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APRIL 2012 Vol. 15 No. 3 EURO 2.95 stg.£2.50

MIKE MURPHY GROUP FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS Fleet - Truck - Van - Bus Car - Home - Travel Employers & Public Liability Offices - Shops

The Insurance Centre|Sandyford Business Centre, Sandyford Dublin 18. T 353 1 2932370 F 353 1 2932360 Email: info@mikemurphyinsurance .ie Insureforsure Ltd T/A Mike Murphy group is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. CONTENTS Irish Trucker is published by DG Press Kells Business Park, Kells, Co. Meath Telephone: (046) 9241923 Fax: (046) 9241926 ISDN: 046-9248197

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Toyota Material Handling P30

TOYOTA MATERIAL HANDLING MD Terry O’Reilly on the success of the business

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DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL Executive engineer for Roads and Transportation Ronnie Sayers

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70 The opinions expressed in Irish Trucker do not necessarily reflect those of the editor, publishers, their agents or Irish Trucker. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this publication is correct, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors that may appear.


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Ace Express Freight Awarded Gold

Ace Express Freight were recently awarded the “Deloitte Ireland’s Best Managed Company” Gold award

Irelands leading family owned international freight company Ace Express Freight have recently been awarded the “Deloitte Irelands Best Managed Company” gold award. The North Dublin based company was presented with the award at a glittering Gala Awards Ceremony on Friday night in the Burlington Hotel. The ceremony was attended by a large gathering of the top companies in Ireland. The now annual Gala Awards is akin to the Oscars for the best managed companies in Ireland. In order to win the award,

each company that enters is rigorously vetted in every aspect of their business by a team of experts from Deloitte, Irish Life and the Irish Management Institute. From a large number of entries only 25 companies get awarded the title “Irelands Best Managed Company” each year. What makes this year’s award unique for Ace Express is that this is the fourth consecutive year for them to receive this prestigious award, because of this they move into a very elite Gold Standard. Ace Express Freight is the only freight company in Ireland to achieve this prestigious award. The company which operates in the ultra competitive International Freight services, providing national and international freight services by Road, Sea and Air was first established by Local North County Dublin man Philip Tracey and his wife Julie over 24 years ago. Since that time the company has grown at a steady pace to become one of the leading employers in North County Dublin. With a staff of 75 people directly employed and more than twice as many employed as subcontractors most of who reside in North County Dublin. Commenting on the award Managing Director Philip Tracey was quick to point out that the award is for the company rather than any one individual and is a great moral boost for the staff and subcontractors to get this recognition for the high levels of service and dedication that each and every member provides each day. Looking to the future Mr Tracey was equally optimistic as he strongly believes that his company will continue to grow and proposer in these challenges times. At Ace Express Freight our tag line is “when service is important” but this statement has to be backed up by action and a passion to get the job done right each and every time. We have both the staff and resources in place and with a partnership network of 450 offices in 150 countries, we have the ability to provide the highest levels of service Worldwide.

Poolbeg construction extension granted Covanta, the company developing the Poolbeg Incinerator has been successful in extending the contract for construction of the development. Dublin City Council said the extension is to allow a number of regulatory issues to be finalised and to allow the company Covanta to have funding in place. The extension now is set till the end of August. The company will have to be in a position to commit to work resuming before November 5. A number of extensions have already been granted to Covanta for the 600,000 tonne facility, which is estimated will cost €350m.



At the signing of contracts for the Tralee Bypass are, front l/r: Mayor of Tralee Grace O’Donnell; Brian Cunningham, BAM Civil; Mayor of Kerry Pat Leahy; Minister Jimmy Deenihan. Back: Philip Desmond, BAM Civil; Paul Mohan, NRA; Tom Curran, Kerry County Manager; Liam Prendiville, Halcrow Barry

Keeping the Kingdom motoring As Senior Engineer in the Roads, Transportation and Safety department of Kerry County Council, Gerard MacNamara has direct responsibility for ensuring the upkeep of some 4,730km of roadway in the Kingdom. Irish Trucker travelled to the scenic south west and met Gerard to discuss the ins and outs of a brief made substantially more challenging by the budget restraints born of Ireland’s well-documented economic downturn.


e’re all guilty of taking roads for granted. But somebody, somewhere has to ensure that the surfaces we travel on are up to the required standard. In Kerry, that man is Gerard MacNamara. It’s a daunting task at times, especially considering that Local Authority coffers aren’t exactly overflowing these days, but Gerard and his team are meeting


the challenges head-on and have consistently provided motorists in the Kingdom with a high-quality road network. Truckers, residents, visitors and tourists alike benefit from some of the best surfaces in the country and Gerard is determined to make sure that this remains the case, in spite of the obvious difficulties presented by

financial limitations. It’s all about prudence, good management, delegation, prioritisation, juggling, balancing, negotiating, common sense and application – skills Gerard knows only too well… Gerard has been senior engineer in Kerry County Council’s roads department for the past five years. As such, he is responsible for the IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

The busy N21

maintenance of the national, regional and local roads network in Kerry. “We carry out improvements on the national secondary roads, local routes and regional roads, while large works like bypasses are looked after by the local NRA design office based in Castleisland,” he notes. Kerry is a large county with a vast road network but Gerard says his workload is lightened by delegation:

“We have two Senior Executive Engineers – one in the north of the county and one in the south – and each of these would have Area Engineers, who are really at the coal face working with them, so the work is spread evenly across the whole network.” Budgetary restrictions have, of course, made the upkeep of the roads network even more challenging than it might have been when Gerard took up

the role. “Everything has to be done within the available resources,” he confirms. “It is certainly more difficult to make the money go around but, at the same time, the standard of the road network in Kerry was greatly improved during the good times and we are reaping the rewards of that investment now. “The last two harsh winters haven’t helped the situation and we also get a

The Ring of Kerry



the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, National Roads Authority and the Council’s own resources. At the time of writing, Gerard was overseeing improvement work on the Kenmare Town Eastern Relief Road and the R556 Tralee Ballybunion regional road while the Ballinagar Bridge near Lixnaw – which collapsed under the weight of a truck carrying 250 pigs in February, 2007 – has also been replaced and various other bridges were recently improved. “Restoration works and improvements would be the biggest jobs. We do a lot of road strengthening and resurfacing as well as surface The Mayor of Kerry Pat Leahy (centre) dressing and paving improvements, all discussing the Tralee Bypass with Brian of which is done by direct labour, using Cunningham of BAM Civil and Minister Jimmy Deenihan Kerry County Council’s own staff,” Gerard continues. “When you are working on scenic routes like the Ring of Kerry, you don’t want to take anything away from the natural characteristics of the route. So you’re trying to balance aesthetics and modern design with safety. Safety is absolutely vital in all the roadworks we do but at the same time you don’t want to create scars through the natural landscape, though sometimes you have no choice and that’s part of the price paid for advancement.” It isn’t always rocket science. Often, the particular roads that need to be improved stand out and scientific data will only be used to prioritise one of these routes over another. For the time being, it’s all about consolidation until Beautiful Kenmare the recession passes… “As I said, we witnessed huge improvements to the road network in Kerry during the good lot of rainfall in Kerry, which can give rise to problems on times and now we need to try to protect those roads and some local and rural roads, but generally we are very much keep them in good repair. Money is tight but when there was on top of things at the moment.” money there Kerry always got its fair share and even last Of course, the work is ongoing and there are constant year we managed to secure EUR2.8m out of the EUR60m plans to carry out safety work and improvement work on made available by the Government. The task now is to be routes all across the Kingdom, depending on adequate funding and resources being forthcoming. The majority of Kerry County Council’s roadworks depend on funding from

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There has been considerable investment in the road network within the county

vigilant and to maintain the existing routes until the curve rises again.” In the meantime, Gerard accepts the reality of the situation: “I think we are not going to run out of funds completely. Funding is being reduced and you can see in the local environment that there isn’t enough money to go around. We will head into lean times for the next two to three

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“But we’ll keep fighting. We haven’t received our roads grant allocation for the current year yet but it’ll be interesting to see how much that differs from last year.” Regardless of what happens, history proves that the roads in Kerry will always be amongst the best in Ireland.


