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Local Authority Plant & Vehicles

June 2018

New N4: the essence of simplicity

A WEIGHT OFF YOUR MIND. Record individual bin weights with Terberg’s VDH Dynamic Integrated Weighing and RFID Solution. Designed to work seamlessly with all Terberg Bin Lift and Toploader equipment, the VDH9013 offers a one-stop shop solution for recording and delivering bin weight data. The dynamic design features do not affect the Bin Lift cycle in any way so there is no impact on collections.

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Inside this issue: 4


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

12 Future Fleet Forum workshops

Lively debate marked day two of Future Fleet Forum 2018, which featured a series of interactive workshops on everything from road safety and driver shortages to fleet consolidation and procurement in London and New York.


The lowdown on the Southern Municipal Exhibition and OWL Roadshow Midlands.

10 Clifford Comments

42 Company news

HL Smith Transmissions celebrates its appointment as an authorised direct rebuilder for Allison Transmission.

Phil Clifford advocates for recognition for fleet management practictioners.

Editor Ann-Marie Knegt T 01935 374001 E Commercial Manager Jason Pidgeon T 020 7973 4645 E Production Manager Sue Taylor T 020 7973 6604 E Production Tim Malone T 01935 374014 E


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Cover: Geesinknorba Local Authority Plant & Vehicles

The essence of simplicity


Dynamic purchasing systems

Safer, cleaner streets


Future fleet procurement

CNG Sweeper for Leeds


Driver training


Test drive: Mercedes Sprinter

Geesinknorba unveils its latest innovation in refuse collection: the clean, light, and efficient Norba N4 rear-loader. Dennis Eagle discusses strategies for improving air quality and road safety in London, and announces the launch of its new eCollect electric RCV. The first compressed natural gas truckmounted road sweeper has gone into service with Leeds City Council.

Who's who at OWL

OWL Cardiff brought together high-profile speakers and industry leaders from both the public and private sectors.

Phil Williams discussed the pros and cons of dynamic purchasing systems for fleet procurement. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for future fleet provision, so keep an open mind and test the market before ruling anything in or out. The importance of driver training cannot be overestimated, argues Mark Kennedy from 4K Driver Training. Steve Banner travels to The Netherlands for LAPV to test drive the updated Sprinter range from Mercedes-Benz.

June 2018

New N4: the essence of simplicity


A very clear message

Torbay Council succesfully communicates

June 2018 LAPV 3


COmment LAPV Future Fleet Forum 2019 After the outstanding success of Future Fleet Forum 2018, held in conjuction with the City of London, City of New York and CILT, preparations for next year's event are in full swing. I am delighted that all parties are once again onboard for 2019, and the conference and exhibition will be held on January 23-24 at London's Guildhall and the City of London's offices at Walbrook Wharf. Five main sponsors have already signed up and I would like to extend my thanks to NRG Fleet Services, Dennis Eagle and Terberg Matec, Geesinknorba, and Assetworks for their continuing support of Future Fleet Forum. Exhibitors are also rebooking and we have had to increase the number of tabletop stands for next year to keep up with demand. As I write this comment, we only have 13 left, so hurry up and book yours! With regards to speakers, the line up gets more impressive every year.

hydrogen sweeper delivered to aberdeen

The world’s first hydrogen dual fuel road sweeper has been delivered to Aberdeen City Council. Developed by Ulemco in collaboration with ACC, the vehicle will use hydrogen fuel for around a third of the energy required to drive and operate the vehicle, resulting in a projected reduction in CO2 emissions of around 30%. The sweeper has been adapted by retrofitting a standard Euro 6 DAF truck to run on both diesel and hydrogen using Ulemco technology. The vehicle can be refuelled at the Aberdeen City Hydrogen Energy Storage station, which makes hydrogen from renewable electricity. ‘The delivery of this vehicle is part of our Hydrogen Strategy to increase the deployment of hydrogen vehicles in Aberdeen City, and keeps us at the forefront of globally demonstrating the practicality and operational flexibility of hydrogen technologies, leading to future decarbonisation,‘ said councillor Philip Bell, Aberdeen City Council’s Hydrogen Spokesperson. Aberdeen claims to have Europe’s largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses. The project demonstrates the potential of hydrogen dual fuel as a way to reduce diesel emissions from commercial vehicles, added Ulemco's CEO Amanda Lyne. The work was delivered as part of project HyTIME, within the Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial, funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK.

4 LAPV June 2018

Speakers already confirmed include Richard Harris, Director Europe Ohmio and Director of ITS UK, David May, Head of Transport for the State of Iowa, Johan Steuffert, Fleet Manager for the City of Stockholm, and Mark Scoggins, Solicitor Advocate at Fisherscogginswaters, as well as representatives from the City of London, New York City, and CILT, who will bring delegates the latest in global best practice and solutions for public sector fleet management. There are also many other exciting changes on the horizon with regards to the Future Fleet Awards. For one, we have appointed Phil Clifford, former fleet manager for West Suffolk Councils, as a member of the judging panel. His expertise will be invaluable. There are other changes in the works as well, but more on that in the next issue of LAPV. In the meantime, this edition is crammed with launches and innovation with regards to alternative fuels and new initiatives. I do hope you enjoy it. If you have any comments or suggestions, please don't hesitate to get in touch: Ann-Marie Knegt, Editor LAPV

renewable diesel for NYC The City of New York will use renewable diesel in more than 1,000 city vehicles, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services announced in May. Renewable diesel is a low-emission, 99% petroleum-free fuel made almost exclusively from plant and animal fats. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions by over 60% compared with traditional diesel. The 1,000+ vehicles, including many sanitation trucks, will cover around 11.3 million miles and help the city to meet its 80% emissions reduction target by 2050 set by Mayor Bill de Blasio. The move means NYC will be one of the first fleets to use renewable diesel in the northeastern US. San Francisco already uses it for its municipal fleet. NYC already uses biodiesel, a blend of 5-20% organic fuel with regular diesel, and almost every city truck already runs on biodiesel. Solar and wind power is also used to power government buildings and vehicles. ‘NYC blends biodiesel in all fleet fuel and heating oil for municipal operations and has over 12 years of practical experience with biofuels,’ said Keith Kerman, DCAS deputy commissioner and NYC chief fleet officer. ‘Renewable diesel is an exciting next step, which holds the prospect of completely replacing regular diesel with no impact to operations.'

dvs star ratings released Transport for London has released its new Direct Vision Standard star ratings for Euro VI HGVs. Part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero road safety initiative, it will come into effect in 2019. Most unsafe HGVs will be banned from London’s streets in 2020. The DVS is designed to address the high number of fatalities involving HGVs. A proposed HGV Safety Standard Permit Scheme would require all HGVs over 12 tonnes to hold a safety permit to operate in London from 2020. Permits will be introduced in 2019, and vehicles with a zero-star rating will be banned from Greater London in 2020 if operators do not fulfil the requirements of a new Safe System. The threshold would be raised to three stars by 2024. The Safe System includes technology such as cameras, sensors, and audible warnings. Details of the final HSSP proposals will be contained in a further round of public and stakeholder consultation later in 2018. Details of the Safe System requirements will be consulted on and finalised before HSS permits are available in 2019.


CONTRACTS Barnet Council and the seven gluttons

A fleet of seven environmentally-friendly, mechanised street cleansing machines has been rolled out across town centres in Barnet. An additional machine will target hotspot areas in the borough. The bright orange Glutton machines from ePower Trucks are part of Barnet’s £600,000 investment in newgeneration equipment. With their low noise output and powerful dust-capture technology, the machines can be used in busy periods without causing noise or air pollution. They are also smaller and more compact than conventionally-fuelled vehicles. The battery-powered Glutton is an alternative to ride-on street cleaners and powered barrows. Its powerful vacuum sucks up any waste that can pass through its 12.5cm tube, including paper, cardboard, cans and glass, plastic and metal bottles, dog faeces, dead leaves, and waste trapped in tree grills. The battery provides 12 hours of operation between charges, and an intelligent, integrated charger enables recharging from any mains electricity supply. Councillor Dean Cohen, chairman of Barnet Council’s Environment Committee, said: ‘Our residents expect our streets to be cleansed and maintained to excellent standards and this new equipment will help us achieve this. The orange Glutton machines will make it quicker for our teams to clean large areas, with the street vacuums able to clear smaller pieces of litter much better. The machines are also electric, environmentally-friendly, and can operate quietly without causing noise pollution.’

Bedford improves transport efficiency with QRoutes

Urbaser rolls out new waste contract for North and East Hertfordshire

A new waste collection and street cleansing contract for North and East Hertfordshire has been rolled out by Urbaser. The contract includes the provision of a new fleet of vehicles including RCVs and specialist food waste vehicles, sweepers, cages tippers, box vans, and pavement sweepers. The joint seven-year contract between North Hertfordshire District Council and East Herts Council started in May and has the option for a seven-year extension. It covers refuse and recycling bin collection, weekly food waste collection, kerbside battery collection, opt-in garden waste collection, clinical and bulky waste, and street cleansing. The new vehicles will be fitted with the latest in-cab technology for a more streamlined service delivery, improved route efficiency, and the ability to respond quickly to issues reported by residents. Urbaser MD Javier Peiro said that the company plans to improve route efficiency going forward. ‘Although this may involve changing some people’s collection days later in the year, the frequency of collections will remain the same and residents will be given plenty of notice about any planned changes.’

Six electric mowers for Thanet DC

The latest route-planning software from QRoutes has transformed Bedford City Council’s school transport network and helped the council save more than £200,000 in transport costs. When policy changes meant that the school transport network had to be reorganised, the council used QRoutes to assess route efficiency and maximise vehicle usage. The cloud-based service plans transport for 3,000 school children as well as 1,700 special educational needs and social care users. The council operates a fleet of 50 in-house vehicles for vulnerable passenger transport and contracts out most school transport. ‘With council budget restrictions and policy changes we knew we had to review the council’s client transport network significantly,’ said Chris Pettifer, chief officer for transport at Bedford Borough Council. ‘We needed software that could support this process of the best routes and vehicle suitability in view of all the complexities of school, special-needs and social-care transport. QRoutes has been fantastic in providing an easy to use interface that not only re-plans our network in minutes but is also available as an affordable solution over the web.’ Bedford has been able to reduce the number of routes, removing eight large buses from the network due to improved vehicle utilisation. It helped the council exceed its target of a £150K reduction in transport costs in response to budget cuts with a total of £215K saved.

Six electric mowers will be used to maintain green spaces in Thanet District Council as the local authority becomes the first in the UK to replace its diesel mowers with electric versions. The council has purchased two commercial ride-on mowers, two walk-behind mowers, and two commercial stand-on mowers, all of which run on lithium-ion batteries for cleaner, quieter grounds maintenance. They will be used at Ramsgate Cemetery and Margate Crematorium. The investment is part of Thanet’s commitment to creating a clean and welcoming environment. The emissions-free mowers can perform a full day’s work with horsepower exceeding most commercial diesel mowers. They also reduce operating costs, with overnight charging at only 6p per hour. The new electric mowers also offer additional benefits including improved health and safety for staff thanks to lower reduced vibrations, less noise and background disruption, and easier and cheaper maintenance. Cllr Fairbrass, deputy leader of Thanet District Council, said: ‘Electric mowers are vastly preferable to diesel models because they generate no carbon monoxide emissions and are low noise. The mowers don’t just offer public health and environmental benefits, they also reduce risk to our staff. What’s more, they enjoy low running and maintenance costs which is part of the council’s ongoing efficiency drive.’

