Page 1

Local Authority Plant & Vehicles

The N4: the modular game changer

Summer 2019

MAKING LIGHT WORK OF WEIGHING WASTE Terberg dynamic weighing solution – providing accurate weighing data for your operation

Get paid for bin weight not bin volume

Fully certifiable to allow “charge by weight” operation Stainless steel load cells with 6000kg overload limit Seamless integration with all Terberg bin lifts and specialist recycling equipment

Terberg Dynamic Container Weighing The future of waste collection

Multi frequency RFID readers

For more information visit

Verified gross & tare weights with accurate results as low as 0.5kgs

Terberg Matec UK, Leacroft Road, Birchwood, Warrington, WA3 6PJ 01925 283905



Local Authority Plant & Vehicles is published by

Inside this issue: 4


Hemming Information Services Ltd, a division of Hemming Group Ltd. 32, Vauxhall Bridge Rd, London SW1V 2SS


The latest news on industry, contracts won, and new product developments.

10 Clifford Comments

Phil Clifford is calling on the industry to establish a system of mentoring to preserve vitals skills and experience for future generations.

12 Future Fleet Forum report

Editor Ann-Marie Knegt T 01935 374001 E

Day two of Future Fleet Forum 2019 was characterised by lively discussion on issues such as road safety, skills, and the maintenance challenges of emerging technologies.

Commercial Manager Jason Pidgeon T 020 7973 4645 E

18 40 years in business

A sweeper manufacturer has celebrated 40 years of operation in the UK with a party for customers and suppliers at Silverstone.

20 Multi-purpose machine

LAPV reports on the launch of a new compact articulated sweeper, ideal for allyear-round use in a variety of different applications.

22 Reducing carbon footprints

The first all-electric sweepers are hitting the UK’s streets as local authorities continue their drive to become carbon neutral.

Production Manager Sue Taylor T 020 7973 4662 E Production Executives Mike Franklin/Gareth Toogood T 0207 973 6641/ 6603 E Subscriptions Maggie Spillane T 020 7973 6679 E

Features 24

Managing Director Bill Butler T 020 7973 6627 E

A new commercial agreement has been delivered offering fleet operators access to convenient and cost-effective flexible rental solutions.


Take out a subscription at


The N4: the modular game changer

Summer 2019

LAPV talks to the leading companies providing vehicle hire and long and shortterm rental solutions for local government operations.

30 Flexible rental framework

ISSN 1472-2607 Š 2019 Hemming Group Printed by Buxton Press Limited, Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6AE

Local Authority Plant & Vehicles

Contract hire focus

Cover: Cover provided by Geesinknorba and Select Environmental Services.


An Econic fleet boost

An integrated waste management and recycling business has added 43 new trucks to its fleet.

Vauxhall Combo test

It has been two years since PSA, the parent company of Peugeot and Citroen, revealed that it was purchasing Vauxhall from General Motors. The impact on Vauxhall's light commercial range has been far-reaching.


Smart weighing solutions


Specialist transmissions


Maintenance and lifts


Reducing safety stress

A weighing company has launched a new smart data solution that gives fleet operators live remote access to transactional weight data. LAPV considers the pros and cons of fully automatic versus automated manual transmissions and why whole-life costs, vehicle application, and ease of use should be the key considerations. Why tailored maintenance packages help to keep vehicle lifts running smoothly year after year. Improving anti-collision safety practices can help to reduce work-related stress for plant and vehicle operators.

Clean-line RCV design

A new RCV going into service all over the country this summer is offering fleet operators improved efficiency and a reduced environmental footprint.

Summer 2019 LAPV 3




Industry leaders debate the sector's key challenges We are going through a period of rapid change in this industry, where old polluting technologies are being replaced by newer, cleaner, and more sustainable means of propulsion. While this is a good thing, no one can deny that these new technologies bring them with a whole new set of challenges. With this in mind, I was invited to lead a panel discussion at Impulsion Montreal in Canada this summer between senior fleet officials from the cities of Vancouver, Ottawa, and Los Angeles. When I asked about the main challenges facing the fleet departments of these cities, they were unanimous in pointing to a lack of funding. Even so, I heard about how LA and Vancouver developed innovative strategies and looked for funds wherever they could to drive forward advanced electrification programmes for municipal fleets. In Ottawa, faced with heavy winters that rule out electrification as an option, the city instead created efficiencies by

implementing advanced data and asset management systems. The experiences of these diverse municipalities underline the fact that the road to zero carbon emissions will not be the same for everyone, that any solution should be fit for your purpose, and your urban or rural environment, and that it will depend on a whole range of factors including local climate, population demographics, geography, the legal system, and your organisational culture. Just one week after this illuminating discussion, I was again sat around a table with industry leaders, this time at the SOE headquarters in London with representatives from Biffa, Veolia, Keir, and several local UK councils. Lack of funding was once again highlighted as a main challenge, and one that has a direct impact on the ability of fleet officials to attract new drivers and mechanics into the sector. We all agreed that municipal fleet has a major image problem and that something needs to be done to promote its very real benefits as a profession. That's why we will address this issue during the big debate at Future Fleet Forum at the Guildhall, London, on January 22, 2020. If you would like to take part, contact me at Ann-Marie Knegt, Editor LAPV

Highways England Award for banksman autobraking

Vision Techniques and Aggregate Industries have won a Highways England Award for their autobraking system. As the overall winner in the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in the safety category, Banksman Autobraking was commended for its potential to drive improvements in behavioural safety culture and raise safety performance in the

4 LAPV Summer 2019

highways sector. Banksman works to eliminate vehicle collisions by utilising an auto-braking radar system linked to a forward-facing/rear camera detection system. It uses lowenergy microwaves emitted from the vehicle to automatically activate the vehicle’s braking system if anything is detected within a defined exclusion zone.

When integrated with VT cameras and DVR, the system also sends a downloadable video clip of the exclusion zone to a designated person as soon as the system is activated or deactivated. This enables immediate, realtime assessment. The footage can also be used for investigative and training purposes, to support workforce engagement and

improve behavioural safety culture. Since its installation, there have been zero reversing incidents reported on sites where Banksman has been deployed. Aggregate Industries, Vision Techniques, Bomag, and CRH Plant collaboratively developed the technology, working alongside DE Plant and Munihire, which have been instrumental in sharing the innovation across the industry. Stephen Hurd, MD at Vision Techniques, said: ‘Receiving this award is great recognition for the collaborative work that has gone into the development of Banksman Autobraking. We work tirelessly to ensure the safety of people, plant and vehicles, but unfortunately incidents still happen. Therefore, Banksman Autobraking plays an important part in our customers' health and safety policy. We aim to continue to share our successes with our peers to drive positive change across the industry.’ In total, 23 safety initiatives were rewarded at the first Highways England Awards, which aim to recognise activities that further the organisation’s values of safety, customer service, and delivery.



CONTRACTS Welwyn Hatfield awards environmental services contract Urbaser has been awarded a nine-year, £4.6m annual waste, recycling, and street cleansing contract by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. Bidders were evaluated on a range of criteria, overseen by a cross-party procurement board and independent environmental consultancy Eunomia. Continental Landscapes was also awarded a £1.1m per year contract for grounds maintenance. Urbaser works in partnership with many local authorities across the UK including Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Bournemouth, East and North Herts, Gosport Borough Council, Waltham Forest Council, and Burnley Borough Council. The new contract will see the company work closely with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council to introduce a number of service improvements, including weekly food waste collections and a weekly collection of small electrical items, textiles, and household batteries. Ka Ng, corporate director at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, said: ‘We are really pleased to put new contracts in place that deliver value for money and better services for our residents. We know people want to recycle as much as they can and we’re positive the borough’s recycling rate will increase as we give residents more opportunities to do so.’

Allerdale Council buys new Dennis Eagle fleet

Allerdale Council in Cumbria has added 17 new Dennis Eagle RCVs to its domestic waste and recycling fleet. All but one are Elite 6 6x2 narrow rear-steer chassis with Olympus 16 bodies and Terberg OmniDEL bin lifts, with the last a 4x2 Olympus 10. All are ideally suited to the narrow streets and twisting country lanes that characterise the region, and can also handle the challenges of the Lake District’s diverse urban environments. The new vehicles will have to travel long distances between towns and villages, providing weekly waste and fortnightly recycling collections to 40,000 properties. Allerdale Borough Council’s waste and recycling partner FCC Environment will run the fleet. Regional Director Kristian Dales said: ‘The new vehicles will help to deliver significant reductions in emissions, delivering cleaner, greener recycling services in the borough. The trucks will be capable of carrying residual waste, mixed recycling, garden waste, or paper and card to maximise efficiencies, allowing residents to recycle more than ever.’

Impulsion Montreal a success

On June 3, the international fleet forum Impulsion MTL 2019 took place in Montreal, Canada. Modelled on and partnered with LAPV’s own Future Fleet Forum, this event welcomed fleet and environmental managers from across Canada and the US to share best practice for creating a sustainable future for transport. It was partnered by New York’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and LAPV. Organised by Propulsion Quebec, the

two-day event took place alongside Montreal’s Moving On Summit, which brings together organisations and businesses to promote new and cleaner forms of transport. The event featured workshops on everything from electrification and charging to car sharing, self-driving vehicles, municipal fleet, and data management, and a new battery-powered RCV was launched by Canadian company Effenco LAPV’s Ann Marie Knegt, organiser of Future Fleet Forum, travelled to Montreal to lead a panel discussion between senior fleet management officials from the City of Ottawa, City of Vancouver, and the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office on the future of municipal fleet management operations. Other speakers included NYC's Chief Fleet Officer and Deputy Commissioner Keith Kerman and Deputy Chief Fleet Officer Eric Richardson, Sharon Fleming, Fleet Director for the City of Calgary, Philippe Saint-Ville Head of Rolling Stock for the City of Montreal, and many others. Both Propulsion MTL and Future Fleet Forum will return in 2020.

Latest Vehicle Technologies at The Emergency Services Show The Emergency Services Show returns to Hall 5 at the NEC on 18-19 September 2019 and vehicle and vehicle equipment suppliers are prominent among the more than 450 exhibitors signed up to attend. Advances in connected vehicle technology and innovations to further reduce emissions are expected to be the strongest themes among exhibitors at this year’s event. Emergency and rescue vehicles of virtually every type, including fire appliances, ambulances, fleet cars, motorbikes, and drones will be on display throughout the indoor and outdoor exhibition areas. Rosenbauer UK, Volvo Trucks, WH Bence, and Terberg DTS are all expected to bring their latest fire appliances to the show. Angloco will demonstrate its ladder and other firefighting vehicles in the Outside Area. Among other innovations, Emergency One will profile is latest connected fire vehicles powered by Internet of Things SIM cards. Among the many ambulance suppliers exhibiting at this year's event are O+H Vehicle Conversions, AMZ Vehicles, Cartwright Conversions, Code Blue Specialist Vehicles, and WAS UK, the company behind the E-Concept electric drive ambulance. Alfa Dropbox will also be present to showcase its ground-level loading ambulances. Dinas Medical Consultants will be introducing the new Tamlans 4x4 bespoke

box emergency vehicles based on the VW Amarok chassis. These ergonomic and spacious ambulances provide unique on and off-road performance and operate with equal performance in urban and wilderness environments. Excelerate Technology and Primetech will feature prominently among exhibitors showcasing connected vehicle communications and incident command vehicles. BMW is expected to showcase its allelectric and hybrid range extender vehicles. Volvo Emergency Service Cars will exhibit its emergency service vehicles including the latest mild hybrid diesel models. Accessible vehicles manufacturers include GM Coachwork. Horton Motorcycles returns to showcase its two-wheel and quad bikes. The show also features providers of all types of in and on-vehicle ancillary equipment including lightbars, vehicle livery, battery management, and driver training. New exhibitor Allison Transmission will showcase its fully automatic torque converter transmission systems, which offers faster acceleration and reliable operation for fire trucks and ambulances. The Fire & Rescue Transport Officers Group and the NHS Ambulance Transport Officers Group will also be meeting at the show. To register to attend the event visit

Summer 2019 LAPV 5


Camso launches new MPT 732 tyre A new multi-purpose bias tyre engineered for high traction, stability, and durability has been launched by Camso. The MPT 732 is designed for use in a variety of conditions and has been developed to meet the requirements of the EMEA market. It is the latest addition to the company’s multipurpose tyre line-up, which offers models to match a wide range of challenging applications. ‘Newer tread compounds and features such as void guards, which increase puncture and impact resistance, have improved tyre durability and tread life,’ explains Lander Nijs from Camso. ‘These features come as a result of a recent study we carried out that showed that most off-road tyres on the market fail prematurely, so customers don’t get their full value. At Camso, our focus is on durability to ensure tyres reach their natural end of life.’ Available in eight sizes, the MPT 732 is designed for machinery such as compact wheel loaders, telehandlers, and backhoe loaders, which typically work on a variety of surface conditions and require traction, stability, durability, and ride quality. It features extra-thick void guards for enhanced durability and puncture resistance, an impact guard to increase sidewall and rim flange protection, a wraparound stepped tread design to maximise tread cleanout and improve traction in muddy conditions, and heavy-duty sidewall, further reducing impact damage, flat tyres, and shortened tyre life.

CORVUS COMES TO THE UK Off-road utility vehicles from European manufacturer Corvus will soon be available in the UK through Boss ORV, a new business that has been formed to distribute Corvus vehicles in the UK. Corvus is Europe’s first manufacturer of 4x4, side-by-side vehicles, and is part of the Tuxton/Yanmar group. Boss ORV will initially launch three vehicles from its range in September, the TerrainDX4 EPS, the TerrainDX4 PRO EPS and the TerrainDX4 CAB EPS. These are designed primarily for use in agriculture, livestock, forestry, turf care, and construction, but they are suitable for any demanding off-road work. They are fitted with Euro 6-compliant three-cylinder 993cc Yanmar diesel engines, which provide excellent fuel efficiency. ‘When you first look at the Terrain you can see immediately that it is a well-designed and tough, professional UTV,' said Boss ORV MD Phil Everett. ‘Look deeper and it stands out for environmental and technological advancement, a powerhouse engine, and a great payload capacity. We’re proud to be able to offer the Corvus range in the UK.’

Brigade's solution for silent EVs

Wheeled loader for composting site New registrations of electric vans rose almost 21% in 2018 leading to fears about the danger these near-silent vehicles pose to vulnerable road users. New legislation comes into force in July 2019 that mandates the use of Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) for all new quiet (electric, hybrid, and hydrogen fuel cell) vehicle models registered after 1st September 2019 and all new vehicle registrations after 1st September 2021, but this still leaves several million dangerously silent vehicles on UK roads. Research by Guide Dogs for the Blind shows electric cars are about 40% more likely to hit a pedestrian than a petrol or diesel vehicle. Nick Simmons, CEO of charity Roadpeace, said: ‘The influx of electric and hybrid vehicles presents a new silent hazard on our roads, of which the majority of our members will not be aware. The fact that the majority of these vehicles are working in urban environments further heightens the risk. If we are to prevent injuries and deaths it is vital that operators and drivers take the necessary steps now to eliminate these risks rather than place pedestrians and fellow road users in unnecessary danger.’ Chris Hanson-Abbott OBE of road safety device manufacturer Brigade Electronics believes manufacturers must not wait on legislation. ‘There is no doubt the adoption of hybrid and electric vans is great news for the environment and UK air quality. But the average person struggles to hear electric and hybrid cars approach at speeds of up to 12.5mph. Quite simply, they are dangerous.’ Brigade has developed an aftermarket solution, the Quiet Vehicle Sounder, which produces a distinctive sound that can be heard clearly in danger zones but less so elsewhere. The sound is highly directional, enabling a pedestrian to tell where the vehicle is, and it varies in pitch and tone as the vehicle speeds up or slows down.

6 LAPV Summer 2019

West London Composting has introduced a JCB 457 Wastemaster wheeled loader at its facility in Uxbridge, Middlesex. Specialising in in-vessel bulk composting of green and kitchen waste, the WLC site has the capacity to process 75,000 tonnes of organic waste each year, from which a variety of high-quality soil conditioners for agricultural and commercial use are manufactured. The JCB 457 Wastemaster will be used to transfer material around the WLC site as it undergoes the various stages of the composting process. It will also be used to deliver the mature compost to farms and other agricultural businesses within a 100-mile radius of WLC’s site. The JCB 457 Wastemaster, which was supplied to WLC by JCB dealer Greenshields JCB, features a new MTU diesel engine, while its command plus cab ensures operator comfort and productivity.

Day after day, it turns in an exceptional performance.

ZD1211 Zero-Turn Mower: Exceptional manoeuvrability, high productivity When you’re ready to work, so is your ZD1211. Because when you’re putting in the shifts, day after day, you need a workhorse you can rely on. Visit our website or talk to your dealer now to find out more about the ZD1211’s ultra reliable engine, smooth HST transmission and outstanding cutting capability.