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Travelling in style For many years the general consensus of travelling by bus would be associated to an uncomfortable, bumpy and slow journey, but in recent years that has all changed and comfort is now the adjective associated more commonly with the industry.

Managing Director of PK Travel, PJ Keogh


hese are testing times for the travel industry as rising fuel costs and other overheads combine to make it one of the toughest sectors to be in at the moment. However, experience counts for a lot and to this end PK Travel are unrivalled by many of its contemporaries. Based at Shannon Airport, PK Travels offers a personal, consistent, and professional travel service that takes care of our customers every need making the process positive and easy for all involved. This renowned business was established by PJ Keogh in 1997 and through years of consistent hard work and endeavor, the company has become a leading player in the high end of the executive travel market. PJ speaks to Irish Trucker about the success of the business and its origins, IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

which came about purely by chance. “I had worked for Fyffes for many years, but I was always involved with the local GAA club Clarecastle and the scouts for who I would drive a bus that belonged to someone else and carried teams or groups around the county mainly,” said PJ. “I got thinking to myself and thought sure if I'm able to drive someone else's bus why can't I drive my own, so I went over to England and bought a bus and the rest as they say is history. We now have a fleet of 20 vehicles and are based at Shannon Airport where the majority of our workload comes from. “We would operate all the park and ride facilities at Shannon, while we are also the number one provider for the major airlines that operate out of there, although that has dwindled down to just

Continental Airlines at the moment. “With continued investment in an ever changing environment the company has continued to improve its level of service by offering a modern fleet of coaches equipped with the latest technology.” PK Travel's coach tours are some of the most popular in the country and as always customer satisfaction is their main priority. The company's reputation precedes them and this has led them to being awarded some very prestigious contracts, one of which is in Northern Ireland. “We applied for a coach run in Northern Ireland, which was covering the Giant's Causeway and surrounding areas. We went for an interview with around eleven other companies, most of who were the best in Ulster. I just


Operations Manager Mike Lawlor with the captains of the Clare camogie teams

told them that we had the experience to provide the service required and that they could rely on us. On my way home, I got a phone call from the guys who interviewed and they told me that we had got the contract. “We now have three buses up there running from May to September, they drivers are all employed locally and I have to say that they are great workers. It also means that we have a Northern licence which allows us to operate up there.” PJ admits that his work force of 25 have all played a huge part in the success of the business and without their help, the company would not be where it is today. “I am very happy with the staff that we have, all of who are highly trained and experienced at what they do. “They are the ones representing the company and we often get letters from customers complementing the workers, which is great to see and is a testament to the hard work and professional service that we all provide.” The main bone of contention in the industry is the rising cost of fuel and

PJ admits that the situation has reached crisis point with a different outlook being taken r e g a r d i n g investment into the business. “Since March 2009, our fuel bill has risen by 64%. There used to be a fuel subsidiary for the tourist industry, but that's gone now and this has had a huge effect on the business. “Between 2007 and '08 we invested €3 million in the company, but those days are gone for the time being, unless something is done about the fuel prices. We employ 25 people in the business and our aim is to make sure we keep that amount.” For 2012, PJ and his team are looking to develop an exclusive area of the business PK Executive travel, which will see them operate in the private sector and the company director admits that they have already cornered a niche in the market. “We would already carry out work for West Air Jetex and this would be a more upmarket end to the business which sees us transport dignitaries and other professionals

around the country.” PJ acknowledges that it is a very competitive industry and stressed that you always have to be looking at ways to improve the business. “You can't rest on your laurels in this business and you certainly have to move with the times, investing will always have to be made no matter how much it is. These are testing times for the industry and in all honesty not all businesses are going to make it through it, but we have to ensure that we are one of the ones that will and I'm confident that we can do that.”

CONTACT D ETAILS PK Travel PK Services Complex, Sha nnon Airport, Co. C lare Tel: 061 4711 11 info@pktrave www.pktrave

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The Toyota Material Handling premises on Killeen Road

Handling the best Toyota is commonly associated with manufacturing cars and light commercials, but this is not the only area that the company are leaders in their field of expertise.


hey are also manufacturers and suppliers of the world's leading material handling products, which includes a wide range of forklifts. Toyota have many outlets worldwide and their base in Ireland is situated on the Killeen road, Dublin 12. Toyota


Ireland and Toyota Material Handling are 100% Irish owned, which was set up in 1973 by the Mahony family. Six years before this in 1967, Toyota established its first forklift dealership and sold its first forklift in the U.S. Over the years, Toyota has continued to

evolve its lift truck product line and global distribution. Toyota Ireland distributes Toyota motor vehicles and forklift trucks to the Irish market. Over the years Toyota Ireland has firmly established the Toyota brand as a house hold name in IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

such as rental, financing, and fleet management - not to mention our genuine parts, driver training courses, financial solutions and much more. “All the benefits, peace of mind and value for money that Toyota provide to make it the number one seller of motor cars in Ireland are also available in its material handling range making Toyota Material Handling Ireland the ideal partner for your business, whatever it is. Last year Toyota's success was recognized when German material handling magazine DHF Intralogistik named Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) the global number one in material handling equipment for 2010-11. In the last financial year, TICO, sold more than 153,000 units in its materials handling division. That equates to a growth rate of 38 percent compared to the previous year. DHF Intralogistik named TICO the sector leader in its world ranking list 2010-11 based on sale of materials, which amounted to 4.172 billion Euros. TICO was the only supplier on the list to cross the four billion Euro thresholds, once again establishing itself as the worldwide market leader and further increasing its lead over second-in-line Kion Group, which owns the Linde brand, with Jungheinrich third in line. Companies must generate a turnover of at least 10 million Euros during the reporting year to be eligible for inclusion in DHF Intralogistik's ranked list. “The company has gone from strength to strength over the years. In Ireland there are 56 main car dealers, while there are five dedicated dealers looking after the material handling products. “These are located in Kilkenny, Sligo, Cork and two in Dublin. Our dealers have 30+ years' knowledge and

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the country and continues to be a market leader today. Toyota Material Handling Ireland managing director Terry O'Reilly spoke to Irish Trucker about the success of the business for this month's edition of the magazine. “Toyota Material Handling Ireland now brings to the market the full range of Toyota and BT products, offering the customer a one stop shop for all material handling needs,” said Terry. “From hand trucks, pallet trucks, reach trucks and stackers to gas, diesel and electric counterbalance trucks, we offer the widest product range in the business.” Terry revealed that the Toyota brand name gives customers the peace of mind when they are purchasing a product that they will be looked after in all aspects before and after the sale. “Our service offering is top level too, from forklift maintenance by expert technicians to business solutions IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

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Toyota Material Handling Ireland management in discussion

experience selling Toyota products. In a market where there are over 30 different brands, Toyota has been a consistent leader and trusted partner for many customers over the last 39 years. Terry admits that the market size is nowhere near it use to be when the Celtic Tiger was in full roar. “The market is probably at a third of what it was in 2007, but we have found that in the last three years, it has leveled

out with a slight improvement in 2011. Cost savings is very much to the forefront these days and we have had to tighten our belts, while all the time continuing to deliver the level of service that the customer has become accustomed to. In times like these customers are inclined to choose a tried and tested brand like Toyota as their material handling partner. We have emerged from the last 3 years stronger and closer

