compliance KPIs and staff overview to defect recording, timesheet entry and parts purchasing. The app puts cost-control and compliance into an immediate and accessible mobile device application to improve management and efficiency, reducing bottlenecks to speed workflows.

Freeway is also demonstrating intelligent document reading software for the first time at the show, to automate the handling of paper documents. Employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques in conjunction with Optical Character Recognition (OCR), incoming documents such as supplier invoices and vehicle inspection reports are read by computer rather than by a person.

The system identifies unique reference text such as VAT numbers or telephone numbers to ‘learn’ where to find purchase orders, invoice numbers, net, VAT, and tax dates. The software even learns to read different types of document correctly to reduce human intervention and improve automation.

For further information, call 0844 884 3033, email [email protected] or visit www.freewayfleet.com

Gallagher
Stand K2

Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited (known as Gallagher) is once again attending the NEC to meet existing and prospective customers.
Whether an operator provides tendered or commercial services, private hire, package holidays or express coach services, Gallagher believes it has the expertise to support them.

The firm is a title sponsor of Premiership Rugby and will be offering an opportunity to win a pair tickets on day of the show to the 2020 Gallagher Premiership Rugby Grand Final.

“The 2019 final was a classic between Exeter and Saracens and we expect next year’s final to be just as exciting,” the company said.

Visitors to the stand will also be able to have their picture taken with the Gallagher Premiership Trophy. In addition, Gallagher will be announcing its new ‘Driver Licence Protection’ product at the NEC.

From £15 per driver per month, operators can ensure that their drivers have cover if they lose their licence due to an insured event.

Gallagher currently acts for over 800 coach and bus operators of all sizes throughout the UK, and is the sole, long-term appointed broker to the industry trade association, the CPT.

Hanover Displays
Stand G33
Hanover Displays is set to introduce a new range of high resolution LED displays at the show. Utilising the latest LED technology, it has developed the capacity to reduce pixel spacing down to 2mm. The result is up to 30 times the total number of LEDs used in a typical sign system and, by extension, ‘hugely improved’ clarity according to the company.

With the significantly increased number of LEDs, the text displayed appears as continuous screen printing, rather than as a dot matrix. The integrity of the chosen font is maintained and, even in poor weather conditions such as heavy rain, the legibility of the sign remains excellent, Hanover says.

The technical highlights of the new displays include:
• Reduced pixel spacing down to 2mm;
• Up to 30 times the number of LEDs of standard destination displays;
• Greyscaling further enhances quality of text displayed;
• Perfect legibility in all weather conditions; and
• New programming software for easy creation and loading of destination databases.

Hanover says that the systems are easy to install and commission using the same cabling and connectors as existing displays, and is confident it will offer an improved passenger experience with the same reliability, and low aftersales maintenance as standard LED displays.

Hanover Displays started designing and manufacturing passenger information systems in 1985. Today it is still family-owned, and is the largest financially independent company in the sector, with offices across Europe and the US.

“We pride ourselves not only on the quality of our products, but the high standard of our aftersales service,” the company says. It has customers in over 75 countries around the world and more than 30 years’ industry experience.

HJS Emission Technology
Stand G30

HJS is inviting show visitors to its stand to find out more about SCRT retrofit exhaust technology.

The company is continuing to work alongside some of the largest coach and bus operators in the UK, providing a significant contribution to air quality improvements. The HJS SCRT system enables bus, coach and minibus operators to upgrade their fleet to Euro VI emissions standards for Clean Air Zone (CAZ) and Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) compliance.

The system is available for a wide range of vehicle applications and meets the standards required to comply with the Energy Savings Trust’s Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS).

The SCRT consists of a Diesel Particulate Filter in combination with an SCR system for the reduction of Nitrogen Oxides. HJS has developed bespoke applications for a range of the most common service vehicles in the UK, which now includes a range suitable for Euro V minibuses.

The HJS SCRT is supplied with the HJS Remote Emissions Monitoring System (REM), which provides live system status and performance information that is uploaded to a user-friendly cloud-based platform.