Contact your local dealer or visit our website for more details.

LAPV ZD 210x297.indd 1

T: 01844 873190

24/04/2019 13:16


Veolia deploys electric vans in Brent Veolia has added two electric vans to its Brent fleet to support the delivery of a greener waste collection and maintenance service across the borough. Veolia has been trialling alternative fuel solutions for its vehicles since 2012 and is now supporting its customers to meet the new Ultra Low Emissions Zone targets in London. The two new vans replace diesel versions and will save 30 tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent of ten petrol cars. In addition to the electric vans, Veolia has added three hybrid cage vehicles to its line-up, which will be used to clean up and maintain Brent parks, and will provide another environmentally friendly alternative to diesel. The new vehicles demonstrate Veolia’s commitment to reducing emissions and improving local air quality in Brent. Successful trials of the vehicles revealed they could maintain the same work performance as diesel, while eliminating emissions and bringing additional benefits such as reduced maintenance and lower noise outputs. ‘As one of Brent's largest fleet operators, we are proud to bring low emission vehicles to the borough,’ said Marcin Ladynski, Veolia Brent Fleet Manager. ‘Veolia’s fleet innovation team is actively involved in trials of new vehicle technologies, including street cleansing and refuse collection vehicles that have lower emissions outputs. We’re delighted to work with Brent Council on clean air solutions and look forward to delivering more in the future.’ Cllr Krupa Sheth, Brent’s lead member for the environment, said the council was delighted by the announcement and the reduction in the footprint of Veolia’s vehicles in the borough. ‘Its impact – banishing 30 tonnes of CO2 from Brent – is a great example of the difference organisations can make to our environment. I hope others will take notice – investing in greener alternatives is not just a nice-to-have. It is the key to ongoing success and makes smart business sense.’

Raben equips drivers with Panasonic handhelds International logistics company Raben Group has equipped drivers in 11 countries with rugged Panasonic Toughbook N1 handheld devices to record and share transport information in real time. The 4.7-inch Toughbook N1 handheld combines the functions of a tablet, phone, and barcode reader. The devices are used to collect and provide real-time data on the status of shipments to provide customers with accurate arrival times. Approximately 4,000 devices have been deployed across the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, and Ukraine. In addition to providing real-time data, drivers use the devices to navigate, communicate with the transport dispatcher and customer service department, and support additional applications. The barcode reader can scan labels at all stages of the loading and transporting process and the device allows for signature capture to confirm delivery and create electronic proof of delivery dates. The Toughbook N1 also saves the location of each delivery, maps routes, monitors journey start and end times, distances travelled, stops made, and every operation performed on the shipment. Bartosz Kolasinski, Project Manager at Raben Group, explained that the Toughbook N1 was chosen because it fulfils all the company’s requirements – high efficiency, compact size, durability, accurate GPS system, clear display and a convenient code scanner – and because of Panasonic’s ability to customise devices and provide service support at every stage of the project implementation.

8 LAPV Summer 2019

SupaTrak achieves ISO accreditations Telematics company CMS SupaTrak has been awarded ISO9001 and ISO14001 accreditations. It has become one of only 5% of businesses to achieve these certifications with no areas of non-compliance. The international quality standard 9001:2015, and environmental standard 14001:2015, are awarded to those businesses that can demonstrate that their staff work to comprehensive and robust processes and procedures and that they are ensuring quality and consistency throughout the entire business. The accreditations come after a year of internal change at CMS. According to MD Jason Airey, the process of working towards these ISO standards has helped bring staff together and introduced a new mentality to the business. ‘Our staff, led by Business Development Director John Lancaster, has worked extremely hard to achieve these standards and I am very proud of them,’ said Jason. ‘It has been a lot of work going through the process of accreditation but streamlining our working practices is already bringing benefits. Being ISO accredited is a real differentiator and demonstrates that we really do care about our customers and the quality of the service they receive. We are proud of the fact that we go the extra mile for customers and that we invest in both our staff and business processes.’ Next for CMS are information security management standards ISO27001 and ISO27002 and reaching the next level of Investors in People. Jason added: ‘The integrity and security of data are paramount and we believe that working towards ISO27001 and 2 is vital for responsible and professional businesses. At CMS we believe that our staff are our most important asset, so we have decided to work towards improving the Investors in People standard that we reached in 2016. This time, we are aiming for Gold.’

Integrated electric propulsion system Allison Transmission has introduced a fully integrated electric powertrain system for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The new AXE Series is an e-axle system designed to fit inside a standard frame along with the axles of commercial trucks. The AXE Series features electric motors, a two-speed gearbox, oil coolers, and pumps. The offering also includes power electronics for a complete powertrain solution. ‘Allison is leading the transformation of the commercial vehicle industry with electric powertrain solutions,’ said David Graziosi, Allison Transmission President and CEO. ‘The AXE Series is the first e-axle in the heavy-duty truck industry to provide this level of power density, size, and simplicity.’ The Allison AXE Series, a 2019 Automotive News PACE Award finalist, has a one million-mile design life for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The system integrates one or two high-speed electric motors and a multi-speed transmission, eliminating the need for additional driveshafts and support structures. A dual-motor axle has a continuous power of 536hp (400 kilowatts) and peak output power of 738hp (550 kilowatts). A tandem axle configuration is also available for these vehicles. The system can handle 100% torque in regenerative braking. The complete integration of the AXE Series delivers increased efficiency and continuous power through superior internal cooling. The AXE Series is available in single and dual motor options to package the entire electric powertrain inside a standard frame that exists in almost every global commercial truck including refuse trucks, school buses, and drayage and delivery trucks. This enables the AXE Series to be a bolt-in solution by design, ensuring efficiency in the installation process.

The new N4: simple yet versatile

Geesinknorba’s new N4 is one of the most versatile vehicles available. Light and manoeuvrable, it is ideal for collections in congested, urban spaces. With one of the fastest packing cycles in the business and 20 different compaction levels, the N4 offers maximum efficiency for all material types. Available in 9-28m³ body sizes and in diesel, hybrid, or electric versions. Geesinknorba N4: the simple solution, whatever your needs.

Llantrisant Business Park Llantrisant Pontyclun CF72 8XZ Tel: +44 (0)1443 222301 Fax: +44 (0)1443 237192

clifford comments clifford comments

Time for a mentoring scheme? Is mentoring the answer to the growing problem of skills shortages in public sector fleet management? Phil Clifford thinks so, and he is calling on the industry to establish a system of mentoring to preserve vitals skills and experience for future generations.


was struck recently by the realisation that the overall number of public sector fleet managers is steadily decreasing. There are a whole host of reasons for this – decades of outsourcing has certainly contributed – but the main reason appears to be consolidation. There have been several phases of councils disappearing as they are swallowed by new, larger unitary councils and, more recently, cases of councils joining together to achieve benefits of scale. Both scenarios have resulted in an overall reduction of fleet managers in the sector. I am not against such actions per se. Indeed, I have often talked up the benefits of establishing economies of scale through mergers and reorganisations. But what has inevitably happened as a result is that these new ‘super’ councils have also rationalised their fleet teams, resulting in a smaller pool of dedicated fleet experts. The remaining expertise is also ageing (as my aching bones all too often testify) and I regularly hear of established fleet experts retiring for a well-earned rest. Some of the perceived benefits of reducing the size of fleet teams have turned out to be short-term, and some councils are now reversing the trend to outsource by taking fleet and operational teams back in house. But this, in turn, has resulted in a drastic shortage of experienced fleet engineers, fleet administrators, fleet managers, and mechanics. When I was a young, aspiring fleet administrator with grand ambitions of becoming a fleet manager, I discovered that there was not much help available by way of advice and training in the municipal arena, a sector which is significantly different to other transport organisations. There was once an Institute of Municipal Transport and its intent was to support those involved in the industry but, sadly, that institute failed to gain sufficient members to survive the swingeing cuts of the 1980s. I have, throughout my career, promoted the concept of networking and sharing of information with my peers, a task made so much easier through the growth of the internet and social media. There is a Public Authority Transport Network (PATN), which exists to offer mutual support. This network does require members to be employed by an organisation which, in turn, is a member of the Freight Transport Association (FTA). Sadly, for a whole host of reasons akin to those mentioned above, the actual membership of the PATN has also dropped in recent years. Now, I don’t want to spread despair among those of you still

10 LAPV Summer 2019

working hard in fleet management, but I do want to engage with you as much as I can. I would urge that everyone who qualifies to do so joins the PATN and that those of you who do not qualify at least connect with me through LinkedIn or via a direct email message. There is still a tremendous amount of expertise out there and I will work tirelessly to try to harness that experience for the benefit of the up-and-coming generation we all want joining our industry. To that end, I would respectfully like to suggest that we collectively consider establishing a system of mentoring for the benefit of new entrants to the public sector fleet arena. Mentoring is used more and more these days to pass on skills and knowledge, and I am appealing to any established public sector fleet professional to consider joining with me in offering to act as a mentor to assist the new generation of fleet managers. At this stage, I have not developed this beyond first thoughts. However, if through the pages of LAPV I can generate enough altruistic support for the concept, then I am sure there is a way to develop and implement a beneficial scheme to ensure that the unique skillset required by public sector fleet can be maintained and developed for all who wish to learn and progress. If anyone wishes to join the PATN, email Alternatively contact me at

Phil Clifford is the former fleet manager for Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough councils, operating under the West Suffolk brand. His specialisms include fleet procurement, use of vehicle telematics, and the development and use of fleet management software systems. He is an advocate for sharing best practice and benchmarking. He is also the founder and board manager of the Public Authority Transport Network, member of the Freight Transport Association, East of England Freight Council, and committee member of BSI working group B/508/01(Waste containers and associated lifting devices on refuse collection vehicles). Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @thefleetman.


Future Fleet Forum – Day two of Future Fleet Forum 2019 was characterised by lively discussion on issues such as road safety, skills, and the maintenance challenges of emerging technologies as delegates engaged with speakers across a range of interactive workshops. Lotte Debell reports.


Documentary makers Dara Tallon and Owen McArdle attempted to influence driving behaviour in Ireland with their road safety TV series: How's your driving?

ne of the highlights of Future Fleet Forum 2019 was a fascinating look at how the entertainment industry can educate and raise awareness of important issues such as road safety. How’s your driving? was a television series for Irish channel RTE One made by Dara Tallon and Owen McArdle, documentary producers with Oddboy Media, which they described as ‘taking a frank and honest look at our nation’s motoring abilities’. Its purpose was to try to reduce the number of preventable deaths on Irish roads, many of which are caused by the usual culprits: drink and drugs, speeding, mobile phone use and distraction, and unsafe vehicles. ‘There are four million people in Ireland and 200 deaths and thousands of injuries on our roads every year,’ said Dara. ‘38% of all fatalities involve alcohol, and mobile phones are a factor in 20-30%. We wanted to try to do something about it.’ They teamed up with car insurance company Boxymo to create four, 30-minute episodes that combined entertaining family viewing with important messages about road safety in a way that engaged with viewers but steered clear of the type of graphic imagery usually associated with road safety campaigns. ‘The content had to be interesting, it had to entertain, but it also needed emotional impact,’ said Dara. So the series set out to look at Irish driving habits, good and bad, and the programme opened by posing the question: we spend so much time driving, so why are some of us so bad at it? Then the series went on to look at how

factors such as drink and drugs affect a driver’s abilities and spoke to relatives of road death victims. ‘Our core audience included caregivers and parents,’ said Owen. ‘We needed to connect with them by creating something entertaining and thought-provoking but not shocking. Emotion was key.’ To show how different factors affect driving abilities, the show used real drivers and adopted a cause and effect model: road tests followed by an emotional hit. The drink driving segment was one of the big successes. It showed a young man drinking two pints – within the legal limit at the time – then the potentially tragic effect on his driving. He then sat down with the family of a drink-drive victim. After that episode, the legal alcohol limit was changed. The show also incorporated some of the smaller road safety messages. ‘Everyone knows that drink and drugs, speeding, and using your mobile are not going to end well,’ said Dara. ‘But what about the little messages? Within each episode, we included a “safety ripple” that would engage with everyone. For example, we talked to a family whose son died in a crash after a party. Speeding was a factor, but for parents with teenagers going to parties, it was a reminder to ask: “Who’s driving? Are you staying the night? Keep it slow.”’ These little messages also included things like tyre condition and pressure and how these affect control of the vehicle, demonstrated through real tests. ‘You’ve got no control,’ realised one woman after she hit a cardboard pedestrian in a car with bald tyres. ‘Doing these tests gets people talking about things they might otherwise not talk about,’ said Owen. ‘Engaging with the emotional consequences helped people to understand the issues of road safety. It was very effective, and we have just finished the second series.’ In TV terms, the series was a hit. Viewing figures were in the region of 250,000 per episode, a 20% audience share. The show trended on Twitter and was covered by the national papers, and some of the messages in the programmes supported successful road safety lobbying. Hopefully, the impact of the series will also be reflected in future road safety statistics.


merging technology should not compromise fleet safety standards,’ said Mick Sweetmore, Head of Fleet Engineering and Transport Services at Merseyside Police and President-Elect of the Society of Operations Engineers. In an interactive session, Mick discussed how new technologies are changing fleets and invited delegates to consider strategies and timescales for meeting Government targets, pointing out that decisions need to be made now. The City of London started working on its strategy five years ago said Vince Dignam, CoL’s Business Performance and Transport Group Manager, looking at alternative fuels, engaging with suppliers on future technologies, and setting up a hierarchy for vehicle purchase decisions that starts with electric and ends with diesel as the last

12 LAPV Summer 2019


– driving forward

choice. A key issue remains electric infrastructure, however. This also affects the blue light services said Mick. ‘The emergency services are not exempt from low emissions requirements so there are decisions to make in relation to our vehicles of choice and the infrastructure required. But we all know that diesel won’t be the fuel of choice in 20 years so vehicle replacement programmes need to look ahead and consider which vehicles to run over the next 10 to 15 years.’ Mick pointed out that other things to think about include the reliability and maintenance considerations of running a diverse fleet, and how things like battery weight can alter the operational aspect of vehicles. ‘When Euro VI came in for ambulances, the Adblue added 60kg in weight to the vehicle. Because the margins were so tight, ambulance services had to compromise on the equipment they could carry.’ This balancing of the benefits of new technology with the challenges it can bring was a theme many delegates could relate to. The weight impact of electric on vehicles in the 3.5 to 7.5-tonne range and the increased wear on roads from heavier vehicles were two concerns. Mick pointed out that from the point of view of the blue light services, electric can only be applied in certain situations at present. Hot pursuit vehicles, for example, can’t risk running out of power. ‘So we are talking to manufacturers and watching the market closely. We’re being asked to make decisions about vehicles now, but the technology isn’t quite there yet for our needs. Something has to change because we are only 20 years away from the end of diesel and petrol.’ The transition to new technologies also brings maintenance and training challenges. Mick talked about the irtec light standard and how it can help ensure the safe running of fleets. Several delegates said that currently they outsource electric maintenance and leave battery maintenance to the manufacturers, but that eventually they would like to train their own staff to work on batteries. As Vince Dignam pointed out, ‘We don’t want to end up where we were in the LPG days when we couldn’t get the vehicles repaired anywhere'. ‘The technicians of tomorrow will need to be trained and assessed to work on the vehicles that will come onto the market,’ agreed Mick. ‘The Society of Operational Engineers is looking at

developing a model for alternative technologies, such as EVs, hybrids, and hydrogen.’


here is a need to develop the skills required to service and maintain electric vehicles because this technology is becoming the alternative of choice for many municipal fleets – infrastructure permitting. The first of three presentations looking at the current and future practicalities of electric came from Geesinknorba Product Manager Andre Lagendijk, who focused on the evolution of battery technology. ‘When something new comes onto the market, the usual first impression is that it doesn’t work,’ said Andre, who argued that this is not the case for battery-powered RCVs. ‘The technology is available now and it works.’ Electric RCVs are now at the stage where their purchase requires no compromises in performance or handling. ‘They have excellent energy efficiency, operational figures match expectations, and shift lengths are easily achieved. Moreover, drivers love them.’ With their low daily mileage, Andre argued that RCVs represent an ideal use of electric technology. In inner cities, they tend to do no more than 100km a day and energy consumption is around 1.4kWh per tonne of collected waste, depending on the type of waste. Today’s technology, said Andre, is more than fit for the purpose. ‘It will continue to evolve, but that is a good thing. Just look at the development of smartphones ten years ago compared with today.’ The challenge is, of course, charging. The most common battery in use in vehicles is Lithium Iron Phosphate. It is safe, it has high current/peak power rates, a slow rate of capacity loss, and a lifetime of around 3,000 full charges. Another option is a Lithium-Titanate battery, used for faster DC charging. Fleet operators need to adopt or upgrade infrastructure in order to charge vehicles. And different types of charging are possible. Standard AC charging, for example, is possible from a standard AC socket in a workshop. However, fast DC charging needs a special charger and infrastructure. Then there are other options currently in development such as smart grid or wireless charging. ‘Wireless charging might seem impossible today, but you can already do it with phones. Be open minded.’