June 2018 LAPV 5


PRODUCTS Oxford Direct Services to save council £10.4m in four years Oxford City Council’s commercial arm Oxford Direct Services plans to deliver £10.4 million for council services in the next four years. The organisation has already returned £4.7m to the council in cost savings and returns from delivering commercial activities. The commitment is part of Oxford Direct’s plan to grow its commercial services business as well as delivering improved efficiency in the services it provides for the council. To deliver the £10.4 million in value to the council, Oxford Direct Services will expand its contracts with commercial businesses and organisations offerings services such as building services, highways and engineering, commercial waste, large goods vehicle and MOT testing, vehicle repairs, landscaping, grounds maintenance, and pest control. In addition, two wholly-owned local authority trading companies have been established. Oxford Direct Services Limited will primarily serve Oxford City Council, and Oxford Direct Services Trading Limited will carry out commercial work. Oxford CC remains the shareholding owner of the organisations and 700 frontline staff have transferred to the new businesses. Oxford Direct’s MD Simon Howick explained that little will change for residents. ‘The council remains our single, largest customer and we will continue to strive to improve our services and efficiencies. However, under the new structure, we will also be able to maximise the commercial opportunity by offering our expertise to a wider range of organisations – delivering even more revenue back to the council to spend on community services.'

Fuso eCanter electric trucks go into service with customers

Nine new Fuso eCanter all-electric light-duty trucks from Daimler have been handed over to three UK customers for the first time. Delivery firm DPD, logistics business Wincanton, and flour milling giant Hovis will run the vehicles on two-year unlimited mileage contracts. The companies will operate several Fuso eCanters for deliveries in and around London. DPD distributes around 4.8 million parcels per day across the world and operates 2,340 vehicles in its UK fleet. It will operate two FUSO eCanter trucks for the first two years, as will Hovis. Wincanton will add five trucks to its fleet of 3,600 vehicles. The eCanter has a GVW of 7.49 tons and a payload of up to 4.5 tons depending on body and use. Powered by six high-voltage lithium-ion batteries with 420 V and 13.8 kWh each, the electric drivetrain with a permanent-magnetmotor delivers 129 kW (180hp) via a single-gear transmission in the rear axle. A single charge allows effective operating ranges of over 100km. UK Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: ‘Emissions from heavy goods vehicles represent one of the biggest environmental challenges we face in the transport sector. Daimler’s development of vehicles that can operate with zero emissions in urban areas, reducing pollution and noise, represents an exciting prospect.’

Grundon improves night visibility with Banksman light

Electric street cleaning in Bristol An all-electric Alke ATX 200E utility truck from ePower Trucks is improving the productivity of street cleaning teams in Bristol. Bristol Waste’s fleet manager Iain Fortune said the company wanted an electric vehicle that was efficient to run and combined an excellent carrying capacity with a modern look and feel. The ATX 200E is a road-legal electric truck that is quiet, emissions-free and economical. Bristol Waste Company’s vehicle has a flat bed, providing a payload of 635kg. The powerful electric motor provides an additional towing capacity of 2,000kg. Independent MacPherson front suspension struts and a De-Dion rear axle help to ensure permanent wheel grip. ‘As a battery-powered vehicle it is very economical and a lot less noisy than the previous petrol-powered truck we had,’ said Iain. He added that it was the only suitable vehicle that could access the hard-toaccess subways leading to the city’s St James Barton Roundabout. ‘The compact dimensions of the Alke truck mean that our team can drive down the inclines, park up and use a power washer or clean off graffiti. It makes the whole process much quicker, making us even more responsive.’

Grundon’s vehicle fleet has updated its lighting system for improved night-time visibility. The integrated waste management and environmental solutions provider has so far fitted 130 of its trade-waste and front-end loaders with the Banksman light from Labcraft. Positioned on each side of the chassis, the Banksman light produces a bright carpet of light around the vehicle when reverse gear is engaged. Grundon’s regional operations manager Anthony Tattersall explained that the company’s fleet operates at around 100 locations a day, often in poor light or darkness, with vehicles reversing up to 70% of the time. ‘Our objective was to find a solution that would enable drivers to see as clearly as possible and thus reduce accident risk.’ The Banksman projects a white light at a 90-degree angle from the vehicle sides onto the surrounding area and illuminates up to 30 square metres. The high-intensity Cree LED lamp is waterproof, hard-wearing, and guaranteed for 10 years. ‘This degree of close-quarter vision produced by just two lights on each vehicle not only improves safety but will also reduce downtime and minimise repair costs going forward,’ said Anthony. ‘The system is easy and quick to retrofit, which again means minimum time off the road.’

6 LAPV June 2018


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21 june 2018, southern municipal exhibition, east malling research centre, kent The fifth Southern Municipal Exhibition on 21 June in Kent will showcase the latest vehicles and technology for fleets alongside a free-to-attend seminar programme supported by CIWM. Presentations planned for the event include a talk by Phil Clifford on a career in fleet management. Phil will challenge the industry to recognise fleet management as a profession, not just a job, and explore what can be done to raise the profile of fleet management practitioners to get them the recognition they deserve and to attract new entrants to the industry. See Phil’s comment on page 10 for his views on this issue. In another session, Paul Frith, chair of CIWM Midlands, will look at the evolution of municipal waste services. Paul will address key changes and trends in the delivery of collection, treatment, and disposal services today. He will also discuss austerity measures, including the new challenges around recyclate markets, the deposit return system, and the mooted recast of producer responsibility for packaging and national waste strategy. Exhibitors at the event include Groeneveld, Geesinknorba, Go Plant Fleet Services, Dennis Eagle, Terberg, ISS International, CMS Supatrak, C-trace, Boughton Engineering, VPG Onboard Weighing, Farid Hillend Engineering, Vehicle Weighing Solutions, Bunch Ashbury, Moba Mobile Automation, Scarab Sweepers, CP Davidson, Addex Group, Hako, Overton UK, Epic Media Group, Munihire, Stock Sweepers, RVS, Spillard Safety Systems, Vision Techniques, Sparshatts, Faun Zoeller, and LAPV. The event will once again be jointly hosted by Julian Glasspole of VWS and Kevin Murton of Epic Media Group. Kevin Murton said: ‘We are

delighted with how the show is growing year on year and we are looking forward to welcoming delegates from across the south to discuss new technologies and innovations in our sector. We would like to thank exhibitors for their continued support and we are looking forward to a great day.’ To book your free place at the event please visit www.municipal-expo. com/book-tickets/. For further information please call Claire Ashby on 01732 897431 or email

20 september 2018, optimised waste and logistics roadshow midlands, wroxall abbey in the waste, fleet, and logistics industry. Covering the whole of the UK, the 2018 roadshow programme started with Scotland in March before heading to Wales in April (see pages 30-31). The Midlands Roadshow takes place on 20 September before the event moves to the Northern Ireland Waste Expo in October. The roadshows are free to attend, but you must pre-register. CILT award CPD points for attendance. For more information and to register for the Midlands Roadshow and Northern Ireland Waste Expo go to:

What is OWL?

The OWL Roadshow returns to the Midlands in September to champion the hot topics for the waste, fleet, and logistics industries. The exhibition of suppliers and vehicle demonstrations offers delegates numerous networking opportunities, including expert speakers on a range of topics. These include Glen Davies from FORS, who will explain how, ten years since its introduction, FORS is changing. Another speaker, Andrew Drewary from Broadspire Insurance, will outline why it is imperative for all O Licence holders to proactively manage driver safety and compliance. Other speakers at the event will focus on technological developments, changes to vehicle design, cost reduction, compliance, and safety improvements. OWL Roadshows have been established as essential events for those

8 LAPV June 2018

The OWL (Optimised Waste and Logistics) partnership is leading the way in setting industry standards. Barry Sheerman MP, chairman of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) is chair of OWL, and all events are supported by recognised industry bodies such as CIWM, which chairs many of the events, and CILT, which awards delegates CPD points for attendance. The OWL partnership was developed to provide fully-integrated technology for the waste, transport, and logistics industries. The individual OWL partners are all specialists in their fields and already successfully supply stand-alone products. But by working in partnership with each other, and with professional organisations such as FORS, CILT and CIWM, OWL is leading the way in both the development of fullyintegrated solutions and driving up standards for safety and compliance. OWL is run by connected fleet specialists CMS Supatrak on behalf of the OWL partners. For more information about OWL and to find out more about the Midlands Roadshow and Northern Ireland Waste Expo see:

stertil final artwork.qxp_stertil 01/02/2018 12:09 Page 4





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clifford comments clifford comments

Stand up and be counted Phil Clifford may have retired from his role as fleet manager for West Suffolk councils, but his advocacy for the profession remains unchanged. In this latest comment, Phil urges transport managers to make their voices heard to ensure that fleet management receives the attention it deserves.


have written before about the lack of recognition for the professional fleet or transport manager – and, indeed, the current lack of understanding around what just what fleet management involves. I may well be preaching to the converted here, but as I see it, there are two distinct aspects to this problem that need addressing. The first and most obvious is the need for transport managers across the country to stand up and be counted. As the saying goes: if you want to be recognised as a professional, then you have to be professional. This is a simple statement, but what does it mean in practice? In my view, it means that we, as fleet and transport managers, must be more forceful when dealing with our organisations to ensure that our voices are heard at board or CEO level. It also means that we must ensure that our knowledge and training is always up to date. What is the best way of going about this? Well, the fact you are reading this publication is a good start. There are many bespoke resources for the individual to improve their skill set, ranging from magazines and periodicals such as LAPV to annual events, conferences, and seminars (such as Future Fleet Forum in January 2019) that not only share best practice but also offer attendees opportunities to network with their peers. Then there are formal education resources such as the excellent certificate and diploma courses provided by the Institute of Car Fleet Management ( There are other well-established organisations that can provide structured training in various fleet-related disciplines such as the Freight Transport Association, the Institute of Road Transport Engineers, the Institute of the Motor Industry, and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport to name but a few. Spend a bit of time on Google and you will soon realise the wealth of resources and organisations that are out there. However, while being competent and knowledgeable is essential, on its own it is not enough. Take a health and safety manager of a large organisation, for example. This is a respected position and one that will have direct access to the management team. How many fleet managers, I wonder, enjoy the same respect and have their voices heard by the CEO? Although the situation is slowly improving, many organisations do not appreciate the importance of correct fleet management. Often an organisation’s vehicle fleet is its second or third largest asset in terms of financial investment, yet many still assume that fleet management is merely a clerical function. Large parts of the fleet operation are managed as part of the HR function, especially large car fleets where personal taxation issues are prevalent. Now it is not my intention to

