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Local Authority Plant & Vehicles


STAND NO. 5R70-S71 5R130-S131


September 2017


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


News and events

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

RWM show preview

The municipal plant and vehicle industry comes together this September at RWM, the UK exhibition dedicated to waste management, recycling, renewables, energy, and water.

12 Industry trends

Versatility, safety, service – these are the key trends shaping this industry right now and they are all influenced by technology.

18 Waste collection

Successful synergies between regional authorities are helping councils deliver greater efficiencies through the formation of strong partnerships with suppliers.

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 Subscriptions Maggie Spillane T 020 7973 6679 E


Managing Director Bill Butler T 020 7973 6627 E ISSN 1472-2607 @ 2017 Hemming Group Printed by Headley Brothers Limited The Invicta Press, Queens Road, Ashford, Kent TN24 8HH


Electric sweepers


Cutting verges


Vehicle washing


Driver training


Future Fleet Forum 2018




Profile – NRG Fleet Services


Autonomous future

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The Elite 6 is a premium quality, British manufactured vehicle designed to integrate within the communities in which it operates.

Cover: Dennis Eagle Local Authority Plant & Vehicle

September 2017


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Inside this issue:


STAND NO. 5R70-S71 5R130-S131


The municipal vehicle sector is a key focus for emissions reduction technologies. Significant advances have already been made in this area, including two new fully-electric sweepers. The public expects clean livery at all times but cleanliness is as much about productivity as it is about image, which is why Luton Borough Council has installed a brand new top and under-chassis vehicle wash. The full programme has now been announced for Future Fleet Forum 2018, with an outstanding speaker line-up The opening of a new super site in Wolverhampton means that fleet services provider NRG can now meet all of its customers’ operational requirements from one centrally-located facility.

A survey found that two-fifths of motorists said there were problems at junctions caused by obscured signs. So how are local authorities and manufacturers addressing this issue? Collision management training is the latest course to be added to the driver training portfolio of FORS, the scheme that aims to promote best practice and improve safety. That there is no such thing as a bad vehicle these days is a common misconception in the commercial vehicle sector. In reality, buying any new vehicle is fraught with pitfalls. With the advent of driverless vehicles, the question arises of how this will affect waste collection. One robotics expert believes it will have a significant impact. 16/08/2017 13:06

September 2017 LAPV 3


COmment Submit your entry for the Future Fleet Awards! I'm delighted to announced that Future Fleet Forum 2018 is really taking shape, and we now have an absolutely outstanding programme of world-leading speakers in the field of fleet management. This is in addition to interactive, international workshops led by professionals from global capitals. If you haven't got the date in your diary yet, the event takes place on 24-25 January 2018 in London. But that's not the most exciting thing about Future Fleet Forum 2018. We are also launching the Future Fleet Awards. Public sector organisations demonstrating exceptional work in the fields of safety, innovation, and sustainability will be honoured during a lavish drinks reception on 24 January sponsored by Terberg Matec and Dennis Eagle, followed by a luxurious dinner and awards ceremony sponsored by NRG Fleet Services.

Essential fleet acquires Goplant

At the dinner, Richard Noble, land speed record holder, will talk about his new venture, the Bloodhound Project, which aims to build a car that will break the sound barrier on land. On the night we will be handing out three Future Fleet Awards: best fleet/road safety initiative; most innovative fleet management strategy; and most sustainable fleet management department. Participants should submit a 750-1,000 word case study, which should include the challenge that was addressed, the situation prior to the implementation of the new strategy, how the solution was implemented and which service providers were involved. The case study can include pictures, videos, and hyperlinks to relevant news coverage. OEMs and service providers can submit case studies on behalf of their clients in the public sector. Email your submission to LAPV will also be at RWM this year. Come along and meet the team or pick up your complimentary copy of LAPV at stand 5SO1. If you want to set up a meeting, don't hesitate to drop us an email. Ann-Marie Knegt, Editor, LAPV

stansted's new sweeper

Essential Fleet Services has completed the acquisition of Go Plant to create one of the UK’s largest providers of specialist and commercial vehicles. Essential Fleet Services is a specialist vehicle contract hire, maintenance and rental provider, working with local authorities and corporate organisations in the utilities, highways, rail, construction and waste industries. Go Plant is a major provider of operated and self-drive road sweepers, refuse vehicles and other specialist equipment. Together the companies generate sales of over £80million, have more than 500 employees, and 35 depots and service centres across the UK. The acquisition will enable customers of the two businesses across the public and private sectors to access specialist vehicles and managed commercial services for as little as a day to more than a decade.

LCVT appoints Steve Elwell as sales and marketing director Newly-formed Light Commercial Vehicle Technology has appointed Steve Elwell as its first sales and marketing director. LCVT was formed to design and manufacture bespoke racing car transporters and exhibition units. The company has developed a new type of chassis conversion in conjunction with a European manufacturer, which is both lower and lighter than other conversions available in the UK, and was designed and engineered to meet the needs of intensively-operated commercial vehicles. The conversion is suitable for a number of applications in the public sector, including the movement of commercial mowers, equipment distribution, and highways maintenance vehicles. ‘LCVT is a forward-thinking company backed by a unique range of design and engineering expertise,’ said Steve Elwell. ‘In addition to the vehicles already being readied for production, we have other projects close to fruition, including race car transporters and exhibition units. LCVT is also looking to partner other commercial bodybuilders who have a need for a low-floor chassis platform for specific projects, which we can work with to design solutions.’ LCVT will be exhibiting at a number of shows in 2017 and 2018 including the Recovery Tow Show in Telford in September.

4 LAPV September 2017

London Stansted Airport has added a new Scania/Schmidt combination sweeper to its airside sweeping and scrubbing fleet. Based on a 250hp Scania P 250 DB4x2HNZ chassis and fitted with Schmidt ASC 990 sweeping and scrubbing equipment, the truck joins nine other Scania-based vehicles currently in service at London Stansted – four jet sweeper tractor units, three runway de-icers, one sweeper and one scrubbing truck. In addition to keeping the runway serviceable, the Airside Operations sweeper fleet is responsible for cleaning the airport's four taxiways, six aircraft parking cul-de-sacs, and the apron surrounding the stands. ‘London Stansted took delivery of its first Scania vehicle back in 2000, and today we value the marque for its reliability and dependability,’ said airside operations duty manager, Giles Peeters. ‘Essentially, our Scania trucks help us do our job, which is to keep the airport operational, by being operator-friendly vehicles which are always ready for service. ‘Their reliability has proved to be exceptional over the years, and their ease of use, together with the commonality of controls between the various models in the fleet, make them a popular choice for our operators. The addition of the new Scania P 250 rigid with its Schmidt ASC 990 combination sweeper equipment will further enhance our ability to provide the best possible service to the airlines and travelling public using the airport.’


CONTRACTS Dawsonrentals orders 46 new sweepers for hire fleet Dawsonrentals Sweepers has placed an order with Iveco for 46 new 15-tonne Eurocargos to add to its 700-strong fleet. It is the largest UK order for road sweepers that Iveco has received since relaunching a dedicated Euro VI sweeper chassis in 2016. Johnston Sweepers supplied bodies for 40 of the trucks, while Scarab supplied the remaining six. The Eurocargo is designed for urban operations, and the new vehicles are ideal for the low-speed environment and frequent stop/start nature of sweepers applications. They also meet emissions standards with a single anti-emission system – Iveco’s unique HI-SCR technology, which uses passive regeneration of the diesel particulate filter. This was a key factor in Dawsonrentals' procurement decision. As the HI-SCR system requires neither driver involvement nor downtime from forced regeneration, productivity is increased. It also removes the need for customers to periodically operate the vehicle at motorway speeds to clean out the particulate filter.

Dennis Eagle opts for Stertil Koni wireless mobile lifts Dennis Eagle has specified a set of four Stertil Koni ebright wireless mobile column lifts to support its pre-delivery inspections and production operations. Stertil Koni’s ST1075FWF mobile column lifts are specifically designed to lift commercial vehicles such as heavy trucks, trailers, and buses. Each lift has a lifting capacity of 7.5 tonnes, which increases to 30 tonnes when a set of four is used together. Maximum lifting height is 1.85m, which is reached in 75 seconds. In addition, each column is fitted with the ebright smart control system to enable workshop staff to operate the columns individually, in pairs or all at once from a single location. The ebright smart control system has full-colour touchscreen consoles and has been designed to simplify operation by providing maximum visual information about every lifting operation. For added safety and performance, the system also shows how many columns in the set are in use, the battery status of each column, and when the independent mechanical locking system is engaged.

SHB Hire wins contract with Slough Borough Council

NTM and Cappellotto launch distributorship Refuse vehicle manufacturer NTM-GB and Italian firm Cappellotto have announced a collaboration that will see NTM offer Cappellotto’s range of vacuum tankers, jetters, recycling jetters, and vacuum excavators for sale in the UK. The partnership in the UK follows a similar successful arrangement between Cappellotto and NTM’s parent company NTM-Finland. NTM-GB will be responsible for the sales and aftercare of all Cappellotto products in the UK and southern Ireland. Nigel Povey has been recruited as business development manager by NTM-GB to deliver the services and products resulting from the collaboration. Nigel has more than seventeen years in the automotive sector plus many years in service industries and engineering businesses. NTM believes that three products will be the main focus of interest for the UK market. These include the Capcombi combination high-performance vacuum and high-pressure water unit. This is available with stainless steel lateral side water tanks to aid capacity and minimise overloading individual axles. Full stainless steel grade 304 tanks are also available. It can be mounted on the chassis of choice of the end user and comes with a wide range of pump and hose capacities and accessories. The Caprecy offers everything the Capcombi does plus the capability to recycle water from sewage for use in the jetting application. Features include a five-stage water filtration system down to 50 microns, a tipping tank and a centrallymounted 270-degree slew boom-mounted vacuum and jetting hoses for ease of use. Finally, the Capbora is an ultra-high powered vacuum with the capability to excavate wet or dry medium, ideal for where utilities have pipes and cables in close proximity and a bucket type excavator is not practical. Features include a high-tipping tank, boom-mounted excavation hose and high-pressure water to aid excavation.