The City of London found that it could double-shift the Electra because it still had a 70% charge after a full shift.

Summer 2019 LAPV 13


There are clearly still challenges for electric – infrastructure being the main one, but also ethical issues around sourcing battery components, which need to be considered – but Andre points out that we are facing a huge change in mobility. ‘It is not just RCVs that are affected. Electric requires a change of mindset, but we should think of the possibilities, not the impossibilities. The technology is here today and it is ready.’


Above: Mick Sweetmore, President-Elect of the SOE, talked about the irtec light standard. Below: Jeremy Simons, Chairman for the Health and Environment Committee for the City of London, presented Future Fleet Forum on day two.

Charging time will obviously vary. ‘AC charging of an RCV will take between five to ten hours. This is usually fast enough as they are not used 24 hours a day and no additional investment is needed. For DC charging, with a 150kWh charger, it can take just one to two hours.’ For those concerned with price, Andre argued that it is important to look at the total cost of ownership because the cost of running and maintaining electric RCVs is much lower than diesel. As an example, a 200kWh charge at €0.06 p/kWh costs just €12 compared with €140 for 100 litres of diesel fuel at €1.40 per litre. That might not remain the case, of course, if and when the Government decides it needs to make up the tax shortfall of reduced diesel use. The other thing to bear in mind is that battery technology is advancing rapidly. Andre told delegates that every day batteries gain around 1W in energy density and lose one gram in weight. There is also a lot of work going on into solid-state batteries, which are much denser, so vehicle weights could reduce. These would also allow ultra-fast charging.

14 LAPV Summer 2019

avid Maidman from Biffa and Russell Markstein from Electra Commercial Vehicles demonstrated the readiness of electric RCVs by presenting the results of two case studies. An electric RCV from Electra was put to work by Biffa on two contracts, one with Manchester City Council and the other with South Buckinghamshire District Council. ‘These are two very different environments,’ said David Maidman. ‘In Manchester, the vehicles conducted high-density housing collections of four-wheeled containers, while South Bucks was a typical municipal environment with mixed low-level housing and twowheeled containers. Our main interest was to assess the operation of the vehicle and how it impacted day-to-day operations.’ The results? David and Russell provided delegates with the average daily stats for both trials, including hours on shift, tonnage collected, mileage, battery utilisation, battery capacity used, and power cost. While both trials were a success, the stats showed that energy efficiency is maximised when the vehicle is used in an urban environment. That said, as others pointed out through the day, the most significant hurdle to adoption for councils is infrastructure. ‘It is a big issue,’ said David. ‘Council depots are usually old and have not seen much investment. There are more questions than answers right now. Is EV an interim or a long-term solution? There are lots of alternative fuels out there and we don’t know what the future holds.’ Then there is the skills issue for new technologies. ‘We have a massive skills shortage in this area,’ said David, pointing out that most apprenticeship programmes are based around diesel engines. ‘Alternative technology is coming on at a rate of knots. This is a wakeup call – we need to change what we are doing.’ The municipal sector is leading the charge on alternative fuels, but even councils are struggling to recruit mechanics, technicians, and engineers. ‘This should be an opportunity to go out to young people and say: “we are at the cutting edge, come and work for us”. Then there’s AI and driverless vehicles. If ever there was an application for driverless technology, it is in vehicles that do the same route every shift – that is the next stage and EV is a massive part of that future.’ Proving that interest in electric vehicles is high, there were lots of questions from delegates. Canadian attendees were interested in cold-weather battery performance. Not an issue, according to Russell. ‘These are very large batteries and they are temperature-controlled so they stay at an optimum temperature. We did cold weather testing and it didn’t affect power consumption. In fact, battery efficiency was almost better.’ The upfront costs and available funding were queried, as was the longevity of the technology. ‘The only thing I am concerned about going forward is that suppliers keep this going, and electric is not just a five-minute wonder,’ said Vince Dignam. ‘We were very impressed when we ran the technology in the City of London and found we could double-shift the vehicle because it still had a 70% charge after a full shift, but we need the apprenticeships and government funding to push this forward.’ Russell said that Electra is offering the vehicles on a full lifecycle package. ‘We are municipal specialists and we are prepared to put our necks on the line by guaranteeing this technology – that’s how much we believe in it.’



here are four global megatrends influencing the future development and adoption of new technology, said Dominik Kalt, Head of Product Management – Sweepers Technology at Aebi Schmidt Deutschland. The combined influence of these trends – sustainability, digitalisation, urbanisation, and the increasing focus on work/life balance – is making the case for electric vehicle technology, particularly in the municipal sector. Sustainability demands zero-emission vehicles, and this is driven by EU regulations and political pressure. However, as Dominik pointed out, the environmental footprint of vehicle production is also important. ‘We must also have sustainable manufacturing and reduce waste and avoid pollution in the design of the products.’ He added that urbanisation has had a great influence on Aebi Schmidt. By 2050, it is estimated that two-thirds of the global population will live in urban areas and the number of megacities is expected to double by 2030. This means that the need to reduce noise and vehicle emissions, and manage traffic will become more urgent, as will street maintenance. Work/life balance reflects the city’s duty to create an attractive living environment for its citizens. ‘There will be greater demand for cleanliness in cities, and the equipment to achieve this will have to be more efficient as working hours reduce.’ Finally, the influence of digitalisation on municipal vehicles can be seen in the increasing connectivity of fleets and city networks, the prevalence of driver assistance systems, and the long-term trend towards autonomous vehicles. ‘Combine all these and there is an acute need for action. These are all highly political topics and cities need to be the pioneers for their citizens,’ said Dominik. ‘But there are also funding opportunities for cities to invest in new technologies, and EVs fulfil all these requirements. They are CO2 neutral and low noise, and they are more efficient.’ The sector is undoubtedly moving away from diesel. He predicted that a certain number of vehicles will remain diesel in the short and medium term and the rest of the market will be split between electric and alternative fuels. ‘For us, it is the application that determines whether the vehicle should be electric or another solution,’ said Dominik. Battery power, for example, is ideal for operation in inner cities and pedestrian areas and over short transit distances or for clearly defined operational shifts. Other alternative solutions may be more suitable for inter-city traffic and on highways, or where longer transit distances and less defined operational shifts are the norms. ‘We see battery electric vehicles as the first step for municipalities and the focus of street sweepers for the next few years. We see hydrogen as the second step and there are still issues – lack of infrastructure and the high cost of fuel cells – but it will become more important in the future.’ In the meantime, before hydrogen takes over, electric offers financial benefits for councils. The high acquisition costs may put some people off, but, like Andre, Dominik argued that buyers should focus on the total cost of ownership. ‘EVs offer lower fuel use, lower maintenance costs, a longer service life, and the potential for second-life for batteries. There are also funding opportunities for municipal authorities and some manufacturers, including Aebi Schmidt, are willing to implement strategic partnerships with municipalities.’ Added to this is the fact that cities will eventually ban internal combustion vehicles and EVs will be the only way that councils and commercial operators can continue to provide a service.

information system provider. He followed it up with another question: ‘How many of you know how many databases, systems, and spreadsheets it takes to operate your fleet management system?’ Because effective management and integration of data goes to the heart of efficiency in today’s world. Nick delivered a whistle-stop tour of the company’s Capital Asset Management software, demonstrating the benefits of consolidating databases and spreadsheets and centralising fleet data to make more informed decisions. He explained how CAM can help support efficiency strategies by offering cradle-to-grave asset management, including strategic replacement forecasts, annual asset replacement plans that allow for the scoring and ranking of assets, and the ability to run both standard and bespoke life cost models. It also runs asset disposal processes and updates the status of assets in FleetFocus. However, CAM doesn’t just integrate with FleetFocus. ‘You can use third-party products with CAM,’ said Nick. ‘It is built to manage all kinds of assets that can be replaced, from vehicles and plant to phones, computers, and office equipment.’ A useful feature is the ability to control asset categories, specifications, options, and attributes as part of the procurement process. The system allows you to set minimum guidelines for procurement and run custom lifecycle analyses. ‘Do you know when it becomes more expensive to maintain an asset than replace it?’ Nick asked. As an example, he showed a vehicle with a default tenyear replacement cycle where the analysis identified maintenance costs rising significantly after year eight. Nick went on to explain how strategic forecasting can help fleet operators plan for diminishing budgets. ‘These forecasts can alert you to future risks of lots of overdue assets that need replacement down the line. Running a strategic forecast means you can identify upcoming replacement peaks and adjust these to smooth out your replacement plan.’ In a similar vein, he showed how operational rate cards by asset category can support operational budget forecasts. ‘These can show the parts and labour, etc, required for each vehicle at different stages of the lifecycle so you can begin to build your budgets. You will know how many hours and technicians you need to maintain your fleet.’ CAM can also assist with better replacement planning. Taking into account various factors used to determine when an asset needs replacement, the system allows you to review an asset’s history, check its maintenance costs against its category, and its rank and score to determine when it needs replacement. Finally, CAM eliminates the single point of failure problem that plagues many businesses that have one person managing a huge amount of data and an array of spreadsheets. Future Fleet Forum will return on 22 January 2020. The Future Fleet Awards will open for entries on 1 September 2019.

Dominic Kalt from Aebi Schmidt Germany believes that battery electric power will be the focus of sweeper technology for the next few years.


s there anyone here who has not been asked to improve efficiency and reduce costs?’ asked Nick Bridle, Fleet Operations Specialist from Assetworks, the integrated fleet management

Summer 2019 LAPV 15

Street wise

The Citymaster range from Hako Hako Machines Ltd supply a range of professional street cleansing and ground maintenance machines. Our Citymaster range has been engineered with multifunctionality in mind, available not only as a sweeper but; snowplough, city cleaner and grass cutter. All Citymaster products have been 4 star PM2.5 HUK74JLY[PÄLKWork the multifunctional way with Hako.

Citymaster 600 small yet mighty The Citymaster 600 is our award-winning multifunctional JVTWHJ[Z^LLWLY^P[O[OLHIPSP[`[VVќLYIV[O^PU[LY

maintenance and grounds maintenance attachments.

Key features

• Quick-change system • Front coupling triangle for all attachments • 8QLYHUVDOKRSSHUIRULQFUHDVHGñH[LELOLW\ • Permanent all-wheel drive • Articulated steering for improved manoeuvrability

Citymaster 1250+ compact and great value

Call 01788 825600 to arrange a demo

The Citymaster 1250 is a multifunctional, and versatile roadsweeper, city cleaner, winter and

NYV\UKZTHPU[LUHUJLTHJOPULVќLYPUNV\[Z[HUKPUN performance and superb value for money.

Key features

• Universal stainless steel hopper • Citycleaner with 3 brushes and water re-circulation • All-wheel drive • Articulated steering for improved manoeuvrability • Easy access for daily maintenance and care

Hako_LAPV_DPS_June_v1.indd 2-3

Citymaster 1600 compact and robust Work the multifunctional way Key features

The Citymaster 1600 combines the many

qualities usually found in larger sweepers while keeping to a total weight of 3.5t. Articulated with a tool-less quick change system for increased versatility, this compact sweeper

• Quick-change system


• Front coupling triangle for all attachments


• Permanent all-wheel drive with automatic load and slip compensation

Citymaster 2200 versatile and durable

Professional Adaptable Dependable

The Citymaster 2200’s quick-change system allows you to easily and swiftly demount the

sweeping systems, enabling use for both wet cleaning and winter service tasks, such as snow clearing. This makes the Citymaster 2200 one of the most versatile street cleaning machines on the market.

Key features

• 4 wheel steering • Euro VI VM engine • Two-person full comfort cabin • Robust 2 or 3 broom sweeping technology • 3 tonnes of payload | Tel: 01788 825600 |

04/06/2019 09:21

Hako Hako has celebrated 40 years of operation in the UK with a party for customers and suppliers at Silverstone.


ako users from across the UK were invited to the event in March, which included equipment demonstrations, new launches, high level seminars, and some adrenalin-fuelled laps around the track. This was followed by a birthday dinner for the company’s VIP guests. Among the guests were representatives from Tesco, BT, The Trafford Centre, York University, Briggs Equipment, the NIC Group, City of London Corporation, and DPD. ‘It really was a great day,’ said Hako UK’s Managing Director Sylvie Giangolini. ‘Many of our customers came from far afield to support us and we have had some lovely feedback.’ Sylvie added that the equipment demonstrations were particularly well received and valuable to customers. ‘Many customers had not realised the broad range of equipment we have to offer so it was fantastic to not only showcase it, but also to carry out live demonstrations.’ A key aspect of the day involved introducing customers to the Hako aftersales and demonstration teams. ‘Forging strong, transparent relationships with customers is at the core of our philosophy, and a day like this helps build those relationships. The seminars proved very useful for our guests and I was particularly pleased to see how interested some of our customers were in the PMD-led session outlining the many finance options available. The overall flexibility in hiring and renting Hako equipment came as a surprise to some.’ One of the stars of the Silverstone event was the Roboscrub 20, heralded as the next generation of robotic floor care. The advanced AI system enables the robot to navigate complex, real-world environments and is designed to work safely and efficiently alongside employees. It can also be used manually when required. ‘Initial response from customers has been very positive,’ said Frank Ulbricht, a member of Hako’s Executive Board in Germany. ‘While such equipment is still in its early stages, there is no doubt that this is the future. There is a labour shortage in the UK and throughout Europe and robotics will be a very cost efficient solution. ‘Hako UK has made some amazing strides forward over the past few years and Sylvie has a fantastic team around her. I was very happy to see

18 LAPV Summer 2019

turns 40 so many customers join them in celebrating this milestone birthday,’ added Frank. The action-packed day was followed by a gala dinner, providing an excellent networking opportunity for guests. ‘It has been a great day and a tremendous evening, and we are delighted to have been a part of it,’ said Jason Airey, Managing Director of CMS SupaTrak, which is Hako’s telematics partner. ‘There were some really good contacts there, we learned a lot about the product range, and we also met many members of the Hako team,’ added Jason. ‘All in all, it was an excellent event.’ Another key partner for Hako is Briggs Equipment UK, which is the national dealer for Hako machines with a network of 600 mobile engineers across the UK and a three-hour guaranteed response time to machine breakdowns. Among the Briggs team at Silverstone was Business Development Director Leigh Mason. ‘We were delighted to be at the celebrations and, as always, impressed by the Hako line-up, particularly the Roboscrub. Exactly what the demand for it will be remains to be seen, but it is certainly a conversation piece, and one we will be making our customers aware of. ‘Hako has a unique family culture both among staff and customers. The company manages to retain very close links with its market and that was evident at the Silverstone day,’ Leigh added. Andy Wilson, a manager at Hako customer international parcel delivery company DPD, said: ‘Hako has an amazing range of equipment. I would recommend it to anyone. But it’s not just about the equipment, it's about the whole package. I would say that when it comes to aftersales support, Hako really is second to none. ‘This has been a great day and I am delighted to have been included,’ added Andy. ‘It was extremely useful to see the full range of equipment and to meet so many of the Hako team.’ Chris Sockett, Landscape and Amenities Manager at York University, praised Hako for a thoroughly enjoyable and well-organised day. ‘It was great to see the whole product range and good to meet other members of the Hako team. The depth of knowledge and passion about the products was evident from speaking to the sales team and the technicians who came along. ‘The future sounds exciting and as current users of battery vehicles and tools it is safe to assume we will be keeping an eye on the new Hako City Masters when they are released.’

Summer 2019 LAPV 19

Multi-purpose cleaning machine

Aebi Schmidt has launched a new compact articulated sweeper for all-yearround use in a variety of applications, reports LAPV. The 1.5 m3 hopper can be used with additional attachments, such as a scrub deck, mowingsuction combination, snow plough and other auxiliary spreaders.


ebi Schmidt has added the new compact, lightweight, and articulated Multigo 150 to its sweeper line-up to provide local authorities, service contractors, and other users with greater choice and flexibility. It completes the company’s sweeper range, which already includes the Swingo 200, the Cleango 500, and the Street King 660. The new addition to the Aebi Schmidt range combines excellent sweeping performance and a high payload with the benefits of a multi-functional implement carrier. It also represents an economically viable choice for local authorities and service providers looking to meet stringent street cleaning and sweeping responsibilities.