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C&G manufacture cabs for forklifts, tractors, dumpers, rollers and grass mowing machines.Cabs can also be custom made to any suit any machine. Dublin Road, Clane, Co. Kildare Tel Ire : + 353 (0) 45 868456 Fax: + 353 (0) 45 861537 Email: Continued Best Wishes To Terry O’Reilly From

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Continued Success to TOYOTA Material Handling Ireland & Terry O’Reilly 32


A range of forklifts supplied by Toyota

than ever to our customers and with renewed focus for the future. It is clear what our market needs today is flexibility, efficiency, reliability and continued focus on responsible cost reduction. In 2000 the BT franchise was acquired and this has given Toyota Material Handling an even tighter grip on the market as the customers can

now avail of many services and products. “Basically we are a one-stop shop and we offer an extensive range of products to our large customer base, while our after sales ensure that any problems that may arise are dealt with swiftly and efficiently. “We have a team of highly trained engineers, who carry out any

maintenance or repair work that is required and they are strategically located throughout the country.” Being part of the Toyota Group undoubtedly brings strength to our organization, with Toyota's research and development capabilities, financial resources and proven work methods as exemplified by the “Toyota Way” and the “Toyota Production System”. Recognized for its leadership and innovation Toyota is adapting and responding to demands in different regions that are taking the lead such as Lithium Ion batteries, Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Hybrids as will as further development of existing energy sources.


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The entire fleet consists of over 200 pieces of plant and machinery

Looking after Donegal’s roads Last year saw one of the harshest winters to hit the Emerald Isle in many years as roads became treacherous to travel on and the accident rate was at one of its highest levels in recent times.


ounty Councils are charged with the task of ensuring that are roads are safe to travel on, not only during the winter months, but all year round also. A lot of planning goes into road maintenance and safety. For this month's edition of Irish Trucker, we take a look at one county that invariably suffers more than most and that is Donegal. The Local Authority in the North West have a busy schedule all year round as they are continuously planning for the


season ahead. We speak to the Executive Engineer for Roads & Transportation Ronnie Sayers about his role in the council. Ronnie has been plying his trade with the Donegal County Council for the past seven years, having given many years service to the Water Services in Northern Ireland. His knowledge of infrastructure has been invaluable over the years as he ensures that Donegal's roads are kept in excellent condition all year round. “As part of my job detail, I would be

over all the machinery that is involved in repairing, maintaining and ensuring the safety on the roads in the county,” said Ronnie. “I'm based here in the head office in Lifford and from there I oversee the maintenance of the plant. There is around 200 pieces of machinery to look after. “We receive a budget every year to work from and that dictates what work is carried out on an annual basis. We have a wide variety of vehicles ranging from vans to artics. The latter is used to IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

Sludge is hauled to these containers

transport tanker sludge.” Ronnie would be working alongside all the area managers, while he is also on the council committee that deciders what routes are prioritised for gritting. “The number of routes that are gritted on a nightly basis has recently been reduced from 24 to 21. We have a

number of vehicles on the roads and three new Volvo 6x4 Lorries are due to be delivered in March 2012.” Ronnie admits that his role would be very hard to carry out without the help of his colleagues, who he stresses, are hard working and reliable. “There is a great team working together and everyone pulls together when necessary. Our Technical Services Operator Dermot Broadbin plays a massive part in ensuring that maintenance work runs smoothly.” Four fitters are employed full time by the county council to ensure that all vehicles and plant are keep in good working order, while any additional machinery that is needed can be hired

in. Donegal County Council's Winter Maintenance Policy for Roads is to endeavour, within the limited resources available, to maintain major traffic routes in the County in a passable condition. “Winter time would definitely be our busiest period and last year in particular was very busy. The plant had all to be in good order as we were out on the roads daily to ensure that motorists could travel safely.” In practical terms this generally means the gritting and snow ploughing of priority routes, which are clearly identified in advance of each winter. The primary responsibility for road safety remains at all times with drivers

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of vehicles and while the council will endeavour to maintain the major routes in a passable condition, each driver must exercise sufficient caution to take account of the prevailing road conditions. “When considering the level of traffic on routes, a specific minimum recommendation is needed when deciding what roads are gritted.” It is left to each local authority to determine what the threshold value should be, for the traffic volumes particular to each administrative area. When considering this threshold, local authorities could consider applying a weighting to public transport. Donegal County Council's hard work was recognised as they were selected as 'Council of the Year' at the Local Authority Members Association (LAMA) Awards. At the Crown Plaza Hotel, RTE presenter Miriam O'Callaghan confirmed to a packed audience that a

Road Safety initiative by Donegal County Council had secured the top honour. The flagship Road Safe Road Show, which graphically depicts how a night out can end in death or serious injury when poor driving behaviour is adopted. The event has been seen by over 12,000 young people in the last four years and includes real life testimonies from emergency services and road traffic collision victims. The event is hosted each October in the Aura Letterkenny Leisure Centre.

CONTACT D ETAILS Donegal Cou nty Council, County House , The Diamond, Lifford, Co. Donegal Telephone No: (074) 9172 222 Fax No: (074 ) 9141205 email : info@ donegalcoco. ie


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Part of the impressive Ardcavan fleet

Heading towards half a century For 45 years now, Ardcavan Coaches Tours Ltd in Co Wexford have been one of the top operators when it comes to bus transport in the south east. Irish Trucker spoke to the company’s Managing Director, Philip O’Leary, to find out more.


rdcavan Coaches Tours is a family run business which has been in operation since 1967. Located ideally on the south east coast in Ardcavan, Co Wexford, the company’s headquarters are only 15km away from the Europort Rosslare, which is the biggest port in Ireland, serving boats coming from the UK, France and Spain. In addition, Ardcavan Coaches are just 150km from Ireland’s largest Airport, Dublin International, and make regular journeys back and forth from the capital. The company’s Managing Director is Philip O’Leary and he’s been making sure things run smoothly so as their loyal customers can continue to rely on a dependable service.


“We’re based in Ardcavan and have been established since 1967,” explained Philip “We have 20 staff here full-time and another four or five that work with us part time. My position is Managing Director and my father, Bobby, started the company and is still very much involved, as is my brother George.” As well as catering for private tours, Ardcavan coaches operate three services to different parts of the country. It is Philip’s job to make sure that there is a daily service to Dublin city and airport. This direct service takes two and a half hours to Dublin city centre from Wexford city centre and three hours to Dublin airport. The route

taken from Wexford city ensures that the main areas of the capital, including UCD, Trinity College and O’Connell Street are all covered for passengers. Ardcavan Coaches also offer direct Limerick services, which operate on a weekly basis from Wexford to main colleges such as Limerick IT, Limerick University, Mary I and St Patrick’s. These journeys take approximately three-and-a-half hours from Wexford to Limerick. The last service sees Ardcavan travelling from their base to the college in Maynooth, Co Kildare on a weekly basis. The service travels from Wexford via Enniscorthy, Bunclody and Carlow, which takes about two-and-a-half hours from Wexford city. “We are a member of the Coach IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