Cenex to manage charging registry

Slough Borough Council has awarded a five-year contract for the supply of more than 40 standard and specialist vehicles to vehicle hire and management company SHB Hire. The fleet renewal programme will allow Slough Borough Council to operate newer, cleaner vehicles, supporting its carbon reduction targets set out in the council’s Climate Change Strategy. Councillor Fiza Matloob, cabinet member for transport and highways, said: ‘Slough is leading the way in bringing its environmental services team back in house and as part of this we needed to procure a whole fleet of vehicles, which served our aim of improving the environment of Slough for our residents.’ The vehicles, which include HGVs and LGVs as well as sweepers, gully emptier, graffiti trailers, and lining trailers will be based at the borough’s Chalvey depot. SHB’s West Drayton depot will manage the maintenance of the fleet. SHB was awarded the contract thanks to its ability to supply the vehicles on a tight lead time and maintain them from a local depot, as well as carrying out maintenance on a mobile basis from its depot at Heathrow. ‘Slough will be able to benefit from a highly proactive one-stop-shop for all of their vehicles supplied by SHB for the foreseeable future,’ said Nicky Simpson, SHB’s commercial director. ‘We were able to promote a strong level of aftercare with the benefit of a local base to support all the vehicles types.’ He added that the 18-week timeline for supply was a challenge but that SHB was able to come up with a suitable lead-in by drawing on its rental fleet. The majority of vehicles will be delivered in November.

Cenex, the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for low carbon technologies, has been appointed by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles to maintain and develop the official UK database of information on chargepoints for electric vehicles. Cenex will upgrade the National Chargepoint Registry in partnership with green energy software company Apetrel Systems, funded by OLEV. Third party developers will be able to access the NCR to build mapping and journey planning applications using up-to-date, accurate information. The NCR was first set up in 2011 to provide a freelyavailable database of publicly-accessible chargepoints in the UK, and currently holds data provided by operators on chargepoint location, compatibility, and hours of operation. Cenex head of energy systems Adrian Vinsome said: ‘Providing a flexible, accurate database of UK chargepoints is critical to delivering the government’s vision for EV uptake. In many ways, the NCR was ahead of its time, but it needs better mechanisms to upload and download the data in realtime. This will be our initial focus, and will ultimately improve the EV motorist’s experience as better tools and apps are built on a solid, reliable and accurate foundation.’

September 2017 LAPV 5


Chevin supports DVSA in Earned Recognition pilot scheme Chevin’s Fleetwave reporting system is to be extended to automate reporting processes for the new Earned Recognition pilot scheme from the Driving and Vehicles Standards Agency. Currently, when the DVSA stops a vehicle to carry out checks they look at the vehicle’s safety, inspection, MoT and servicing records, as well as driver compliance, tachograph and defect reporting. This can mean significant downtime for fleets, which has a negative impact on operational efficiency. Fleetwave can already be used to manage a number of functionalities including vehicle servicing, MoT renewals, driver and maintenance compliance, and the management of online data. As part of the DVSA Earned Recognition scheme, the DVSA’s requirements will be satisfied by the receipt of automated records, audited and sent from Fleetwave. This will free up the DVSA to focus on stopping vehicles and businesses with less complete reporting structures and processes. Chevin holds detailed records of hundreds of thousands of commercial vehicles. The company was invited to meet with the DVSA to discuss the requirements of the pilot. Developments are now underway to progress with the scheme.

Truckman expands range of utility hardtops Truckman has expanded its range of utility hardtops with new models for the new generation of Toyota Hilux Double Cab and Extra Cab. The new utility hardtop converts the Hilux truck bed into a mobile workshop and stores that is ideal for field-based engineers carrying out off-highway activities in sectors such as gas, electricity, water, track side and telecommunications. Creating a large-capacity space for the fitting of intelligent racking, which is accessible through a secure rear door and gull-wing side doors, technicians can transport equipment and tools and operate in off-road locations. The hardtop has significant roof strength and can carry equipment with a static weight of 100kg. Further carrying capacity is added when it is used with roof bars. To allow vehicle converters to install additional lights, alarms and other electrical systems, the hardtop has a built-in electrical conduit. It is also simple to maintain, with its gel white, high-gloss finish and wash-clean interior. Truckman executive chairman Mike Wheeler said: ‘With an ever-increasing need in the utility sectors to deliver quick-response maintenance and repairs, the utility top has proven to be an ideal solution for fleet managers and field-based engineers. The ability to not only transport kit and equipment to remote locations, but operate a mobile workshop and stores has become a real advantage to industry.’

6 LAPV September 2017

Spedian graphics panels on Newark and Sherwood RCVs

Newark and Sherwood District Council has fitted out 15 of its refuse collection vehicles with the Spedian vehicle graphics system to promote a range of council campaigns. The panels will carry advertisements for services such as bulky waste collection, trade waste and garden waste services, and the council’s fly-tipping hotline. The trucks will also displays warnings against littering and a campaign highlighting which plastic containers can be recycled. The lightweight and flexible Spedian system allows promotional panels to be changed easily without damage to vehicles. Application takes less than an hour, as does removal. The graphics can also be stored and reused. Phil Hadfield, environment projects officer at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: ‘We have used Spedian before so we know the panels are good, but the fact that the graphics panels are removable is a huge benefit. We can swap the graphics panels and refresh the messages so that they have more impact. We intend to change the messages every six months or so.’

Fuso eCanter electric truck goes into production in Europe

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation has commenced European production of the Fuso eCanter electric lightduty truck at the Tramagal production plant in Portugal. The first vehicles will be delivered to customers in Europe and the US in the next few months. FUSO is a brand of Daimler Trucks Asia, and the Fuso eCanter is a zero-emission, zero-noise truck to help solve the twin problems of noise and air pollution in inner cities. It is also cost efficient and economical, with a range of 100km and a load capacity of two to three tons, depending on body and usage. The vehicle’s electric powertrain contains six high-voltage lithium-ion battery packs with 420 V and 13.8 kWh each. In comparison to a conventional diesel truck, it offers savings of up to 1,000 Euro per 10,000km in operating costs. Marc Llistosella, president and CEO of Mitsubishi FUSO Truck and Bus Corporation and head of Daimler Trucks Asia, said at a ceremony to mark the vehicle going into production: ‘With today’s start of production of the eCanter, we become the first global manufacturer to produce an all-electric truck in series. Now we can address the growing demand for emission-free delivery trucks in mega cities.’

It event preview

Innovation at RWM the municipal plant and vehicle industry comes together this September at RWM, the UK exhibition dedicated to waste management, recycling, renewables, energy, and water. Event Director Nicola Meadows previews the show.


Visitors to the new-look RWM 2017 will be able to plan their day and expand their networking and business opportunities by exploring the show’s themed trails.

he latest developments, products, technical changes and legislation in the municipal plant and vehicle sector, and its relationship to wider sustainability initiatives will be explored at RWM 2017, which runs from 12-14 September 2017 at Birmingham’s NEC. Visitor registration is now open for the expanded event, which takes place in partnership with the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), and will play host to a number of new and revamped features. Visitors from key organisations across the UK are already registered to attend, including the National Grid, Skanska, British Steel, the NHS, and Tesco. Multiple universities and local councils are also attending, including local council representatives from Belfast, London, the north west and north east of England, and the Midlands. The umbrella concept for 2017 is RWM’s One Planet Living mission, which champions the better management and supply of the world’s resources in an increasingly interconnected world. Divided into six zones – Supply and Demand; Energy from Waste; Recyclers and Reprocessors; Handling and Logistics; Data, Tech and Services; and Machinery and Equipment – the show will also feature an Innovation Hub, where exhibitors and start-up companies showcase the latest, most innovative ideas in the market. In the Handling and Logistics zone, innovations in the transportation of commercial or construction waste will be highlighted. New exhibitors such as E Power Trucks will feature alongside returning exhibitors like Dennis Eagle, Iveco, Scarab Sweepers, and Smartlift. This zone will also host a new theatre for Municipal and Material Recovery. Visitors will also have the opportunity to inspect the latest refuse vehicles, sweepers, and skip loaders and test them out first hand in the Ride and Drive area. The Machinery and Equipment zone will display the latest technology in lifting, sorting, shredding, baling and compacting material, and A & C Weber is a new exhibitor in this zone. The company will be joined by returning exhibitors including Eriez, Bunting Magnetics, Durwen and Fairport Containers. Meanwhile, the Recyclers and Reprocessors zone will have a tight focus on companies that specialise in the innovative handling of

8 LAPV September 2017

waste with the goal of diverting it from landfill, and ensuring that as much value as possible is extracted. New exhibitors for 2017 include Tomra Sorting, while Countrystyle is returning to the show. The RWM Connects service, which allows both visitors and exhibitors to network and do business, is based in this zone, as is the CIWM Clinic. Meanwhile, the Energy from Waste zone will showcase one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic sectors in waste management. New exhibitors for this zone include China Valmet while returning exhibitors include Babcock & Wilcox Vølund. Two new zones for 2017 are Supply and Demand, which is the home for networking, learning and business opportunities in the UK energy and water markets, and Data, Tech and Services, which covers smart, practical software solutions for modern and future logistical challenges, with a focus on quality data and supporting services. New exhibitors already signed up for the Data, Tech and Services zone include BeNomad, while Increase Computers is returning to the 2017 event. New exhibitors for the Supply and Demand zone include Phoenix Contact, with returning exhibitors from the Energy Show including Source for Business. The UK’s Department for International Trade is also returning to RWM in 2017 to offer visitors and exhibitors the opportunity to gain insight and advice about exporting products and internationalising their business.