“As a company, the thought that we can make the world a little cleaner with our products motivates us,” HJS says. To find out more, call 01344 566050 or email [email protected].

Kidde Technologies
Stand K33

Kidde Technologies, a part of Collins Aerospace, has been delivering advanced fire-safety technology for more than 100 years and is a leading manufacturer of automatic fire detection/suppression and gas leak detection for the transport industry – including coaches and buses of all sizes and fuel types. Kidde’s products are specifically designed and built with paratransit and passenger transport in mind. Whether it’s fire or gas leak detection, flame suppression or diagnostics, Kidde offers proven, comprehensive solutions. With significant R&D capabilities, its design teams have developed an array of protection products backed by years of field experience.

The company’s test equipment includes a full-scale bus engine fire test rig and various vibration and validation test chambers. It continually conducts advanced research into new technologies and applications.

Kidde’s products have passed the necessary qualifications for a number of certifications based on national and international standards, including P-mark and UNECE R107.

It supports commercial bus customers from multiple global locations including Europe. Visit www.kiddetechnologies.com for more information.

Lytx
Stand D34

Lytx has gained a number of high-profile customers since it entered the UK market, including Shearings, Ensignbus and National Express.
At this year’s show, the company will be demonstrating its customisable solutions to the industry. These cover a wide spectrum of safety essentials, including video capture, risk detection and fleet telematics, which gives access to fleet status and current vehicle location.

Above all, Lytx’s emphasis is on driver safety and development. It offers a modular portfolio so clients can focus on driver productivity or customer service issues with the Lytx Fleet Telematics Service or switch seamlessly to the Lytx Driver Safety Programme to help drivers develop positive habits. Lytx clients can easily turn features on or off so they only use what their operations require.

Ahead of the show, Lytx and UK-based coach operator Alfa Travel unveiled the impressive results Alfa has seen since implementing the Lytx Driver Safety Programme early last year, which include:
• 84% reduction: Failure to wear seat belt;
• 71% reduction: Drivers distracted by mobiles;
• 64% reduction: Insufficient braking distance incidents;
• 58% reduction: Late response incidents; and
• 50% reduction: Highway collisions (from 0.99 to 0.53 per 100,000 km).

One of the highlights this year will be Lytx’s new user interface (UI). The company knows that fleet and safety managers and driver coaches need the right information at their fingertips.

With that in mind, the new UI prioritises simplicity and accessibility and delivers easy access to data. It’s optimised for phones and mobile devices, laptops and desktops so clients can focus on the tasks at hand.

McKenna Brothers
Stand B2

McKenna Brothers, Mobitec and the Luminator Technology Group (LTG) will exhibit a vast array of passenger information signs at Coach and Bus UK. McKenna Brothers offers a huge range of products and is involved in some large projects which are already underway.

LTG is one of the world’s largest passenger information sign producers. Having the backing of a worldwide brand with large resources may give McKenna Brothers an advantage over its competition, the Manchester-based company reckons, especially with the increasing demand for higher specifications and more functionality.

The stand will include standard amber, white and full RGB LED signs, Smartblind, new high- resolution signs, TFT and onboard information signs, as well as solar-powered bus stop displays showing real-time information.

Also on display will be full vehicle livery design and fit options for a complete vehicle makeover. These themes can be carried through to a bus’ onboard systems, thus enabling the complete route branding package.

“Any future projects are welcome,” says the company, “with the option to tailor your needs and develop bespoke systems that meet yours and your customers’ requirements.”

Mobile Onboard
Stand K30

Mobile Onboard recently launched a new line-up of on-board bus WiFi systems, which will take centre stage on its show stand. The new sixth-generation of WiFi routers, known as the BEAM iSeries, replaces the BEAM BWseries. The new BEAM iSeries ushers in a simpler line up of three systems offering better performance, more capabilities and smaller, compact form factors.

The first BEAM iSeries WiFi system to be released is the ultra-compact BEAM XPRESSi. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the BEAM XPRESSi is an entry-level automotive router designed for minibuses, taxis and commercial vehicles. It is powered by the new beamOS-R firmware, offering an easy setup wizard, and comes bundled with free BEAMplus support and free BEAMtrackr live bus tracking.