Ardcavan can cater for any occasion

Tourism and Transport Council and altogether our fleet would be 18 buses – the majority of which would be Volvos,” said Philip. “Business isn’t too bad at the moment. We are kept going but I think the cost of fuel nowadays is crippling a lot of businesses like us. We can only hope that things will turn around soon, but we have to keep going until then.” Philip keeps a positive outlook over the state of things in Ireland at the minute, as any good business man should. It is something he surely picked up from his father Bobby, who has handed down the reigns to his two sons, but still plays as active part in the business. Philip and his brother George are now running things at Ardcavan Coaches Tours and face a difficult, but doable, task over the next couple of years to make sure things stay strong as the company approaches half a century of age. “My father started out as a mechanic when he finished school and I suppose he was just exploring different options with what kind of a business he could start,” Philip explained. “He bought a lorry and did some work with that for a while before selling it for a bus around the mid 1960s. By 1967 he has started his own coach tours business and it just took off from there I guess. “He started off by doing bingo runs and those kinds of things and the business gained a good reputation. It came to the point where it was growing and growing and he had to hire more

staff to cope with the business he was getting. It’s gone from then until now and it’s hard to believe it’s going to be 50 years since he first started up.” The O’Leary family will have something truly special to celebrate in 2017 and before you know it it could well be time to pass on things to the next generation. However, Philip knows that there’s plenty of work to do between now and that time. One of Ardcavan Coaches most loyal customers has come from the GAA, whom they have worked with for some 40 years now. “We are very well connected with the Wexford county board,” Philip stated. “Probably since the 1970s, I’d say. We bring a lot of the county teams back and forth from matches all over the country and I have to say they’ve been a great customer for us. “It’s a great thing to be involved with the GAA and we like to try and help them out anyway we can as well because they do help to bring communities together all across the country.” Staying on the sporting front, Ardcavan Coaches Tours have also been fortunate to increase their business by becoming involved with Celtic Horizon Tours in recent times. It has seen them run regular excursions to all the big football matches, which include day trips and over night stays. When booking with Celtic Horizons they provide the tickets for the match and take care of any extras needed to make the trip a success. Ardcavan Coaches have been proud to be involved with them and hope to continue to do good work with

Ardcavan coaches are a familiar sight on the roads of Ireland


them for many years to come. “We’re doing bus tours, school runs and trips to England for soccer matches every week and we’re hopeful that that can continue into the future,” said Ardcavan Coaches’ Managing Director. “It’s important to keep relations going with customers and passengers and I think we do it well here. Hopefully we will continue to do so and the next few years will see an improvement in business all across Ireland.” Hear, hear!

COMPANY D ETAILS Ardcavan Coa ches Ardcavan, Wex ford, Ireland Tel: 091 2256 1 info@ardcavan .com www.ardcava

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New Heights Reached as TPN announces €350,000 deal with Still Forklifts The Pallet Network (TPN), Ireland’s leading nationwide delivery system for palletised freight, has signed a deal worth €350,000 with Total Materials Handling, the exclusive distributor of Still products. TPN have agreed to contract hire eight new RX70 Hybrid forklifts for use at TPN’s 100,000 square foot purpose built hub in Blanchardstown over the next five years. Seamus McGowan, Managing Director, TPN, said, “We handled almost 500,000 pallets, the equivalent of 200,000 tonnes of freight, for our clients in 2011. As our business continues to grow year on year, and to match our environmentally sustainable business Reaching New Heights: Seamus model, we choose Still forklifts for their efficiency McGowan, Managing Director, TPN which provides TPN with up to 20% in fuel savings with John Gorman, MD, Total Material Handling, the exclusive distributor of and the lowest emissions available.” Still products in Ireland John Gorman, MD, Total Material Handling (TMH), said, “As the exclusive distributor of Still forklift trucks and warehouse handling equipment in Ireland for 19 years, we understand the specific requirements that a thriving logistics company such as TPN has for moving freight in a safe, efficient and environmentally sound manner. This is a significant deal for TMH, who see TPN as a very progressive company who understand the benefits Still RX70 hybrid forklifts offer. Hybrid technology is not only interesting from an environmental point of view but also economically. The new generation, with two energy storage systems, is already available and will pay for itself in as little as 3,000 hours usage.” Founded in 2004, TPN’s network of 23 regional network depots, distributes palletised goods nationwide and across the UK and Europe. The members can also offer a worldwide freight forwarding service through TPN. TPN is a finalist in the 2012 SFA Awards in the Environmental Sustainability Category. The company is also carrying out a feasibility study on launching the TPN network in Poland.

FBD profits soar FBD’s operating profits for 2011 rose by a massive 60%, to €63.9m. The insurance company says the performance was helped by favourable weather conditions and a low level of large claims. Despite the ongoing difficult economic conditions, FBD bucked the trend with pre-tax profits rising to €59.7m – a dramatic turnaround from a pre-tax loss of €3.1m in 2010. FBD is recommending a final dividend of 23.25 cent per share, up from the 21 cent paid out in 2010. This brings the full 2011 dividend to 34.5 cent, up 9.5pc on the 31.4 cent the previous year. Truckers will be concerned with only one thing: does this mean their premiums are going to fall?


New style driving licences on way

Current driving licence will be replaced

A new style driving licence will be introduced in Ireland next January, although it may be some time before everyone who currently holds a licence has one. The credit card type licence will replace the paper one that has been used for many years now, but with the licence being valid for ten years, the change will not occur until people renew their current licence. The standardised European licence is of the same model that is used in America and motorists will have to carry them at all times when driving. It is hoped that later versions will include a data chip like the one found on credit cards, however, legislation might be needed to introduce this. Officials are also in discussion about the possibility of using the card for identification purposes for citizens flying within Europe. IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

Belfast dock receives funding The Northern Ireland Environment Minister Alex Attwood recently announced that his department was providing £1.5m for preservation work on the Thompson Graving dock. The 880ft (268m) long dock was originally opened in 1911. The funding is the largest single investment ever made by the Department of the Environment in support of an historic monument. The work will involve the construction of a new structure outside the existing 150ft (46m) wide steel dock gate in order to safeguard the dock from flooding. The dock is currently maintained by the Northern Ireland Science Park in Belfast's Titanic Quarter. Announcing the funding, Alex Attwood said: "The importance of the Thompson Graving dock should be acknowledged; when it was completed in 1911 it was the largest dry dock in the world The Thompson Graving dock and without it the Titanic and its sister ships Olympic and is to receive funding for Britannic, could not have been completed." He added that the preservation work work was needed to ensure the dock's future. "The work will not only preserve the original dock gate but will also allow better public access to the dock and the working dock floor," he said. "It is a vital element in the Titanic experience and in itself conveys the achievement of the original build, the devastation of the loss of life and the engineering achievement of the ship designers and builders."

Fleets to be fleeced as further motor tax hikes imminent Major increases in motor tax are expected next year as the Government overhauls the system. The authorities are of the opinion that too many vehicles are falling into lower tax bands – based on carbon emissions – and fear they are losing money as a result. So, once more, they will turn to the hardpressed Irish citizens and simply charge more. Radical changes are expected, with new tax rates possibly being determined by a combination of engine size and emissions. The current system has been labelled unfair because it disregards the cost and size of cars, meaning drivers of larger vehicles enjoy the same tax rates as smaller ones. The result of the proposed changes to the system is that drivers – even of modest vehicles – will take a huge hit to the savings they’ve been enjoying since 2008. Fleet operators will suffer most from this change as they predominantly use cars with diesel engines in the affected 1.6-litre to 2-litre range ... as of course do tens of thousands of families nationwide. In the last eleven years, motor tax rates have already increased at twice the rate of inflation – 45% compared to 24%


New plans for rural transport Minister Alan Kelly

wants to overhaul the Minister of rural transport services State for Public and Commuter Transport, Alan Kelly has announced major plans for the integration of rural transport services. Over €200 million a year is spent across various state bodies on transport services in rural areas between the Rural Transport Programme, School Transport and HSE non-acute transport but with no official co-ordination between them. The new plans, approved by Government, will see the integration of all state transport services in rural areas, based initially on up to six pilot areas, with a view to creating a more co-ordinated service nationally. Minister Kelly will establish a high-level committee to oversee the initiative that will be led by the National Transport Authority. “We have to think more creatively about how we provide transport in rural areas. Transport access is vital and could be delivered in a better manner. The focus here is to eliminate cross-over and duplication of services and to create a better service for the public in general. We have seen a recent example in Donegal where 25% was saved on transport costs of the local health service by working with a rural transport group, already financed by the state. We need to see this type of effort on a national basis,” stated Minister Kelly. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has now assumed a national role for integrated local and rural transport. A new high-level committee will be established by the Minister to oversee the pilots and the future integration of services.