Ha Gr

Visitor trails Visitors to the new-look RWM 2017 will also be able to efficiently plan their day and expand their scope for networking and business opportunities by exploring the show’s event trails. These visitor discovery trails are simple, time-saving tools that can help ensure every moment at the show counts – maximising the potential for commercial gain. The Local Authority Trail, for instance, highlights all exhibitors and content relevant to those responsible for waste management and resource and legislative issues. Municipal waste management strategy and best practice is explored, together with exhibitors and content relevant to managers of fleets of vehicles. Exhibitors on the



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Theatre seminar sessions A wealth of knowledge-sharing and networking opportunities will be presented in the daily seminars running in each zone throughout the show. Municipal and Materials Recovery Theatre: This is the platform for resource and waste industry experts from both the public and private sectors to come together and discuss creative techniques to drive recycling rates. Topics will include everything from the effective management and commercialisation of food waste to tackling waste crime and rethinking revenue streams from recycling. Utilities Keynote Theatre: The platform for UK energy and water leaders to share their insights into the latest industry developments on topics such as energy supply, pricing, energy storage, renewable innovations, water deregulation and future visions. Utilities in Practice Theatre: This case study-led seminar programme seeks to support visitors with practical, peer-led insight into how to drive efficiency, create value and deliver compliant water, energy and renewables services. Find out about best practice and new commercial opportunities. Circular Economy Theatre: This will focus on how the principles of a circular economy can be applied to maximise value and the sustainable use of resources. Effective waste and resources management is an opportunity for economies to re-invent themselves, to mine society’s wastes and close materials and utilities loops on all fronts. Energy from Waste Theatre: Sessions will focus on best practice, technological advances, and relevant global political and economic changes. New commercial prospects for EfW will be assessed, as well as potential barriers to growth, plus opportunities in a decarbonising economy and the impact of increasing recycling rates on EfW feedstocks. For more information about the theatre seminars, including specific session and speaker details, please visit:

Local Authority Trail include Benomad, Welsh Government, and Epower Trucks. This trail will also link visitors to key speaker sessions in the Municipal and Materials Recovery theatre. The Energy Solutions Trail identifies exhibitors offering solutions to energy buyers, influencers and managers, and guides visitors around learning opportunities for demand services, independent energy generation, and efficiency savings. Exhibitors on the Energy Solutions Trail include Babcock & Wilcox Vølund, Niutech Environment Technology Corp, and JWC International. This trail will also link visitors to key speaker sessions in the Utilities Keynote theatre and the Utilities in Practice theatre. The Water Marketplace Trail shines the spotlight on the suppliers, demand specialists and educational opportunities that offer solutions and innovations around water procurement, usage levels, reuse and effective management. Exhibitors on the Water Marketplace Trail include Phoenix Contact, Adey Steel, and Coveya. As with Energy Solutions, this trail links visitors to key speaker sessions in the Utilities Keynote theatre and the Utilities in Practice theatre. The New Exhibitor Discovery Trail meanwhile makes it as simple as possible for visitors to find the suppliers and technologies most relevant to their sector. Innovation is central to RWM 2017 and this trail is designed to direct visitors towards thought leaders and innovators across all sectors. Exhibitors on the New Exhibitor Discovery Trail include Dong Energy Thermal Power, Molinari Recycling, and Garwood Europe. Finally, the Great British Trail is organised in partnership with the UK Department for International Trade, and a range of free tours will be available for international visitors to meet UK companies. Each themed tour will have a distinct focus on British innovation and design. Look for the Great British Trail logo on site to identify UK exhibitors that are part of this trail. Examples of exhibitors include CBS Waste Equipment, Spillard Safety Systems, and Middleton Engineering. There will also be the opportunity to have some fun at RWM 2017 by making use of the four-hole crazy golf course and bar at the back of Hall Five, sponsored by Adtrak. It is a great way to network in a relaxed setting away from the hubbub of the main show.

10 LAPV September 2017

Local A


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Local Authority Plant and Vehicles_Ground breaking versatility_STW34_297x210.indd 1

15/08/2017 09:51

trends & developments

Main image: Nilfisk's sweepers, such as the City Ranger 3500, have specifically developed so they can be adapted for multiple functions. Below: Faun Zoeller's sweepers are constantly developed to keep pace with the market.


rom refuse collection vehicles to sweepers, local authorities are looking to purchase smarter, operate more efficiently, future proof their fleets, and get the best possible value for money, all the while looking after the safety of employees, the public, and the environment. And this is in an age of austerity that has seen a continuing cycle of budget cuts put pressure on every aspect of a local authority’s operations. It could have been different. As Austin Anderson, development manager for sweepers from Faun Zoeller notes, the effect of austerity could have been a focus on simpler, cheaper vehicles, and costcutting exercises that cut corners. But, in fact, the opposite has proved true. ‘Customers want their vehicles to do more and they are prepared to pay more to achieve this. From this point of view, austerity has positively influenced vehicle development. We are also seeing a lot of suppliers competing for the same business or moving into new markets, so there is a lot of competition, and competition drives innovation.’

Versatility ‘There is a definite shift away from the traditional sweeper to vehicles that can also be used for other duties,’ agrees Steve Harrington from Nilfisk. ‘We are often asked if our machines can be adapted for other tasks, such as weed clearance, scrubbing pedestrian areas, salt spreading, or shifting snow, and Nilfisk machines have been designed to make this possible. Our City Ranger 2250, for example, has 21 attachments – and it can still sweep. This versatility offers much better return on investment.’ The focus on multi-functionality can bring benefits beyond simply using a machine for multiple applications. Weed clearance is a good example. ‘Three years ago Rochdale Council bought a 2250 with a weed ripping attachment in a move away from chemical weed removal,’ says Steve. ‘They put together a complete business case for it based on efficiency and benefits, and it worked so well that a year later they added a City Ranger 3500.’ Not only did Rochdale achieve faster, more targeted and more efficient weed clearance with mechanical removal, but the council also saved money on chemicals and realised environmental and health benefits.

12 LAPV September 2017

Versatility, safety, service – these are the key trends shaping this industry right now and they are all influenced by technology. Lotte Debell reports

It is also possible to be multifunctional with attachments. ‘Our snow clearing brush has been used effectively by coastal authorities to sweep sand back onto beaches,’ says Steve. ‘These vehicles are like Swiss Army Knives – they can do so much.’ The versatility of machine demanded by customers means suppliers also need to be flexible. ‘You can’t afford to sit still in this market,’ says Austin from Faun Zoeller. ‘It changes very quickly and you have to change with it. For customers, it is all about futureproofing their vehicles to ensure they can be in use longer and still provide the level of safety, functionality and operator comfort that will be demanded of them.’ Faun Zoeller’s latest update is a new control panel that will be fitted as standard across its Viajet range. ‘This is more streamlined, more modern, and integrates with the latest vehicle systems, but it retains conventional switches,’ says Austin. ‘This was a deliberate decision. We didn’t want anything too fancy that would wear out or peel off – switches are solid and reliable and they last. Yes, we’ve slimmed the control panel down and brought it up to date to improve its operation and create more room in the cab, but it has also been designed to last.’ For vehicles to be in use longer, they need to be looked after properly, and that is something that the waste sector has not always excelled at over the years. ‘Historically operators looked after the chassis well but the vehicle body was never high on their list of priorities so in time it would let them down,’ says Spencer Law from Refuse Vehicle Solutions. ‘Now customers are being more proactive to reduce vehicle downtime.’

Key industry trends and developments The drive for data Aside from the desire for increased longevity, this trend towards better vehicle care is in part down to technology. Access to vehicle telematics and the ability to drill down into data about vehicle use and maintenance is helping end users both buy smarter and take ownership of their vehicles to a much greater degree. ‘Waste is a cost sensitive industry, so minimising downtime is really important,’ says David Banks, sales manager for the waste and recycling sector at JCB. ‘The JCB Livelink telematics can be used as a reporting tool to see how long a vehicle has been idle, track fuel consumption, and access productivity reports. It can also be used for things like geofencing, which alerts operators when a vehicle leaves a predetermined area. This doesn’t just enhance safety and security; it also ensures that machines are put to their intended use, which helps with efficiency.’ David adds that the depth of information available helps customers view their machines in a different light and is changing purchasing decisions. ‘Operators are making more informed decisions. They are improving the utilisation of their fleet, driving cost savings.’ Technology can help drive efficiency in so many ways. The Purgo software system from VWS Software Solutions not only supports the full range of business processes within the waste sector but it can also generate revenue streams. Purgo handles all the bread and butter operations such as transport, dispatches, transfer loads, vehicle and job tracking, photos and signatures, etc, as well as modules for sales processes, billing,

scheduling, and even waste brokerage. It also integrates seamlessly with a vehicle’s weighing system to provide pay-by-weight services. ‘Pay-by-weight is a fairly recent development,’ says Andy Mirecki from VWS Software Solutions. ‘The concept took a while to take off as the equipment is a significant investment, but companies are realising that this technology pays for itself. There has been a real mindset change. The market is moving closer to a fully pay-by-weight model because it is a good revenue stream, and as more companies come on board, there is an incentive for the rest to follow.’ Purgo is proving a popular software for pay-by-weight because it offers a single point of contact between the weighing equipment and the software. It’s a seamless process from bin lift to invoice, and the data captured on each lift is available to both contractor and customer to assist with the continuing drive for efficiency. The system is also completely paperless. Everything is done electronically with no need to print routes, tickets or vehicle checks. All operations are carried out on a tablet that provides time and location-stamped evidence for each job and a live feed of information. This not only saves on paper but it also provides a wealth of information for operators and the ability to provide a more personalised service to customers. Andy Mirecki believes that technology like this has revolutionised the waste industry, and it is now more about servicing customers and managing efficiency than simply collecting and delivering waste. ‘Now customers can receive text messages updating them on their service and giving delivery and collection times – that was unheard of in this industry until recently.’