Two more BEAM iSeries WiFi systems will follow. The BEAM 5i and BEAM 8i provide more powerful systems that are for service buses and coaches. Both systems are powered by Mobile Onboard’s new beamOSi operating system to offer an open system for easier configurability and reliable connectivity for on-board systems and passengers. There is also a built-in application server that can run third-party applications and power on-board passenger information.

For more information, visit www.mobileonboard.com or call 0333 335 3345.

Nationwide Coach Assistance
Stand L2

Nationwide Coach Assistance Ltd (NCA Ltd) was formed in 2002 and is now established as a leading breakdown service provider dedicated to the coach industry.

It prides itself on its ability to assist coach operators to protect their reputation and commitments to their customers in any breakdown situation.
The firm offers a pay-on-use service with a ‘one stop shop’ approach, and aims to deliver a fast, efficient emergency roadside assistance service at competitive rates. Its comprehensive support caters for any type, model or age of vehicle and includes a replacement coach with driver if needed. The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

NCA offers UK and Europe-wide coverage, and its agents determine the company’s reputation. They are all experts in their field and approved by NCA Ltd. With an extensive network of specialist agents, including main dealers and independents, plus coach operators, NCA believes it is well-placed to provide an efficient response to any situation anywhere and at any time.

Reciprocal business plays a major part in NCA’s support package, not only on recovery and roadside repairs, but in its replacement coach service. The company’s large database of operators, who have accounts and agreements with NCA, gives it the opportunity to source replacement coaches when available from those who have capacity to assist operators.

NCA also operates the CPT Assistance breakdown scheme for all of its members when in need of assistance in a breakdown situation.

For further information, call 0161 336 9389 or visit www.ntbs.co.uk/nca

Novadata
Stand L34

Derek Broomfield, Novadata Chairman

Transport training and tachograph analysis experts Novadata will be offering show visitors succession planning advice on safeguarding O Licence continuity across the generations of a family business. This is necessary, says the company, due to the number of aging O Licence holders in the UK transport industry and the need to ensure that the next generation is sufficiently qualified to make a smooth transition in business management and ownership.

“The truth is that many O Licence holders acquired their Transport Manager CPC through ‘grandfather rights’,” warned Novadata Chairman Derek Broomfield. “A large number of these are either nearing retirement or taking more holiday time as they start the handover to the next generation.

“Unfortunately, it is also true that large numbers are failing to recognise that the next generation must have a Management CPC holder – and that the current generation still need the covering of a Transport Manager CPC holder when the original O-Licence holder is sick or on holiday.

“The consequences of not having a Management CPC holder are potentially disastrous,” continued Derek. “You could find that you are operating illegally, therefore you are open to losing the O-Licence, and that can spell the end of the business as a whole.”

Novadata will be advising delegates on how to ensure that the business is sufficiently covered during annual leave and sickness, as well as during the succession process, ensuring that the next generation is able to operate legally and efficiently.

Novadata will also give advice about Driver CPC training and how to meet the next deadline by planning well in advance, making training a part of ongoing professional driver development, as requested by the Traffic Commissioners.

The company will also be showcasing its outstanding range of transport services, including tachograph analysis, driving licence checks and a daily walkaround check app. Novadata can now offer a single login for all three services, saving valuable management time and making retrieving information simple and easy to manage.

Novadata’s range of specially-developed transport products which aid compliance and best practice will also be on display. Visit www.novadata.co.uk for more information.

Omnibus
Stand A30

Coach & Bus UK will give visitors the opportunity to see the next generation cloud-based Allocation System from Omnibus. Alongside this will be the company’s innovative new cloud-based timetable management system with integrated mapping.

This cloud-based system brings even closer integration, saving time by bringing geographic information right to the heart of the timetabling process.
Peter Crichton, Omnibus Managing Director, 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. We are very excited to share these latest developments with visitors to our stand at Coach & Bus UK.”