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Cyclists & Rules of the Road: Majority Score Well But Significant Minority “Could Do Better”

Nearly half of cyclists in Dublin break the law

While the majority of cyclists heed the rules of the road, a roadside survey in Dublin has shown that nearly a half (46 percent) of cyclists on Dublin’s streets break the law. The survey by Semperit Tyres was carried out over two days at a number of locations around Dublin city and environs. Paddy Murphy from Semperit Tyres Ireland said: “Safety is key for us in Semperit and that was the motivation for us to carry out this survey. The good news is that the majority of cyclists are careful and law abiding but there is a significant minority who don’t obey the rules and it needs to be brought home to them that their behaviour is not only a safety hazard for themselves but also for other road users.” “From my own experience, I know that cyclists don’t have it easy on Ireland’s roads: badly designed and badly maintained roads, insufficient cycle path provision and aggressive driving habits all combine to make life difficult for cyclists. However, as the most vulnerable class of road user, they really need to heed all of the rules of the road in order to stay safe.” The main infringements highlighted by the survey included cycling on footpaths (21 per cent); breaking traffic lights (15 per cent); and cycling against the flow of traffic or wrong way on a one way street (14 per cent). And although they are not obligatory, nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of cyclists do not wear a protective helmet. Helmets have been shown to significantly reduce head injuries for cyclists in the

event of a collision. At opposite ends of the scale, the survey showed that teenagers proved to be the least observant of rules while over 50s were the least likely to break the law. Exactly two thirds (66 per cent) of teenagers were seen to break the law with a significant number committing multiple infringements within a short space of time (e.g. breaking a red light and then cycling on the footpath). While the survey was being carried out, a cyclist who broke a red light while pedestrians were crossing, was challenged by a pedestrian and the cyclist was heard to shout: “Traffic lights are for cars, cyclists don’t have to heed them”. However, under the terms of the Road Traffic Act, a bicycle is considered to be a vehicle, and thus, similar to car drivers, cyclists are obliged to obey the road traffic laws.

Major pay out for safe bus drivers Bus Eireann pays out on It has been revealed that Bus Eireann pays out an average of a Safe Driving Award €300,000 a year on awards for drivers that avoid traffic accidents for a period of 200 days. The company gives a Safe Driving Award to every driver who is “accident free” for each year in which they have been on the road for at least 200 days. Drivers who meet the criteria receive vouchers worth €250. The successful drivers in each of five regions – east, south, southwest, west and northwest – also go through to a regional draw for a prize of €1,500. A spokesman for the company said it was a “remarkable achievement” for drivers to be accident free. “Our drivers can each travel more than a million kilometres over a year and it is a remarkable achievement to be accident free given the distances they drive in often difficult conditions.” There was also a cost saving benefit to the awards, he said, as fewer collisions meant less money spent on fixing vehicles. “The Safe Driving Awards are a means to congratulate drivers for their skill and expertise in being accident free. The awards also help contribute to reducing our costs by cutting down on vehicle maintenance and repair.” It has been a long-standing practice to reward drivers who have been accident free over significant periods of time, the spokesman said. The company previously gave cash bonuses to drivers but moved to a voucher system in 2009. The company is seeking tenders for the supply of gift cards for the awards scheme. The value of the awards is outlined in the tender documents as being about €300,000 a year. About 1,600 drivers work for Bus Éireann, and the figures indicate fewer than 1,200 would qualify for an award in any year. In addition to vouchers, drivers get “presentational awards” when they reach certain accident-free milestones. After five years they receive a pin, at 10 years they get a vase, at 15 years it is a plate, at 20 years they are given another vase, after 25 years they receive a watch, at 30 years they get a clock, and drivers who make it to 35 years are rewarded with a lamp. Certificates of achievement are also presented to these drivers.


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Ford Unveils Kick-Activated First-in-Class Automatic Tailgate for All-New Kuga at 2012 Geneva Motor Show · Ford reveals kick-activated automatic tailgate on all-new Kuga, a first-in-segment hands-free system, at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show · Kuga customers will be able to open and close the tailgate simply by waving a foot beneath the rear bumper, an especially useful feature for those carrying groceries or other gear to load into the vehicle · Ford perfected the system with the help of volunteer “kickers”; six months of testing produced the optimum settings Ford Motor Company will offer an innovative hands-free tailgate for the all-new Kuga, offering customers a first-inclass, kick-activated means of accessing the boot. The hands-free system enables Kuga customers to gently kick a foot beneath the rear bumper to open and close the tailgate without setting down packages or gear. The new Kuga was revealed today at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. “This is a perfect example of how we’re evolving existing technology to further improve our customers’ experience with Ford vehicles,” said Dominik Nical, security electronics expert, Ford of Europe. “The result is a practical and unique solution to a common problem – opening the tailgate when your arms are full. It’s a solution that will really work for customers in their everyday lives.” The development team spent six months working with Ford’s Human Machine Interface laboratory, using volunteers to test prototype systems fitted to a previous generation Kuga. Rigorous real-life testing perfected the required kick and ensured there was no interference with other systems. The hands-free tailgate builds on Ford’s Intelligent Access push-button start. It allows customers, who have their key on their person, to unlock and start their vehicles without having to take it out of their pocket or purse Two sensors in the rear bumper detect a person’s shin and kicking motion. The system safeguards against accidental opening by being programmed to open with leg motions – not when an animal runs under the car or when the vehicle hits a bump on the road. The system made its debut on Kuga’s sister model, the Ford Escape, in North America, late last year. Ford engineers recalibrated the system for Europe to ensure it would still work if a tow bar had been fitted - as this is an option frequently chosen by European Kuga customers. The automatic hands-free tailgate is launched as an option with Keyless Entry on the all-new Kuga later this year. Demonstration of Kuga’s automatic hands-free tailgate system

BP shares rise after settlement BP shares rose after the €5.8bn settlement with 110,000 businesses and individuals over the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The out-of-court settlement removed some of the doubt surrounding the company, with stock rising by 2%. BP reached an agreement with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) in one of the largest-ever class-action settlements in the US. The money will come from the $20bn compensation fund set up following the worst spill in US history. BP chief executive Bob Dudley says: “From the beginning, BP stepped up to meet our obligations to the communities in the Gulf Coast region and we’ve worked hard to deliver on that commitment for nearly two years. The proposed settlement represents significant progress toward resolving issues from the Deepwater Horizon accident and contributing further to economic and environmental restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast.” A judge's approval is required before the settlement is finalised. Despite this settlement, BP is not out of the woods yet - The US Justice Department has said it will press ahead with a multi-billion dollar compensation claim.