September 2017 LAPV 13


trends & developments

Above: RVS managing director Spencer Law says his company has developed customerfocused business models to suit the current market. Below: SFS's focus on flexibility to meet its customers' needs is behind a number of recent contract wins, such as Epsom and Ewell Borough Council.

Service, service, service Enhanced data is also helping to improve customer service, and service could not be more important right now. Local authorities want more for their money and that applies to the service they receive from suppliers as well as to the machines they purchase. And those suppliers are evolving their services to meet the changing needs of their customers in a variety of ways. RVS is an example of a company seeing solid business growth in all areas as it focuses firmly on customer service. In the last two years, RVS has changed from simply selling reconditioned vehicles to also offering new vehicles from stock, a hire fleet, and a servicing and maintenance solution. It is a business model that fills the gaps between the services offered by other suppliers, offering quickturnaround, customer-focused solutions. ‘We have developed our business models to suit the current market,’ says MD Spencer Law. ‘For example, our customers can now buy a new vehicle from us from stock and customise it, without the typical 30-week lead time. This is ideal for businesses that may have won a new contract and need vehicles quickly, for example, and eliminates the need for long-term hire to fill gaps in their fleet.’ Similarly, if local authorities and contractors need to minimise downtime, they can’t afford for vehicles to be out of action waiting for repairs. RVS will aim to get an engineer out within 24 hours, and all its engineers are experienced across a range of manufacturers’ products. ‘Our whole business is focused on doing whatever the customer needs, when they need it,’ says Spencer. ‘We recently had an engineer go out to a customer

14 LAPV September 2017

in the evening, and he worked until 3am to get the vehicle back on the road for the following day.’ The need for quick turnaround in the current market is something that Specialist Fleet Services knows all about. The company recently entered into a contract hire agreement with Lichfield District Council and Tamworth Borough Council’s Joint Waste Services. The company took over the contract at midnight and had its fleet on the road at 6am the next morning. Flexibility to meet customers’ needs is so important in the current market says SFS managing director Bob Sweetland, as what works for one local authority won’t be right for another. SFS’s recent contract for rolling stock replacement with Caerphilly County Borough Council is the perfect example. ‘This is very much a partnership contract,’ explains Bob. ‘In addition to replacing their fleet of 500 vehicles, the council wanted our support to help improve their workshop and fleet management. However, they didn’t just want us to go in and take over. They wanted to keep the staff employed by the council but take advantage of our private sector expertise.’ This is a key trend right now, and a result of the sheer pace of change this sector is seeing in vehicle developments and technologies. Busy fleet managers simply don’t have the time to keep up with all the latest developments and understand how they all work. Suppliers such as SFS, on the other hand, are in constant dialogue with all the key manufacturers about current and new technologies. It is this expertise that Caerphilly wanted to harness to improve its own performance, but the council was also focused on the local community. As a result, the contract includes recruiting a dedicated contract manager to work locally to support the fleet manager, taking on apprentices in the workshop, and the use of local suppliers. ‘We are sourcing as many vehicles as possible from local dealership and body builders and working with the council to ensure that procurement focuses on local suppliers and not just on improving efficiency,’ says Bob. The level of support involved in this contract is unusual, but Bob argues that understanding that different clients have very different needs is crucial to winning contracts. ‘We have to be flexible not only in what we offer but how we offer it.’

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trends & developments

Left: JCB's Proximity Braking System is designed to stop people making contact with machines. Right: Reaclear from ISS was developed to ensure reversing assistants do their job, even in adverse conditions.

High-tech safety One of the areas where technology has helped the industry take great leaps forward is safety, and two recent developments – the JCB Proximity Braking System and Reaclear from ISS – are perfect examples. Both systems were developed in response to an industry need. In the case of JCB’s Proximity Braking System, FCC Environment approached JCB to develop a system that could reduce the risk of accidents with its mobile plant, and JCB developed the auto-braking solution. The company is now making the system available to all its customers in a drive to improve safety across the industry. ‘The PBS is a warning system fitted to wheel loaders and is designed to stop people making contact with machines,’ explains JCB’s David Banks. ‘The system enables operators to set an exclusion radius of 5m, 10m, or 15m around a machine, and if someone walks into that exclusion zone, the system automatically applies the vehicle brakes. There is a receiver in the cab and receivers on the back of hard hats. If the hard hat receiver comes into range of the in-cab receiver, the brakes are applied.’ The PBS can be linked to JCB’s Livelink telematics system, providing an additional layer of safety. Livelink can record incidents for review and analysis, enabling operators to see what happened and why, and if any further action needs to be taken. This could also help identify any patterns in incidents, such as time of day or individual staff, and ensure an informed response. ‘It all helps to reinforce the safety message,’ says David. ‘We see this system as our way of giving something much needed back to the sector.’ Reaclear from Innovative Safety Solutions takes a different approach to a similar problem, this time addressing the dangers of reversing RCVs. It is the second in-house product from the technology company following the development of cycling safety system Cyclear, and although Reaclear has only now reached the stage where pre-production prototypes are about to be fitted to customer vehicles, it has actually been in development since 2009. At that time ISS was fitting digital recording systems to customers’ vehicles while simultaneously canvassing their opinion on what piece of technology they would like to see developed next. ‘The answer was unanimous,’ says ISS director Gavin Thoday. ‘They wanted something that would protect against the possibility of accidents from reversing vehicles.’ Over the subsequent 18 months, Gavin and his team reviewed the footage from customer cameras and saw that despite all the

16 LAPV September 2017

effort and training local authorities were putting in place, reversing assistants were not always doing their job. ‘A few jaws dropped when they saw the footage,’ says Gavin. The next step was to establish exactly what was needed. ‘First and foremost our customers wanted their guys out there doing the job they were supposed to do, so we needed to develop something that would get reversing assistants doing their job even when it is cold, or wet, or they are in a hurry to get home, and to ensure that they do it from behind the vehicle.’ Reaclear requires a signal to be sent to the driver giving the all clear to reverse. The reversing assistant is equipped with a handheld device with an integrated two-way push-to-talk feature. Once it is safe to reverse, the assistant pushes the transmit button to let the driver know. Initially, an auto-braking solution was considered if no signal was received, but this was ultimately rejected in favour of a solution that would both fulfil the brief and encourage better and safer driver behaviour. ‘Most customers wanted the system without the auto-braking element, so instead we developed the system so that an alarm sounds in the cab to alert the driver,’ explains Gavin. ‘If the driver does not apply the brakes when the alarm sounds, the system sends a message to the depot. The footage can then be reviewed to establish what happened and whether a driver disciplinary is required.’ A Reaclear prototype recently went through 18 months of testing in Bournemouth, following which some adjustments were made. Now eight pre-production prototypes are in the process of being fitted to the vehicles of a select number of customers. One of these is Serco, which plans to test out the system on its biggest contracts and canvas driver feedback with a view to potentially installing the system across its entire fleet. ‘Reverse manoeuvres are still very dangerous in this industry and voice communications between drivers and their reversing assistants are a must,’ says Serco national fleet and plant manager Phil Quelch. ‘That’s why Reaclear is a big step in the right direction to reduce or minimise accidents.’ Six local authorities will be among the first customers to receive the devices, and Gavin says the response from councils has been phenomenal. ‘Local authorities have always been very proactive when it comes to safety. It’s been a case of not if they want the system, but when they can have it. We thought we would see modest orders, but the response has been beyond our expectations.’

Your driver is being blamed. Success for the National Refuse Championships

The National Refuse Championships returned in WestonSuper-Mare in June this year when 17 refuse crews from across the UK competed for a chance to win the trophy and the title of national champions. The charity event, which raised £12,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society, was organised by Refuse Vehicle Solutions (RVS) and revives the World Refuse Championships that last took place in 1995. Around 2,500 people turned out to watch the race on Saturday 10 June, which featured five-man teams from Biffa, Amey, Simply Waste, Kier, Aspect Solutions, Hills Waste, Devon Contract Waste, Swindon Borough Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council, Weir Waste, Pirtek, Equinox Recycling, Grist Environmental, FCS Cleaning and Cartwright Skips. Staff from Gullivers Truck Hire and Dennis Eagle also participated in a fun run. The teams, which each included one driver, worked in pairs and took turns to run, load wheelie bins (240 litres and 1,100 litres) with sand bags and push them 50 metres before emptying them into a waiting refuse vehicle. The Aylesbury Vale District Council team (pictured) won the day, and each team member was awarded a £600 voucher for Centre Parcs. Second place team members won £250 of Buyagift vouchers and third place participants received £200 of Spa Day vouchers. For Spencer Law, MD of organiser RVS, the day fulfilled a long-held ambition to bring back the National Refuse Championships and create an event that recognises and celebrates those ‘in the thick of it’ in the waste industry and makes the connection between the work they do and the people who use their services. ‘We had no idea how it would go, and initially we struggled to get teams to sign up, but in the end the event was a roaring success. We were supported by friends and family and by the manufacturers. And we raised £12,000 for charity, which was great.’ In fact, the day was such a success that there are already 25 teams signed up for the 2018 event, and that’s before any invitations have been sent out. ‘In total, I think we will have around 33 teams next year, which is incredible,’ says Spencer. ‘2018 will be a two-day event, with the main event on Saturday and an exhibition of manufacturers on Friday, which will hopefully encourage even more suppliers to get involved.’