10 LAPV June 2018

disparage HR professionals, as they have a vitally important role to play in this area. However, an HR department will seldom have the skill set to look beyond the management of the HMRC issues around running a car fleet. So how do we get the message across? I recommend that you start by asking your corporate management team to spend a few minutes watching some of the excellent videos that are available to highlight the importance of the corporate social responsibility aspects of fleet management. There is an excellent series of short videos entitled One Fateful Day, produced by Van Excellence (, which play out the scenario of a company van colliding with a 10-year-old child, resulting in a fatality. In a similar vein is the video titled Our Vehicles, Our Safety, Our responsibility: Improving Road Safety for Vulnerable Road Users, produced by the CILT ( News/CILT-Media). Both of these productions are hard-hitting and, although they portray fictitious events, they successfully bring home the personal and corporate consequences of such incidents and illustrate the importance of assigning the highest possible priority to vehicle safety and management. In a recent article, Paul Hollick, chairman of the Institute of Car Fleet Management, wrote: ‘If you don’t have someone dedicated to your fleet, God help you’. He is absolutely right, and I urge everyone in this profession to view and share the above videos. They are freely available, produced by the industry, for the industry, and their message is unequivocal – make fleet management a top priority or pay heavily for the consequences. The world revolves around supply and demand. If together we can create a demand for qualified fleet professionals, who knows, we might eventually see school leavers choosing fleet as a career. Phil Clifford is the former fleet manager for Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough councils, operating under the West Suffolk brand. He is a member of the juding panel for the Future Fleet Awards. 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 philip.clifford4@ or follow him on Twitter @thefleetman.

future fleet forum

Future fleets in focus

Lively debate marked day two of Future Fleet Forum 2018 as delegates relocated to the City of London Corporation offices for a programme of interactive workshops that covered everything from road safety and bus driver shortages to fleet consolidation and procurement in London and New York.


Anyone who does business in NYC, including taxi companies, has to put their drivers through an authorised driver training programme. © Shutterstock

mproving road safety in City of London and City of New York was the focus of the day's first workshop. Sheila Moules, behaviour change and campaigns officer for CoL, opened by explaining the unique challenges of ensuring the safety of road users in one of the most densely populated urban areas in the world – the Square Mile. Contrary to its popular appellation, however, the Square Mile is neither square nor a mile. City of London is 1.12 sqm and has a population of only 7,375 residents. However, half a million people commute into the Square Mile every day for work. It has its own police force, three police stations, and a fire station, but only one road – the rest are streets or alleyways. And there are over 500 banks, including more US banks than Manhattan. ‘Employment in the city has risen by 100,000 in the last five years,’ said Sheila. ‘And it is only going to get busier when Crossrail opens.’ Most commuters travel in by train. Crossrail will see 70 trains arriving every hour by 2019, each holding around 1,200 people. The majority of commuters walk or cycle the last mile to work so the greatest road safety concern is vulnerable road users. More than 25% of road users are cyclists at any time of day, and most collisions – on average 450 per year – involve cyclists and pedestrians. There was only one road death in the City of London last year. The City has a number of initiatives for road danger reduction. ‘This used to be known as road safety, but now we are tackling the danger at source,’ said Sheila. ‘We are not trying to target the half a million commuters. Instead, we are putting the onus on businesses to push best practice down to their staff.’ A central strategy is targeting construction sites, as construction is a continual feature of City life. The City Mark scheme was launched as part of CoL’s Vision Zero initiative and encourages compliance with FORS and CLOCS and the management of work-related road risk

12 LAPV June 2018

and safety. ‘It is about rewarding compliance throughout the supply chain,’ said Sheila. ‘We are making sure people are doing what they say they are doing. And we offer workshops and free training to bring operators up to speed with FORS and CLOCS.’ Phase one of the scheme involved meeting with every live construction site in City of London and asking for FORS compliance. ‘We checked right the way through the supply chain and we had 100% support from every site. For phase two we conducted interviews and asked about driver training and vehicle safety. Around 25% of operators are FORS-compliant all the way down the supply chain, and we hope this is will go up next year.’ Compliant sites are rewarded with a road safety sign to display alongside their health and safety sign. ‘We also introduced five new categories to our Considerate Contractors Scheme Gold Awards to reward contractors.’ These are Client/Principal Contractor Award; Construction Logistics Planning Award; Traffic Marshal/Team of the Year Award; Transport Operator of the Year Award; and Driver of the Year Award. ‘Detailed checks are carried out to make sure we are awarding the right winners,’ said Sheila.

Safer roads in NYC Eric Richardson, deputy chief fleet officer for NYC, opened the second half of the workshop with an emotional video showing the consequences for five families of losing a loved one in an RTC. ‘These were all avoidable deaths and we show this video to city drivers as part of their training. It highlights why we do what we do in NYC. This is our message: drive like your family lives here.’ Eric explained that Mayor Bill de Blasio implemented Vision Zero virtually as soon as he was elected. From 2005 to 2013, 2,566 people died in RTCs in NYC. ‘Each one was an avoidable tragedy.’

future fleet forum

Future Fleet Forum workshop speakers, from left to right: Sheila Moules, behaviour change and campaigns officer for City of London. Vince Dignam, business improvement and performance manager for the City of London. Arend Mouton, fleet manager for City of London Police.

The VZ action plan outlines the mayor’s agenda to reduce deaths and injuries and a VZ task force has been set up. ‘We started with 67 initiatives and we add to these every year. We also ask the public to report anyone driving unsafely in a city vehicle. Collisions are not accidents; they can be prevented. In the last four years, we have trained 42,000 city drivers in defensive driving.’ The city drew up the Safe Fleet Transition Plan, which looks at all vehicles and determines how to make them safer. ‘We now mandate certain features that all vehicles must have, such as emergency headlights and rear and sideguards. We also have optional features on our list of possible future technologies – if we can get vehicles with them, we do. We are very serious about this plan. We believe the fleet world needs to be safer.’ Telematics have also been brought into the city fleet and things like speeding, hard braking, seat-belt use, and other potentially dangerous behaviours are tracked on a real-time basis. This data is sent to colleges that plot it against maps and highlight dangerous intersections so these can be addressed. ‘A hands-free device ban is in effect in the city fleet and we are working with the state to revise how they view hands-free driving. We also have a 25mph speed limit and remind all our drivers to buckle up. Drivers of larger vehicles need constant reminding, and there is a correlation between seat belt use and other unsafe behaviours.’ The result of all these efforts was a drop in fatalities of 32% between 2016 and 2017. 2017 was the safest year on record. A delegate asked how NYC deals with taxis and Eric said there has been an increase in enforcement, especially at airports. ‘But we also take the opposite approach. The drivers work for companies and the companies put pressure on the drivers, so, for example, we hold safe driving awards and try to get the company owners involved.’ In addition, anyone who does any business in the city has to put their drivers through an authorised driving training programme. And every driver of a city vehicle has to go through training. ‘86% of our non-emergency drivers have been through this training and most do it every three years. We are also introducing VR training this year.’

Driver and mechanic shortage workshop How to champion the bus industry and attract new talent was the focus of the day’s second workshop, led by Austin Birks, Bus and Coach Forum chair and CILT Transport and Logistics Safety Forum vice chair, and Eric Richardson, deputy fleet manager for NYC. There is a shortage of bus drivers in the UK and numerous barriers to entry, including low pay and an unfavourable view of the profession, said Austin Birk. To prepare for the workshop, Austin applied for bus driver jobs. One application involved a ten-minute interview and a medical. Another involved a face-to-face interview,

assessment day, numeracy and literacy tests, and a medical. ‘The medical process has changed since I became a bus driver – that’s the impact of the tragedies in Bath and Glasgow. Now, if police stop a bus driver, they need to have a copy of their prescription with them, and there are about 45 prescription drugs you can’t drive on. The standards are higher, but it is still a barrier to entry.’ This is only one of a number of hoops prospective bus drivers have to jump through in 2018. CILT carried out a bus driver survey in 2016 looking into the reasons for the driver shortage. Issues identified include unsociable hours, poor wages – ‘is the job worth a bit more than £8-£12 an hour?’ – and poor facilities. Then there’s the investment required, including the Certificate of Professional Competence, which costs £500, and the cost of the licence – ‘who pays for this?’ It is also becoming harder to recruit European drivers since Brexit. ‘They are not as keen to come to the UK and this will probably be a long-term barrier.’ These issues are contributing to a growing recruitment crisis. There is a shortage of around 56,000 drivers in LGVs in the UK and rising. ‘We have a duty of care to change the way we think about getting people into these roles otherwise the nation will grind to a halt.’ It was clear that this is a concern for many of the delegates, who expressed various views about why a bus driver is no longer an attractive job. There was a palpable sense of nostalgia about a career as a professional driver. Austin talked of his pride when he received his bus driver’s badge; that sense of pride is now lacking. Wages are an issue. Eric Richardson said that in NYC a driver’s base pay is more than double the minimum wage. The highest paid bus drivers in the world are in Dublin because of the unions. But the UK continues to pay a low hourly rate, and the Government’s push for tertiary education means people don’t want to do perceived menial jobs. ‘The education system is out of step with businesses,’ said a delegate. ‘What about career progression?’ asked another. ‘There is nothing out there to encourage this,’ replied Austin. ‘What are we doing to attract young people from the ages of 11 upwards? How does our education system engage with industry?’ A recent survey of bus passengers revealed that the vast majority of operators scored very highly for customer service. ‘This compares favourably with retail and leisure, but no one knows because we don’t tell them. We need a lobbying organisation to take this information to the public. We need someone to champion buses.’ But what does ‘championing the industry’ look like? There are many aspects to it, said Austin, and efforts need to focus on both customer retention and attracting new customers. It’s about new initiatives, new thinking, and giving control to customers. ‘Bus travel could be more attractive. We need to change negative perceptions.

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future fleet forum

There are innovative bus companies out there that engage with passengers and communities. The best schemes are where local authorities work with bus companies and have a long-term vision.’ There is technology available that can tell customers when a bus is coming and let them plan routes. ‘With smartphones we can give control to customers. They can check bus times and buy a ticket in seconds. Then there’s business intelligence. What do we know about our customers? Business intelligence can make the whole process of bus travel more attractive, for example, by offering deals on local attractions and coffee shops. ‘We need new thinking,’ Austin said. ‘It is 32 years since deregulation and in all those years the process of controlling the bus industry has not changed. We need cooperation not competition. All these years we have competed against each other and not against the competition – cars and congestion.’ Much more needs to be done to attract new talent. The industry needs to target students and graduates by attending careers fairs and engaging with the agencies trying to get people to work. ‘We have to compete with the car industry, with digital tech, with startups. We need to make the industry attractive against this competition. Positive PR attracts people. We need to sell this industry more.’