Foreign licence holders to receive points The Department of Transport has confirmed that legislation has been passed where foreign drivers will now receive penalty points. Up until now, anyone holding a foreign driving licence was not allowed to receive penalty for road traffic offences, even though almost 30,000 points were incurred by foreign drivers. However, this has now changed and from now on, foreign drivers will receive penalty points after the 2010 Road Traffic Act was amended to define the term driving licence. There had been a delay in implementing all of the Act, but that has now been resolved and now everyone will receive penalty points.

Heavy cargo service on way to Cork Islands A new heavy cargo service is to be introduced that will provide goods to the four islands in West Cork. The Government have passed a bill that will see a grant provided for the service which will cater for Sherkin Island, Cape Clear, Hare Island and Long Island. Minister of State Dinny McGinley says the grant will ensure that the people living on the islands have a reliable cargo service, thereby reducing their living costs. IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS


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Two Unique New Coupling Systems For Safety And Ease Of Handling Launching at CV Show - NEC 24 -26 April 2012 Fontaine, the world’s largest manufacturer of both pressed steel and cast fifth wheels, is announcing two unique coupling systems at this year’s CV Show: A sensor–operated fifth wheel designed to alert the driver in the event of safety clip or handle displacement after coupling, plus a press-button, air-assisted fifth wheel which takes the strain out of handle operation and is particularly suitable for female drivers. 3 sensor fifth wheel - Unique safety mechanism. 1. Switch on ignition and system self checks sensor functions 2. In cab driver display remains blank until trailer is coupled 3. Green light flashes for 10 seconds and audio ‘beep’ for two seconds upon coupling. 4. Mis-coupling alerted by flashing red light and continuous beep. 5 During coupling, once the king pin sensor detects the king pin, both the amber and red lights will illuminate continuously and remain lit until the correct coupling procedure is complete. 6. Externally, an LED green light will show upon correct coupling completion 7. Should the safety clip or handle become displaced, an internal and external red LED light and intermittent alarm will sound. Air- assisted fifth wheel – unique press button, handle operation: Connected to the tractor air system and adjacent to the Fifth wheel, a button is pressed to engage the handle. Normally this function can only be carried out by reaching under and pulling the handle outwards and away from the fifth wheel. This removes any potential strain, removes risk of claims through injury and is ideal for female use. Also showing will be Fontaine’s best selling Low Maintenance and new, Sliding 5th wheels. For more information on the range of Fontaine products please visit:


Road fine plans shelved Plans by Road Safety Authority chairman Gay Byrne to allow Garda officers keep €30 million in traffic fines have been rebuffed by Justice Minister Alan Shatter. The broadcaster and Road Safety Authority (RSA) chairman urged the minister to permit gardai to retain all income from speeding fines and road RSA Chairman Gay Byrne prosecutions to prevent "unnecessary loss of life on Irish roads." But Mr Shatter has shot down the plan, according to correspondence between the two men obtained by the Irish Independent under Freedom of Information. This comes amid mounting concern over the significant fall in the number of gardai policing the roads, and fears of a new surge in road deaths. The €30m-plus taken in annually by the exchequer from road traffic fines is made up of €19m for on-the-spot fines for speeding, mobile phone use, non-wearing of seat belts and other penalty-point offences, plus a further €11m from court fines. Gardai now have no overtime budget and the traffic corps has fallen from 1,200 to below 1,000 personnel. Mr Byrne told the minister that the measure was vital to allow gardai to maintain a level of enforcement needed to stop a reversal of the fall in road deaths. High enforcement was a key factor in cutting fatalities over the past six years. In a direct approach to Mr Shatter, the road safety boss expressed his "concern at the marked reduction in garda enforcement of road traffic legislation in the latter part of 2011. "It is clear from both international and from Irish experience that a reduction in roads policing will lead to a rapid and marked deterioration in road user behaviour," he said in his letter. Mr Byrne acknowledged his plan would meet some resistance from those who would accuse gardai of prosecuting people merely to generate revenue. "There would, of course, be a need to ensure that the public fully understand the rationale behind such a measure and I give you my commitment and that of the Road Safety Authority to work closely with An Garda Siochana to explain such a policy to the public." A similar plan has been proposed for New South Wales in Australia by the Police Federation, which wants all traffic-related fines revenue to go towards road safety, with at least 40pc used to recruit 200 highway patrol officers. Ireland's safety strategy is based on the Australian system. Similar proposals are also believed to be under consideration in other EU countries. Mr Shatter, in his reply, said that he was "not in a position to support the proposal". The money raised through road traffic fines could not be ringfenced as it was already factored into the overall budget. Earmarking the money for gardai would require cuts elsewhere, he warned. The minister also expressed concern that the move could undermine public support for road safety enforcement. This issue arose frequently with GoSafe privately operated speed cameras, where it had to be stressed that the company would not be getting a fee per catch. Although thousands of motorists had got fixed-charge notices for offences and penalty points, the public generally accepted the measures were "appropriate and proportionate". "Associating their objective with revenue generation rather than deterrence or prevention would risk disturbing that consensus," Mr Shatter wrote.

EPA seeking hauliers The Environmental Protection Agency is to seek hauliers who can transport hazardous waste. The EPA have begun the clean up of an illegal dump at Kerdiffstown, Co Kildare with 8.5 million litres of toxic waste already being removed from the premises. The EPA is now looking for haulage companies to transport the liquid to Dublin’s municipal sewage plant at Ringsend for processing in contracts worth up to €1.5 million for the next four years. IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS


Renault Trucks drive fuel consumption down Renault Trucks will be at the Intermat trade show in Paris (Villepinte) from April 16 to 21, 2012. The manufacturer will be displaying the most recent additions to its Construction range, as well as the numerous versions of its Optifuel solutions for construction professionals. This is an opportunity to show its latest contributions to reducing fuel consumption for trucks and their customers. Renault Trucks will be at the Intermat show in Paris (Villepinte) from April 16-21, the trade show for construction professionals, presenting the whole of its Construction range. Its customers will discover the manufacturer’s latest additions, such as the Premium Lander OptiTrack 6x2 and the Renault Kerax XTREM 8x4. The rest of the range will be represented by a Midlum 4x4 and a Maxity tipper. The Renault Trucks stand in Hall 6, alley C n° 75, will feature the highlights of the fuel consumption reduction solutions the manufacturer has made available to its customers. Training in rational driving with Optifuel Training, a new Optifuel Academy point-of-delivery service to optimise consumption from the very first kilometre, Optifleet fleet monitoring and management software, Optifuel Infomax consumption monitoring software, NavTruck, the smartphone-based satnav for heavyduty trucks to eliminate superfluous journey time of the Construction industry customers will see practical examples of the benefits of these services for their day-to-day missions. On the technology side, the emphasis will be on the robotised Optidriver+ gearbox and the Optiroll pack, which uses the vehicle’s inertia to reduce fuel consumption. For those who want to go further still in terms of energy efficiency, a Clean Tech area will be dedicated to the manufacturer’s alternative energy vehicle range. For Renault Trucks, Intermat is a real opportunity to show its customers the fuel consumption reduction features they have developed from vehicle design through to operations throughout the truck’s service life.