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Strength in numbers Successful synergies between regional authorities are helping councils deliver greater efficiencies through the formation of strong partnerships with suppliers, Rob Colby from Terberg Matec Uk TELLS Lapv. The first vehicles fitted with Terbeg Matec's Omnideka Electric bin hoist have recently been delivered to Ruschcliffe Borough Council.


ccording to a report published last year by the National Audit Office, councils faced a real-term reduction in their income of 25% between 2010/11 and 2015/16, with a further 8% reduction planned from 2015/16 to 2019/20, when both government funding and council tax are taken into account. Combined with the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations and the likely impact on local government funding currently received from the European Union, it is clear that councils are under more pressure than ever to deliver efficiency savings wherever possible. It is against this background that the industry is seeing the emergence of a joined-up approach to procurement from neighbouring councils, which through the formation of consortiums are able to use their combined purchasing power to achieve greater efficiencies in their procurement. At face value, joining forces to procure larger volumes as part of a framework agreement seems to make sense, particularly in the face of public-sector spending cuts, but how practical and achievable is it in reality? ‘Historically there have always been regional variations in waste collection methods and this is still the case today,’ says Rob Colby, director at Terberg Matec UK. ‘There are a number of reasons behind this, including local waste disposal methods, public demand in relation to collection frequency, preferences from individual councils with regards to branding, and also the nature of the environment in which refuse collection vehicles are operating.’ However, Rob argues that despite these regional variations there are instances where beneficial alliances between regional authorities are helping to facilitate closer working relationships between

18 LAPV September 2017

companies throughout the supply chain to deliver greater value. The Nottinghamshire Vehicle Procurement Consortium is a prime example of this. Founded with the aim of delivering greater efficiency through the formation of strong partnership agreements with suppliers, the Consortium started out as a group of eight local authorities. A testament to its success over recent years, it now incorporates a total of 13 councils throughout Nottinghamshire and into Derbyshire, and its group purchasing power helps to deliver significant savings across these areas. Current members include Nottingham City Council, Derby City Council, the district councils of Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Mansfield, Newark and Sherwood, and the borough councils of Broxtowe, Erewash, Gedling, and Rushcliffe. ‘Terberg Matec UK and Dennis Eagle have been working in partnership with Consortium members for a number of years, with Terberg Matec recently securing a third successive four-year supply agreement with the group,’ says Rob. The renewed contract commenced in April 2017 and sees the company continuing to partner with Dennis Eagle to supply complete refuse collection vehicle solutions up to 2021. ‘The agreement between the consortium and Terberg has continued to deliver significant advantages for all parties. We have a clear understanding of the needs of each local authority within the group and a large part of our success is down to the fact that we have a dedicated contract support team based at our North Nottinghamshire facility. Combined with the support we receive from our partner Dennis Eagle, this means we can respond quickly to any situation, which all helps to keep refuse collection services running


smoothly across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.’ In addition, Consortium members benefit from a more streamlined procurement process with a single point of contact for bodies, chassis and bin hoists. ‘Terberg Matec UK and Dennis Eagle have always had a close working relationship, and our bin lifts are a popular choice for the refuse collection vehicle manufacturer’s customers,’ says Rob. The strength of this relationship was further reinforced last year with the merger of parent companies Terberg Environmental and Rosroca Environment, highlighting that it is not only local authorities who can benefit from a more joined-up approach. The merger, which resulted in the creation of the Terberg Rosroca Group, has enabled businesses within the group to build an even stronger position in the market, underlined by a shared focus on delivering value and innovation to customers. ‘As part of our continued framework agreement with the Nottinghamshire Vehicle Procurement Consortium, Terberg Matec UK has always worked in close partnership with Dennis Eagle to deliver the complete vehicle and aftersales solutions to local authority members through the provision of products, aftersales, training, parts and warranties,’ Rob says. ‘These latest business-wide developments further reinforce this relationship and allow both companies to build on existing synergies to deliver an even more comprehensive package to customers, from the initial procurement and product fulfilment stage through to aftermarket care for the lifecycle of the vehicles.’ One of the ways in which the Nottinghamshire Consortium is now benefiting from a more joined-up approach through the procurement of Terberg Matec UK and Dennis Eagle products is via the Dennisconnect telematics system. This is now fitted as standard to all Dennis Eagle-manufactured products and also has the capability to be linked with Terberg bin hoists. It is designed to help customers improve performance and deliver efficiency savings by remotely monitoring fleet health to ensure vehicles achieve maximum uptime in the field. ‘The technology works by automatically sending messages via email or text, alerting customers to incidents such as low oil or

coolant levels or the engine overheating, as and when they occur. Should an issue develop that requires a vehicle repair, Dennisconnect automatically transmits fault codes to Dennis Eagle’s technical support centre with the vehicle’s location to enable engineers to respond quickly and efficiently.’ This real-time tracking enables accurate diagnosis of the fault, and the fault code can be converted into a list of parts that the engineers will need to repair the vehicle. It also means that the closest engineer with the most suitable skills for the particular repair can be assigned to the job, providing a better first-time fix rate and improved overall service level to customers. ‘The fact that our bin lifts can now be fully integrated with the Dennisconnect technology, when fitted to Dennis Eagle bodies and chassis, is an added bonus for customers. This means they can potentially benefit from a comprehensive telematics solution that monitors the health of the entire vehicle, with the convenience of a single point of contact in the event of any repair or maintenance requirements,’ says Rob. ‘Our latest innovation is the Omnideka Electric bin hoist and the first vehicles to be fitted with this variant have recently been delivered to Nottinghamshire Vehicle Procurement Consortium member Rushcliffe Borough Council.’ Combining a robust build with safe operation and efficiency, this automatic, low voltage, high-level electric bin hoist requires only a 24v power supply for operation, delivering significant savings in fuel and CO2 emissions. It also contributes to noise reduction, with operational levels below 57dB(A), which is the same volume as a normal conversation. As the Nottinghamshire Vehicle Procurement Consortium has successfully demonstrated, a more joined-up approach to waste management between local authorities can help to deliver significant efficiency savings. By working with suppliers who also understand the benefits of a more streamlined strategy, operators can reap the rewards of these strong partnerships for vehicle procurement and ongoing maintenance, placing them in an advantageous position when it comes to meeting the challenges of an increasingly uncertain economic future.

The Terberg Omnideka Electric bin lift The Omnideka Electric bin hoist is suitable for a variety of applications thanks to its flexible mount height, which ranges from 1150-1675mm. It has a generous ground clearance of 450mm and both a high lifting capacity and fast lifting/discharge cycle times for improved productivity. The Omnideka Electric weighs just 695kg. It has a centre of gravity projection of 250mm, a short 790mm overhang to optimise weight distribution, and a steep 46˚ tipping angle to reduce the risk of non-discharge. The hoist’s soft-lift kinematics lift and return containers efficiently while minimising damage, and it also offers energy savings thanks to its innovative chair mechanics. These store kinetic energy during the lift cycle, providing an energy-free chair return under gravity. Fully compliant with EN 1501-5, the Omnideka Electric bin hoist is also fitted with a rear protective device (RPD) with intelligent sensors that won’t be affected by adverse weather conditions, including heavy rain or snow.

September 2017 LAPV 19




Above, left to right: The Maxvac Electra 2 from the Addex Group; the Citycat 2020ev from Johnston Sweepers.

ohnston Sweepers first started looking at alternative fuels and advanced PM10 dust suppression over a decade ago when the company developed a sweeper run on compressed natural gas in 2005. It went on to work with the state of California and Freightliner to develop a sweeper run on CNG and became the first European sweeper manufacturer to be awarded AQMD PM10 (US Air Quality Management) certification. CNG offers a number of environmental advantages over diesel, including a 10-15% reduction in CO2 emissions, as well as lower fuel costs and reduced noise pollution. It also improves air quality, with a 70% reduction in NOx, 99% less PM, and 99% less NMHC (non-methane hydrocarbons) compared to Euro VI standards. Johnston will be unveiling its latest hydrostatic VS651 CNG machine, mounted on an Iveco chassis, at RWM in September. However, the big news from the company is the UK launch of the Citycat 2020ev, an electrically-driven compact sweeper. The Citycat 2020ev is the latest development from Johnston’s ‘Go Green’ initiative. It is powered by a lithium-ion battery that supplies 56 kWh – enough power for eight hours of use in drivemode. A powerful onboard charger fully charges the battery within two to three hours at any public car charging station. The full-size machine has 2m3 hopper capacity and, at 1,450kg, almost the same payload as the diesel-powered model. It has a top transit speed of 40kph. While the machine offers the same sweeping and suction performance as the conventional engine variant, it produces zero emissions and its operating noise under 2000/14/EC is a mere 92

20 LAPV September 2017

dB(A). That’s around 10 dB(A) quieter than a similar machine with a conventional diesel engine. Last year, the Citycat 2020ev was awarded second place at the Greentec Awards in Switzerland. The machine also offers long-term costs savings over diesel including reduced cost of maintenance, service and repairs, offering a relatively low total cost of ownership over its typical life expectancy of seven to ten years. It will be on display for the first time in the UK as part of Johnston’s product line-up at RWM 2017, alongside the company’s latest CNG-powered truck-mounted sweeper. Also new to the UK this year is the Maxvac Electra 2.0 from the Addex Group. This 100% electric, zero emissions sweeper has already proven popular in Europe and is now being made available to customers in the UK. The Maxvac Electra 2.0 is powered by lithium battery technology, providing enough power for a runtime of up to nine hours from a single overnight charge. Like the Johnston sweeper, it is quieter than its diesel equivalent – up to 32% quieter, according to Addex. And, while its upfront cost may be higher than a diesel, the company says that the Electra 2.0 offers a reduction of 96% in operating costs and a 26% drop in maintenance costs over diesel in the long term. Addex claims that within five years, the Electra 2.0 will be cost neutral compared with a diesel sweeper. The Electra 2.0 is a compact sweeper at only 1,150mm wide, but its cab has been designed for comfort and offers panoramic views. The sweeper has four-wheel drive while in sweeping mode and comes with the Addex ‘turn and follow’ automatic tracking system for the brushes, which enables it to perform effectively in challenging environments. It has a top speed of up to 24kph. A large 1.5m³ tipping waste container minimises unloading times, and the sweeper comes with a dust suppression system equipped with a 400-litre water tank. This unit includes spray nozzles on both the brushes and the suction hose. Both sweepers could be attractive options for local authorities looking to meet emissions targets, improve local air quality, and stay ahead of government regulations. An electric sweeper won’t be the right choice in every case, but these vehicles promise the same or improved efficiency and functionality as a diesel with none of the emissions, lower noise, and lower running costs. They are also a step towards the fleets of the future.