The New York City approach

Half a million people commute into the City of London every day and the majority walk or cycle the last mile to work. © Shutterstock

Deputy fleet manager Eric Richardson highlighted the contrasting approach taken by NYC when he outlined the city’s strategies to promote the industry and a career working for the city. ‘We treat the industry the same as we would treat law or accounting,’ he told delegates. ‘We go to colleges and careers fairs and we promote the idea of working for the city. We talk about initiatives such as Vision Zero and we offer opportunities at all levels. We participate in the community and take trucks to kids’ events. We support high school programmes and provide electric vehicles and solar car ports to schools that offer private education programmes.’ NYC also runs an automotive internship programme that sees high school students work alongside mechanics and learn the skills of the trade. The scheme is paid for by the Department of Education in partnership with NYC’s fleet agencies. It creates pathways to employment and 743 staff have been hired through this programme in the last four years. Eric also outlined NYC’s strategies for staff retention. ‘We do this

in a number of different ways. For example, we spotlight outstanding efforts and we respond quickly to any issues raised by employees.’

Fleet consolidation and interoperability 'Corporate transport in City of London is very diverse,' said Vince Dignam, business improvement and performance manager for the City of London. The fleet, which even includes the Lord Mayor’s coach and lawnmower, must service everything from schools to the Barbican, Epping Forest, and Hampstead Heath. A key area of collaboration is with the City of London Police and this started back in 2007, when both the police and the corporation were reviewing their workshops and came together to consolidate and outsource their service requirements. For City of London Police, this is only a small part of its collaborative procurement process. Arend Mouton, fleet manager for City of London Police, said the city’s police fleet might only have 100 vehicles, but it has to ensure the safety of half a million people every day and covers a million miles a year. The force is also the national lead for economic crime. City of London Police is a member of the Association of Police Fleet Managers, which started in 1967. It now has 43 police forces in the UK as members with a fleet of 43,000 vehicles covering 700 million miles a year. It is a £300 million annual operation. ‘The aim of the association is to network and collaborate on common issues. We aggregate our volumes and standardise our specs and this has made us a lot stronger,’ said Arend. He explained that the association is broken down into regions and every district has a representative, a chairman, committees and technical forums, and carries out benchmarking and strategic development. It also holds an annual four-day emergency service exhibition that pulls everyone in the industry together with suppliers and manufacturers. ‘We collaborate to ensure the safety of our drivers and the public,’ said Arend. ‘Our drivers go out to protect life and property and we must ensure that we give them the safest, most reliable, sustainable and cost-effective vehicles. The aim is to ensure the best strategy for vehicle acquisition. It’s not just about cars – we have to consider all the equipment and technology that goes into vehicles, such as radars and cameras, computers, parts, tyres, telematics, and fuel cards.’ Arend explained that the Collaborative Law Enforcement Procurement programme focuses on seven strands of assets in the public sector, including fleet, IT, and uniforms. ‘The way fleet has

14 LAPV June 2018



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future fleet forum

Future Fleet Forum workshop speakers, from left to right: Keith Kerman, chief fleet officer for New York City. Eric Richardson, deputy fleet officer for New York City. Austin Birks, Bus and Coach Forum chair and CILT Transport and Logistics Safety Forum vice chair.

collaborated is way beyond any other category. And we have pulled together because we know it is in our best interests.’ Two major vehicle buying groups have formed, representing the largest collaborative police vehicle buying groups. They achieved £13m of savings over two years purchasing 6,000 vehicles. This provoked debate among the delegates to close out Arend’s session. Some were concerned that such buying power might lock out innovation while others commented that the emergency services are often resistant to collaboation because they want to keep existing relationships with suppliers. 'This is true,' said Arend, but he added that collaboration in this way is essential when organisations are facing budget restraints yet are still expected to deliver the same service. ‘We are buying better and that means consolidating, collaborating, and aggregating. If everyone moves forward together, success takes care of itself.’

NYC fleet consolidation 'Fleet consolidation in NYC saved the city over US $365 million,' said NYC Chief Fleet Officer Keith Kerman. ‘The police department, NYPD, is a big partner for us. With over 9,600 listed vehicles, they are a huge supporter of innovation and a major player in our shared servicing and consolidation.’ But none of it was easy. Roles and locations changed for 280 staff with 90 moving to different agencies. It was a challenging transition. ‘We have some very powerful and important agencies, themselves as large as most City governments, each with their own entrenched cultures, so it is very hard to make certain types of changes.’ When Keith started in his role, there were 10 major agencies in fleet – 50 in total – and the extent of a centralised operation amounted to a database and some common buying. ‘When I was at NYC Parks, if you asked who managed the Parks fleet, I would have said we do. I wouldn’t have mentioned a central agency.’ Mayor Bloomberg wanted fleet run as one operation, so NYC embarked on the fleet consolidation programme. NYC Fleet was created by executive order and the intention was that there would be one common fleet with common procurement, common sourcing, and the agencies would service each other. ‘It was a case of: we have to break these silos and work together.’ 'But you can’t just be the grim reaper,' Keith pointed out. 'It’s no good just going in and closing garages, taking vehicles, and losing people. You can’t effect long-term strategic change just by top down mandates of cost cutting and closings that will be viewed negatively and resisted. So our strategy was that we would invest in core – police, fire, sanitation, mechanics, and new vehicles while dramatically restructuring and save in non-core such as facilities, parts, fuel, auction, claims, non-emergency cars, and leasing. As one

16 LAPV June 2018

result, while we have implemented countless cost savings and re-engineering projects, vehicle acquisitions have gone way up, especially for core trucks and emergency services.’ And all fleet managers have been brought together in a fleet federation. ‘We have a two-hour meeting every two weeks. Getting everyone in a room together is absolutely critical. Different agencies often want to do completely different things. Getting them together and having them work each other in person is essential.’ A consolidation programme like this did have to involve some closures. ‘We closed ten garages and transferred two others between agencies. These types of things are never popular. The unions had concerns about consolidation and they don’t like closing facilities. But we cut back on facilities and invested in hires. No one lost their job.’ For servicing, parts, and fuel, the aim was to give city vehicles access to the whole private marketplace. Even though most repair is in-house, City vehicles now have a contract way to use any private repair shop if needed. These are inspected by city mechanics. The same is true for fuel. We have access to all private fuel stations and the city itself also runs 420 fuel sites are part of its resilience infrastructure – the importance of which was hammered home by Hurricane Sandy. Then there’s parts – ‘one of the more contentious, and I think most successful, of our initiatives,’ admits Keith. ‘We still have US$48m in on-hand parts, and that is post our initiative. The fact is, municipals often don’t do inventory well. A recent audit asserted that 28% of the parts inventory wasn’t used. Currently, we have $10 million in inventory that hasn’t been used in two years. You have to have a different model. Now, at 15 of our locations, though not yet all, we have a company that controls our inventory, takes all the risks, and we only pay for what we use.’ A similar attitude to car sharing means NYC uses both private Zip Cars and Local Motion technology to share city vehicles, including EVs. ‘What's more sustainable than an electric vehicle operated through car share and powered by solar? It works, it is viable, but it is a culture change. ‘I believe fleet is the industry that will make the transition for transport,’ said Keith in closing. ‘Most of us still own cars we don’t use most of the time. Fleet could be the answer for public transport in many ways. After all, it is potentially quicker to bring sustainability to fleets than switch-over the private cars of 260 million Americans. The technology is very promising and it works, but it has only just started. And it is all predicated on the ability of fleet to share its assets and use them in more creative ways.’ So that’s the challenge to fleet managers globally in 2018. Can this be the industry that makes meaningful progress on sustainability? The Future Fleet Partnership is all about sharing best practice on a global level. If you want to join, get in touch:

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The essence of simplicity Geesinknorba’s new Norba N4 rear-loader is an exercise in simplicity, says UK business director Mick Hill. Cleaner, lighter and more efficient, the N4 is designed for the refuse collection industry of the future.

G Available in electric and hybrid options, the N4 is strong, lean, and manoeuvrable to enable it to collect recyclable materials from congested urban spaces.

eesinknorba is a company that prides itself on innovation. In recent years, it has launched a narrow-track vehicle in collaboration with DAF and NRG, followed by the world’s first fully-electric refuse collection vehicle. Now it is the turn of the Norba N4 RCV. Available in fully-electric and hybrid options – the N4 rear-loading vehicle Geesinknorba demonstrated at APSE in May ran on hydrogen fuel – this is a vehicle designed to play a key role in the clean, efficient world of the future. The N4 is a major update of its N3 predecessor and shows how rapidly the industry has evolved in the last 15 years. While the N3 was a robust workhorse designed to collect waste for disposal, the N4 is strong, lean, and manoeuvrable, designed to collect valuable recyclable materials from congested urban spaces as quickly and efficiently as possible. Speed, efficiency, and simplicity were key aims in the development of the N4, and the new vehicle underwent a similar design process to its sister vehicle, the GPM IV. One of the design principles was the removal of any unnecessary weight. Components, materials, and construction have all been reassessed and improved to achieve greater efficiency.

18 LAPV June 2018

The body shell, for example, was improved and redesigned so that it is made from one-piece steel. It is now lighter and has better weight distribution without lowering its strength and durability. Electronic and hydraulic components have also been improved and moved closer to the elements they serve, which has helped to reduce weight. The reduced body weight and optimised weight distribution mean a corresponding reduction in energy and fuel usage. At the same time, the payload has been increased, producing more savings in time and efficiency for operators as well as further environmental benefits. Geesinknorba’s UK business director Mick Hill says: ‘Our designers and engineers have stayed true to Norba’s Scandinavian heritage. This vehicle has been designed with environmental responsibility at its heart, from whole lifecycle costs to operating costs and the shedding of any unnecessary materials. And it has all been achieved without compromising efficiency, strength, durability or safety.’

Fast packing cycle The Norba N4 rear-loader is available in 9m³ to 28m³ body sizes and it offers one of the fastest packing cycles on the market at between 16 and 18 seconds using the highly efficient slide-andsweep mechanism. However, the designers also looked at the needs of today’s waste collections and the materials operators are being asked to handle. They concluded that there is no such thing as a single type of waste. Therefore, to help handle a variety of different loads as efficiently as possible, they developed a control system that enables operators to select from 10 different compaction levels, depending on how much effort the load requires.

Support safer roads for all Challenging induStry, poliCy and juStiCe to eliminate lorry danger See Me Save Me is a not-for-profit campaign organisation working to reduce the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians. Successes include: n Changing policy and legislation at European, national and local level n Developing new national HGV standards as a CLOCS champion n Advancing best practice in operators, manufacturers and local authorities With increasing construction, development and associated vehicle movements and more walking and cycling much needs to be done to reduce the disproportionate risks HGVs pose to vulnerable road users. We invite corporate sponsorship for 2017 to support our work and help prevent needless death and injury on our roads. In memory of Eilidh Jake Cairns, 1978-2009 Contact Founder, Kate Cairns: | @seemesaveme


Like all Geesinknorba bodies, the N4 rear-loader can be fitted with third-party or Geesink bin lifts, and offers a choice of 10 compaction levels depending on the load.