Scania makes the big switch

Scania has switched to fossil free fuel in its internal transport services

Scania has switched to fossil-free fuel in its internal transport services. The truck and bus manufacturer is taking a further step in its efforts to reduce the climate impact from its own operations. Using renewable bioethanol as a fuel rather than fossil-based diesel will help reduce the climate impact of carbon dioxide emissions from Scania’s own goods transport services at its production facilities in Sweden by approximately 70%. The eight ethanol trucks that are now being put into operation will contribute to a decrease in CO2 emissions equal to that of twelve normal homes heated by fossil-based electrical energy. “As a supplier of transport solutions, it is important for us to take the lead in developing sustainable alternative solutions and demonstrate how sustainability and efficiency are linked in practice,” says Anders Nielsen, Scania’s Head of Production and Logistics. Scania currently offers a series of climate- and energy-efficient products and services – Ecolution by Scania – that helps transport companies reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and maximise revenue from their truck and bus operations. Ecolution by Scania is a comprehensive solution including optimised vehicles, driver training and continuous monitoring of both vehicles and drivers. In distribution services, switching to vehicles that run on biofuels will lead to a substantial reduction in climate impact. In Södertälje, Scania primarily operates trucks to transport components and packaging material between its various production and assembly workshops. These internal freight traffic operations were recently taken over by the Scania Transport Laboratory, a wholly-owned subsidiary that tests and evaluates vehicle characteristics and performance in commercial haulage. Its task also includes developing and monitoring Scania’s drivers with regard to economic and safe driving. “By switching to ethanol, Scania is demonstrating that sustainable solutions can be achieved – here and now – with technology that is already available today,” Anders Nielsen concludes.

Toyota to recall vehicles over safety concerns Toyota has recalled 681,500 vehicles in the US dealing a blow to its efforts to rebuild its image after a number of safety issues in recent years. It is recalling 70,500 Camry and 116,000 Venza cars to fix silicone grease leaks that may cause starting problems. Another 495,000 Tacoma vehicles need repairs to faulty steering wheels that may deactivate the driver's air bag. "Toyota is currently obtaining the necessary replacement parts. Once the replacement parts are available, we will notify owners," the firm said in a statement. Toyota has made much of its recovery from last year's natural disasters, and executives here at the Geneva motor show have been making bold statements about how quickly the company will grow in the months and years ahead. IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS



FTA Ireland finds common ground with Minister for Transport There was much common ground to be found in a recent meeting between the Freight Transport Association Ireland and Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD. Road safety and compliance dominated a packed agenda when the leading trade association met with the Minister on 23 February. FTA Ireland’s President Niall Cotton, of BOC Gases Ireland, said: “We were delighted to find many of our aims in accord with those of Minister Varadkar – in terms of improving road safety and compliance. By driving out rogue operators who create a menace on our roads, we might also elevate our position in the EU league tables on safety and compliance. An ambition that we share with the Minister.” FTA Ireland represents over 50 leading companies, who must undergo a robust accreditation process. An aspect of FTA Ireland the Minister was keen to know more about Cotton continued: “The Minister’s interest in FTA Ireland’s accreditation process was very encouraging. For our members, industry-led self-regulation is seen as a very positive step forward in terms of boosting compliance levels and the image of Irish operators abroad. In the face of a lack of government resource, we believe the Minister was particularly impressed by our efforts. “As representatives of the pinnacle of Irish vehicle operators, FTA Ireland was able to engage with Minister Varadkar from a position of integrity and authority. The level of accord that FTA Ireland, itself a recent signatory to the European Road Safety Charter, found with the Minister was very encouraging and shows there is a political will to help the industry up its own game. On 21 March, FTA Ireland will host a Transport Manager seminar in Enfield. Among its impressive roster of speakers, Maurice Mullen, Assistant Secretary at the Department of Transport, will update delegates on the implications of the New Road Transport Bill. To find out more contact 01 8220040 or visit

Galway city set for €4m transport investment Minister for Public and Commuter Transport Alan Kelly has announced details of a €4m investment in transport projects for Galway city. The money will be used to fund a range of projects designed to improve traffic flows and provide new or better routes for cyclists and pedestrians. The programme will also see a revamp of Ceannt bus station in the city. Among the other key measures will be improved transport connections to the west of the city with a major programme of bus lanes, junction alteration and bus-stop upgrades Bishop O’Donnell/Seamus Quirke Road costing more than €1m. Funding will also be allocated towards the cities’ traffic management centre and continued construction of the Fisheries Field Greenway linking NUI Galway with the cathedral and the college’s offsite playing fields, costing €250,000. The funding will also see €200,000 spent on new signage and information boards at high pedestrian flow areas like Salthill Prom and Canal walks. “Public transport in our regional cities is in need of improvement,” Minister Kelly. “Just 4% of work trips in Galway city are made using public transport so people need to be given other options. It is also a major tourism hub for the country so improving traffic management and facilitating cycling and walking should improve the experience of the city for both residents and visitors alike. We are treating Galway as a key priority in the national transport plans for the future.”


More speed needed in Eurotunnel Trucks travelling along the Eurotunnel could be allowed travel faster in the build up to the Olympic games in London. Eurotunnel is racing to reinstate a mothballed locomotive in time for the Olympics, and says it will also aim to speed up its car and lorry shuttles at peak times. The extra locomotive, garaged in 2004, represents a capacity increase of 15%. Chief Executive Jaques Gounon also said that the 140kph shuttles were being upgraded to a capability of 160kph, the same speed as the Eurostar, but he warned that the heavier truck shuttles posed a challenge. “We are having an important and costly upgrade of the locos, which means we have not yet got all the locos running on seven-megawatt power, which is needed for such speeds. “We will try to use our fleet management systems to make sure the truck shuttles have the most powerful locomotives in order to reach the higher speed. “Bear in mind, however, that a truck shuttle weighs 2,400 tonnes, so it is slightly more difficult to get it to reach the higher speed than it is for other trains.” Trucks could be allowed travel faster in Eurotunnel



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Fuel price still the major outlay

Irish oil set for use in two years

A report released by the Freight Transport Association reveals that fuel prices top hauliers concerns as costs continue to rise. The price of fuel has been a common problem amongst hauliers for some time now as profit margins become tighter and tighter due to the increase in overheads. Bruce Goodhart, FTA Research Analyst, commented: "The high price of diesel is the number one concern keeping hauliers awake at night. Fuel now represents around 40% of annual operating costs compared to around a third just three years ago. “Whilst operating costs have now reached an allThe cost of fuel is on the top of hauliers concerns time high, hauliers continue to face pressure from customers not to raise their haulage rates. As a result, balance sheets remain fragile and hauliers vulnerable during this period of weak economic activity."

Irish oil found off the coast of West Cork could be produced for public usage within the next two years, according to the company who made the find. Exploration company Providence Resources believes they are well on the way to becoming the first to make a commercial oil find in Irish waters. The company has reported better than expected drilling results at its Barryroe well with at least 59 million barrels of recoverable oil in the well. Providence Chief Executive Tony O’Reilly Jnr said: "The reservoir’s potential could be even better than we thought. There is no point in us overselling it right now. "We will be doing flow tests within the next 10 days to see if the oil can be produced at 1,800 barrels a day, which is the commercialization target we are working with at this stage. "We have geologically confirmed the values, and that is already very positive," he said. This will be a big project, even by North Sea standards. If this oil field was in the North Sea, it would have been developed before now.”