ELITE 6: THE CLEAR CHOICE FOR A HIGH PERFORMANCE SOLUTION VISIT US AT 5R70-S71 5R130-S131 Built to withstand the toughest conditions With a 10mm chassis frame, the Elite 6 is robust enough for the most demanding construction applications. Although it is designed for urban environments, our heritage in off-road conditions means it is suitable for rugged terrain.


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

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

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

Safe and ergonomic city driving


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

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

vehicle washing

Lean, clean refuse machines the public expects clean livery at all times but cleanliness is as much about productivity as image, which is why Luton borough Council has installed a brand new top and under-chassis vehicle wash. Ann-marie Knegt reports.


The FDI system uses cold water to keep operating costs down and minimise the risk of incubating bacteria.

lean vehicles are both greener and more efficient than dirty vehicles. An RCV carrying kilos of contamination on its underchassis or lodged in its compactor will underperform on many counts. How much downtime is added by having to chisel off the dirt to get to a service hatch or lubricate seized-up components? How much additional wear and tear is all that grime causing? How much quicker will parts corrode or wear out? The good news is that while there have been many technological advances to improve the cost-efficiency and green credentials of vehicles, manufacturers of vehicle washing systems have been doing the same. This has led to the development of both body and chassis washers that are far more cost effective, efficient and environmentally-friendly than ever before. FDI European is at the vanguard of these developments. Alex Elbrow is one of the directors and he says that local authorities and bus and coach companies represent a significant chunk of their market. ‘The way our systems work has changed beyond recognition in recent years. For a start, they are fully-automated with an infinite programme choice. A smart key card is assigned to each vehicle that contains its exact information. This tells the computer precisely which vehicle it is washing and selects the correct programme. ’The system can even avoid parts sensitive to water, such as batteries, electronics, and pneumatic rams on RCVs, or it can focus

22 LAPV September 2017

on the parts that require more thorough washing. When required, the system can even provide detailed management information. ‘The driver just holds the key card up to a reader and selects a light wash or a heavy wash. That’s all there is to it. They’re very popular – we have two complete equipment installations for one authority being installed in Scotland at the moment. ’ Andy Mills is fleet supervisor at Luton Borough Council where FDI European has installed a new vehicle washing facility. ‘Everything is in-house at Luton and we also use our R&M facilities to do work for other local authorities and organisations – it’s more revenue for the council to help cover overheads,’ says Andy. ‘There's a regular maintenance schedule for cleaning the vehicles, which go for inspection every eight weeks. We have a very new fleet of 26 refuse collection vehicles and they take some cleaning – inside the body and around the compactor. We’re about to start promoting waste recycling messages and other council services via advertising banners on the truck bodies, so it’s essential that the trucks are clean and presentable.' Andy explains that the council's Passenger Transport Unit is also replacing a number of its buses. 'We're just bringing our new Mercedes Treka buses in and that'll be 80 vehicles in all. It's best to keep them all looking as new as we can.' Luton previously had an in-house system provided by FDI/WNV but it wore out. 'It was over 18 years old and had seen heavy use.

vehicle washing

When we came to replace it, we put out a tender. Three companies submitted bids and FDI/WNV came out on top. ‘We particularly needed a system with a fully-automatic underchassis wash, which we never had before. Previously, vehicles were taken off-site for this which involved two technicians taking a couple of hours each trip. By doing this in-house we can cut that out. The fully-automated system has significantly increased productivity and improved turnaround time.' Luton now cleans between 12 and 25 vehicles a day at the new facility and that's just its internal fleet. 'We hope to attract a lot more external business when we begin marketing it,' says Andy. The other aspect of cleaning operations that has undergone significant change in recent years is safety. The Luton facility has a shallow primary collection area that plays a key role in under-chassis washing to collect and separate the contamination removed from both body and chassis. The entire area needs to be restricted, so automated entry and exit barriers not only ensure the vehicle is in the right place but also keep people out. At facilities where technicians are still involved in the manual chassis cleaning process, they have to be authorised. That means having Hepatitis A and B vaccinations and a constant free flow of air. An under-chassis clean can take several hours. The automatic WNV-patented chassis wash will clean a doubledecker bus chassis in 30 minutes ready for an MOT inspection, and an eight-wheeled refuse collection vehicle takes around 40 minutes. Although people are not directly involved in the FDI washing

process, anti-bacterial measures feature prominently in the system, with Legionella control, anti-stagnation packages and anti-bacterial applications to protect anyone with access to the site. The under-chassis system also uses cold water to keep operating costs down and minimise the risk of incubating bacteria. It does not rely on high-pressure jets to dislodge debris and contamination; instead, it uses a 15kW pump delivering 200 litres of water per minute through nine angled rotating nozzles, as high pressure can negate many vehicles warranties. Both FDI’s conventional and biological reclamation systems clean and reuse 100% of the water collected. The primary wash water collection area removes heavy solids then the effluent passes through a three-chambered system which separates suspended solids. Finally, the water is either passed through a conventional system – approved by the Environment Agency – or a biological unit, rendering the water clean for reuse. Each water reclamation system is automatically treated with antibacterial chemicals, 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year, to remove harmful bacteria. And they have Environment Agency and Water Authority accreditation which allows purchasers to claim 100% Enhanced Capital Allowance, effectively meaning the cost of reclamation is refunded by the Government. For Luton, the installation of the new washing system has achieved not only the council's aim of a clean vehicle fleet, but it is also helping them achieve greater efficiencies while improving safety and environmental performance.

Call FDI on 020 8641 5601 or email:

Fully automated systems, fast and safe with potential for revenue generation We design, supply, install, maintain and service all vehicle washing equipment including: • • •

Three brush rollovers Pressure & steam cleaners Under chassis washers

• •

Water reclamation systems Rain water harvesting

FDI-European, 140 Brighton Road, Burgh Heath, Surrey KT20 6AQ September 2017 LAPV 23

THE ULTIMATE VIVARO. The Vivaro Doublecab comfortably seats up to 6 and still delivers the right amount of loadspace and payload. The absolute best of both worlds. Spec it up to Limited Edition Nav and get even more.


Official Government Test Environmental Data. Fuel consumption figures Urban: 35.3 (8.0) - 40.9 (6.9), Extra-urban: 42.8 (6.6) - 51.4 (5.5), Combined: #Fuel consumption information is official government environmental data, tested in accordance with the relevant EU directive. Official EU-regulated test data are provided for comparison

mpg (litres/100km) and CO2 emissions (g/km). Vivaro Panel Van range: 40.9 (6.9) - 47.0 (6.0). CO2 emissions: 178 - 155g/km.# purposes and actual performance will depend on driving style, road conditions and other non-technical factors. Correct at time of going to press.

Future Fleet Forum 2018 Brought to you by LAPV, CILT, The City of London, and the City of New York 24 January 2018

25 January 2018

High-profile fleet management conference and awards Guildhall, City of London

Interactive workshop day City of London Corporation Offices, City of London

Brought to you by

Raising international standards for public sector fleet managers The LAPV Future Fleet Forum will bring together fleet and transport managers from the public sector and its contracting organisations to address key challenges faced by our industry, including procurement issues, compliance, safety, and sustainability. The Future Fleet Forum is the only international public sector fleet management event that offers new ways of thinking, examples of global best practice, and solutions to overcome the challenges of managing a fleet in a constantly changing political environment. The event will be delivered by senior fleet management officials from two of the leading cities in the world, London and New York, as well as a range of international experts. The welcome address will be delivered by Valerie Shawcross CBE, Deputy Mayor of Transport for London, and confirmed speakers include representatives from UPS, Vision Zero, the City of London Corporation, City of New York, CILT, City of London Police, London Borough of Hackney, University of Hull, King’s College London and more.