20 LAPV June 2018

The N4’s performance is optimised by the telematics system that helps to perfect routes and fuel consumption. The Smart Pack fuelsaving system ensures the pump only needs the minimum amount of power from the engine to load and compact the waste. Like all Geesinknorba bodies, the vehicle can be fitted with thirdparty or Geesinknorba bin lifts. The standard interface provides the hydraulic and electrical connections and hopper structures can be supplied to bolt third-party equipment to the tailgate. Manual loading is also an option, in which case the operators can simply lower the drop-down rear flap. Geesinknorba has redesigned its L200 single bar lift. The L200 has a minimal rear overhang, which aids weight distribution in order to increase the payload capacity. The N4 can also be fitted with an L200 lift and a winch to empty skip containers of up to 10m³. The L200 lift is fully detachable, making maintenance and cleaning easier, and the straightforward design of the N4’s body, with a sealed tailgate to prevent leakage, ensures it is also easy to clean. Mick Hill adds that after noticing some irregularities and inconsistencies in the way operators look after their vehicles, the company developed a short training programme on preventative maintenance for the N4 to help operators improve its reliability and durability. ‘Of course, we are always available to maintain our customers’ RCV fleets – both Geesinknorba and other manufacturers’ machines – and offer customised service contracts.’ The simplicity of the N4 also makes it one of the easiest and safest vehicles to handle, with the control system easily accessible from the ground. 'The result is a robust and reliable vehicle,' says Mick. In the event that anything does go wrong, an optional modem enables Geesinknorba to offer remote service support wherever the vehicle is in the world. ‘From the end users’ point of view, the N4 is straightforward yet very versatile,’ says Mick. ‘With a bigger hopper, the drop-down flap for manual bag loading, the different levels of compaction to suit the load, and a full range of bin lifts available, it can handle a very wide variety of waste with remarkable efficiency. ‘In addition, our customers can expect operational savings, easy maintenance, great reliability, and the green credentials that all operators, both public and private sector, will increasingly need in the years ahead. It is so simple, and yet so effective.’

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Safer, cleaner streets

London is one of the most polluted and dangerous cities in Europe for road safety according to a new Greenpeace report. Richard Taylor from Dennis Eagle talks to LAPV about what can be done to tackle these issues and make the city’s streets safer and greener for everyone.


Dennis Eagle's brand new eCollect electric vehicle is set to go into production towards the end of 2019.

he Living. Moving. Breathing study from Greenpeace focused on sustainable transport in 13 European cities. Only Rome and Moscow were ranked below London in overall performance measured against five metrics, including road safety and air quality. The report was commissioned by Greenpeace as part of its Clean Air Now campaign and was released to coincide with EU Green Cities Week in May. It aims to highlight the correlation between improving sustainable mobility, air quality, and road safety. Five categories were selected – including road safety and air quality – to gain a comprehensive insight into the positive effects of good urban transport planning and the potential negative consequences when transport is not given adequate consideration. The report was produced by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, a German research institution that explores and develops models, strategies, and instruments to support sustainable development at local, national, and international levels. The report is designed to provide cities with a guide to measure their performance and benchmark their progress against their counterparts. It focused on 13 European cities: Berlin, London, Vienna, Brussels, Moscow, Rome, Zurich, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, Budapest, and Madrid. London came third last overall. Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Oslo took the three top spots overall. London ranked second last in terms of road safety while performing marginally better in the air quality category at joint eighth alongside Budapest, Berlin, and Rome. ‘While the report’s findings clearly highlight the need for significant improvements across the capital in relation to these issues, these are areas that have been brought into sharp focus over recent years,’

22 LAPV June 2018

points out Richard Taylor, sales and marketing director at Dennis Eagle. He adds that a lot of work has already been carried out to help drive positive change. ‘These efforts have brought together manufacturers and transport operators, industry bodies, government and public figures such as London Mayor Sadiq Khan, for collaboration on joint projects.’ Richard highlights as one such initiative the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) programme, which is focused on improving safety for cyclists and other vulnerable road users. ‘This is a leading example and has played a pivotal role in sparking further initiatives designed to help make the capital a safer environment for all those travelling within it – whether by foot, on a bike, or in a motor vehicle.’ While he admits that it may be some years before the impact of such initiatives are fully realised, ‘they certainly represent a step in the right direction’.

The Direct Vision standard Then there’s the new Direct Vision Standard, the details of which have just been announced. In relation to road safety, the Greenpeace report ranked the cities it focuses on based on fatalities of pedestrians and cyclists. Statistics for London show 251 accidents per 10,000 bike trips, compared to 113 in Paris and just 14 in Madrid. In addition, although heavy goods vehicles make up less than 4% of the road miles driven in London, they were involved in around 78% of cyclist fatalities and 20% of pedestrian fatalities in 2015. According to Transport for London, the number of fatalities on the capital’s roads fell to their lowest ever level in 2016, but the organisation recognises that it must not be complacent and that


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The Elite 6 wide and narrow cabs rank first and second overall according to the DVS scoring system. They come with a number of additional mandatory safety features as standard, including sideguards.

further work is required to reduce road danger. Its Vision Zero ambition aims to create a road network free from death and serious injury by 2041 and, as part of this, London Mayor Sadiq Khan launched the world’s first Direct Vision Standard for HGVs in September 2016. Designed to enhance safety for all road users – particularly vulnerable users such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists – the DVS rates HGVs from zero stars to five stars. This is based on how much an HGV driver can see directly through their cab windows, as opposed to indirectly through cameras or mirrors. HGV blind spots have proven to be a major contributory factor in fatal collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians, so the DVS is intended to help address this. Richard explains that developing the standard involved an analysis of collision data as well as consideration of just how much of a person can, and needs, to be seen to avoid a collision. ‘Each HGV assessed has been given a rating based on how much a driver can see of the “area of the greatest risk” to vulnerable road users. This area is split into different zones, giving a higher weighting to the zones where collisions are most likely to occur because greater vision in this area increases the likelihood of drivers being able to see potential hazards and take evasive action to avoid a collision if required,’ says Richard. The DVS uses a defined technical measurement to calculate the total volume of the area of greatest risk that can be seen directly by the driver and, based on this, has awarded each vehicle a score. This score has subsequently been used to determine the star rating of vehicles. Five stars is the highest rating and means drivers can see more of the area deemed to represent greatest risk, resulting in better overall direct visibility. From 2020, any truck that does not meet the one-star rating will require operators to obtain a safety permit. This can be achieved by fulfilling the requirements of a new Safe System. ‘The introduction of the DVS has not been without controversy,’ Richard acknowledges. ‘The onus is now on vehicle operators to contact manufacturers to request a DVS rating for existing Euro VI vehicles or enquire about the rating of new ones. And some have voiced concerns that the initiative focuses solely on visibility from the cab, whereas they argue that research has shown that new technology would deliver far better results in terms of improving road safety standards.’ Richard adds that Dennis Eagle’s Elite 6 cabs have all attained five-star ratings. ‘Our Elite 6 wide and narrow variants rank first and second overall according to the DVS scoring system. They come with

24 LAPV June 2018

a number of additional mandatory safety features as standard, including sideguards, which are designed to mitigate the risk of cyclists or pedestrians being dragged underneath a vehicle in the event of a collision.’ The vehicles also feature Lane Departure Warning and Advanced Emergency Braking System technology, which monitors and regulates the trajectory and speed of a vehicle under certain conditions and stops vehicles straying across lanes unintentionally. ‘Our vehicles can also be fitted with a number of further safety features designed to improve safety for cyclists and other vulnerable road users, including blind spot mirrors, 360-degree camera systems, proximity sensors, and LED lighting. And, although work is still being carried out to rate older Euro V chassis in relation to DVS standards, we can reveal that our older Elite 2, Euro IV and V models also achieve five-star ratings, which means we can be confident about the vehicles we provide to our customers, and our customers can be confident operating their older, 2008-onward vehicles.’

Improving air quality The Greenpeace report found that London, Budapest, and Paris have some of the highest air pollution levels. According to Barbara Stoll, a Greenpeace Clean Air campaigner: ‘Safe roads and clean air go hand in hand. This study shows that when you improve a city’s public transport infrastructure in a sustainable way, people breathe cleaner air and their roads are safer.’ The UK government’s ‘Air quality: draft Clean Air Strategy 2018’ consultation is currently open for responses until 14 August 2018. ‘One of the main themes of the strategy document is the focus on reducing emissions from transport,’ explains Richard. ‘This is something we are actively seeking to address at Dennis Eagle, with our brand new eCollect electric vehicle, which is set to go into production towards the end of 2019.’ The eCollect EV is a fully-integrated product, incorporating a lowentry chassis, refuse compaction body, bin lift, and telematics system. It has specially-designed battery packs and control systems that incorporate next-generation 300kWh batteries and a 200kW electric motor driving a conventional axle. ‘This will initially be available in a 26-tonne 6x2 rear steer narrow configuration with left or right-hand drive options, and a 19m3 narrow body and automatic split bin lift,’ says Richard. ‘It also features our five-star DVS Elite 6 chassis. This vehicle is the result of many years of research and development and we are confident that it will offer our customers a more environmentally-friendly refuse collection vehicle that delivers affordable lifetime costs, while providing zeroemission waste collection and transportation. We hope it will lead the way to safer and greener refuse collection and construction transportation in London and other areas across the UK.’

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The first compressed natural gas truckmounted road sweeper to hit UK roads has gone into service with Leeds City Council on hire from Dawsongroup Sweepers.


The Johnston CNG truckmounted sweeper has an Iveco Natural Power engine type approved to Euro VI.

lternative fuels are one of the hottest talking points in the industry right now. Many commercial vehicle manufacturers are looking into how they can reduce emissions ready for the new clean air initiatives being brought in by the Government. However, many of the solutions are electrical, and batteries are not always a viable option for a larger vehicle as the size of the batteries can compromise the overall storage space. The solution might lie in compressed natural gas. The Johnston VS651 is one of the first truck-mounted sweepers to run on CNG. It has an Iveco Natural Power CNG engine, which has been type approved to Euro VI and was unveiled for the first time at RWM in September 2017, where it was formally handed over to Dawsongroup Sweepers before going into service in April 2018 with Leeds City Council. CNG is ranked as the cleanest form of fossil fuel for truckmounted vehicles based on its emissions – a compressed natural gas vehicle is around 30% cleaner than a Euro VI diesel vehicle. The lack of carbon in natural gas means that when it is burned it produces significantly less carbon dioxide compared with other fossilfuelled vehicles. It also produces 35% less NOx and 95% less particulate matter. The Johnston VS651 has a single compressed natural gas engine from Iveco’s Natural Power range providing the power for the chassis

26 LAPV June 2018

and the body. Iveco is the first manufacturer to create a full range of compressed natural gas HGV and LCV chassis, and the range includes daily-use vehicles and chassis for specialist body manufacturers. The CNG chassis has three gas tanks situated directly behind the cab for easy access and filling, and the vehicle is driven by a powerful hydrostatic pump. It can be operated for a full working day before requiring a refill. At CNG fuelling stations, the gas is compressed to between 3,000 and 3,600 psi and pumped into the three high-pressure reinforced cylinders mounted on the rear of the cab. The ignition temperature of CNG is double that of diesel, which makes these vehicles even safer than standard machines. The gas automatically dissipates in the air in case of a leak, eliminating the risk of water contamination and the need for clean up. In addition to the reduced emissions, CNG vehicles are also



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quieter. The average noise level of a CNG vehicle is around 5bd less than its diesel counterpart, giving the operator more flexibility around working hours. CNG vehicles have lower maintenance costs. As the gas burns more cleanly than diesel there is less wear and tear on the internal workings of the vehicle. The fuel for these machines also costs on average 40% less than a diesel engine.