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.

Open Data is another area that the Omnibus development team is focusing on. They are looking at what users can do with their data, how they can share it and report on it, and how different systems, internal or external, can be integrated with each other.

Peter explained: “We always have very interesting and productive conversations with all bus operators and local authorities at the NEC event, and we expect Open Data to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds this year.”

Omnibus is now a validated IT supplier as part of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Earned Recognition Scheme.

Optibus
Stand M20

While the words ‘fireproof’ and ‘bulletproof’ appear in dictionaries, ‘future-proof’” still hasn’t made it says Optibus. “When we say ‘future-proof’ we mean products or systems that won’t need to be significantly updated as the future arrives. In real life, few things are future proof, yet no-one wants to invest in technology that will age quickly,” the company theorises.

“Public transportation today needs technology that can prepare it to deal with the future of mobility. It needs to ensure it isn’t tied to obsolete platforms to run its core operations. In short, the future can’t be foreseen, but you should certainly prepare for it.

“In real life, no one replaces software infrastructure just because the replacement is a ‘future-proof’ system. There should always be a business value underlying these decisions. What is the business value that’s inherent in replacing the software used for mass transportation operations? Here are three answers:

• Current planning and scheduling systems are rapidly becoming obsolete and were not built for the immense processing power that’s in the cloud, or for new algorithms. As systems become obsolete, they become a business risk that needs to be managed;
• Next generation scheduling platforms can radically cut costs, by 3-15%. This is important for mass transportation as it faces consumer and regulatory pressures; and
• New platforms are better suited to support future service models that aren’t supported by legacy software.

“Future proof software would be cloud-native, able to support many data sources and, first and foremost, be able to generate real benefits to the underlying business operations of the public transportation network.”

This, the company says, is what it can offer the nation’s operators.

Pellys Transport & Regulatory Law
Stand K31

Pellys Transport & Regulatory Law is once again exhibiting at Coach & Bus UK, and this year is looking to focus on the compliance side of transport law.

The practice has many years of experience advising O-Licence holders, including helping them to put in place effective compliance systems which are properly recorded. Putting in place robust compliance systems that are correctly documented, making sure that employment contracts are fit for purpose and up to date, supporting these arrangements with an appropriate induction and training regime and making sure that the right disciplinary process is available should it be needed are all easier said than done. Pellys’ team can help operators ensure their operation is safe, lawful and efficient, so that they can get on with running their business.

Pellys is inviting operators to ask themselves when they last had an audit of their compliance systems and records – and whether they would be found to be compliant if the DVSA audited them today. “If the answer to these questions is ‘we hope so but we don’t know’ or ‘it depends what the DVSA decide to look at,’ come and see us on stand K31 or call 01279 818280 to see how we can help you safely navigate your next audit,” the company says.

Praetura Direct Finance
Stand N33

The names and faces of Guy Wadsworth, Scott Burke, Paul Ricci and Donna Street might be familiar to many operators, due to the years of experience they have accrued between them as coach and bus finance specialists.

The team is now back together working at Praetura Direct Finance, a company established this year to help businesses in the coach and bus industry find the right funding for their vehicles and equipment, as well as assisting with refinance for both consolidation and expansion purposes.
The facilities Praetura Direct Finance offers include an extensive in-house lending portfolio alongside key partnerships with many major banks and alternative finance providers. Supported by the team’s knowledge of the industry, Praetura believes it is well-placed to work in partnership with operators to find the best funding solutions for their specific needs.

Based in Manchester city centre, but providing support for coach, bus and transport businesses across the whole of the UK, Praetura Direct Finance can be reached on 0161 457 1156 or by emailing [email protected].

Q’Straint
Stand F23

Q’Straint believes that all mobility passengers deserve access to the same level of safety as those around them. Through research and development, engineering and support and providing innovative solutions, the firm’s mission is to ‘make safety accessible.’

At this year’s show, it will demonstrate this philosophy by showing a wide range of securement systems, including its line-up of heavy-duty retractors. These products exceed regular standards and are specially designed to protect those with heavy wheelchairs.

