Friday, April 20, 2012

Road Haulage Services Group Celebrates Thirty Years with a Legend

Novadata Takes Sinclair C5 to Commercial Vehicle Show
Shipping News Feature

UK – Next weeks Commercial Vehicle show will witness at least one vehicle other than the normal road haulage trucks. Novadata, the Essex based tachograph supply and driver training group says 1982 was a great year for technology. The much loved BBC Micro was launched, the first CD player was sold, Time's Man of the Year was THE COMPUTER and Novadata started reading tachograph charts. MD, Derek Broomfield explains:

"We lived through the big sea change that occurred in the logistics landscape caused by massive leaps in computer technology. The early eighties were a pivotal point. Few recognised back then just how much computer technology would impact on the transport industry. We did and our longevity in the industry has enriched our knowledge and experience in ways that just can't be learned. It is this understanding that informs all our training and support services.”

By 1985 new technology was changing buying habits with smaller, cheaper electronic gadgets appearing everywhere. The first mobile phone call was made in the UK, the first .com website name was registered, Microsoft launched Windows Version 1.0, Sir Clive Sinclair unveiled the Sinclair C5 and the EEC set into motion legislation that would radically reshape the freight industry and, to howls of protest in some quarters, EEC regulation 3821/85 [1] made tachographs mandatory throughout the European Union.

Responding to the widespread confusion caused by the new legislation, Novadata expanded its tachograph analysis service to include training in Drivers' Hours Law, becoming pioneers of specialist transport training. As part of the company's 30 years celebrations, Novadata will pay homage to technological innovation by displaying the legendary Sinclair C5 at this year's Commercial Vehicle Show to be held at the NEC Birmingham 24 - 26 April. Novadata's Sales Director, Bob Thompson (pictured) said:

"I'm a fan. Despite the C5's failure to reach its perceived potential, it was way ahead of its time; you could even argue that it's the forerunner of today's electric powered vehicles. And how prophetic when you weigh up our present concerns about rising fuel costs and eco-friendly transport!

"There's no doubt that Sinclair was a visionary. Notwithstanding that the C5 invoked ridicule for being powered by a washing machine engine (actually a fallacy), there was genuine respect for him in terms of what he was trying to do for personal transport. It wasn't the right moment but it was the right idea; the technology of that period simply couldn't support it.”

Many others might remember that the worst feature of the C5, and possibly a principal cause of its demise, was its near invisibility on the road, particularly from the cab of a lorry! Despite remembering the little beast warmly one must ask, will Bob be driving the C5, still celebrated by a handful of enthusiasts, to the CV Show? He responded:

"I love its aerodynamic shape. But, with a top speed of just 15mph, lack of gears, no roof to keep me warm, no CD player, no radio the C5 has a few disadvantages! As for the strange steering circle - it's massive, about two widths of a road. If Derek thinks I'm driving this all the way up to the NEC ...”

Novadata will welcome visitors to its exhibition stands 2B69 and 2C69 at the CV Show. In addition to presenting the company's current products, training portfolio and support services, Novadata will provide this unique and entertaining snapshot of the past along with a thought provoking glimpse of the future.