20 LAPV Summer 2019

‘We identified a gap in the market for this type of sweeper,’ explains Dominik Kalt, Product Manager for street cleaning/sweepers at Aebi Schmidt group. ‘We feel the new Multigo 150 completes and complements our existing range perfectly. It is a very flexible and versatile machine that can provide local authorities and other users with a host of options for sweeping, cleaning, and snow clearing operations while being very easy and ergonomically comfortable for operators to use.’ The new 3.5-tonne Multigo 150 can be driven by drivers with a standard Category B driving licence, making it an ideal choice for local authorities. The articulated construction means it is easy to manoeuvre around street furniture such as benches and litter bins, and enables it to work in tight spaces that might be inaccessible to rigid body sweepers. The multi-purpose sweeper has a patented Bosch Rexroth high efficiency traction-controlled hydrostatic four-wheel-drive transmission for optimal handling, even on demanding inclines of up to 30%. The 67hp high torque Perkins diesel engine provides a top speed of 40kmph, and can tackle high performance tasks while still maintaining low emission rates. The engine also employs an Eco-mode function that lowers fuel consumption and cuts the engine speed to 1,500-1,700 rpm to reduce noise levels, which benefits both operating costs and the immediate surroundings. ‘This makes it a good choice for use in cities, towns, and residential areas where emission and noise reduction are key considerations,’ Dominik points out. The new Multigo also comes with a flexible chassis, which means it

can be adapted to a number of different uses. In addition to its usual sweeper function, the Multigo’s 1.5m3 hopper can be used with additional attachments, such as a scrub deck, mowing-suction combination, snow plough, and other auxiliary spreaders. This facilitates all-year-round use for a variety of different tasks. ‘For example, for winter maintenance, the hopper can be de-mounted and the front sweeper brushes removed, to be replaced with a snow plough and spreader unit for winter snow-clearing duties,’ says Dominik. ‘Alternatively, the hopper can be retained and a scrub deck can be added to tackle stains and other spillages on paved areas such as pedestrianised streets and town squares.’ Dominik adds that high sweeper performance is achieved through the use of an innovative airflow design in the suction channel, while automatic collision protection ensures that the brushes are protected against damage. When in working mode, the suction power can be increased in six stages up to its maximum level. Outside the sweeper, multi-stage dust binding ensures a low level of particulates in the air. When sweeping, nozzles spray water on the front brushes and the dirt is then bound by the recycling water system. Water inside the suction channel then transports this into the hopper. ‘The system is so efficient that it earned the Multigo 150 the highest star rating in its PM10/PM2.5 certification for this feature,’ says Dominik. Attachments and functions can be changed quickly and with minimum effort, typically in just five to ten minutes. Likewise, daily maintenance checks are quick and easy to carry out, while long service intervals of 500 hours keep operating costs to a minimum. The ergonomically-designed cabin provides the operator with good visibility of the working area, and the combination of the extra-large windscreen, glazed doors, and narrow cab frame affords the driver with a panoramic view of the working equipment and any nearby traffic. The windscreen wipers are positioned right down at foot level and therefore do not obstruct the driver's view. The driver’s seat is positioned centrally for optimum all-round visibility and greater safety during daily activities, while headroom has been maximised to allow a comfortable sitting position, even for tall drivers. Combined with air conditioning as standard and a fully suspended chassis, which irons out all the bumps and harsh vibrations, Dominik believes that the Multigo provides as comfortable a working environment for the driver as possible. Driver comfort is further improved by a ventilation system with a fine particulate air filter (class F8) to prevent pollen and fine particulates from getting into the cab. And, after passing the toughest testing requirements by an independent committee of medical experts, the driver’s seat has been awarded industry standard AGR certification to guarantee the operator an ergonomic and back-friendly product. The sweeper is also easy to operate, with an intuitive control system that provides a high degree of flexibility for frequent driver changes, while the ergonomically positioned controls provide maximum driver comfort during operation. ‘The central keypad with quick-push buttons is mounted directly in front of the joystick and displays the machine’s key functions,’ says Dominik. ‘The driver is able to select the mode they want to work in and whether they want to activate the brush pressure setting, for example. The screen adapts to the chosen attachment and remembers the last settings for that specific attachment, allowing for quick attachment change and safe operation.’ Also included in the standard package are heated side mirrors, which are a quick and convenient way to clear away ice, snow, and dew and rapidly improve visibility. And an audible reversing alarm increases safety in city centres and other pedestrian areas. Among the optional extras is a 7.5m, flexible high-pressure hose and lance for ease of cleaning things like statues, park bins, and benches. The lance is ergonomic and the flow can be adjusted to conserve water. A rear-view camera can be added to provide a good view of surroundings in confined spaces and improve safety in pedestrian zones, while the optional LED lighting package includes rear lights, indicators, and a beacon and working lights on the roof. An optional weight sensor also alerts the operator if the weight is over the allowed 3,500kg to avoid damage to delicate surfaces.

Quiet Vehicle Sounder (AVAS) Designed for electric and hybrid-electric vehicles of all types, the New QVS Quiet Vehicle Sounder warns pedestrians and other vulnerable road users that a quiet vehicle is approaching.

Designed for electric and hybrid-electric vehicles of all types Incorporating bbs-tek® technology - Multi-frequency, directional and instantly locatable sound which is only heard in the hazard zone. Front speaker system. Pitch and volume increase with vehicle speed in a similar way as an internal combustion engine. Sound cuts out above 20mph.

Visit us


the CV Shotw Stand

3A09 01322 420300


On the road to reducing carbon footprints The first all-electric sweepers are hitting the UK’s streets as local authorities continue their drive to become carbon neutral. Bunce UK powered by Boschung was the first to deliver its Urban Sweeper to Nottingham. LAPV visited the Boschung facility in Payerne, Switzerland, to find out more. Ann-Marie Knegt reports


unce UK has more than 100 years’ experience of custombuilding cleaning and clearing machines and attachments for municipalities, highway authorities, and airports. Now the company is part of the Swiss manufacturer Marcel Boschung’s, which specialises in surface condition management. The acquisition has allowed Bunce to introduce a completely new range of high-tech products to its range, including the all-electric Urban Sweeper S2.0. Nottingham was the first city in the UK to take delivery of this innovative new machine at the beginning of 2019. Now the City of London has also received its first delivery of the sweepers. LAPV visited the brand new factory of the Boschung Group in

Patrick Fringeli is Bunce UK's Managing Director and he recently moved to the UK to oversee the company's operations.

22 LAPV Summer 2019

Payerne, Switzerland. The Boschung Technology Center is an architectural masterpiece. The facility opened in September 2018 and the company’s latest products for airports, highway and roads, and towns and municipalities are displayed there. Equally impressive is the production facility where the machines are built, which is light and airy and kitted out with the highest specification manufacturing equipment. The windows look out over a military airfield now open to commercial flights where Boschung, through its Airport Division, is able to test its extensive product range on its own private runway. All in all, there is a distinct family ethos about the company, which takes pride in taking good care of its employees, and it is obvious that the Boschung workforce is happy to work for an organisation that is clearly at the forefront of innovation. Patrick Fringeli, MD of Bunce UK powered by Boschung, is a Swiss native and recently relocated to the UK to oversee Bunce’s operations. He explains that Boschung has several subsidiaries all over the world that still manufacture their own products. Bunce UK is still manufacturing its own-brand snowploughs and winter maintenance attachments as well as producing attachments for the Urban Sweeper S2.0 scrubber decks, and the Boschung product range has now been integrated into the company’s offerings to the UK. Patrick explains that the first range of Boschung products to be sold in the UK is the Urban Sweeper range, and other product lines will follow in the future. So, how does he see the UK market developing for sweepers? ‘Sweepers work longer hours in the UK compared to Germany and Switzerland, where doing a double swift is quite rare. In the UK, they are often used all day, which means that they have to be replaced from an operational perspective after four or five years. Compared to Switzerland, they have a much shorter life cycle. This makes the marketplace in the UK very large.’ Patrick puts this down to differences in fleet management, cleansing practices, and infrastructure across Europe. However, European municipalities are united in their need to cut emissions, and he explains that the company developed the electric Urban Sweeper


2013, and the City of Berlin purchased more than 40 sweepers. It now has an electric S2.0 in operation following the launch last year. Four units were recently delivered to the City of London, and several diesel versions of the Urban Sweeper S2.0 are running in a Veolia contract in Westminster. Patrick believes that other authorities are waiting to see how successful the City of London’s bid to become carbon neutral is. ‘I expect that other boroughs will follow their lead with the electric sweeper soon, however, the diesel version of the Urban Sweeper is also extremely economical. It is up to 50% more fuel efficient than conventional compacts, as it consumes only four litres per hour rather than seven to eight.’ He adds: ‘Nottingham was very smart in obtaining funding from different sources, so the council actually ended up achieving a significant discount on the initial purchase cost. And it made savings on top of this, and not just on fuel costs. The council has also saved on maintenance because every electric component is maintenance free – we are using brushless motors. With hydraulics you need to change filters and hoses, but that isn’t the case with this machine.’ Patrick argues that it all adds up to a significant competitive advantage. ‘What we are trying to do is establish a brand in an already competitive market. The electric Urban Sweeper 2.0 is opening doors with councils that are looking to the future. This sweeper is especially suited to use in city centres with ultra-low emission zones. I am convinced that we have a very competitive product, but we invite potential customers to come and test out the machine for themselves to see if they agree.’

S2.0 as part of a general move towards producing electric vehicles. ‘We decided that we needed a vehicle that would fit into modern city centres and the current philosophy of local authorities. Municipalities have emissions reduction targets to meet and ultra-low emission zones are coming into force. We developed the all-electric Urban Sweeper S2.0 as a result of this trend, and the first units have already been delivered to Nottingham and the City of London.’ The main advantage of the electric Urban Sweeper is that it has a capacity of 2m3, but it only weighs 3.5 tonnes with a 1.2 tonne payload, which means it can be operated with a regular driving licence. ‘Most compact sweepers weigh more than 4.5 tonnes, so the driver needs the Driver CPC licence. The Urban Sweeper delivers a great advantage to fleet managers with regards to employing drivers because it is one of the lightest electric sweepers on the market. Most of our competitors' electric machines weigh between four and five tonnes, but we have used very light construction materials, including aluminium, to achieve a much lighter weight machine that only requires a normal driving licence.’ Another advantage of the Urban Sweeper is its suction power. ‘We have the data to prove this, but driver testimonials work better,’ says Patrick. ‘During our demonstration in Nottingham, for instance, we demonstrated the machine during the night outside Burger King and McDonald's outlets, so there was a lot of packaging and food waste on the streets. The driver was ecstatic because he normally gets lots of blockages in this type of situation, but during the demonstration he didn’t have to get out of the cab once to unblock. He said he felt a lot less vulnerable at night.’ The Urban Sweeper S2.0 is both articulated and narrow so the brushes don’t need to be adjusted. With four-wheel steering, drivers need to be careful that not everything is drawn into the suction box. Patrick admits that some drivers need time to adjust to driving an articulated sweeper, but that, once mastered, the operation is really quite simple. There is no need to be careful about hitting kerb corners or edges, for example, because the back always follows the front. The first diesel-powered Urban Sweeper range was launched in

The electric Urban Sweeper S2.0 was recently delivered to Nottingham City Council, and four have been delivered to the City of London.

Urban-Sweeper S2.0 specifications Urban-Sweeper S2.0 is the first Boschung-engineered sweeper fully powered by electricity. It is a multi-functional work tool that releases zero emissions. The battery has a new intelligent management system. The custom-made battery includes 12 modules and a total of 4,320 cells. 24 temperature sensors continuously monitor the battery, which automatically heats up when needed and cools off when it is too hot. It also features an overcharging protection circuit. This battery provides power to all vehicle systems including the turbine, the brooms, the heater and air conditioning system, and the powertrain engines. The operator can choose between two charging options: standard using an AC-charger 3 phase 400V, for nine hours charging / eight hours of work, or a DC-charger 3 phase 400V, for two hours charging / eight hours of work. Boschung provides an all-electric front-wheel drive that is powered by twowheel motors for a driving speed of 40kmph. The Urban Sweeper S2.0 and its panoramic cabin offers wide views of the working environment. The new generation touchscreen control unit assists the operator, saves all data, and provides an overview of the battery management system. The itinerary of the Urban Sweeper S2.0 is trackable at all time on a smartphone via the RWIS App or on a computer via the BORRMA-vision management tool. Maintenance intervals and status messages are automatically reported online.

Summer 2019 LAPV 23


IN THE SPOTLIGHT: THE FOCUS IS ON LEADING VEHICLE HIRE AND LONG AND SHORT-TERM RENTAL PROVIDERS IN THE LAPV CONTRACT HIRE SUPPLEMENT. equipped with Bucher’s patented metal belt delivery system that can handle UK-grade rock salt and grit while reducing the chance of tunnelling or bridging of the salt. Our hopper bases are wider than those of our competitors, improving material flow from hopper to spinning disk. In addition, the roller breaker crushes and breaks down larger particles of salt before they can cause a blockage or are deposited onto the spinning disk and ultimately onto the road. Direct hire also offers security to our clients, who rely on our spreaders to deliver continuous operation throughout the winter months.

Bucher Municipal Rentals Bucher Municipal Rentals is a new hire service operated by Bucher Winter that will enable customers to test the latest winter maintenance equipment before committing to purchase or long-term hire, writes UK Sales and Marketing Manager Graham Howlett. What does your current fleet look like? Our 2019/2020 winter maintenance rental fleet will consist of a mix of our municipal spec 6m³ hydraulic UniQa and electric Phoenix Electra salt spreaders, mounted on 18-tonne 4x2 and 4x4 chassis. These can be rented alongside our highways spec 9m³ spreaders on 26-tonne chassis, with the option of electric or hydraulic spreader components. All our spreaders are paired with our back-to-black snowploughs, so operators have the right equipment to clear snow and ice on the first pass in the event of snowfall.

Which trends and developments have you seen over the last couple of years? Dwindling budgets and fewer dedicated decision makers, coupled with generally mild winters and economic uncertainty, have contributed to a reduced appetite for change in the UK winter market. Spreader drivers with sufficient experience are also becoming fewer in number. However, there has also been an increase in legal challenges to winter practitioners, as well as fines imposed on ill-prepared businesses whose employees or clients have fallen foul of snow and ice. Environmental impact is now a much greater priority. Guidelines to reduce salt application and manage stockpiles more effectively, along with new technologies for liquid de-icing and back-to-black snow ploughing, all help to reduce the environmental impact of winter maintenance.

What are your client’s main drivers? Reliability, sustainability, and safety. Clients want to know that salt spreaders and ploughs will keep their drivers and the general public safe while allowing them to combat snow and ice conditions. They want assurance that products are fit for purpose. When failures arise, they want the backup to ensure minimum downtime, and the correct contingencies in place to ensure their service is not compromised.

How many depots and workshops do you have and what other services do you provide?

What role does sustainability play in your operation?

Bucher Winter operates out of eight UK depots with access to more than 50 factory-trained field service technicians, 24 hours a day, servicing truck-mounted and compact Johnston sweepers, JHL tankers, and Bucher spreaders and snowploughs.

Our state-of-the-art factories have invested heavily in both environmental and operational efficiencies. We invest millions in research and development to ensure that our products are always pushing boundaries. We also invest in people, both our employees and the local supply chain for our factories and service centres, ensuring we are as integrated into the surrounding community as possible. The Bucher Municipal Rentals proposition reflects our sustainable approach. We recognise that our product range can offer value to the UK winter industry, but we also recognise the limitations and restrictions faced by the UK’s winter practitioners. We believe this rental model will help facilitate the use of our product range and give contractors and authorities the ability to trial, assess, and adopt our technologies.

Where are your main contracts? Bucher Municipal Rentals launched in May 2019 and we are in discussions with major highways contractors and facilities management companies as well as local and governmental authorities. In trials, customers have reacted positively to our products, but are limited in their ability to procure away from the standard offering. Bucher Municipal Rentals enables customers to try before they buy, without the procurement constraints that typically prohibit developments.

What sets you apart from other hire companies?

How do you see the future of municipal vehicles developing?

We offer direct hire from the manufacturer, promoting access to innovation in winter maintenance. Our fleet is up to date with the most recent technologies, enabling customers to trial new product developments usually only available in countries with colder climates. Bucher Winter is offering this technology in the UK to support authorities and contractors in combating the unpredictability of UK winters, and to help them meet guidelines and legislation around salt spreading and fuel use. Bucher Winter’s core technologies are also well suited to the poorer quality salt and grit that can impact UK winter service. Our spreaders are

Increasing autonomy will become a bigger factor and will support the sector’s trained operatives in delivering a better, safer service. Bucher Assist will be rolled out over the next couple of seasons to enhance the level of autonomy of our winter maintenance vehicles, and all the componentry in our rental fleet is primed and ready to interact with this technology. The future of municipal logistics will rely heavily on the quality of the equipment and technology, the drive and ambition of the companies supplying the market, and the requirements of decision makers.



Go Plant Fleet Services Go Plant Fleet Services is a major provider of operated hire sweepers and short-term and contract hire specialist vehicles with broad coverage across the UK, writes Commercial Director Mark Gallimore. What does your current fleet look like?

What are your main drivers?

Our current total fleet under management is 4,800 vehicles. More than 50 per cent of that is made up of HGVs including RCVs, gritters, sweepers, tippers, and other specialist equipment such as traffic management vehicles and gully emptiers. The remainder is a mix of light commercial vehicles, minibuses, and welfare vehicles.