Also on display will be QUANTUM, the transportation industry’s first fully-automatic rear-facing wheelchair securement station according to Q’Straint.

The company is also introducing its newest product at the NEC, OMNI Surface. OMNI Surface is a light yet strong aluminium flooring system with seven different profiles that can accommodate countless layouts and wheelchair positions.

Customers stopping by the stand can receive a demonstration of the firm’s range of securement systems and OMNI Surface.

Road Tech
Stand H37

Road Tech is demonstrating six transport systems at the show, including DOT. DOT is an abbreviation of Download Optimisation Technology, meaning it automatically downloads vehicle and driver card data remotely and daily.

It then links directly with the digital dashboards of Tachomaster, giving operators instant analysis and reporting. DOT does away with the need to manually chase and download vehicle unit and driver card data, and allows access to essential analysis data instantly.

The DOT device offers proactive compliance management and helps minimise infringements, by alerting the transport manager 15 minutes before potential infringements occur. This should help members of the Earned Recognition scheme, and the automatic alerts will allow operators to optimise route planning, with live notifications of drivers’ hours.

For even greater control, operators can link DOT to the company’s Falcon Tracking system for an additional £5 per vehicle per month. The DOT device is small and usually sits behind the tachograph, where it gets its power. It can be easily fitted by operators – and comes with full fitting instructions – or can be fitted by Road Tech at an additional charge.

The list price is £14.95 per vehicle per month, with optional vehicle tracking an extra £5 per vehicle per month. A UK sim is free; for a roaming sim add £5 per vehicle per month. There are no upfront hardware costs.

Road Tech’s other five systems, meanwhile, have all had new features added to them and are constantly developed.

SURE Transport
Stand E49

SURE has been developing and distributing security equipment since 2003. Specialising in the transport sector, it can install CCTV systems in coaches and buses of all makes and models. SURE is also able to supply vehicle kits prepared to the specific requirements of the vehicle manufacturer.

It can install on the line for new vehicles and retrospectively on existing fleets. The firm also provides integrated solutions to monitor driver fatigue, driver performance and eco-driving.

The company’s team of experts can provide training, fixed-price service engineering and cloud-based monitoring for health, live view and instant video download. For more information, visit suretransport.co.uk.

Synectics
Stand H22

Synectics is using this year’s event to show how its intelligently integrated, hardware agnostic solutions can help operators improve, speed up, and simplify management of their on-board surveillance.

In addition to showcasing MirrorEye – which replaces traditional vehicle mirrors with robust and aerodynamic cameras which link to a dashboard display – and its Cloud Evidence Locker which offers real-time evidence uploading and secure third-party shareability, Synectics will take delegates on a tour of its web and cloud-based video, data and incident management solutions which can be used with any hardware/software systems, and can therefore be tailored to meet exact operational requirements.

Iain Stringer, Synectics Divisional Director, said: “The foundation of our entire business proposition is helping customers to leverage technologies, whether ours or third party, that will yield greatest results for their specific objectives and budget.

“Our solutions connect and virtualise hardware, and link this to powerful analytics and management tools that help customers prevent incidents, improve fleet management and use on-board surveillance more effectively.” For more information visit www.synecticsglobal.com

Transport Benevolent Fund CIO
Stand H31

During the past 12 months, TBF paid out more than £2.8m in benefits to its members.

The Transport Benevolent Fund CIO, known as TBF, is a non-profit making membership charity offering a wide range of health, welfare and financial benefits to those working in public transport, should need, hardship or distress arise.

Anyone engaged in the public transport industry in Great Britain is eligible to join. Membership costs just £1 a week, covering the member, their partner and dependent children. The membership fee can be deducted through the company payroll facility or, if this is not possible, paid by standing order.

Increasingly, membership is being paid for by the employer; acknowledging the advantages of membership in helping to improve members’ work-life balance and reducing staff turnover.