Clean Air Leeds Clean Air Leeds is the new initiative brought in by Leeds City Council to reduce the number of high-emission, high-pollution vehicles entering the city. Over the years there has been an increase in harmful air pollution across the country and many cities now face the challenging task of reducing air pollution. The Leeds initiative includes the introduction of new taxes for certain types of vehicles in the city based on their emissions, as well as updating the council fleet to comply with the

target guideline limits on pollutants from motorised vehicles. The introduction of alternatively-fuelled vehicles will help Leeds City Council meet this goal to fit in with the national framework guidelines set up by the UK Government in a bid to improve overall health. Leeds City Council must ensure that all their vehicles comply with the new rules. The council fleet now includes a diverse range of alternate fuels – as well as a large number of Euro VI vehicles – and the council is still working on sourcing new and efficient vehicles. Leeds has had CNG vehicles in its fleet for some time, including many refuse collection vehicles, and it has proven to be a successful and reliable alternative to diesel. The council has been working with Dawsongroup Sweepers since 2004 and its hire fleet from Dawsongroup now exceeds 40 vehicles. So, with its previous positive experience of CNG in the RCV sphere and the new technology available from Dawsongroup, when Leeds began to renew its sweeper fleet it made sense to include the CNGpowered Johnston sweeper alongside a number of new Euro VI sweepers.

The Johnston VS651 was unveiled at RWM 2017 where it was formally handed over to Dawsongroup Sweepers.

The Road from RWM Before going into service with Leeds City Council, the VS651 CNG sweeper first went on tour with Dawsongroup to a number of waste management shows across the UK and Europe, finishing up at FM18 in Warwickshire in March 2018. Terry Pycroft, head of fleet services for Leeds City Council, gave a presentation at the event about the new machine and the benefits of alternative fuels for local authority fleets. Both the sweeper and the presentation generated a lot of interest. Dawsongroup now hopes to expand its range of alternativelypowered sweepers to help other councils and fleet operators across the country meet the requirements of the clean air targets being set by many local authorities.

28 LAPV June 2018

A compressed natural gas vehicle is around 30% cleaner than a Euro VI diesel vehicle.


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Sir Richard Noble handed out the best fleet and road safety initiative award to BIFFA.

Pat Brown, Faun Zoeller, Jason Pidgeon, LAPV, and one of the Faun RCVs on show at the OWL Cardiff event.

Royal Borough of Greenwich bagged the award for the most sustainable fleet management department.

Jason Airey, MD CMSupatrak, is one of the main organisers of the Optimised Waste and Logistics show.

OWL Cardiff: flying high

CMSupatrak's Sally Cumner is one of the main organisers of the OWL series of events, for which LAPV and Future Fleet Forum are media partners.

30 LAPV June 2018

Russell Markstein (left), NRG Fleet Services, was one of the speakers at OWL Cardiff; Kevin Merton (right) from Epic, took care of most of the vehicle graphics at the show.


In his presentation Driver Safety is your responsibility. How aware are you? Andrew Drewary from Broadspire touched on some hard-hitting issues.

Local authority fleet and transport managers from all over Wales attended the conference, which was supported by CIWM Wales.

The Optimised Waste and Logistics (OWL) show, held at the St Davids Hotel in Cardiff on April 12 2018, brought together high-profile speakers and industry leaders from both the public and private sectors. Among the topics up for discussion were driver and road safety, the future of FORS, the commercialision of services, e-learning, and electric RCVs.

Pat Brown, Faun Zoeller, and Andy Collett, RVS, catch up at OWL Cardiff, where both companies were exhibiting their latest products.

The team from Macpac's refuse bodies showed one of their vehicles at the OWL event.

June 2018 LAPV 31


Dynamic purchasing systems

Dynamic Purchasing Systems can offer more flexibility than framework agreements, but their advantages can sometimes work against them, as Phil Williams explains.


Above: © Shutterstock

ublic procurement may not be the most exciting of subjects, but one of the more dynamic areas – in name, at least – is the Dynamic Purchasing System. These have been around for some time, but it is only since the 2015 procurement regulations that they have been useful. As the market continues to react to the 2015 regulations, more and more dynamic purchasing systems are being launched all the time. A DPS is similar to a framework agreement but has some interesting and useful differences. First and foremost, unlike a framework agreement, a DPS is not closed to new suppliers for its duration. Neither is it limited to a maximum of four years. As a supplier, if you are unsuccessful in gaining a place on a highprofile framework, you are shut out for an extended period. With a DPS, however, if you missed the original advert or were unsuccessful with your initial application, you can reapply at any time. This means that there is less risk of a DPS becoming outdated, which can be a problem for framework agreements, particularly those with limited numbers of suppliers involved from the outset. A DPS creates a list of suppliers that can be split into categories (lots). Tenders can then be issued to all the suppliers within the DPS, or just certain categories. There is no option for direct award, which means that competition is continually encouraged. To participate in a DPS, suppliers must complete the Selection Questionnaire and self-certify that they meet or exceed any minimum criteria stated by the contracting authority (or central purchasing body) creating the DPS. Full tenders are not required when applying to a DPS and evidence of policies, certifications, and other such documentation should only be requested if a supplier

32 LAPV June 2018

goes on to be successful under a further competition. Think of a DPS as the two-stage ‘restricted procedure’. The application, or ‘request to participate’, is the first stage. The second represents the actual tender process. In a DPS, multiple tenders can be issued as necessary by the contracting authority and must be issued to all suppliers, or the relevant category, within the DPS. A DPS, therefore, can benefit both suppliers and contracting authorities by providing a flexible approach and reducing the resource burden. However, they are not without their issues. The regulations state that a DPS may be used for ‘commonly used purchases the characteristics of which, as generally available on the market, meet their requirements’. The Crown Commercial Service guidance expands on this, saying: ‘DPS will normally be suitable for largely off-the-shelf requirements, which can be closely specified in advance. One-off or heavily bespoke and/or highly complex requirements are unlikely to be suitable.’ In the context of fleet, a DPS could be suitable for a range of categories from vehicle purchase to basic/standard conversions. It is unlikely that a DPS would be suitable for more complex requirements, such as bespoke fleet outsourcing arrangements. A DPS must also be a completely electronic process, with all stages and communications handled via an appropriate online system. However, some activities associated with the process, such as evaluations, can be conducted in a traditional manner. Some of the benefits of DPS are not without the potential for issues. If a supplier passes the requirements of the Selection Questionnaire they must be admitted to the DPS. With no ability to restrict or cap the number of suppliers involved, it is possible for a

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DPS to grow to an unwieldy size. A DPS for vehicle conversions, for example, if not correctly structured with categories, could end up with hundreds of suppliers. This would make further competitions difficult to manage, as all suppliers have to be invited. The suppliers would face significant competition but ultimately see little benefit from their involvement. Therefore, it is essential that contracting authorities considering creating a DPS plan carefully from the outset, giving due consideration to its duration and categories. Similarly, before requesting to participate in a particular DPS, suppliers should review its structure and duration. A poorly thought out DPS might be relatively easy to gain access to but offer limited realistic opportunity. In summary, dynamic purchasing systems offer a number of benefits for all parties, especially for standard off-the-shelf requirements, and both suppliers and contracting authorities should be open-minded about this method of procurement

A note on revised thresholds January 2018 saw the bi-annual update to the value thresholds at which the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 apply. The relevant procurement policy note issued by Crown Commercial Service is PPN 04/17 issued on 22 December 2017. Thresholds for the next two years have increased slightly. For local authorities and other non-schedule 1 public bodies, the threshold for services and supplies is £181,302. The majority of fleet purchases will be categorised either as services or supplies, although for anything that classifies as works the threshold is £4,551,413. Remember, expenditure for same or similar requirements must be aggregated when considering if the contract(s) to be awarded are subject to the application of the regulations. In other words, splitting up the purchase of similar vehicles for the purpose of not having to comply with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 is not permitted.

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Future fleet procurement Local authorities should keep an open mind when considering their options for future fleet procurement, argues Paul Connor from Specialist Fleet Services.


Above: Caroline Roffey from Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council is handed the keys to the council's new fleet from SFS. Below: The new fleet and crew for Hinkley and Bosworth Borough Council.

here is no one-size-fits-all approach to future fleet provision according to Paul Connor, head of tenders and procurement at Specialist Fleet Services. Instead, he says that councils must keep an open mind and test the market before deciding whether to contract hire, lease, or purchase vehicles outright. Northampton-based SFS was established in 1992 and has been delivering fleet and workshop management solutions to the public sector for more than 25 years. As a local authority contract hire specialist currently providing fleet support services to more than 40 local authorities and private contractors in the UK, the company has an in-depth understanding of the operational demands and budgetary requirements of council services. ‘When you are considering your strategy for fleet procurement the most important advice we can offer to secure best value is to keep your options open as long as possible,’ says Paul. ‘Don’t be overly prescriptive with your specifications and allow the market to bid back complete solutions.’ Paul says local authority fleet procurement approaches are often unintentionally limiting in structure, rather than focused on exploring all potential outcomes. Frameworks in particular, while providing an excellent way of expediting the procurement process and ensuring legislative compliance, are often not constructed in a manner that allows direct comparison of all the options available in the market.