We’re now a large and diversified presence in both the public and private sectors, but the senior leadership team has a clear strategic plan to grow the business organically, expanding our customer base while retaining existing partners. It’s about doing more of what we do well. We want to operate smarter and more efficiently within our established sectors, ensure our processes, procedures, and systems are the best in the business and optimise our business model. One of our main goals is to write the best kind of quality deals and we do as much as can to ensure customers come back to us time and time again. We want to become an automatic choice for any requirement concerning specialist commercial vehicles.

How many depots and workshops do you have and what other services do you provide? We have 49 depots and service centres, including satellite sites, across the UK. Our main services are operated hire, short-term spot hire, contract hire, and fleet management including service, maintenance, and repair.

Where are your main contracts? We work with public sector organisations and commercial businesses all over the country. Our contract hire division works predominantly with local authorities, while operated and spot hire is generally with private sector companies in the municipal, construction, and highways sectors.

What sets you apart from other hire companies? As owner-operators and fleet service providers, we understand the challenges faced by customers. We have more than 40 years’ experience in the industry and the kind of in-house expertise that can make a real difference. We can deliver all types of off-the-shelf funding solutions and fleet management services, as well as consultative services, using our knowledge of the industry and our experience of owning and running these types of vehicles to help customers manage their fleets more effectively and efficiently.

Which trends and developments have you seen over the last couple of years? The move towards alternative fuels has been the biggest single development in the last few years. The introduction of the Direct Vision Standard and the expansion of Low Emission Zones means finding the right solution will be crucial to fleet providers and their customers. We’re working with vehicle manufacturers and fuel suppliers to produce a long-term strategy that delivers the right results and a procurement plan that ensures our fleet is fit for the future. Another issue is the changing approach of local authorities. Our public sector partnerships have become about delivering best value and providing solutions that help customers generate efficiencies.

What role does sustainability play in your operation? We operate hundreds of vehicles, so sustainable operation is always at the forefront of our minds. It is has become pivotal to many areas of the business and is often integral to the tender process. Optimising our fleet and ensuring we’re utilising our vehicles in the most efficient way possible forms a key part of our approach, but we also work closely with our customers to help them reach their own targets. We are also working with vehicle manufacturers and fuel suppliers on the development of alternative fuels.

How do you see the future of municipal vehicles developing? It will be interesting to see where the move to alternative energy takes us. In 10 years, the industry will probably look very different. I don’t see electric as the silver bullet for specialist vehicles – I just don’t have confidence in the infrastructure, the supply of vehicles, or the costs. It’s down to manufacturers and suppliers to come up with a solution that’s fit for purpose in the long term – and we’re working alongside them to make that happen. As pressure increases on local authorities to further improve recycling rates, they will also need to continue to offer new services or enhancements to existing services, including both the frequency and type of collections. This could affect the type of RCVs, so we’ll need to be ready for that. Customers will look to us for advice on how to build a fleet strategy that’s fit for the future. It is an opportunity to work with customers and challenge the way they’re thinking in some cases. With the expertise we have in house, we can keep track of developments on a national scale and help deliver the kind of clarity and confidence that can add value to any business.



every possible service to support refuse vehicle operators. In the past six months we have also extended the workshop at our head office in Gloucestershire with five new double-length bays to increase our capacity. Alongside this, we have expanded our parts department, which now has its own dedicated premises adjacent to our main offices.

Where are your main contracts? Our clients are primarily large regional refuse and recycling collection businesses that need to focus on their core business and leave the job of maintaining their fleet to specialists.

What sets you apart from other hire companies? We are a company that hires vehicles not a hire company. We provide a range of hire vehicles to support our customers, because they asked us for this service. For us, it’s about providing the best solution to our customers. Sometimes that might be a hire vehicle to fill a gap but often we can fix a vehicle quickly so that a hire vehicle is no longer required. In other cases, it may be more cost effective to overhaul the customer’s current vehicle to give it a second-life or replace it instead.

Refuse Vehicle Solutions

Which trends and developments have you seen over the last couple of years?

Refuse Vehicle Solutions (RVS) provides a complete refuse vehicle solution for fleet operators, encompassing sales of brand new and quality-used refuse trucks, service, repairs, maintenance, and hire, writes Managing Director Spencer Law.

There is a growing trend for more modern, Euro VI-compliant vehicles as an increasing number of cities in the UK take measures to improve air quality. Customers are also more interested in electric or alternative fuel vehicles, and we are watching to see how things develop in this area. There is some experimental technology that has yet to be proven as fit for purpose. Will electric be more popular, or will hydrogen take the market by storm? We shall see. In the meantime, we will continue to offer the cleanest, greenest vehicle technology available to help customers reduce their carbon emissions and stay compliant in clean air zones.

What does your current fleet look like?

What are your clients’ main drivers?

The RVS hire fleet consists of more than 85 vehicles and will reach 100 by the end of this year. We offer a variety of different types of vehicles to support both commercial and municipal, trade and domestic waste collections, and we also have RCVs in a range of configurations. Two years ago, we expanded our range by stocking a number of hook loaders, top loaders, and specialist 12-tonne sealed food waste vehicles that are suitable for commercial and household collections. We focus on maintaining a low-age profile fleet with a high proportion of low-emission, Euro VI, and FORS-compliant vehicles. Customers can also specify vehicles with bin-weighing technology, low-entry/high-vision cabs, recordable camera systems, and cyclist safety technology.

They want to do their day job as efficiently and safely as possible and we help them achieve that. That might be providing new or quality used vehicles, either as a direct purchase or via a contract hire agreement, supplying short-term hire vehicles, breakdown cover or maintaining their current fleet to maximise the uptime and longevity of their vehicles. Investing a little time in preventative maintenance reaps rewards later.

How many depots and workshops do you have and what other services do you provide? Our primary areas of operation are the Midlands and South of England. We have depots in Exeter, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, and London, which allow us to react quickly to our customers’ needs. We also recently opened a new five-bay workshop in Oxfordshire, which will help us to support our current contracts, provide better customer service, and turn around hire vehicles more quickly. We offer a comprehensive range of services, including the specification and sale or contract hire of new or quality used refuse trucks, service contracts, preventative maintenance, external field services, on-site service and repairs, parts, finance packages, and even a low-loader service for legal vehicle transportation. We provide

What role does sustainability play in your operation? Last year we achieved ISO 14001:2015 accreditation for Environmental Management, which lays the foundations for a system to ensure the business meets the necessary compliance obligations and achieve our objectives regarding the environment. As part of this we recycle our own waste, encourage our staff to use the Bike-toWork scheme, and we are investigating the installation of electric vans at customers’ premises where we provide on-site maintenance facilities.

How do you see the future of municipal vehicles developing? Many operators are trialling one or two sustainable vehicles and they may decide to sweat their assets a little longer while they wait for the outcome of these trials. Those vehicles that are commercially viable, when calculated across the whole lifetime, and offer improved environmental performance will win through.



Riverside Truck Rental Riverside Truck Rental, part of NRG Fleet Services, operates one of the UK’s biggest rental fleets, offering customers access to modern vehicles fitted with the latest technologies for both long and short-term rental and contract hire, writes Group Managing Director Sid Sadique. What does your current fleet look like? We have around 1,800 heavy trucks on the fleet at the moment. We are one of the largest truck and rental companies operating in the UK, providing a comprehensive fleet of modern vehicles. This is made up predominantly of vehicles over 18 tonnes, mainly waste and recycling vehicles, but also refrigeration vehicles, builders’ merchant vehicles, whale tankers, and walking floor trailers.

How many depots and workshops and what other services do you provide? We currently have 16 workshops and depots around the UK and we provide full repair and maintenance services along with full body and paint shop services.

Where are your main contracts? We deal primarily with local councils, waste and recycling contractors and other large, complex organisations.

shop type of services. Then there’s the trend towards operating cleaner vehicles and the move to electric. Electra Commercial Vehicles, which is also part of the NRG Group, has taken the lead in converting heavy trucks to run on full electric power, and this enables us to provide these vehicles to meet the growing customer need for cleaner vehicles.

What are your client’s main drivers? Our customers are primarily looking for contracts and suppliers that offer value for money, efficiency, low emissions, and quality and compliant services.

What role does sustainability play in your operation? Sustainability plays a vital role in our company, that’s why we set up Electra Commercial Vehicles to explore the potential of electric. Along with Electra, we want NRG to be seen to be proactively providing long-term sustainable solutions to the sector that fulfil our customers’ requirements.

How do you see the future of municipal vehicles developing? The future of municipal logistics is electric. We see electric playing an increasingly significant role in the municipal vehicle sector, particularly for waste and recycling vehicles. It is the ideal solution for this type of vehicle in certain circumstances, particularly on urban collection rounds.

What sets you apart from other hire companies? We are privately-owned, we run a modern fleet of trucks, and we invest around £30 million a year in new assets to keep our fleet up to date, compliant, and in line with customer expectations. We are also a total fleet management provider, offering all the services our customers might need. DTM, our tyre management business, is an industry leader in the sector, so we can provide a composite service offering to customers.

RACT HIRE CONTRACT HIRE Which trends and developments have you seen over the last couple of years? We have seen an increased in outsourcing by local authorities, growth in contract hire, and more and more tenders for one-stop-

Summer 2019 LAPV 27


our customers. SFS is owned by a publicly quoted bank (Paragon Bank), providing customers with the assurance that the business has significant financial backing and ensuring we can fulfil contractual obligations for the full term of a contract. It also means that we own all our vehicles as opposed to funding them using third-party finance companies.

Which trends and developments have you seen over the last couple of years?

Specialist Fleet Services Specialist Fleet Services provides contract hire and vehicle leasing solutions to the private and public sector along with comprehensive fleet management and workshop expertise, writes Managing Director Bob Sweetland. What does your current fleet look like? We provide all types of vehicles and plant used by local authorities in their daily operations. These fleets are diverse and include grounds maintenance equipment, vans, sweepers, accessible buses, spreaders, recycling and refuse collection vehicles. We are also now supplying electric vehicles to some of our customers. Short to medium-term hire vehicles are available through our municipal vehicle hire company, CTS Hire. This fleet consists mainly of refuse collection vehicles ranging from 7-tonne to 26-tonne and includes standard width, narrow width, and twin-packs. Although SFS works across both the private and public sector, we have a reputation as a local authority specialist and councils represent a large proportion of our customer base. We have a high rate of customer retention and have built long-standing relationships over consecutive contracts. We are a vehicle partner, and as such provide a whole spectrum of additional services and bespoke support to our customers.

How many depots and workshops do you have and what other services do you provide? SFS operates eight depots/workshops around the country, staffed by technicians. We also have mobile engineers and a network of approved maintenance suppliers to support both our contract hire and short-term hire fleets. To support our customers, we provide a full range of services including a comprehensive fleet management package, 24/7 maintenance support, fixed-price tyres including damage, access to our bespoke fleet management system, health and safety support, and specialist replacement vehicles.

Where are your main contracts? We have a significant number of long-term local authority contracts. These customers include Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, which has been a customer since 2005 and in 2017 awarded SFS a 10-year fleet replacement contract. We have also worked with Kettering Borough Council since 2002. The council recently exercised a seven-year extension to their current contract when they joined services with Corby Borough Council, which we have supplied with a new vehicle fleet.

We are seeing the loss of in-depth knowledge of vehicle provision and maintenance in some local authorities as experienced staff retire. And there is an increasing requirement for flexibility in contracts to match changes in service delivery. We have also noticed increased use of PWLB borrowing in the sector to fund vehicle acquisitions in the belief that this is the most cost-effective method given the low interest rates available. However, this does not take into account the initial purchase costs, the operating costs over the life of the vehicle, and residual value, all of which can far outweigh a marginally cheaper cost of borrowing on a whole-life cost basis.

What are your clients’ main drivers? Vehicles are becoming more technologically advanced and technicians are increasingly scarce, so many of our clients are transferring the risk of running a diverse commercial vehicle fleet to a specialist supplier. In many cases, they also want the financial benefits of working with a specialist provider who can potentially procure vehicles at a better price, maintain them more cost effectively, and achieve a higher residual value. Our customers can benefit from the greater resources a contract hire company can offer in management expertise, procurement, maintenance delivery, mobile engineers, health and safety, and management information from a comprehensive fleet management system.

What role does sustainability play in your operation? SFS has ISO 14001 accreditation and we constantly strive to ensure all aspects of our business are operated in the most sustainable way, from the disposal of waste across our offices and workshops to the vehicles we provide on contract hire, such as investing in the latest low emission, electric and alternative fuel vehicles. We also try to achieve social value wherever appropriate. For example, we are increasingly recruiting apprentices across our workshops and seeking to source suppliers who are local to each of our contracts wherever possible.

How do you see the future of municipal vehicles developing? The key development is going to be alternatively fuelled vehicles. We are already supplying electric vans to our customers and we are discussing various options for HGVs. The pace of change will accelerate once more original equipment manufacturers introduce a wider range of products, particularly chassis for refuse vehicle applications. Whilst electric vehicles appear to be the preferred option at present, other alternatives such as gas are still being used and explored within the sector. Looking further ahead, we can see a future for autonomous vehicles and even hydrogen-fuelled vehicle technologies. The technology on vehicles is also continuing to develop to provide additional safety features, telematics, and more efficient working. This trend will continue as operators seek to maximise the benefits that technology can offer for the safer operation of their fleet, improved maintenance, cost effective operation, and the environment.

CONTRACT HIRE CONTRAC What sets you apart from other hire companies? Our financial stability, experience, and transparent relationships with

28 LAPV Summer 2019

We make the unsafe, safe, the invisible, visible and the unsecure, secure

The Complete Solution VT BRakeSAFE VT Ident Take control of your fleet This security system provides independent control of the vehicle. It uses programmable tags or keypads to authorise access to the vehicle controls.

Eradicates Runaways Incidents If the handbrake is not applied manually and the drive attempts to leave the cab the system will automatically apply the brakes.

VT Cameras Making the invisible visible Our wide range of cameras offer high resolution visuals from every view of the vehicle. Tough and durable they are tested to IP69.


VT TURNSAFE cYCLIST SAFETY Full range of cyclist detection products that detects, warns and records the movements of the vehicle and cyclists.

VT Record Track your fleet Record every aspect of your vehicles journey with live streaming over 4G network option, remotely access your vehicles from the comfort of your ooce.

VT Banksman Stop the risk of collision Forward and reversing radar detection with 100% accuracy. Should the driver be distracted and not respond to the incab alarms the system will automatically apply the brakes. b

Using the power of new technology and innovation we give our customers the ultimate protection in vehicle safety. Our exible approach and proven track record in design and excellence ensures the creation of vehicle safety systems to provide a safe environment for drivers, workers and the public. | 01254 679717 |


Flexible rental framework Crown Commercial Services has delivered a new commercial agreement offering fleet operators access to convenient and cost-effective flexible rental solutions, writes Kim Harrison.


Š Shutterstock

he new Vehicle Lease, Fleet Management, and Flexible Rental Solutions framework RM6096 from Crown Commercial Services is a fifth-generation agreement that is designed to help the industry meet the challenges of today’s operational climate by providing fleet operators with access to specialist expertise and more flexible contracting arrangements. Flexible rental solutions enable vehicle hire without the longerterm commitment of a financial or operating lease. Whereas the daily rental market typically provides vehicles for short periods from one day to several weeks, flexible rental offers solutions from 28 days up to two years plus, which makes it particularly useful for fleet managers coping with changes in demand and operation. The use of flexible rental supports operator response to peaks and troughs, for example seasonal grass cutting or road gritting. It can also help ensure continued operation when there are uncertainties or delays in vehicle replacements, changes in the business model, new drivers or particularly long lead times for new vehicles. Leased or owned vehicles will result in lower day rates than rental vehicles. However, longer-term flexible rentals deliver better value than daily rented vehicles, which are extended on an ad hoc basis. When purchasing a vehicle outright or setting up a contract hire, vehicles are usually new and built to order. This means that lead times will typically be at least 10 weeks from order, and up to several months in some cases. In comparison, vehicles that are

30 LAPV Summer 2019

rented/hired are taken from the suppliers’ own stock, resulting in much shorter lead times. A huge advantage of a flexible rental over a longer-term lease is that there are no early termination charges. Vehicles will be priced at the rate for the initial estimated rental period, but if requirements change and the vehicle is no longer needed for the full rental period, it can be returned without penalty. As vehicles will be hired out for reasonable lengths of time, there are usually no delivery, collection, or refuelling charges incurred. A wide range of vehicles of all fuel types can be leased through the new CCS Vehicle Lease, Fleet Management, and Flexible Rental Solutions framework RM6096, along with complementary vehicle services. Leases and fleet management services cover those for cars, 4x4s, motorcycles, vans, commercial vehicles, minibuses, and coaches. The framework scope includes everything from standard production to specially modified vehicles. Electric, alternativelyfuelled, and other ultra-low emission vehicles are also covered. The most popular vehicle financing arrangement available is the operational lease (contract hire) with the option to include servicing, maintenance, repair and other vehicle services. Independent fleet management services help manage vehicles efficiently and effectively. Services include vehicle selection, acquisition, driver and vehicle administration services, telematics and fuel card management. All of these help to ensure the health and safety of



Ed Mowe Head Groundsman, Leicester Tigers.