Future Fleet Forum 2018 will offer a unique platform to network across the industry, and provides the opportunity to: • Learn about changes in legislation and fleet

procurement processes and procedures • Achieve a greater understanding about how local

authority fleet management works in different types of councils • Identify new ways to improve the efficiency of operations and reduce costs • See live vehicle demonstrations and meet with exhibitors from the industry • Gain CPD points, certified by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Make sure you don’t miss out on this unique event by registering your interest at


FLEET SERVICES LTD FFFLeafletrev2.indd 1

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PROGRAMME DAY 1 Opening and Introduction Christopher M Hayward CC Chairman of the Planning and Transportation Committee, Member for the Ward of Broad Street, City of London

How Vision Zero can contribute to safety and sustainability for vehicle fleets Claes Tingvall Professor and Senior Consultant, ÅF Consulting, Sweden

Welcome Valerie Shawcross, CBE Deputy Mayor of London for Transport

Capital Asset Management Nick Bridle Professional Services Consultant, AssetWorks LLC

Large scale advanced propulsion vehicle deployments Michael G Britt Sr Director of Maintenance and Engineering and the Chief Alternative Fuel Engineer for International Operations for UPS

Implementing a responsible procurement strategy Christopher Bell Commercial Director at City of London Corporation The future of New York City’s fleet Keith Kerman Chief Fleet Officer/Deputy Commissioner, City of New York

The effects of Brexit on fleet management and procurement practice, and an overview of procurement challenges in the US, Canada and other countries Professor Christopher Bovis Professor of International and European Business Law, University of Hull

Final panel debate: Changes in Government administration, how policy changes will affect your operation, and how to steer your department through tumultuous times Christopher M Hayward CC, City of London Panellists: Christopher Bell, City of London Mike Britt, UPS Keith Kerman, City of New York Dr Gary Fuller King’s College London Professor Chris Bovis, University of Hull Richard Atkinson, CILT Norman Harding, London Borough of Hackney Peter Kayne, City of London Corporation Claes Tingvall, ÅF Consulting, Sweden

Electric technology for RCVs Alun Williams Applications Manager, Geesinknorba Colin McMorine Regional Business Manager, Geesinknorba Creating an innovation culture and achieving better recruitment practice Richard Atkinson Marketing and Communications, CILT Bio fuel trials and creating a zero carbon fleet Norman Harding Corporate Fleet Manager, London Borough of Hackney Council Urban air pollution from road transport – good news and bad news Dr Gary Fuller Air Pollution Scientist, King’s College, London

Close of conference Christopher M Hayward CC, City of London Ann Marie Knegt, Editor, LAPV Drinks reception and dinner followed by LAPV Future Fleet Awards

DAY 2 Fleet and Road Safety workshop Eric Richardson, Deputy Fleet Officer, New York City and City of London Representative Driver and mechanic shortage workshop, plus how to champion our industry and attract new talent / NYC education initiative at schools. Austin Birks, FCILT, Chair – Logistics Safety Forum, CILT Fleet consolidation, interoperability between departments, and procurement strategies Keith Kerman, Chief Fleet Officer, City of New York Arend Mouton, Fleet Manager, City of London Police Vince Dignam, Business Performance Manager, City of London Corporation Final discussion and close Ann-Marie Knegt, Editor, LAPV FFFLeafletrev2.indd 2

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Speaker Biographies Richard Atkinson

CBE MA FCILT FRSA MIoD MCIPR MA Director of Marketing and Communications CILT Richard is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. Previously, Richard served in the RAF, joining as a fighter pilot in 1982. In January 2012 he was posted as Head of RAF Media and Communications and was appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire as a Commander. Most recently he served as RAF Corporate Development Officer to redouble the RAF’s innovation culture.

Christopher Bell

FCIPS Commercial Director City of London Corporation Chris has over 20 years of experience in leading procurement and commercial functions specialising in business transformation, outsourcing, and category management development. He currently leads a 60-person department at City of London Corporation. The transformation of City procurement led to him being named as the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s Management Professional of the year in 2016.

Professor Christopher Bovis

JD, MPhil, LLM, FRSA Professor of International and European Business University of Hull Professor Christopher Bovis is a leading authority in public procurement and public-private partnerships, specialising in all areas of European business law, antitrust law and policy, with particular emphasis on public sector management. He advises national governments in public sector reforms and has acted on behalf of public sector and industry on numerous high-profile projects.

Michael G Britt Sr

Director of Maintenance and Engineering UPS Michael has spent 31 years at UPS, working in capacities including operations, industrial engineering and automotive engineering. Michael has led efforts in alternative fuel projects and technology development for the US and international fleets, including compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane, electric technology, hydrogen fuel cells, and hybrid vehicle development, including both hybrid electric.

Dr Gary Fuller Air Pollution Scientist King’s College London Dr Gary Fuller is an air pollution scientist at King’s College London. He led the development of the London Air Quality Network and has pursued network data analysis techniques to characterise trends in the sources of urban air pollution and, importantly, the impact of policies to clean the air that we breathe. He also works closely with toxicologists and epidemiologists to investigate the impact of urban air pollution on our health. FFFLeafletrev2.indd 3

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Speaker Biographies Norman Harding

MIRTE MSOE Corporate Fleet Manager London Borough of Hackney Council Norman Harding provides cost effective fleet and services support for Hackney Council’s internal customers, and is responsible for 460 vehicles. He coordinates asset and service contract procurement to maximise value, with an emphasis on legal compliance, cost efficiency, safety, continuous improvement and environmental sustainability. Norman has considerable experience of implementing alternative fuel technology including LPG, electric and hybrid vehicles, and high blend UCO biodiesel. He also chairs ALTO, a voluntary network of senior transport managers from the 33 London authorities supporting information exchange, joint working and collaboration on like-for-like services and projects.

Christopher M Hayward CC

Chairman of the Planning and Transportation Committee, Member for the Ward of Broad Street City of London Corporation Chris is a former Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire County Council and was elected to the Common Council of the Corporation of the City of London for Broad Street Ward in March 2013. He serves as Chairman of the City’s Planning and Transportation Committee. Chris has also been Churchwarden at St Margaret Pattens and Chairman of The Trustees of the Friends of St Margaret Pattens. He is a former chairman of the Broad Street Ward Club, a member of the Candlewick Ward Club, Life and Council Member of the City Branch of the Royal Society of Saint George and a Life and Court member of The Guild of Freemen. In addition, he is a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers.

Keith Kerman

Chief Fleet Officer City of New York Keith Kerman is a Deputy Commissioner at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and New York City’s first Chief Fleet Officer. Keith is an agency lead for Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities in NYC and is currently spearheading a series of safety initiatives for the city’s fleet. New York City has the largest municipal fleet in the United States with over 30,000 vehicles, 80,000 fleet operators, and more than 2,000 staff engaged in fleet operations and servicing. It also has one of the greenest fleets in the nation, with more than 17,000 vehicles operating on some type of alternative fuel including hybrids, electric, compressed natural gas, and biodiesel.

Claes Tingvall

Professor and Senior Consultant ÅF Consulting, Sweden Claes Tingvall is Professor and Senior Consultant at ÅF in Sweden. He was former Director of Traffic Safety at the Swedish Transport Administration and was involved from day one in the development of Vision Zero. Claes Tingvall is an epidemiologist with a PhD from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. He also has a Doctor of Science degree h.c. from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He was Director and Professor of Monash University Accident Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Claes Tingvall has been Chairman of the Board of Euro NCAP and Chairman of ISO PC 241 responsible for the development of ISO 39001, the management system for traffic safety. FFFLeafletrev2.indd 4

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Future Fleet Awards 2018 Have you got what it takes to be the best in the industry? Wednesday 24 January 2018 | Guildhall, City of London, UK

The most innovative strategic, safety, and sustainability initiatives in the UK fleet management sector will be recognised at a lavish awards ceremony at LAPV’s Future Fleet Forum in January 2018. Held at London’s Guildhall on 24 January 2018, the event will hand out awards to public sector organisations in three categories: • Best fleet/road safety initiative • Most innovative fleet management strategy • Most sustainable fleet management department.

A high-profile judging panel has been put together that combines knowledge and expertise in fleet management from London to New York.

The Judging Panel: Keith Kerman Deputy Commissioner and Chief Fleet Officer, City of New York Eric Richardson Deputy Fleet Officer, City of New York Vince Dignam Business Performance Manager, City of London Corporation Arend Mouton Vehicle Fleet Manager, City of London Police Chris Ruane Public Authority Development Officer, CILT Graham Sheen Business Services Secretary (benchmarking), CILT Ann-Marie Knegt Editor of LAPV and Fire & Rescue magazines

Organisations can enter by submitting a 750-1,000 word case study on their project, which should include the challenge that was addressed, the situation prior to the implementation of the new strategy, how the solution was implemented and which service providers were involved. The case study can include pictures, videos, and hyperlinks to relevant news coverage.

Submit your Entries: A submissions portal will be available on Enquiries can be sent to LAPV editor Ann-Marie Knegt: In selecting the winners, the judges will score submissions on the following criteria: innovation; use of technology; management of staff; public engagement; savings made; improvement of service to the public; improvement for internal organisation; staff engagement; sustainability; and safety. The winners in each category will receive a two-page write up on their project in LAPV, a Future Fleet awards statue, and the right to display the Future Fleet benchmark on their literature.

The deadline for submissions is 30 October 2017 and the shortlist will be revealed on 6 January 2018. To reserve your place at the awards dinner contact Jason Pidgeon for more information: +44 (0)20 7973 4645 FFFLeafletrev2.indd 5

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Future Fleet Forum 2018 HOW TO RECEIVE A FREE INVITATION AS A PUBLIC SECTOR PROFESSIONAL Future Fleet Forum is FREE to attend for public sector professionals but attendance is by invite ONLY. To ensure you will be provided with an exclusive invitation, you can register your interest at: Private sector attendees should email for further details and to take advantage of the early booking discount.

Exhibiting and Sponsorship Opportunities Please contact Jason Pidgeon today at +44 (0)20 7973 4645

fleet services

NRG for the future The opening of a new super site in Wolverhampton means that fleet services provider NRG can now meet all of its customers’ operational requirements from one centrally-located facility. lotte debell reports.