34 LAPV June 2018

And, while external advice prior to starting the tender process can add value to and streamline the appraisal process, this too can be counterproductive if the consultant predicts what the market will say and closes the doors on some options without undertaking a formal evaluation exercise. ‘Some advisors make assumptions based on historical information, and in a dynamic marketplace, this can prevent local authorities from taking an innovative approach and making decisions that reflect current market trends,’ says Paul. ‘We recently experienced a situation where we could have provided a better deal had the authority been able to invite bidders to present their optimal solutions and undertaken a full options appraisal of tender submissions. Instead, the tenders were formulated around an expectation of what the market could offer, which resulted in limiting the choices available to the authority, either in terms of the vehicle manufacturer or the acquisition route.’ Paul adds that decisions on funding options are often taken without first testing the market. Contract hire, leasing, and outright purchase each have their place and no single method is suited to every set of circumstances. He argues that providers should first have the opportunity to submit latest offers before any procurement option is ruled in or out. ‘Some of the most innovative projects we are involved in are where we have been appointed by an authority as fleet provider. We work with their procurement, transport, and end-user department teams to assess the optimum solution on a case-bycase basis, as and when individual vehicles are required.’ In general, SFS recommends

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Praise for royal wedding clean up operation The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead expressed its gratitude to the workers whose efforts made sure Windsor was in pristine condition for the recent royal wedding, which saw over 110,000 visitors arrive in the town and was watched by more than two billion people worldwide. Urbaser, the environmental services provider responsible for helping to deliver the borough’s annual street cleaning programme, worked in conjunction with Volkerhighways, the council’s highways management and maintenance contractor, to make Windsor sparkle for the big day. Cllr Bicknell, cabinet member for highways, transport and Windsor, said: ‘Hosting the royal wedding was a huge responsibility and we are exceptionally proud of how amazing Windsor looked during the celebrations and how quickly the town returned to normal afterwards. ‘None of this would have been possible without the hard work and commitment of our street cleaning and highways teams and on behalf of the Royal Borough I would like to say a huge thank you to Urbaser and Volkerhighways for helping make Windsor shine.’ Graham Tidy, service delivery manager for Urbaser, said: ‘Work started around five weeks before the wedding day. As part of the Royal Borough’s annual street cleaning programme, we jet washed every pavement in Windsor town centre and around the castle and cleaned the main route leading up to the castle, including removing all the chewing gum. During the final week, we kept the route clean on a daily basis with crews making sure it was weed-free, litter-free and clean.' Urbaser crews also cleaned and maintained the public conveniences, cleaned the car parks used by the emergency services, and removed litter bins for security reasons. Twelve vehicles were used during the operation and around 40 tonnes of waste was collected over the three days. Graham added: ‘From Thursday to Sunday we had a team of 40 people, divided into three shifts, working day and night to keep the town clean and remove litter. During the last shift, which started at 6am on Sunday morning, they put the litter bins back in position and collected trade waste plus any additional waste. ‘I’m really proud of the team. They put in a superb effort and we’ve had lots of great feedback from council members, the public, local businesses and even the national media confirming how great the town looked.’

36 LAPV June 2018

that councils go out to tender to the whole market wherever possible and ask for solutions on acquiring and maintaining vehicles. If possible, look for a vehicle partner that can deliver all three options and then evaluate these side by side. ‘As a contract hire provider, we naturally believe that contract hire often delivers the best deal, but there are sound, economic reasons for this,’ says Paul. For example, he cites the increasingly innovative vehicle technology under development. ‘Some authorities assume that because they can borrow from the Public Works Loan Board that it must always be cheaper to outright purchase the vehicles rather than go down the contract hire route, but this is not necessarily true. It is important to remember that borrowing rates are just one piece of the fleet acquisition and ownership jigsaw. It is imperative that to secure best value you look at whole-life costs.’ As an example, take a municipal fleet of 100 vehicles. The saving of perhaps 1-1.15% on the interest rate used to fund those vehicles pales into insignificance compared with the operational and maintenance costs. ‘Under the outright purchase scenario, the local authority also assumes all the risk for the disposal of the vehicle at the end of its useful life. With municipal vehicle technology evolving so quickly, in every case, the authority must make an assessment about how much a diesel vehicle might be worth in five, 10 or 15 years relative to the likely pace of implementation of alternativelyfuelled vehicles. Contract hiring passes that risk to the fleet provider.’ Other costs to consider for outright purchase include the need for a separate maintenance provider – this may or may not be an in-house operation – a dedicated fleet manager, a fleet management system, and the provision of contingency support vehicles to deal with both planned and unplanned downtime. ‘For example, where a spare vehicle is only needed sporadically, say for seasonal cover or an additional round, a contract hire provider can often supply this, as and when needed, from their own stock of vehicles or through their relationships with the vehicle manufacturers. That is a significant saving, equivalent to the cost of the purchase or hire of a new vehicle for that period.’ A recent example of contract hire proving more cost and risk effective than outright purchase is the award of a new seven-year contract to SFS by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council. The council was replacing its waste and recycling fleet and carried out a comprehensive cost comparison and tender procurement process before awarding the contract to SFS, which was the incumbent supplier. The contract starts on 1 September 2018 and covers the provision of 20 vehicles, including RCVs, sweepers, hook loaders, and box vans. SFS will continue to maintain the vehicles at the council’s depot in Hinckley. SFS is helping the council through interim arrangements, including the provision of five new recycling vehicles, via its municipal vehicle hire division CTS Hire. Caroline Roffey, head of street scene services at the council, commented: ‘We are very grateful to SFS who are supporting us with the launch of our new recycling service in April before the contract starts in September. Their expertise, both in the workshop and from their head office, helps us to deliver a high-quality service. The hire vehicles are exactly the same specification as the new fleet so there will be a smooth transition when the new vehicles arrive.’ Municipal fleet provision is a progressive sector and vehicle manufacturers are incorporating new technology at a fast pace. What wasn’t viable two years ago is now worth consideration on a wholelife cost basis and may even become the minimum expected standard a few years from now. With the rapid pace of change, it is increasingly important that authorities keep an open mind in the early stages of fleet procurement processes to enable the market to deliver the best solution for both technology and funding.

driver training

Training for the future From permits and licences to rules and regulations, dictates and duties, the transport industry's laws and legislation all have one thing in common – they are supposed to keep everyone in the vehicle safe, writes Mark Kennedy, founder and managing director of 4K Driver Training.


ules and regulations might be there to keep people safe, but there is a real lack of understanding among drivers and the institutions that employ and hire them that undermines the aim of such legislation. As a result, certain responsibilities can be overlooked. These oversights should not be accepted as a natural and forgiveable occurrence, however. An effort needs to be made to remedy such failings, and the solution lies in training.

Understanding permits

4K Driver Training is working with businesses to offer the education and training drivers need to understand their responsibilities.

Recently, the transport industry has been abuzz with proposed changes to licensing laws within the sector, and this is a prime example of one of the most common shortcomings of drivers and other professionals. Currently, two essential permits exist for organisations providing transport on a ‘not-for-profit’ basis: one that’s covered by Section 19 of the Transport Act 1985, relating to the use of vehicles by educational and other bodies, and one that’s governed by Section 22 (community bus permits). When these permits are granted they allow operators to run transport services for either hire or reward without having to apply for a more rigorously-assessed public service vehicle operator’s licence. This sounds simple enough, but plenty of those who end up behind the wheels of these vehicles don’t fully understand the obligations attached to operating them. This is a dangerous problem, not only for passengers but also for the drivers because of the potential consequences of ending up on the wrong side of the law. This extends not just to drivers but to the individual or company that holds the permit. It is the permit holder’s responsibility to ensure that they operate within legal bounds, properly maintain vehicles, and only use qualified drivers. Worryingly for those whose livelihoods are tied to the industry, this is a problem that looks set to be compounded by further complications and additions to licensing laws in the near future. This was raised as an issue by the Department for Transport in October 2017 following an inquiry into community transport.

The DfT voiced concerns about the future of many not-for-profit community minibus services for vulnerable and isolated individuals, which are potentially under threat from proposed changes to the law. This is where training is essential. Companies need to understand the duties and obligations they are under, because it is not just the safety of their passengers that is threatened if they don’t, but the real and concrete future of their businesses, and the continuing employment of their drivers and transport staff. However, it is not the government and responsible agencies who are stepping up to help address these issues, but rather organisations like 4K Driver Training. Working in tandem with the affected enterprises, these bodies are seeking to offer the education that is so often lacking and provide the training drivers need to understand their responsibilities.

Rules, regulations, and real-world training The transport industry has often had an issue with lack of training and there is a common assumption that as driving is an everyday exercise, anyone with a licence can perform a professional role to the required standard. But that is not necessarily the case. Professional drivers are held to a more stringent standard than ordinary drivers. It is not simply about legislation and permits but the responsibility of transporting vulnerable people. This is why training – or the lack of it – on issues such as fatigue must also be addressed. Driver fatigue is a significant area of concern within the professional transport industry and can affect even the most experienced of drivers. It is responsible for causing thousands of accidents each year on UK roads. Although there are no exact figures, research suggests that fatigue may be a contributory factor in up to 20% of all road accidents, and up to one-quarter of fatal and serious accidents. Accidents caused by driver fatigue are around 50% more likely to result in death or serious injury than high-speed impacts, as drivers who have fallen asleep at the wheel are powerless to brake, swerve, or take any evasive action to reduce the impact. And, unlike

June 2018 LAPV 37

driver training

Training on issues such as fatigue must also be addressed. Driver fatigue is a significant area of concern within the professional transport industry and can affect even the most experienced of drivers.

accidents caused by mechanical failure, all of these accidents are avoidable if drivers receive the proper education and training. It is the responsibility of the permit holder, not the driver, to organise training. With training courses costing from as little as £80 per day, there is little excuse for failing to ensure that employees have a fundamental understanding of the warning signs of fatigue and other safety hazards. Training doesn’t need to stop there. Properly selected, appropriate training programmes can help to teach drivers not only the legalities and duties of their role but also how to react to scenarios when accidents to happen. Teaching everything from emergency first aid to fire and evacuation procedures, these programmes can give drivers the ability to save lives – the lives that they are responsible for from the second their passengers set foot in their vehicle. Employers must seize the initiative on training and set an example for everyone in the transport industry, because there are potentially devastating consequences for passengers and businesses should a driver flout their responsibilities and cause an accident.

This was exemplified by the tragedy in Bath, where a newlyqualified lorry driver killed four people as a result of inexperience. The onus, as it always does, fell not on the individual but on the owner of the company that employed him. The owner received a prolonged custodial sentence. While the accident itself was a result of a mechanical fault, the business owner was imprisoned alongside the mechanic because of a failure to observe correct procedure and training: training for the driver to carry out daily defects checks; training for the mechanic in adequate safety inspection and recording; and a failure to monitor, record, and refresh employee training. This accident need never have happened if the business had taken the proper steps. The onus is firmly on employers here, but it should not be viewed as an imposition or a hardship. With courses competitively priced and training only required at sporadic intervals, it is the responsibility of every operator in the transport industry to make the roads a safer and more pleasant place for everyone who uses them.

PROJECT ZEFER PROMOTES HYDROGEN FUEL CELL ELECTRIC VEHICLES Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are taking to the roads in Paris, Brussels and London as private-hire and police cars as part of the pan-european Zefer project that aims to prove the benefits of zero-emission fuel cell cars for large urban fleets. the first 25 vehicles went into service in London in May supplied by green tomato Cars. Zefer – Zero emission fleet vehicles for european roll-out – will deploy 60-strong fleets in each city. these will be used in applications where hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCevs) make most sense, namely for fleets that cover long distances daily, need rapid fuelling, and operate in polluted city centres. FCevs use compressed hydrogen as a fuel, which is transformed into electricity to power an electric drivetrain by a fuel cell. this process produces no emissions other than water. FCevs can be refuelled rapidly – the typical time is three minutes – and offer a range of between 300 and 400 miles. in regular daily use, each of the 180 test vehicles will have a hydrogen demand roughly four times that of a normal privately-owned car. this demand will help to ensure high use of the network of hydrogen fuelling stations in each city, improving the economics of such stations and helping to accelerate the commercialisation of hydrogen as a fuel.

the €26 million Zefer initiative will test the performance of both the vehicles and infrastructure under high mileage conditions, and gather data with the aim of making the business case for future FCev adoption. Zefer will be delivered by a consortium led by element energy. this includes hydrogen suppliers (air Liquide and itM Power trading), vehicle end users (green tomato Cars, Hype, and the London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime), observer partners (BMW and Linde ag) and partners supporting the analysis and policy conclusions (Cenex and the Mairie de Paris). it is co-funded with €5 million from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), a public-private partnership supporting fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in europe. ‘Project ZeFer is an important step towards widespread commercialisation of hydrogen cars,’ said Bart Biebuyck, FCH JU executive director. ‘the three taxi service companies and the police of London will use 180 hydrogen electric cars that are silent, vibration-free and emit no emissions. this brings a superior service for the comfort of taxi passengers, convenient driving range for the drivers, and a clear gain for improving air quality in Paris, Brussels and London. these hydrogen cars will be put under high utilisation, pushed to their limit to prove the case of the technology, and hopefully we will soon see many more of them on european roads.’