When it comes to the challenge of looking after parks and pitches all year round, STIHL tackles it head on. With a range of tools designed to maintain grounds to the highest and most professional standards. Not only does STIHL set the standard for quality, efficiency and reliability, our tools are also easy to maintain and offer superb parts availability. All of which adds up to minimum downtime and maximum performance.

The STIHL RM 4 RTP is a manoeuvrable, efficient petrol mulching mower with 53 cm cutting width.

Find out more at your local STIHL Approved Dealer or visit LAPV_Groundcare_Ed Mowe_Lawnmower_RM 4 RTP_297x210.indd 1

03/06/2019 10:03

drivers and vehicles, optimising fleet performance and offering staff benefit schemes. Access to flexible rental solutions for shorter terms requirements, typically 28 days or longer, is also provided. Flexible rental is usually taken up when operators are unable to commit to the longevity of a standard lease, but want better value and more continuity than daily rental. It is a good pre-contract option when waiting for permanent vehicle delivery. Vehicles are usually available at short notice, and can range from fairly standard to fully bespoke converted vehicles.

Benefits of the framework

• Using an average market rate comparator, CCS discounts are • • • • • •

currently 11.3% better than the average of the top 10 leasing companies in the market. Customers can make a direct award for standard cars and light commercial vehicles via the online fleet portal. Obtain real-time quotations and a full breakdown of costs via the online fleet portal to compare options and whole-life costs. A dedicated independent fleet management lot, which gives access to specialist vehicle and driver services. A dedicated flexible rental lot for flexible solutions. Option to use a local dealership for delivery, supporting SMEs. Access vehicles of all fuel trains to make available ultra-low emission vehicles, helping meet air quality targets and delivering environmental and social value.

The framework itself is split into four lots: Lot 1 Lease of vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes Contract hire, option for service, maintenance and repair, supplementary flexible rental, standard lease management, option for sole supply fleet management, and other fleet specialist services. Lot 2 Lease of commercial vehicles Light, medium, and heavy commercial vehicles, contract hire, option for service, maintenance and repair, supplementary flexible rental, standard lease management, option for sole-supply fleet management, and other fleet specialist services. Lot 3 Independent fleet management services Provided independently from vehicle funders, management of leased and/or owned vehicles, operational or employee benefit vehicles, vehicle and driver management, and a wide range of fleet services. Lot 4 Flexible rental solutions Rental of vehicles for 28 days or longer, full range from cars, light and heavy commercial vehicles, standard build or bespoke, flexible contract terms.

Key service levels Customers can expect delivery of standard-build vehicles within 72 hours of order, with delivery of all other vehicles to be agreed upon request. There are no delivery and collection charges as standard. The standard annual mileage on vehicles rented is up to 30,000 miles, but variances can be agreed with the supplier. The default position is that insurance is excluded, as owned, leased, and rented vehicles are usually covered by a whole fleet policy. These service levels reflect the suitability for operational fleets where the framework can complement existing arrangements.

CCS Fleet Portal Our fleet portal is a web-based system where customers can find a wealth of information to assist with leasing or purchasing a standard car or light commercial vehicles.

32 LAPV Summer 2019

Customers using the portal can search for a specific vehicle or enter generic vehicle details to view a range that meet their specification. They can then use the technical and pricing information to determine which best meets their requirements. This information is updated daily and real-time pricing is pulled from lease providers’ websites, ensuring that the most up-to-date information is always available. Any vehicle quotations provided are honoured for 30 days. The online fleet portal provides: • Quotations from suppliers of passenger and light commercial vehicles on the CCS vehicle purchase framework. • The ability to search against wide criteria including body style, engine size, economy, emissions, safety features, and standard optional extras. • Automated whole-life cost calculation. • Vehicle lease quotations from all suppliers on the CCS vehicle lease framework, enabling a comparison of rates across the supplier base. • The ability for lease customers to select a preferred lease profile and compare costs over a range of lease terms if required. • A breakdown of lease costs, including the cost of service, maintenance, and repair and the anticipated residual value of a vehicle at the end of the lease term. • Updates and news from suppliers about new models and special offers. • The ability to obtain quotes for any vehicle available in the UK market for any fuel train, in support of meeting the Government Buying Standards and Fleet Commitment. • Details of the support rates (discounts) available for each vehicle. • Extensive vehicle technical information. • Emissions details for every vehicle model. • Information and pricing for optional vehicle extras. There is no obligation when using the portal and customers can run as many quotations as they wish. To register for access to the CCS Fleet portal vist: Kim Harrison is Category Lead Fleet for Crown Commercial Services. She has experience of managing agreements and relationships with vehicle manufacturers, funders and fleet managers, converters and telematics providers. Kim sets the CCS Fleet strategies across various categories.

Local Authority Plant & Vehicles

Hosted by

Future Fleet Forum 2020 22 January 2020 | Guildhall, City of London Brought to you by

Raising international standards for public sector fleet managers The Future Fleet Forum is now firmly established as the leading event for public sector fleet transport managers and their contracting organisations. We are pleased to announce the LAPV Future Fleet Forum 2020 which will address key challenges faced by our industry, including procurement issues, compliance, safety, and sustainability. Past speakers have included representatives from The City of London, City of New York, NYPD City of Stockholm, City of Montreal, Iowa Department of Transport, CILT, Hackney LBC, ITS UK, Wakefield Council and more.

Future Fleet Awards 2020 22 January 2020 | Guildhall, City of London Have you got what it takes to be the best in the industry?

Exhibiting and Sponsorship Opportunities Contact Jason Pidgeon today at +44 (0) 20 7973 4645 | Sponsors

Biffa boosts its Econic fleet

Integrated waste management and recycling business Biffa has added 43 Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks to its fleet.

B Supplied by dealer Euro Commercials, 38 of the vehicles are 6x2 Econic 2630L variants with rear-steer axles and Dennis Eagle compactor bodies. Of the remainder, three are 18-tonne Econic 1827L skiploaders and two are 32-tonne 3235L ENA hookloaders, with bodywork by Boughton Engineering.

iffa has almost two hundred sites nationwide. Its municipal division services more than 2.4 million households and collects 4.1 million bins every week. The new vehicles, which were supplied by South Wales Dealer Euro Commercials, are mostly 6x2 Econic 2630L variants with rear-steer axles and Dennis Eagle compactor bodies. The exceptions are the three 18-tonne Econic 1827L skiploaders and a pair of 32-tonne 3235L ENA hookloaders, fitted with bodywork by Boughton Engineering. As ENA variants, the eight-wheelers have single front-steer axles, double-drive bogies, and rear-steer axles, to ensure a high degree of manoeuvrability. Biffa is now trialling these vehicles in London, where the Econic has secured a five-star rating under the new Direct Vision Standard and is proving to be increasingly popular with safety-conscious operators across a range of industries. The first Mercedes-Benz Econics hit UK roads 20 years ago, and Biffa has played a significant role in the model’s development. Today, Econics account for a large proportion of the refuse collection vehicles on the 1,500-strong truck fleet of its industrial and commercial division. Safety is one of the three pillars of Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ Road Efficiency strategy. The Econic offers excellent visibility thanks to its deep, panoramic windscreen, and full-height, glazed folding side door. Combined with a lower seating position, these features enable the driver

34 LAPV Summer 2019

to make direct eye contact with cyclists and pedestrians at junctions or in traffic. This has helped Mercedes-Benz to land high-profile orders for Econic-based vehicles from operators in the construction, distribution, and other sectors, for whom the protection of vulnerable road users has become a top priority. Biffa’s latest Econics are all powered by economical in-line sixcylinder engines. The RCVs produce 220 kW (299 hp), while the skiploaders employ 200 kW (272 hp) and the hookloaders 260 kW (354 hp) versions of the same, advanced 7.7-litre powerplant. While the RCVs have fully automatic six-speed Allison gearboxes, the skiploaders and hookloaders are equipped with 12-speed Mercedes PowerShift 3 transmissions. This has only been made available to Econic customers recently. Its introduction reflects the requirement for a more fuel-efficient alternative to the established Allison system, which is so well-suited to stop-start waste collection duties. ‘The Econic is our preferred low-entry RCV chassis,’ says Biffa Fleet Project Engineer Colin Bagnall. ‘It is reliable and cost-effective in operation, while our crews appreciate its comfortable, air-conditioned, walk-through cab. ‘We used to buy 6x4 variants,’ adds Colin. ‘However, as a much higher proportion of the trade waste we collect is now recycled at our own transfer facilities rather than being sent to landfill, we switched about three years ago from double-drive to 6x2 rear-steer chassis.’ Biffa’s commercial refuse collection vehicles are based throughout the UK and the company undertakes the majority of vehicle inspections and maintenance in its own workshops, relying on the Mercedes-Benz Trucks dealer network for warranty work. Commenting on the introduction of its first Econic-based skiploaders and hookloaders, Colin said: ‘These vehicles represent a new departure for us, and underline our commitment to safe, compliant operation in busy urban areas. We’ll be monitoring their performance closely, but the initial feedback from drivers has been positive. They particularly appreciate the excellent visibility.’ Although Biffa has been running Econics for many years, its relationship with dealer Euro Commercials is still fairly new, but the experience so far has been very positive says Colin. ‘Our tender documents are professionally completed and submitted in good time, and their team are very pleasant to deal with. ‘As the prime contractor, Euro Commercials liaises with our other suppliers and oversees the bodybuilding process. It also provides regular updates on our orders – the spreadsheets are both comprehensive and accurate, and backed up by weekly contact calls. If any issues do arise, they are always addressed very promptly.’

Hosted by

Future Fleet Awards 2020 22 January 2020 | Guildhall, London

The most innovative strategic, safety, and sustainability initiatives in the UK fleet management sector will be recognised at a lavish awards ceremony at LAPV’s Future Fleet Forum in January 2020. Hosted by the City of London, the Awards are supported by the City of New York, City of Montreal, CILT and the City of London Police. 2019 award categories included: Best fleet/road safety initiative Most innovative fleet management strategy Most sustainable fleet management department Young industry champion (under 30)



Life time achievement award City Mark Award: Transport Operator City Mark Award: Driver of the Year






Raise your company profile at the Future Fleet Awards 2020 The 2020 award categories will be announced shortly. Contact Ann Marie Knegt for further details or call +44 (0)1935 374 001

Vauxhall Combo It has been some two years since PSA, the parent company of Peugeot and Citroen, revealed that it was purchasing Vauxhall from General Motors. The impact on Vauxhall's light commercial range has been far-reaching, writes Steve Banner.


ake for example, the new Vauxhall Vivaro. In contrast with its predecessor, which was derived from Renault's Trafic, the new Vivaro uses the same platform as Peugeot's Expert and Citroen's Dispatch. Likewise, the new Vauxhall Combo is now based on Peugeot's Partner and Citroen's Berlingo. Like its stablemates, the Combo is being marketed with two different wheelbases, delivering two different overall lengths: L1 or L2. There is a single roof height, which affords a load volume of either 3.3m3 or 3.8m3 respectively, while gross payload capacities start at 667kg and go up to 1,050kg. Purchasers can choose from a 1.6-litre BlueHDi Euro 6.1 diesel producing either 75hp or 99hp, and a 1.5-litre BlueHDi Euro 6.2 diesel, which is good for 131hp. You get a five-speed manual gearbox with the former and can select either a six-speed manual or an eightspeed automatic box if you specify the latter. A 1.2-litre petrol engine is set to arrive later this year and the 1.6litre is likely to be replaced by equivalent versions of the 1.5-litre. As things stand, however, the 1.6-litre remains available and is likely to be the engine favoured by fleets in search of a no-nonsense workhorse.

The Combo's Maximum load length is 1,817mm. Maximum width is 1,550mm, narrowing to 1,229mm between the wheel boxes, while maximum height is 1,236mm.

36 LAPV Summer 2019

A cause for concern, however, is the absence of a Combo powered by alternative fuels. This is a particular disappointment given Vauxhall's extensive past experience in marketing light commercials driven by compressed natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas. The current line-up does not include a gas-powered Combo, nor are electric or hybrid models listed. This could be viewed as a worrying gap as far as local authority fleets are concerned, and one that seems unlikely to be rectified soon. The roll out of Clean Air Zones, LEZs and ULEZs, and the penalties that may be applied to private commercial vehicle operators that fail to comply with their requirements, mean that council fleets need to opt for low or preferably zero-emission vans wherever possible and practical − and set an example by doing so. Nissan's all-electric e-NV200 van (see road test in LAPV's Spring 2019 issue) and other electric light commercials, such as Renault's Kangoo ZE and Master ZE, clearly point the way. That said, today's diesel engines are far cleaner than their predecessors, and set to become even cleaner in the future as emissions legislation gets tougher. The Combo I tested − a Cargo Sportive L1 capable of handling a 668kg gross payload − had a 99hp, 1.6 diesel engine. Its maximum power bites at 3,750rpm and the top torque of 250Nm makes its presence felt at 1,750rpm. Maximum load length is 1,817mm. Maximum width is 1,550mm narrowing to 1,229mm between the wheel boxes, while maximum height is 1,236mm. Access to the cargo bay is by means of asymmetric rear doors and a sliding nearside door. There are six cargo tie-down points and a full-height steel bulkhead. Opt for the FlexCargo pack for an extra £510 and the bulkhead will feature an opening panel directly behind the three-seater cab's outboard passenger seat. This enables a load-through facility to be created once you have folded the seat, which allows the Combo to transport extra-long items such as lengths of timber. You can slide them into a receptacle that looks like a huge sock to stop them slithering around the cab. Doing so is a rather awkward exercise, and I suspect most drivers will eventually quietly remove the sock and dump it in the van's cargo area. FlexCargo also provides you with a middle seat with a back that can be folded down and transformed into a handy desk, which the driver can use to fill in paperwork. I cannot say that I am a huge fan of attempts to shoehorn three seats into a cab the size of the Combo's. Few passengers will want to perch on the middle seat given that it offers no legroom at all. And if there is a middle seat, where does the handbrake lever sit? Happily, it has not been positioned between the driver's seat and door. The lever has actually been done away with completely and the electric parking brake is switch-operated instead. Push the switch to release or apply the brake and you are rewarded by a faint whine from somewhere near the back axle. The parking brake will not release unless you keep your foot firmly on the brake pedal, a sensible safety precaution. Choose Sportive trim, which sits half-way between Edition and LE Nav trim, and you will be by no means short of equipment. The roll call includes air-conditioning, heated exterior mirrors, reversing sensors, cruise control, and metallic paint. Plenty of in-cab storage space can accommodate all the items that drivers need to carry around with them. The line-up included a fullwidth shelf above the windscreen, a deep glove box, various other shelves and compartments in the dashboard, and two bins in each of the front doors. My test van came with a £570 safety pack with lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Also fitted was an optional touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation for an extra £700. After only a few minutes behind the wheel, I was impressed. The

Vehicle test

ride and handling are both top-notch. Sensibly-weighted power steering makes it easy to manoeuvre the Combo into tight spaces, then tightens up nicely at speed, providing plenty of feedback with no sloppiness. The smoothness of the five-speed box's change made it easy for me to make brisk progress. With 100hp on tap in a relatively small van there is no lack of performance even with almost half a tonne of bagged gravel, a wheelbarrow, and a couple of shovels on board. However, the absence of a sixth gear limits the van's appeal as a motorway cruiser. Other drawbacks include too high a level of wind and road noise − more than is acceptable in a modern light commercial. Pedestrian detection cut in when an individual staring at his smartphone stepped straight out in front of me, ensuring that he did not get bumped. Lane departure warning works well too, using a gentle nudge on the steering wheel to prompt you to move back into lane on the motorway should you inadvertently wander out of it. As far as fuel economy is concerned, the official combined figure is 65.6mpg. I averaged closer to 60mpg with a load onboard and in grim weather, not as good as the quoted figure, but by no means bad. Start/stop helped to keep diesel usage and emissions down in urban traffic. CO2 emissions are stated at 111g/km. Service intervals are set at 12 months/16,000 miles and the Combo is protected by a three-year/60,000-mile warranty. A slightly longer service interval and a more generous warranty − up to 100,000 miles, say − would be welcome to help keep running costs down. The model I tested costs £17,705 plus VAT, excluding options.

The new and improved Combo cab offers plenty of space and is equipped with the latest safety features.

Verdict There are some drawbacks, but on balance Vauxhall's latest Combo looks like a sound choice for cost-conscious fleet operators. Models powered by alternative fuels need to be added to the line-up sooner rather than later though, given the tougher restrictions being imposed on emissions in urban areas.