The fund was originally formed in 1923 and the needs of today’s members are very different to those of 96 years ago, but there are still cases of hardship among those who work in the public transport industry. TBF currently has nearly 64,700 members and the continuing relevance of the Fund’s work is best illustrated by the volume of awards to members, which average more than £700,000 a quarter.

The fund is run by a board of trustees, the majority of who work in the industry and decide on all benefits. TBF’s Patrons include leading figures in the major transport groups and trades unions.

Ticketer
Stand F20

Ticketer will be launching a new passenger app, Kazoot, at the event. Kazoot is believed to be the UK’s first national, multi-operator passenger app, built to address the needs of both the passenger and the operator. Passengers can plan, pay and travel using a single, free app offering a national view of bus and other modes of travel.

Ticketer operators now have an additional channel to promote their services and interact with their passengers, all managed centrally from the Ticketer systems they use on a daily basis.

Ticketer developed Kazoot to give travellers everything they need to help them make the right travel choices for them. It puts operators’ own Ticketer system data in the hands of the passenger, making it arguably the most reliable source of multi-operator bus information currently available.
Kazoot includes a range of features designed to make it easier for customers to get to their destinations, including detailed route information, live arrival times, the ability to find the nearest bus stop and even the ability to view buses moving all over the country in real-time.

John Clarfelt, Ticketer’s Managing Director, commented: “We are very excited to be launching Kazoot with its simple premise: to remove barriers to public transport and help passengers access the best transport services to meet their needs through a single app.

“Instead of needing multiple apps running in order to access all the various options, users now just need to download Kazoot for everything they need.

“Kazoot is the multi-operator app that gives operators all the benefits typically associated with a dedicated app. It is an exciting new tool that enables them to work together to collectively compete against other forms of transport by demonstrating that bus travel can be accessible, visible and convenient whilst retaining access to the ticket sales data they would expect through their own app.”

Timespace Technology
Stand H41

Timespace Technology is a well-known manufacturer and developer of digital video recorders (DVRs), providing high-quality CCTV for thousands of vehicles worldwide. At this year’s show, Timespace will also be highlighting the additional features and tools available in its products, which can help operators reduce costs, manage fleets efficiently and improve passenger experience.

Timespace’s LANLink software provides a comprehensive fleet management solution, with GPS vehicle tracking allowing monitoring of fleet operation.

Video evidence management in LANLink is now quicker and easier, with footage viewable in any web browser – simplifying the process of sharing and viewing recordings.

Full CCTV health information ensures operators can identify and rectify any problems, therefore ensuring complete CCTV coverage. The inclusion of vehicle CAN engineering data in LANLink allows operators to schedule proactive maintenance and to reduce running costs, for example by improving fuel efficiency and reducing time off the road.

The new bookmark feature in Timespace’s PCLink software can aid driver training by permitting review of video at bookmarked points on the journey. PCLink’s object-blurring tool and file access protection help operators to comply with data protection regulations by anonymising features and controlling access to footage.

Timespace will be demonstrating newly-released versions of both LANLink and PCLink, allowing visitors to see the full range of tools and features available.

Timespace will also be showing the forthcoming V600 AHD DVR – a hybrid product which will provides operators with the flexibility to use a combination of up to 24 analogue SD, AHD and IP cameras.

TotalKare
Stand F12

TotalKare is set to make one of its largest ever appearances at Coach & Bus UK this year, exhibiting its latest range of heavy-duty vehicle lifting products.

The firm’s T8DC cable-free mobile column lifts will form the centrepiece of its stand, lifting a 17-seater Ford Transit T460 minibus generously provided by David Fishwick. They will be joined by a new mobile brake tester, which will be demonstrated live along with, for the first time, a new headlight tester – which TotalKare says is in ‘significant demand’ from the coach and bus sector.

Launched earlier this year, the brake tester is able to test up to 20,000kg per axle, making it ideal for a wide range of vehicles from minibuses to heavy duty buses and coaches.

The mobile brake tester, which is hot galvanised to improve durability, also features a comprehensive load simulation system and app technology so that data and subsequent analysis can be completed on a smart phone or tablet.

