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MAINTENANCE costs are the highest factor in vehicle running costs and the labour element is the principal cost. Vehicle down-time is a costly business. Therefore, anything which can reduce this cost must be beneficial to the operator.
• Bryan Jarvis spent some time at NEC looking at garage equipment. He found a number of maintenance aids which should interest operators. Many of the pieces he looked at are new to the UK, imported from Europe, especially Italy. In next Friday's issue he assesses the value of the equipment.
• Mike Rutherford's equipment news covers the smaller items over a wide range. Small but useful is how he describes his contribution.
• Where does David Howell stand in any proposed Cabinet reshuffle? Has he — an ex-Heath man — been a success in Mrs Thatcher's administration? Next week Janus makes pointed comments about the Transport Secretary's performance to date looks at his chances of success in the future.
• Keith Vincent's look at legislation turns to the role of the permanent civil servants at the Department of Transport. Hc strong is their influence, what power do they have in framil legislation? Read Vincent's incisive commentary for the answers next Friday.
• Light vans with diesel engines are on the move. Tim Blakemor was impressed with the Golf when he took it round our road route. "It's very economical, handles well and is comfortable, but ... The pros and cons of this light diesel are reported next week.
• The Sherpa K2 has reached a new peak according to Bryan Jar who has recently road tested this two-litre petrol van. • Both road tests are essential reading for light vehicle operator: • And there's more in next week's CM for freight and passenger operators, all laid out in CM's easy to read style.