Summer 2019 LAPV 37

refuse collection

Clean-line RCV design The new Norba N4 rear-loader from Geesinknorba is going into service all over the country this summer, offering fleet operators improved efficiency, a reduced environmental footprint, and an all-round more effective and easier-to-operate refuse collection vehicle. LAPV reports.

O Select Environmental's N4 is mounted on a Mercedes Antos rear-steer chassis for improved fuel economy.

ne of the first deliveries of the new Norba N4 was to Select Environmental Services, an independent waste management business based in Reading, Berkshire. The company needed a new vehicle to manage commercial waste and recycling collections in and around Reading, and the N4 fit the bill perfectly. Designed with busy urban collections in mind, this is a lighter, more manoeuvrable vehicle that combines an increased payload and improved weight distribution with lower fuel usage and an enhanced environmental profile. Select Environmental Services provides an efficient, recycling-led waste management service to commercial, healthcare, and educational sectors across the Thames Valley. The business already has several Geesinknorba GPM IVs and Norba N3s and its new 22m³ N4 body is mounted on a 26-tonne Mercedes Antos rear-steer chassis. Together, this combination will deliver better fuel economy and have a positive impact on the business’s carbon footprint. It also looks good.

38 LAPV Summer 2019

‘We like the clean-line design of the N4,’ says Select Environmental’s Managing Director Philip Stone. ‘It is both modern and user-friendly, and the N4 body really suits the Mercedes Antos chassis. For us, a refuse truck is a big investment. It needs to look right, and all the elements need to work well together. We already have another on order for delivery in September and hope to have three by the end of the year.’ An update on the N3, the N4 has undergone a comprehensive redesign process. It features the best aspects of both the N3 and Geesinknorba’s successful GPM IV body, and combines these with a number of engineering improvements − taking into account customer feedback and the current regulatory landscape − to deliver what Geesinknorba’s Head of Product Management Max Hartman describes as ‘one of the most effective and efficient RCVs ever produced’. The fuel efficiency of the N4 was critical to its purchase by Select and environmental considerations were high on the agenda throughout the development process. Geesinknorba has been working on sustainable solutions for the waste management sector since 2001, first with hybrid vehicles and then launching a fully electric RCV in 2017. However, as UK Business Director Mick Hill explains, the company recognises that not all its customers have the infrastructure in place to make the shift to electric. ‘Improved environmental performance is not just about alternative fuels, and we have worked hard to make sure that even our diesel vehicles are as fuel efficient as possible.’ Those modern, clean lines praised by Philip Stone of Select Environmental are not just about aesthetics. The body of the N4 is crafted from a single sheet of steel, which has the benefit of reducing weight without compromising durability or stability. Upgrades to the compaction mechanism, packer plate, and carriage plate have also resulted in weight reduction as well as improved function. The smart hydraulics system maximises the advantages of this lighter-weight design through reduced energy use and reduced heat generation, resulting in lower overall energy consumption. Several enhancements focus on the tailgate. The total weight of the tailgate and pressing mechanisms has been reduced and a compaction cycle of just 16-18 seconds is one of the fastest on the market. Together with the enlarged hopper, this makes possible a higher payload.

The new modular tailgate on the N4 can be used with any thirdparty bin lift as well as Geesinknorba lifts. It reduces vehicle downtime, and makes servicing easier.

However, the main change to the tailgate has been to make it modular, which offers fleet operators several advantages. All units are fitted with a standardised tailgate and lifters can be bolted on to these, offering both flexibility in the choice of bin lift and also faster maintenance and reduced downtime. If the lift is damaged, the entire lift can be replaced and the vehicle can be back on the road the next day. The type of lift can also be changed during the lifetime of the unit, and the use of standardised parts on the tailgate ensures easy availability for service. Any third-party bin lift can be bolted onto the N4’s tailgate. Or, like Select’s vehicle, it can be fitted with Geesinknorba’s L200 trade bin lift. This manually operated, single-bar lift has been redesigned to work with the modular design of the tailgate. Fully detachable for ease of repairs and maintenance, it is both safer and easier to use. The bin rim lock is now independent of the tipping angle of the lifting frame and is mechanical rather than pneumatically operated for improved safety and reliability. The L200 also has a minimum rear overhang to improve weight distribution, increase payload capacity, and improve manoeuvrability. Equal thought has gone into the processing of collections, as environmental responsibility goes beyond fuel efficiency, wellplanned routes, and emissions reduction. Mick comments: 'How waste is collected and what happens to it afterwards are issues of increasing importance. There is currently a shift towards seeing waste not as something to be disposed of, but as a potential, and potentially valuable, resource. And council collections are becoming increasingly segregated in an effort to improve recycling rates and reduce landfill. This shift has been designed into the N4, which gives operators the flexibility to adjust the compaction level depending on the load. Ten different compaction levels can accommodate multiple different waste streams.’ The other advantage of the new hydraulics system is that it is easy to migrate to the company’s Li-On and Li-On Power Pro electric technology. ‘Operators can opt for a fuel-efficient diesel now in the knowledge that it can be converted to full electric power when they are ready,’ says Mick. For those that already have the infrastructure in place, the N4 is available in hybrid and electric variants, both of which are fitted with a state-of-the-art light and compact lithium-ion battery for clean and

quiet operation. The electric version is ideal for short urban rounds, while the hybrid offers reduced emissions over a longer range. The higher initial investment on these models is offset by long-term savings. ‘Electric vehicles are cheaper to run and cheaper to maintain,’ says Mick. ‘But, if electric is not yet an option, fuel consumption in the N4 is optimised via our telematics system, while the Smart Pack fuel-saving system ensures the pump only needs the minimum amount of power to load and compact waste. And less fuel means a lower emissions profile.’ While the optimised smart hydraulics system is notable for delivering reduced energy use, Mick says that the modifications were also driven by a desire to make maintenance easier for customers. The layout and routing of pipes have been adjusted to ensure they are better protected, and fewer hoses, pipes, and couplers lessen the chance of leaks. ‘Aesthetically, the result is a cleaner looking unit, but from a maintenance perspective, the repositioning of hydraulic and electrical components makes them easier and safer to access and decreases service times.’ Meanwhile, changes in the ejection plate design have made it easier to clean inside the body, helping to prolong the life of the unit as a cleaner body means less chance of corrosion. ‘The Norba N4 represents best practice in RCV design,’ says Mick. ‘Everything about this vehicle was designed with the needs of the customer in mind. It is easier and more efficient to operate, easier, cheaper, and quicker to service, offers the ultimate flexibility in choice of bin lift, and is also our best-looking unit yet. ‘When we started on this redesign, we had four key goals in mind: to make the vehicle more effective, more environmentally-friendly, more user-friendly, and more cost effective. We feel we have achieved these and more. The N4 really is a smart investment, and the ability to convert to electric offers customers a future-proof solution for waste collection fleets that can help reduce emissions ahead of ever-more stringent targets.’ And this is not the end of the N4’s journey. Geesinknorba has further developments in the pipeline, including a narrow-track version, which will become available in 2020. Watch this space for more details.

Summer 2019 LAPV 39

weighing systems

Smart weighing solutions

Vehicle Weighing Solutions has launched a new smart data solution that gives fleet operators live remote access to transactional weight data. Operations Director Trevor Evans talks to LAPV about how technology can help customers improve the efficiency of their operations.


Trevor Evans is Operations Director at VWS. VWS has integrated the ANPR camera system into VWS Live.

WS Live is the latest development from VWS, a specialist provider of onboard weighing, axle-load protection, and binweighing solutions. As Operations Director Trevor Evans explains, it was developed to allow customers to access live transactional data, at multiple sites, from wherever they are in the world. ‘Our smart weighing equipment automatically sends the weight data, location, and RFID tag information to a web portal. Or, if customers prefer, the data can be sent to their own cloud-based system. VWS Live enables customers to gain visibility and control across multiple sites or locations at the same time, so it is suitable for both small companies and larger, more complex organisations.’ To date, VWS has integrated its smart data solution with the Apollo axle bridge and Enviroweigh bin-weighing systems. The plan is to roll it out across the full VWS product range, including underbody weighing systems and the VOPS2 (Vehicle Overload Protection

40 LAPV Summer 2019

System), within the next three months. ‘Until now, all the data for the Apollo axle bridge was fixed at the site of the bridge, with tickets issued each time a vehicle was weighed,’ explains Trevor. ‘However, with our new live solution, operators can access the information immediately from any location as long as they have access to the internet.’ VWS has also integrated the ANPR camera system into VWS Live so that vehicle registration plates are recorded at the same time as transactional data. As an additional security feature, a white list of pre-approved registration plates can be uploaded onto the system and each vehicle cross-checked against it. If a vehicle isn’t on the list, the barrier to the depot or site won’t open to allow access. VWS Live enables Enviroweigh bin-weighing customers to see immediately which bins are overweight during collections and take necessary action. They can also ringfence collection areas for load monitoring, and VWS provides a full diagnostic management service to those who subscribe to the enhanced Smart Service package. ‘VWS Live came about because we wanted to improve our weighing solutions to provide customers with the option to access real-time transactional data and offer an enhanced level of service,’ says Trevor. ‘Enviroweigh users who subscribe to our Smart Service can now have their bin-weighing equipment remotely monitored by a dedicated service team. We are immediately notified of any issues. In many cases, we can make a diagnosis, start taking corrective action, and update the customer to reduce vehicle downtime.’ The diagnostic feature of VWS Live is currently being rolled out across VWS’s complete product portfolio. ‘Ultimately we are working hard to develop smart weighing solutions that provide our customers with all the information and tools they need to operate their businesses more efficiently. We are committed to further developing these solutions to support our customers now and into the future,’ says Trevor.

weighing systems

Case studies: Grist Environmental – Enviroweigh with VWS Live Established in 1972, Wiltshire-based Grist Environmental is a family-run waste management business dedicated to caring for the environment. The company has a Zero to Landfill policy and operates its own materials recycling facility. The company first installed VWS Enviroweigh bin-weighing equipment to its RCVs more than four years ago. To date, six refuse trucks are fitted with VWS bin-weighing equipment and, over the next few years, the plan is to retrofit the system to the rest of the refuse vehicle fleet, currently consisting of ten vehicles. Grist recently adopted VWS’s new smart-data solution, which enables remote access to all transactional weight data via a web portal. Jonathan Taylor, Head of Projects at Grist Environmental, says: ‘It’s incredibly useful to have all the weighing data available, wherever you are, at the touch of a button. Each one of our refuse trucks fitted with bin weighing equipment is registered on the VWS Live portal. At any time, we can pick a vehicle and either see what’s happening at that moment or select a day and timeframe to check a particular bin or collection round.’ Jonathan adds that the system has been particularly useful for managing heavy bins. ‘Previously we could have two customers paying the same amount with bins of entirely different weights. In the name of fairness, we wanted to put a stop to that. Now we can inform and educate customers about what they throw away so they can choose to segregate heavy waste streams, such as food and glass. This means they don’t go overweight in the first place, which can be costly. We also get a cleaner, higher quality, non-contaminated recyclable product.’ The system plots the locations of the collection transactions on a map, together with icons for each bin. It indicates whether they are 1100-litre, 660-litre, or 240-litre capacity and to which customer they belong. It also means customers can be informed when the vehicle is arriving. ‘The beauty of it is that we have a separate tracking system

and onboard cameras so if a customer claims that their bin hasn’t been collected or wasn’t overweight, we can crossreference the data with video footage,’ says Jonathan. VWS Smart Service means that customers can have their equipment remotely monitored by VWS, which is then automatically aware of any equipment failures or issues without customers having to contact them. The portal also has an interface to facilitate conversations with customers. Over the past five years, Grist Environmental has provided valuable feedback to VWS regarding the development of its Enviroweigh bin-weighing system and customer portal. ‘We are really pleased with VWS, not just with their equipment and software, but the fact that they always listen to, and act on, our feedback. If there is an issue they respond quickly. For me, the aftersales support is as important as the vehicles or kit that we purchase, and VWS offers a high standard of both.’ Grist Events division has been growing steadily for the past 13 years and customers include Camp Bestival, Royal Henley Regatta (start zone), and the Great Dorset Steam Fair. Grist provides a comprehensive service including bin and refuse truck provision, crowd barriers, and litter pickers on site. The company also has plans underway to revolutionise the way waste is managed at large-scale events. Jonathan added: 'We are working with key figures in the event sector to write a guide to running these events sustainably from a waste perspective.'

Eastern Concrete – Apollo Fixed axle bridge solution with VWS Live The Apollo Fixed is a high-specification axle and gross vehicle weigher designed to be configured as either a static axle weighbridge or a dynamic low-speed, in-motion weighing system. The system can be used for check-weighing, vehicle weight limit enforcement, and overload protection for transport operators. With VWS Live, the system can deliver live weighing and loading data in real time. The cloud-based portal allows access to multi-site operations but can also be configured to restrict access to users by permission level or area of responsibility.

42 LAPV Summer 2019

The UK’s leading specialist fleet provider


It’s in our DNA Over 40 years experience in managing and operating specialist vehicle fleets. A team of experts managing 5000+ vehicles across our national network of 48 operational centres. Why trust your fleet and hire requirements to anyone else? Go Plant Fleet Services – our expertise your success

Operated Sweeper Hire

Short Term Hire

Fleet Management

Servicing & Maintenance

E: | T: 0333 321 4877 | W:

GP_210x297_Hands_v1.indd 1

30/05/2019 16:46


Specialist transmissions How do you choose the best transmission for municipal vehicles? Ashley Brooks from Allison Transmissions explains the pros and cons of fully-automatic versus automated manual transmissions and why whole-life costs, vehicle application, and ease of use should be the key considerations.

W Allison’s 3000 Series transmission has been specified for the first Volvo FL rigid chassis, powered by Volvo’s 276bhp D8K Euro VI engine, to be fitted with Archway Products’ new Roadmaster road repair machinery bodywork.

ith more choice in the market than ever before, choosing the right transmission for a specialist local authority vehicle might seem like a complex task. The traditional options of manual or fully automatic have been joined in recent years by automated manual transmissions (AMTs) and, with an eye on environmental performance, vehicles with hybrid and even fullyelectric powertrains are also joining fleets. The emergence of the AMT has been well publicised. Some operators have chosen AMTs in search of lower purchase cost and fuel savings, but Ashley Brooks, Allison Transmission’s Area Director for the UK and Ireland, explains that whole-life costs, suitability for the application, and ease of operation are all factors that need to be considered when selecting a transmission. For specialist vehicles, for example, a fully-automatic transmission is almost always a requirement. ‘A hefty torque output at low engine speeds is desirable to get a heavy truck moving from a standstill without undue hesitation – and equally desirable for decent acceleration,’ says Ashley. ‘However, this can also make the vehicle difficult to control and manoeuvre at low speeds and can increase maintenance costs because of high clutch

44 LAPV Summer 2019

wear from frequent standing starts in urban operations.’ AMTs shift like a conventional manual transmission and therefore require clutch repairs and replacements. However, Ashley says that by using a torque converter, a fully automatic transmission eliminates these causes of maintenance cost and vehicle downtime. Routine oil and filter changes are the only regular preventive maintenance required for heavy-duty torque-converter automatics such as those delivered by Allison. ‘One refuse company in Germany, Frankfurter Entsorgungs-und Service, closely monitored transmission performance on eight of its trucks as each clocked-up 14,000 hours of operation over seven years. These vehicles were subjected to the stop-and-go duty cycles typical of refuse applications. The company found Allison’s torque converter lock-up clutch showed only minimal wear, without the need for a single oil change.’ He adds that fully automatic transmissions need not be incompatible with fuel efficiency goals. ‘Allison’s Continuous Power Technology, for example, multiplies torque at launch, which can enable a vehicle to do the same job with a smaller, more economical engine.’ FuelSense 2.0, a technology based on Allison’s sophisticated electronic controls, further reduces fuel consumption. DynActive Shifting is integrated into the FuelSense 2.0 software. This uses an intelligent algorithm that monitors, learns from, and responds to vehicle behaviour. Shift-points are continually fine-tuned according to factors such as vehicle weight, road gradient, throttle use, and the frequency of stop-starts. ‘DynActive Shifting is also available as an aftermarket product. It makes fuel savings of up to 6% possible, worth more than £1,000 per truck per year for many municipal vehicle operators. The cost of retrofitting is paid back more quickly than many fleet operators expect.’ Reduced maintenance, servicing and fuel consumption costs will appeal to all truck operators, but it’s important to consider whether the engine-transmission combination will result in a truck that’s easy to operate and fully fit for the purpose. According to Ashley, this is where a transmission with a torque converter offers advantages in specialist CVs. ‘With Continuous Power Technology nearly doubling engine torque at launch and providing uninterrupted shifting, there is


ELECTRA COMMERCIAL VEHICLES Powered solely by electricity Supported by NRG Fleet Services Ltd - 01695 455 255

Ashley Brooks, Allison Transmission’s Area Director for the UK and Ireland.