“TotalKare enjoys an excellent reputation in the UK coach and bus marketplace – it is one of our fastest growing sectors and we’ve already secured significant orders for our mobile and in-ground brake testers from clients in this field who are keen to take advantage of our attractive lease hire packages that include full maintenance,” explained David Hall, Managing Director of TotalKare.

“Our customers like that we have broadened our portfolio to include non-lifting products and appreciate how we give the same high quality of technical expertise and customer service that is synonymous with our brand.”

For further information, visit www.totalkare.co.uk or follow @totalkare on Twitter.

TruTac
Stand K4

TruTac is launching a new Remote File Integration system at the show, which allows operators to easily set up their own seamless, remote digital file download links. The company currently partners with over 25 third-party suppliers, including Trakm8, Microlise, Volvo Dynafleet, Renault OptiFleet, TomTom, Mercedes Fleetboard, Qualcomm Scania and many others.

Another unveiling at this year’s show is a new Touchscreen Digital Signature System, enabling sign-on-screen and pin validation for driver debriefs and infringement reporting. The company says it is ‘secure, easy to audit and paperless.’ It includes on-screen signing for managers and drivers during debriefing, saving time, effort and money.

Finally there’s a new Earned Recognition Support Package on offer from the company. The package has been designed to ‘handhold’ and support operators through the ER validation process, providing continuous monitoring and reporting of KPIs to the DVSA.

Unicorn Underwriting
Stand M36

Unicorn Underwriting provides specialist insurance for coach and bus operators and will be exhibiting once again at this year’s show.

At the 2017 event, Unicorn announced its commitment to operators at a time when the insurance market for these specialist risks was going through a period of change. The market is still going through significant change, but Unicorn says it is standing by its commitments.
The company says it understands what operators want:

• An insurer which is financially secure, providing AA+ rated insurance;
• Insurance providers who are engaged with the industry and understand the business; and
• A comprehensive and rapid response in the event of a claim.

Unicorn’s underwriters have many years’ experience in delivering insurance to the passenger transport industry, and its claims handlers are passenger transport experts who aim to help operators contain vehicle repair and third party/passenger claims costs.

Plus, Unicorn is still the only underwriting agency member of the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) UK, helping it to keep its finger on the pulse of the industry.

For those reasons, Unicorn believes it can offer an ideal package for operators. “With a policy wording specifically designed to meet the needs of coach and bus operators, and the opportunity for businesses to meet with our underwriters and review any claims, we believe our commitment is clear,” it says.

V L Test Systems
Stand G50

Roller brake tester supplier V L Test Systems can also design, install and assist with the approval and sign off of DVSA ATF lanes. Support is available from its UK-wide network of expertly-trained engineers.

All new V L brake testers come with a five-year warranty on motors and gearboxes, a lifetime warranty on gritted rollers and DVSA database updates.
Headlight beam testers, wheel play detectors and pit jacks are also available.

V L has over 60 years’ experience in the industry, but isn’t standing still; over the coming months it plans to update its vans to a new grey and white livery, with matching uniforms and business cards.

It will also be upgrading its IT systems to ensure that the total customer experience is enhanced in-line with the anticipated 5G launch in the UK. “We know that to continue to provide the excellent customer service, we have to always be the best and that is why we are investing in that vision,” the company says.

ZF Services
Stand J53

ZF Services will be exhibiting once again at this year’s show, its representatives assisting visitors with their wealth of technical knowledge and promoting the benefits of its remanufacturing and repair facilities, based at the company’s Nottingham Service Centre of Excellence.

In response to a rise in market demand, the company’s repair centre has been developed to ensure customers further benefit from a complete range of support solutions, from overhaul and remanufacture to parts and technical support for transmissions, axles and gearboxes, backed by a specialist team.

As a global leader in driveline and chassis technology, ZF’s technical experts will be at the show to demonstrate how fleet customers can benefit the company’s bus and coach service partner support network, which it says is ‘fully equipped to meet the repair and maintenance challenges of the future.’

The team will also be on hand to answer any technical questions and discuss its latest product portfolio. For more information, visit zf.com/uk
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