The Streets of London

On the streets of London, the CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Community Safety) ticking for truck owners in the UK capital. There’s been a growing debate in the UK on how to avoid collisions between commercial vehicles and cyclists. Truck makers are showcasing the designs they have come up with to avoid cyclist fatalities.

In 2011, an analysis of nine cycling fatalities involving trucks in London discovered that seven of them involved construction vehicles, triggering concerns that while the construction industry accounted for only a small-proportion of freight traffic running in and out of the nation’s capital, their trucks were ‘over represented’ in cyclist fatalities.

At a CLOCS showcase, building and industrial materials supplier SIG unveiled its first ‘enhanced urban safety’ curtain-sider, based on a 6×2 Econic. The 26-tonne GVW rear-steer rigid has the 300hp-rated OM 936LA and six-speed Allison. SIG CEO Stuart Mitchell says, “We’re very proud to introduce this new vehicle into our fleet. As a responsible leading market supplier of materials to the construction industry, our commitment to health and safety is always our top priority.”

London waste management company O’Donovan Waste Disposal displayed no less than three new cycle-safe trucks. Its MAN TGM BB 18-tonne skip-loader has revised suspension to lower the cab (and driving position) plus clear warnings to cyclists on the side-guards and an additional wide-angle fresnal-lens attached to the nearside door window. It also has left-turn audible warning, 360° camera system and side-scanner.

Dennis Eagle Elite’s low-entry chassis cab with large glass area is a home-built rival to the continentals. It’s powered by Volvo’s Euro-VI D8 diesel up to 320hp, coupled to an Allison 3000P six-speeder. The 4×2 18-tonne show Elite 6 featured a 360° camera system, left-turn audible warning and side-proximity scanners. Dennis also offers a high-visibility top-mounted ‘Cyclear’ LED sign for the bodywork which warns following cyclists the truck is turning left.

Plenty of construction semis can be found working in London every day. Hanson’s high-tech 44-tonne bulk-powder tanker, comprising a 420hp 6×2 Mercedes Actros and Feldbinder tank-trailer has been given the full CLOCS treatment and sports four blind-spot cameras, extra vulnerable road user (VRU) signage, additional LED direction indicators and a high-visibility warning sign on the nearside rear of the trailer which alerts cyclists when the artic is turning.

Using optional drop-beam front-axles and a slightly-modified suspension, DAF’s ‘N3’ (road-going) CF 440 has a lower driver-height by 147mm, compared to the higher-riding ‘N3G’ (off-road defined) Construction CF with its straight-beam front axles which is usually the first-choice for the Dutch truck maker’s 8×4 customers. A smaller additional-window in the N3’s passenger door still allows drivers to lower the main window. Both CFs also have side-view video monitors mounted on the inside passenger A-pillar.

Volvo was another manufacturer to show a lower-height (by 80mm) N3 tarmac eight-wheeler at CLOCS. The B-ride FM 450 also boasted mirrors with smaller housings and an additional large, lower window on the nearside passenger-door to help its driver spot cyclists close to the cab. Its large size means the main door glass is fixed. It can be ordered on new FM chassis, or retro-fitted.