38 LAPV September 2017


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vehicle test

A sprint forward Mercedes-Benz is updating its Sprinter range and a key new addition is a zero-emissions 3.5-tonne variant. Steve Banner travelled to The Netherlands to test drive the new Sprinters for LAPV.


edesigned both internally and externally, the third-generation Sprinter comes with front-wheel drive for the first time. Its predecessors were rear-wheel-drive or fourwheel-drive only, and both these configurations remain available. The Sprinter is also available as a chassis cab and in passenger-carrying guise. If you opt for front-wheel drive, the vehicle has a loading height that is 80mm lower than that of the rear-wheel-drive models. The payload capacity is also 50kg higher, while van derivatives have 0.5m³ more cargo space. However, Mercedes says that rear-wheel models offer a tighter turning circle and greater ride comfort. Another change is the arrival of an optional 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel-drive versions – the first time so many speeds have been available in a van auto box – alongside a new six-speed manual gearbox. Drivers who want to override the 9G-Tronic and switch to manual can do so using paddles on the steering wheel. Now fitted with a keyless push-button starter, the updated Sprinter keeps the 190hp 3.0-litre diesel used in the previous model. Also retained are the departing Sprinter's 2.1-litre diesel at 114hp, 143hp or 163hp. The latter option is not available in front-wheel-drive variants. The maximum van load cube is 17m³, while the maximum payload capacity is 3,150kg if you opt for the 5.5-tonne version. Front-wheel-drive Sprinters gross at from 3.0 to 4.1 tonnes while their rear-wheel-drive counterparts gross at from 3.0 to 5.5 tonnes. Mercedes is quoting service intervals of up to 37,500 miles per two years for rear-wheel-drive models, which should help keep running costs under control. By contrast, front-wheel-drive

40 LAPV June 2018

Sprinters will need servicing at up to 25,000 miles per two years, partly because of a difference in sump sizes between the two configurations. Operational safety has not been ignored. Safety features include a reversing camera, which projects its image onto the cab’s interior rear-view mirror, and a parking package that provides drivers with a 360-degree bird's-eye view of what is going on around the vehicle. These reduce the risk of injury or damage during low-speed manoeuvring. The Sprinter is also fitted with Active Brake Assist, which brakes the vehicle if there is a risk of collision, and Active Lane Keeping Assist, which reacts if the driver starts to wander out of the lane. Other systems on offer include Distronic. This is a radar-based technology designed to keep the Sprinter at a safe distance from other vehicles ahead of it on the motorway. The driver can set their desired speed and Distronic ensures that the vehicle does not get too close to the traffic in front. If it does, the speed will be cut using up to 50% of the maximum available brake force. If necessary, the vehicle will be braked to a standstill. Blind Spot Assist is another optional system. This recognises traffic and pedestrians crossing behind the Sprinter and brakes autonomously in an emergency. As well as the updates to the Sprinter, Mercedes is also launching a variety of web-based support packages intended to link fleet managers and drivers and make life simpler for both. There are eight packages under the Pro banner, covering everything from managing the Sprinter’s maintenance to monitoring its whereabouts, as well as the provision of a digital driver's logbook. Dynamic route guidance is one such package on offer. This enables managers to respond flexibly if changing conditions during the course of a working day mean that pre-planned schedules have to be

altered. ‘If the job schedule changes at short notice then an algorithm recalculates the routes to fit,’ explains Volker Mornhinweg, worldwide head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. Mercedes has become the first vehicle manufacturer to use the 'what3words' address system. This assigns three words to any point on the earth's surface to make navigation more accurate and is potentially useful for rural local authorities with large, sparsely-populated areas to support. Another package analyses driving style. The aim is to help drivers drive more safely, burn less fuel, emit less CO2, and reduce wear and tear on components, including tyres. The packages can be used in conjunction with the new MBUX multi-media system, which is available with a 7-inch or 10.25-inch touchscreen dashboard display with voice control. The Sprinter also features an integrated high-speed Internet connection, which can be used either in conjunction with Pro or as a hotspot to connect separate mobile devices. Wireless charging is available for smartphones. Under the Advance slogan, Mercedes is also planning to integrate the newcomer into fleet supply chains through a variety of web-driven services including van rental. If a fleet comes to rely on these and other support packages, then it may be less inclined to switch to another make of vehicle when the time comes to acquire replacements. ‘We want to create mobility packages that meet the challenges of tomorrow and the day after in both goods and passenger transport,’ says Volker Mornhinweg. ‘As far as we are concerned, the new Sprinter is to conventional vans what the smartphone is to a plain old mobile phone.’ And the electric 3.5-tonner? It is expected to hit

vehicle test

the market in 2019. According to Mercedes, it will have a range of over 90 miles between recharges and will be able to handle a 1,000kg-plus payload.

Test drive On behalf of LAPV, I travelled to The Netherlands in April 2018 to test drive the Sprinter, putting it through its paces on the motorways between Amsterdam and Rotterdam with a detour into Leiden. I started by sampling a front-wheel-drive 3.0-tonne Sprinter 314 CDI van with 143hp and a manual gearbox. With a 500kg test load on board, it accelerated strongly through the gears and proved to be more than capable of holding its own at motorway speeds. It also handled well, felt wellplanted on the highway, and clung on well as I pushed it through bends, with plenty of feedback through the steering. Build quality is excellent. Nothing squeaks or rattles and the latest Sprinter looks as though it has been made to go on forever. The sat nav on-screen map is easy to read and the voice instructions are clear and concise. Verbal requests for instructions to be repeated were understood, and the instruction was given again

immediately. Drawbacks? The suspension system was a little bit too bouncy for my taste and Active Brake Assist cut in three or four times despite the fact that there was nothing in front of the vehicle. On one occasion, this may have been triggered by a slightly uneven road surface. On the other occasions, it seemed to be the consequence of other vehicles passing too close while overtaking. The parking brake is electric and set and released by pressing a button on the dashboard. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I prefer a traditional handbrake lever, despite the fact that it takes up floor space. I suspect most van drivers will too. On my next run, I again drove a 143hp frontwheel-drive Sprinter van, this time a 314 CDI 3.5-tonner, which was also laden to 0.5 tonnes. This one had the nine-speed automatic gearbox. You engage D for Drive by using a stalk on the steering column. There is no denying that the 9G-Tronic is superb and probably the best automatic gearbox I have ever encountered in a light commercial. I slipped almost seamlessly from one set of gears to the next and I was more than grateful for 9G-Tronic when I was stuck in slow-moving, stop-start

motorway traffic as I retraced my steps and headed back towards Amsterdam. At no point did I feel the need to switch to manual mode. I was more than happy to sit back and let the transmission do all the work.

The verdict Bar one or two reservations it looks as though Mercedes has come up with another winner – a premium product that is built to last.

Thursday 21st June 2018

01732 897431 June 2018 LAPV 41

Company news

Authorised rebuilding HL Smith Transmissions has been remanufacturing commercial drivetrains for 63 years. It is now an authorised rebuilder for Allison Transmission. LAPV talks to MD Russell Smith.


Top: HL Smith Transmission's gearbox workshop. Right: Test rig for automatic transmissions.

L Smith Transmissions, based near Wolverhampton, has just been appointed as an authorised direct rebuilder for Allison Transmission. For MD Russell Smith, this appointment is a testament to the expertise the company has gained over more than two decades in the remanufacture of automatic transmissions. ‘We have included automatic transmissions in our product range for more than 25 years, and during this period we have seen demand for these increase significantly in the heavy commercial vehicle sector, particularly in municipal and PSV applications,’ says Russell. ‘Allison Transmission’s products really lead the field in this marketplace, and we are extremely pleased with this new formal association.’ Effective since 1 April 2018, the appointment as an authorised direct rebuilder for Allison means that HL Smith’s products will be remanufactured and fitted with genuine Allison components, and built and tested to the latest Allison standards so customers can have complete confidence in the product. The company offers a complete range of Allison transmissions including the 1000, 2000, 3000 and 4000 series units, which can all be supplied on service exchange and come with a two-year warranty. HL Smith Transmissions also runs its own collection and delivery service as well as offering an on-site diagnostics and fitting service to cover all units. The appointment is part of Allison’s UK service network expansion, which aims to increase customer engagement and provide more convenient access to parts and service in the UK. ‘Allison transmissions provide superior control for drivers, as well as improved safety, ease of driving and reduced driver fatigue, and maintenance,’ said Russell. ‘We are really looking forward to promoting the Allison Transmission name and offering a quality product and service to all operators throughout the UK,’ said Russell. The Allison appointment might be new, but HL Smith

42 LAPV June 2018

Transmissions has a long history in remanufactured commercial vehicle drivetrains. The Wolverhampton-based business has been involved in the remanufacture of heavy commercial transmissions since 1955 and its customers range from owner-drivers to major UK fleet operators and original equipment manufacturers. The company has also worked with the Ministry of Defence for 25 years, maintaining the transmissions and axles of its logistical vehicle fleet. HL Smith’s product range covers manual gearboxes, automatic gearboxes, driveheads and differentials, power steering boxes, and propshafts. ‘We also recently become a distributor of gearbox ECUs and power packs for Wabco Reman Solutions, which were showcased on our stand at the 2018 CV Show,’ says Russell. The company operates from an 85,000m3 modern workshop in Albrighton, West Midlands, with a team of 100 engineers who are highly skilled in all aspects of commercial vehicle transmissions, and has an extensive contact and delivery network across Europe. Russell believes the company’s hard work and extensive experience means it is well-positioned to meet the challenges of a rapidly-changing market. ‘As transmissions grow and evolve, we are geared up to react and respond to these changes in order to stay ahead of the game in remanufacturing.’

H.L. Smith Transmissions is an authorized rebuilder of Allison transmissions

Remanufactured to strict Allison transmission criteria. l Fully load tested on our state of the art dynamometers. All 1000, 2000, 3000 & 4000 SeriesTM come with a standard 2 year warranty. l Only 100% genuine Allison components fitted. l Collection and delivery service available. l On site diagnostic & fitting service available. l


T: 01902 373011 - F: 01902 373608 - E:


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