Allison Transmission is introducing the new ABE Series, a line of fullyintegrated electric axles designed to fit double-decker buses, low-floor city buses, nonlow floor buses and articulated buses, replacing the vehicle’s traditional powertrain system.

smooth power transfer from the engine to the drive wheels and each gear shift is made automatically and at exactly the right time,’ he explains. ‘This enables the driver to precisely manage speed and efficiency and to focus on handling and manoeuvring the truck on narrow streets, around tight corners and in heavy traffic. ‘By contrast, manual transmissions and AMTs cannot benefit from engine torque multiplication and the starting torque must be limited to extend the life of the starting clutch. A fully automatic transmission with a torque converter therefore offers immediate benefits as well as providing financial savings over time.’ These considerations led UK kerbside collection business Romaquip to request that the Allison 2500 fully automatic transmission be made available with the four-cylinder PACCAR PX-5 engine in the 12-tonne DAF LF180 truck. Following an initial order of 160, Romaquip has continued to order this vehicle specification. According to John McKeown, Technical Director at Romaquip, an automated manual transmission was not suitable for the creeping speeds and multiple stop-start conditions that his vehicles face, but there was no Allison option available with a four-cylinder Euro VI engine. ‘The preferred transmission for the refuse and municipal sector is an Allison, because of its quality, reliability, and ability to protect the driveline,’ says John. ‘Along with Allison’s UK team, we were able to work with the DAF engineering team based in Leyland to secure the release of the ideal specification for our application.’ Beyond the improvements in conventional diesel powertrains, local authorities are also looking ahead to the next generation of hybrid and electric commercial vehicles. Demand for electrified CVs

46 LAPV Summer 2019

is coming from many quarters. Concerns over local air quality, CO2 emissions reduction targets, and environmental noise considerations are all important, while electric propulsion can also improve the operating environment for those driving and working with vehicles such as refuse trucks, by cutting noise and vibration. Some observers also believe that electric CVs will open the door to increased indoor operations and improve transport efficiency by shifting work to off-peak hours or night-time operations. Demand for these vehicles is being met not only by conversion companies such as Electra, which has re-powered vehicles running in the UK based on Mercedes-Benz Econic and Dennis Eagle Elite, low-entry chassis units, but also prominent European truck makers such as MAN (eTGM) and Volvo Trucks (FE Electric and FL Electric). Allison is already one of the world’s leading providers of hybrid systems for heavy-duty transit applications, having delivered more than 8,000 such transmissions worldwide. Ashley says that the company is now looking to the pure-electric commercial vehicle market, and recently expanded the reach of its electrification strategy. Through its acquisition of AxleTech’s electric vehicle systems division, Allison is now bringing to market the Axe Series, a fully integrated electric propulsion system for commercial trucks, and the Abe Series, which fulfills the same function for buses. ‘These systems are some of the most powerful truck e-axle systems in the world,’ says Ashley. ‘Axe is already being evaluated by Peterbilt in the US and Allison is working with Alexander Dennis Limited to use Abe to develop efficient, powerful electric buses.’ E-axles are only one of three available battery-electric propulsion solutions, however. In the direct drive solution, a large electric motor replaces the engine and transmission and drives the driveshaft back to a traditional axle. A third solution is a central drive system, which consists of a motor and small gearbox along with the battery and electronics, and is another area in which Allison is active. ‘As the market for electric CVs expands and conventional diesel powertrains become even more efficient, technology suppliers will continue to invest in new systems to support the OEMs and their customers,’ Ashley predicts. ‘For local authority operators, there will be benefits across the board in terms of cost savings, increased uptime, and better environmental performance.’

Pothole repair machines Allison’s 3000 Series transmission has been specified for the first Volvo FL rigid chassis, powered by Volvo’s 276bhp D8K Euro VI engine, to be fitted with Archway Products’ new Roadmaster road repair machinery bodywork. Roadmasters are widely used by local authorities in Ireland and the UK to repair potholes. Archway’s inventor and designer Liam McNamee says: ‘We selected Allison’s fully automatic transmission for its dependability, fuel efficiency, and ease of operation. The business of pothole repair takes you to some quite inaccessible work sites with steep gradients, soft verges, and narrow roads with sharp bends, all of which can present issues for HGV-based machines. HGVs are rarely required to stop and start under these conditions for days on end, but the Allison makes this tricky work easy.’ Archway has relied on Allison transmissions since selling its first production model in 2002. Liam adds: ‘With the Allison, operators are not straining their knees or legs by operating a manual clutch, there’s no clutch to burn out, and the transmission stands up well to the demands placed upon it.’


Smooth operators Equipment is only as good as its maintenance. Tony Edge from vehicle lift manufacturer Stertil Koni explains why the company offers tailored maintenance packages to keep its lifts running smoothly year after year.


tertil Koni is a manufacturer and supplier of heavy-duty vehicle lifting equipment used by a number of industries including bus and coach operators, local authorities, and fire and rescue services. Its range includes not only fixed-post lifts, wired and wireless mobile column lifts, but also specialised models such as the in-ground Diamond Lift, the scissor-mechanism platform Sky Lift, the two-post Freedom Lift with adjustable telescopic arms, and the environmentally-friendly Earthlift. While Stertil Koni’s lifts are manufactured to the highest standards and designed to give a lifetime of trouble-free service, General Manager Tony Edge says customers sometimes overlook the importance of regular maintenance, even though it is often a requirement of insurance cover. He explains that Stertil Koni provides a comprehensive maintenance package to every customer, which enables them to ensure their equipment is regularly inspected for both safety and reliability. ‘Every maintenance package is tailored to the requirements of the end user. We take into account the varying demands of individual garages and workshops, which enables us to design a multi-faceted programme to ensure consistent high performance from a customer’s lifts throughout a long and demanding working life.’ As any workshop manager, garage owner or health and safety manager will know, compliance with the ever-increasing amount of health and safety legislation can be a full-time job. With a service and maintenance package, all vehicle lifts on site are regularly inspected and properly maintained. Furthermore, as part of the package, all certificates are renewed annually in accordance with end user and safety legislation requirements. It is advised by the Health and Safety Executive, BS7980, and the Garage Equipment Association that a full service of a vehicle lift is carried out by a competent person every six months. Furthermore, PUWER Reg. 5 stipulates that the vehicle lift must undergo a full annual service by a competent person. As Tony explains, if a person is elevated inside a vehicle on a vehicle lift, LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998) requires the lift to be thoroughly examined every six months. Additionally, as people routinely work beneath a vehicle raised on a vehicle lift, a risk assessment of that work should conclude that six months between thorough examinations is appropriate. This period is usually specified by the competent person carrying out the examinations, and is the period recommended by BS 7980:2003+A 1:2012

‘It is important to note, however, that thorough examinations do not replace the need to service and maintain the lift, just as a vehicle passing its MOT does not replace the need for regular servicing.’ All vehicle lifts require regular routine maintenance to work at optimum levels and to prevent unforeseen breakdowns. ‘Using the expert knowledge we have gained over 50 years in this industry, we are able to deliver the best levels of maintenance to ensure safe, reliable, and efficient operation,’ says Tony He adds that there are many additional benefits of a Stertil Koni maintenance contract including a discount on spare parts, reduced labour and call-out charges, and priority breakdown response. ‘We are also Garage Equipment Association-accredited and our factorytrained engineers carry all essential spare parts in their vans, which helps us to achieve a 90% first-call fix rate. We can tailor our preventative maintenance contracts to each customers’ requirements, and our engineers can also carry out periodic LOLER checks.’ In addition, the company continues to invest in its maintenance programme. Recent system updates include the installation of a new powerful field service programme designed to improve the customer service process. A help desk facility is built into the programme, giving fast access to all relevant job and customer information on a single screen and allowing customer enquiries to be handled promptly and efficiently. This ensures engineers arrive on site as quickly as possible equipped with detailed information and a comprehensive range of parts. Stertil Koni’s fleet of service vehicles has been equipped with vehicle management information, which uses GPS to monitor the position, speed, and distance travelled of each vehicle. The company can then track any service vehicle in real time, as well as accessing historical journey information. Stertil Koni’s field engineers are also issued with tablets, which means they can instantly access all relevant forms, diagrams, and part numbers to deal quickly with customers’ problems on-site. Each engineer is fully trained in the installation, maintenance, and repair of the entire range of Stertil Koni and JA Becker vehicle lifts. ‘We have always recognised that our customers have specific individual needs,’ says Tony. ‘That also applies to maintenance requirements. That’s why we offer tailored aftersales maintenance contracts. We are not just concerned about selling the equipment; we also want to ensure that it has as long a working life as possible. At a time when products are becoming ever more disposable, we feel this makes us stand out.’

Stertil Koni is Garage Equipment Association accredited and its factory-trained engineers carry all essential spare parts in their vans.

Summer 2019 LAPV 47

How better safety reduces stress Improving anti-collision safety practices using technology can help to reduce work-related stress for plant and vehicle operators, writes Gary Escott, director of Site Zone Safety.

48 LAPV Summer 2019

LGN provides you with quarterly updates on everything local government, completely free. From policy news to changes in local government finance and analysis of political developments, LGN is vital for anyone who wants to stay abreast of local government news.

Sign up for a FREE LGN subscription by visiting

Want daily news on local government? Sign up for the LocalGov E-Newsletter

XXXXX LGN A4 Advert.indd 1

31/10/2018 16:32


e cannot deny that there’s a direct correlation between occupational health and safety at work. When considering high-risk industries like waste and recycling, for example, a real danger of physical injury is often present, along with the underlying worry it may happen. For all plant and vehicle operators on a busy site or in a depot, the daily traffic in a confined space presents a risk of collision with workers on foot all around them. There are vehicle blind spots, or atmospheric obstructions like dust or bad weather, and restricted vision around containers, skips and pallets, all of which contribute to workers’ stress levels. Whether you’re operating a machine or vehicle, or walking around them daily, the spectre of collision is always present. There is often a misconception that plant operators, being high up in big vehicles, have a visual advantage and know what’s going on all around them. Their focus, however, is on operating the machine and doing their job. Plant and vehicle operators have spoken to us candidly, revealing that one of their concerns is hitting a colleague that they can’t see behind a blind spot. It adds stress to their working day as they try to function safely. In tight workspaces, with a high level of vehicle and personnel activity, the pressure increases even further.

The open conversation about stress Stress at work has become one of the top reasons for absenteeism in the workplace across various industries. Certain sectors like waste and recycling still require continuous attention, initiatives, and practice revision to improve safety. According to the Health & Safety Executive, in the waste and recycling industry during 2018, 5,000 employees reported a workrelated health issue. 75% of that number was due to stress, depression or anxiety, or musculoskeletal injury. The rate of illness is statistically higher in the waste sector compared with other industries, even high-risk ones like construction, agriculture, or manufacturing. As we have seen, mental wellbeing is high on the occupational health list. Furthermore, the HSE’s relatively high injury and fatality figures suggest that spatial awareness is not always present when personnel are working in close proximity to vehicles and plant. Between 201718, the HSE waste and recycling industry statistics show that being struck by a moving vehicle accounted for 27% of fatal injuries alone, while 32% were caused by being struck by moving machinery.

Combating one risk at a time With the feedback that we received about fear of collisions, we realised that using an RFID proximity warning system (PWS) could make a real difference to a plant or vehicle operator’s working day. After using the PWS regularly, vehicle operators’ comments began to change for the better. They reported feeling more secure when using the PWS, which detected collision risks that their naked eye couldn’t see. The workers were clearly alerted whenever a risk of collision was imminent, and they felt that an extra pair of eyes was keeping them safe. The PWS is similar to blind spot technology for cars that assists with safe changing of lanes. The technology detects and informs the operator of the risk of oncoming vehicles from behind, which are obscured in the blind spot. This helps the motorist to avoid making a sudden and stressful emergency manoeuvre to avoid an oncoming vehicle. A study commissioned by Balfour Beatty Rail and undertaken by 2020 SHE Solutions in partnership with the University of Nottingham demonstrated how behaviours changed when using an RFID PWS on a working site. Vehicle operators were not as anxious and pedestrian personnel were actually more vigilant about their distance from vehicles.

50 LAPV Summer 2019

There are several usual suspects that tend to cause plant and vehicle operators anxiety on a regular basis, including vehicle blind spots on large plant vehicles. Commonplace on waste sites, plant vehicles tend to be sizeable with quite a few blind spots. Having spoken to plant operators, the blind spot is one of the most stressinducing aspects of operating a vehicle like an excavator, telehandler, tipping dumper, or roller. They never know when someone might stray into the machine’s blind spot while the vehicle is moving. Another common cause of anxiety for operators is moving and extendable machine parts. Certain plant vehicles, like excavators or telehandlers, have extendable machine parts. While a PWS can account for the body of a vehicle, the extendable ‘arms’ and buckets must also be considered, which is what inspired the development of BucketZone, for example. This generates a separate safety ‘bubble’ around the bucket, as the bucket can be moving even when the vehicle is still. The very fact that vehicles and people are sharing the same tight spaces is one of the main issues. On busy sites there will always be crossing points where people and vehicles have a higher likelihood of interacting. The HSE makes it very clear that where such points exist there must be robust measures in place to prevent incidents, including signage and signals. However, despite usual segregation measures, there are still accidents. Lorry drivers, forklift operators, and dumper operators are all examples of jobs where, while loading, off-loading, turning and reversing, visibility can be hampered.

Feedback and data capture inform better safety technology By listening to workers’ concerns, as employers and safety professionals we can help to make working lives better, safer, and happier. Positive feedback from our PWS users inspired us to create variations of the core system that carry out different proximity warning functions. These variations are the result of an understanding of those identified ‘holes’ in collision safety that had not yet been filled. Perhaps the most effective game changer, however, is the development of telematics data capture to use with the RFID proximity warning system. This saves all data from any collisionrelated near-misses to the cloud. Telematics capability helps managers to scrutinise data from all the recorded collision-related incidents between workers and vehicles on site, identify patterns, and develop preventative strategies. For us it was vital to develop a telematics facility so that continuous benchmarking and improvement could change the collision statistics across our most at-risk industries, like waste and recycling. How better to do it than provide the means to affect an entire fleet of vehicle operators at once? From telematic data capture, performance reports can be created to highlight key issues in specified zones or personnel safety breaches. The live data shows the location of the machine in question, identifies the associated vehicle operator’s RFID tag, and any other RFID tags active in the relevant safety zone. Site and health and safety managers can see how depots are performing, and if workers and fleet drivers are following the requisite safety practices. Safety benchmarking can then be rolled out consistently company-wide, and hopefully alleviate worker stress. We should remember that technology doesn’t have to make existing practices obsolete. Instead, it can enhance practices to virtually eliminate certain risks. Collaboration, knowledge, and data sharing should drive innovation to safeguard ordinary working people’s job environments. Every worker has the right to feel secure and safe while doing their jobs and to go home unharmed at the end of the day, without physical or mental injuries.



MYB Public Spend is a unique and easy to use online analysis tool that provides local authority professionals with intelligence to help you save money, reduce risk and deliver value to your community.

MYB Public Spend will enable you to: • Compare your council’s spending in context with other local authorities • Spot which suppliers bring risk and where to find the best available value • Collaborate with other authorities and share procurement experience and costs • Deliver better value and ensure your authority does the best for your community

For more information on how MYB Public Spend can make a difference to your local authority, visit our website or contact us today for a free demonstration. 01625 614 000

56791 Public Spend AD A4.indd 1

13/07/2018 16:24



The best visibility in class

Built to withstand the toughest conditions With a 10mm chassis frame, the Elite 6 is robust enough for the most demanding construction applications. Although it is designed for urban environments, our heritage in off-road conditions means it is suitable for rugged terrain.

The driver seating position is relatively low and the glass area is greater in volume than traditional cabs, providing a panoramic view. Additional visibility is achieved from minimised ‘A’ and ‘B’ posts, larger side windows behind the ‘B’ posts and large mirrors with unobscured views.

The power to deliver Powered by the Volvo D8K Euro 6 280bhp or 320bhp engine, the Elite 6 offers high torque at low speeds across a wide RPM spectrum. This facilitates a better power output and offers potential fuel savings – ideal for the stop/start nature of urban traffic.

Single step, low entry cab The Elite 6 chassis is the lowest entry cab on the market, at a mere 495mm from floor to step. It is also the only single step entry model. This offers a proactive solution to driver and crew health and safety issues.

Safe and ergonomic city driving


The Elite 6 is the only vehicle that offers a truly flat, unobstructed walkthrough cab. A more uncluttered, ergonomic design allows the driver to concentrate on situational awareness and to operate the vehicle in the most effective manner possible – prioritising focus on keeping vulnerable road users safe.

Dennis Eagle Ltd. Heathcote Industrial Estate, Warwick CV34 6TE  01926 458500   @Dennis_Eagle

Profile for Hemming Group

LAPV June 2019  

LAPV June 2019