Be prepared for the future of transport: FTA seminar series visits Dublin The Freight Transport Association’s ever popular Transport Manager seminar series, aimed at preparing transport managers for the year ahead, will be visiting Dublin on Wednesday 21 March. The seminar, supported by leading tyre manufacturer Goodyear and specialist insurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) Ireland, will arm transport managers with the tools they need to meet the challenges of an increasingly pressured environment in which their role is always changing. Keeping transport operators at the forefront of the very latest legislation, best practice and compliance has always been FTA’s aim and the seminar will give delegates the opportunity to hear at first hand about key legislation to ensure their operation is fully prepared for the future. With the impact of the new Road Transport Bill, the future of Driver CPC training, the latest news on cabotage and the eurovignette, it is vital to plan and prepare for the coming year. The keynote address will be given by Maurice Mullen, Assistant Secretary at the Department of Transport, and there are key sessions on the new Road Transport Bill; ADR update; workrelated vehicle safety; employee law; and speakers include the Department of Transport, the Health & Safety Authority, and the Road Safety Authority. Attendance is open to FTA or FTA Ireland members at 250 euros plus VAT for the first delegate and 210 euros plus VAT for subsequent delegates; and to all other delegates at 300 euros plus VAT for the first delegate and 260 euros plus VAT for subsequent delegates. Further information can be found in the events section on the FTA and FTA Ireland websites at or


NI haulage firm acquire 45 new Volvo trucks Northern Irish-based transport and logistics company, Woodside Group, has completed the purchase of 45 new Volvo trucks in an investment worth £4.1 million. Believed to be the largest single fleet vehicle purchase of the last 12 months in Northern Ireland, the new, mostly Volvo FH tractor units join the 200-strong Woodside fleet to perform a variety of specialist transport functions. The trailer fleet includes curtainsiders, box vans, walking floor trailers, liquid tanks, powder tanks and car transporters. Woodsides' Director Mark Woodside says this is the largest order placed with Volvo in the last 10 years and it is due to a number of factors. "We have developed a great relationship with Volvo dealer Dennison Commercials, which is based five miles away from the Woodside distribution depot and hub - this makes maintenance much more convenient," he says. He adds, "We were also impressed by the fuel consumption figures of the new Volvo units. We expect at least five years' service and an average annual mileage of 140,000 kms from each of these vehicles, so fuel economy is a critical criterion." Woodside Group has purchased 45 new Volvo trucks


Volvo opt for LNG Volvo Trucks is involved in efforts to establish ‘blue corridors’ with strategically placed filling stations to make liquified natural gas fuel more widely available. The transport industry accounts for around 25 per cent of Europe's total carbon dioxide emissions, so competitive alternatives to diesel are sorely needed. Natural gas is one such alternative; admittedly it is also a fossil fuel, but it offers many environmental advantages over diesel - and it's cheaper too. But when liquid biogas (LBG) becomes more widely available, the carbon footprint of the vehicles using it will be reduced by up to 70 per cent. "We are confident that liquefied gas will come to be used as a fuel throughout the world. It is a clear trend in meeting energy needs and we are part of this", says Lennart Pilskog, director of public affairs at Volvo Trucks. Volvo Trucks, which is a member of the Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association (NGVA Europe), was the first and is still the only manufacturer in Europe with a methane-diesel system. Manuel Lage, general manager of NGVA Europe, says that the technology for driving on LNG is proven, and that there exists a will among haulage firm owners and gas suppliers to push the issue forwards. "When it comes to long-haul transport with heavy vehicles, no other alternatives can match LNG at present," he says. "We feel it is the perfect solution for long-distance transport needs." In many European cities there is an expanding infrastructure for compressed gas - including biogas made from waste products - on a local level. But it is not possible to run heavy long-haul operations on compressed gas because the tanks are heavy and take up too much space. In liquid form, however, gas has a lower volume, making it more suitable for long-haul operations. Though in order to run long-haul transport on LNG throughout Europe, a filling station infrastructure must first be established. And so the idea of ‘blue corridors' came about, offering a network of LNG refuelling stations for heavy vehicles. Establishing such an infrastructure will not be simple, because gas suppliers, vehicle manufacturers, haulage firms and various political/administrative organisations at both regional and national levels have to have their say, and extensive coordination will be needed. "The challenge is that this has to be coordinated between various parties," says Pilskog, adding that Volvo has been active in the Swedish BiMe Trucks demo project, which is similar to the blue corridor project, but on a smaller scale. "Right now the focus is on locating large customers who are willing to test and build up specific routes. Interest among smaller customers will grow when they see that it works and when they appreciate the economic benefits. But this will take a few years." There are already a number of LNG filling stations in Europe, so the work of establishing blue corridors is already underway. Using these stations as a starting point, it is possible to identify a number of potential corridors suitable for development. "If you take a map and mark the sites of the existing filling stations, you can easily draw various possible transport routes and then identify whether a filling station is missing on any of these routes," says Lage. In order to boost that process, the EU Commission is currently setting up an €8 million project for a large-scale trial of LNG corridors. "I hope we'll have around 200 trucks driving in these blue corridors to demonstrate that LNG is a wellfunctioning alternative for longhaul transport in Europe," says Manuel Lage. "This is no pipedream - all the necessary technology is already available. The market is ready for the commercialisation of LNG." IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS


Slane bypass plan rejected An Bord Pleanala rejects Slane Bypass plan

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Contact Sean on 057 9344292 A world heritage site is standing in the way of a new bypass in Slane, Co Meath. Plans to construct a new bypass around the town have been in the pipeline for many years following a number of fatal road traffic accidents leading out of the village. An Bord Pleanala ruled that the proposed bridge and road in the Boyne Valley, Co Meath, was too close to Bru na Boinne. The board said that, while there was an urgent need to alleviate the traffic safety concerns at Slane, an accident blackspot, it did not believe alternatives to the bypass had been explored. The Bypass Slane Campaign, formed after a serious road accident in the village, said it was shocked and dismayed by the decision. Michele Power, of the Bypass Slane Campaign, said: "Life in the village, over generations, has been overwhelmed by the dangerous volumes of traffic and by the constant threat to life it brings. "We now feel that as we have exhausted every avenue open to us that we are now entirely helpless. "The decades of inaction and failure to deal decisively with this appalling situation are nothing short of a national scandal."

Toxic liquid removed from illegal dump The Environmental Protection Agency’s clean-up of an illegal dump at Kerdiffstown, Co Kildare, has begun with the removal of 8.5 million litres of polluted liquid from the contaminated site. The agency spent some €3 million in January and February last year fighting a fire at the dump which resulted in the release of toxic smoke over the Naas area for more than four weeks. Nephin Trading and associated companies Dean Waste and Jenzsoph Ltd operated at the landfill and recycling facility for 14 years until the agency secured court orders in 2010 shutting it down. Work last year focused on securing and containing the site to prevent further pollution. The agency is moving to the next phase of removing waste from the site. The agency has siphoned off more than 8.5 million litres of “leachate” – contaminated liquid from the dump which would otherwise have percolated into the ground. A spokesman for the agency said work was progressing well. There was a “minor spill” during the collection of leachate last month when a holding tank was overfilled, and approximately 500 litres reached a drain which flows to the Grand Canal. Corrective action was taken immediately and the impact was “very localised and short-lived”, the agency said. Further contracts will be put out to tender shortly in relation to site management and investigation to determine the best way to remediate the dump. Some preliminary investigation work was undertaken earlier this year, with the drilling of 24 boreholes to determine the waste buried. Once the best method for disposing of the solid waste has been determined, the agency hopes to begin excavation of the dump and demolition and removal of the infrastructure on site. This work is expected to be largely complete by 2017 and will be followed by covering the landfill with soil and plants, and the installation of permanent gas and leachate controls. However, the agency estimates the site will require management until 2047. While the cost of the clean-up has been estimated at more than €30 million, accurate costs will not be known until the precise nature of the waste has been determined. The agency is continuing several legal actions in an attempt to recoup the costs. The High Court last year rejected an application by the agency to make the directors of Nephin Trading personally liable for the clean-up costs, because relevant EU regulations had not been transposed into Irish law. IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS


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