Lewisham Council took on a hybrid-electric Geesinknorba GPM 4 supplied by NRG on a five-year contract hire arrangement. It was officially introduced at the Cartmarking Ceremony at the Guildhall in the City of London in July.

he new super site is just one aspect of a significant investment programme by NRG Fleet Services to position itself at the forefront of the fleet services market. Through its diverse businesses that include Riverside Truck Rental, Direct Tyre Management, Alex Inglis Scotland, and Tyreforce, the company already offers everything from contract hire to fleet management, tyre management and fleet maintenance. Recent investment in new facilities and vehicles is part of a long-term growth strategy that is heavily focused on customer service. The Wolverhampton site is the company’s largest in England (there is an even bigger site in Scotland). It has around 30 staff working across a vehicle maintenance workshop, a rental depot, an authorised testing facility to carry out MOTs, a paint shop, accident repairs, a body fabrication shop, and a shot-blasting workshop. ‘We identified a need for a one-stop-shop in a central location that would be able to carry out all the functions our customers require,’ says NRG sales and commercial director Russell Markstein. ‘We have been developing our workshop, maintenance and rental network over the years and we now have 23 facilities in the UK, but this is the first site in England where a customer can have everything done in one place. It significantly enhances the services we can offer to our customers.’

32 LAPV September 2017

The super site model is something NRG plans to pursue further, with more facilities planned over the next two to three years. ‘It’s too soon to say where, but we are looking at sites in the north east and south west of England,’ says Russell. In addition, the company is looking at developing existing facilities where possible to expand its capabilities at a local level. ‘For example, when there is space we might add a paint booth, and we want to open a new body shop in London and the south east.’ NRG is also adding to its already extensive list of services by developing an accident management side to the business. This will take on all the processes involved in dealing with an accident on behalf of customers to ensure vehicles get back on the road as quickly and as smoothly as possible. ‘We already offer everything else; this was the only thing we were missing,’ explains Russell. ‘The aim is to develop a service that will save our customers time, money and the stresses of dealing with an accident by managing the entire process from vehicle recovery to dealing with insurers, completing the repair, and getting the vehicle back in action. As with everything else we do, there will be just one point of contact for this service, further simplifying things for our customers.’ NRG runs a customer service centre that is open 24/7, 365 days a year and handles around 700,000 calls annually. All the services offered by the NRG businesses can be accessed through this customer centre via a single number, and all call handling staff have the technical knowledge to answer questions and refer customer issues to the nearest maintenance centre or depot for resolution. ‘Some of our customers, particularly for the tyre businesses, such as utility companies and parcel delivery firms, need rapid response. The ability to access all our support services through one number and speak to someone with the know-how to help them makes things so much easier.’ NRG’s extensive national network of maintenance facilities means that customers can usually be referred to a service centre in their

Whatever the job, we’ve got the truck. We tailor the right chassis, engine and body for all your needs. Our fuel-saving systems make sure your vehicle remains at its greenest, whilst our smarter technologies ensure your truck remains at its safest. In addition, our support network delivers unrivalled service to always keep you moving. So no matter what the job, there’s a Mercedes-Benz or FUSO for you. Join us on our stand located just inside the entrance of Hall 5 at RWM 2017 at the NEC, Birmingham on 12-14 September to discover our range of trucks for municipal applications. For more information on our trucks, visit or call 0800 090 090. For show details, visit

fleet services

Left: A Dennis Eagle Olympus is just one of the many RCVs on hire at NRG Fleet Services Right: The new super site in Wolverhampton. Below: Russell Markstein, sales and commercial director for NRG Fleet Services.

local area, which is a huge plus. And keeping things local was behind yet another investment by NRG. This has seen the company double the size of its sales force to ensure that customers’ local key account managers really are within easy reach. ‘We’ve hired more people and made their areas smaller so we can genuinely say we are a national company with a local service,’ says Russell. ‘It also expands our reach and helps win more business.’ This significant expansion in spite of challenging marketing conditions is all part of the business strategy for NRG, which aims to offer everything a truck or plant operator could possibly need. This even includes a vehicle compliance department that ensures all vehicles are legally compliant, something that Russell believes NRG is alone in offering. And the strategy is paying off. NRG was recently named as one of the Financial Times top 1000 fastest growing companies in Europe for 2017. ‘We have chosen to invest in the business in a big way because we believe this is the way forward. For example, we have recently purchased 181 new hire vehicles for our rental fleet at a cost of £25m at a time when no other companies in the market are purchasing significant numbers of new rental vehicles.’ The rationale, as Russell explains, is that while a reluctance on the part of end users to pay for new vehicles on hire has led to an ageing rental fleet nationally, those same customers also increasingly

34 LAPV September 2017

require vehicles that are both more environmentally friendly and meet new, tougher safety standards. By purchasing new vehicles, NRG has made a deliberate choice to future-proof its fleet against changing customer requirements. ‘We could have invested in bringing older vehicles up to standard, but these days customers often want vehicles that are under three years old,’ says Russell. ‘A lot of tenders are also specifying vehicle age requirements – older trucks are already banned from central London, for example – so by purchasing new vehicles that are all Euro VI and FORS and CLOCS compliant, we are ensuring that we are compliant on tenders, particularly hire framework tenders.’ Future-proofing the fleet doesn’t stop at buying new vehicles and ensuring they have the latest safety technology, however. NRG is also doing its own development in the field of clean energy and is working on a project to refurbish older vehicles to run on battery power. ‘We believe electricity is the way forward for municipal operations,’ says Russell. ‘But, while the manufacturers all have development plans, things are moving slowly and the cost of electric vehicles right now is prohibitive for customers like local authorities. So we are looking at an alternative route, taking older trucks and refurbishing them by taking out the engine and the gear box and replacing these with electric motors and batteries. That way, customers can have a virtually new electric vehicle at little more than the cost of a standard diesel vehicle.’ NRG is working with a number of waste operators on the project and full details won’t be revealed until Future Fleet Forum in January 2018, at which NRG is a main sponsor. ‘We are working on adapting our fleet for the future, so Future Fleet Forum is a really important event for us. We believe in what it is trying to achieve, and from that point of view, it ticks all the right boxes. That is why we have chosen to invest all our exhibition budget in Future Fleet Forum. It is also where we are going to unveil our electric vehicle.’ A future-proofed fleet, however, has to be paid for, and Russell is concerned that the standard of vehicles in the hire market is declining as a result of customers’ reluctance to pay for the age and quality of vehicle they say they need. NRG has chosen to invest despite this disconnect, and thanks to its customer-focused and comprehensive service offering that strategy is paying off, but Russell believes that there still needs to be a fundamental shift in attitude across the sector. Times might be tough, but safer, more environmentally-friendly vehicles are better for everyone in the longterm, and the long-term is what NRG’s investments are all about.




A recent AA survey revealed that motorists are concerned about visibility of signs near junctions due to overgrown shrubs.

ccording to the AA survey, 42% of respondents stated that line-of-sight problems with roadsides were the result of overgrown shrubs and grass that had grown too long. A further 39% claimed that direction signs were being obscured by overhanging branches. Local highways authorities have a legal duty to ensure signs are visible, but budgetary restraints and competing priorities, such as unrepaired potholes, often mean that something has to give. In many cases, this is the frequency of roadside cutting. However, as Edmund King from the AA points out: ‘Something as simple as cutting back shrubs to improve sight lines at junctions can be the difference between seeing a vulnerable road user and not seeing them.’ He goes on to warn that reducing the number of times that trees and shrubs are cut back per year can have consequences, so how do local authorities balance budgets with safety? And what are the latest developments from manufacturers that can help? In Norfolk the county council has two grass cutting schedules: one for urban roads and another for rural roads. The rural cutting regime is carried out by Tarmac as part of the wider highway maintenance contract they were awarded in April 2014. The agreement involves a single swathe cut on all maintained rural roads

twice a year with visibility splays cut twice as far back as necessary. ‘The council’s approach to verge cutting polarises opinion,’ says Maria Thurlow, maintenance engineer, highways and transport community and environmental services for the council. ‘We receive a lot of comments every year, both from people concerned that we haven’t yet cut the verges back – citing concerns about road safety and areas looking "scruffy" – and those who think we cut too much and too often, to the detriment of plants, wildlife and the natural beauty of the county. However, we believe we have a balanced approach to highway safety and the protection of the environment.’ Verges in urban areas are cut more frequently, sometimes by local councils, to an agreed standard of five times a year. However, local councils may choose to cut these more frequently. ‘We have street scene inspectors undertaking routine inspections of the highway who will identify if further intervention is required to clear obscured signs,’ explains Maria. ‘Members of the public can also report an obscured sign, which will be investigated. It is important to remember that most hedges adjoining the highway are private and it is the responsibility of the landowner to cut them back.’ Maria adds that the Norfolk County Council also manages over nine miles of roadside nature reserves in the county. ‘These are verges that contain plant species that have been identified as rare at

36 LAPV September 2017








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12/07/2017 09:40


Above: The Power ARM 30-series has been designed by McConnel for compact and low horsepower tractors. Right: An example of a traffic sign obscured by overgrown vegetation. Below: McConnel’s Swingtrim comes with a cutterbar.

38 LAPV September 2017

a national level. These are cut and the cuttings are removed.’ In Somerset, meanwhile, the county council has a policy of cutting highway verges to a minimum of one metre from the roadside to provide a safe area for pedestrians and help the flow of surface water along road channels. ‘We also cut visibility sight lines to ensure road users and pedestrians can see at junctions and on bends,’ explains a council spokesperson. ‘Each verge will be cut once during the growing season, except A and B road junction visibilities, which will be cut twice. We also encourage residents to report any problems they spot and carry out reactive cutting when required.’ Aware of the pressures facing local authorities, equipment and machine manufacturers are stepping up with new developments designed to make the management of roadside vegetation more efficient. One such is Bobcat, which has launched a new cutter attachment, the FRC150ST, that fits on the smaller Bobcat S630/H and S650/H skid-steer loaders and on the T590/H and T650/H compact tracked loaders. The new attachment mulches trees and underbrush in minutes, leaving a carpet of mulch behind when clearing trees and bushes. It has a cutting width of 1.5 metres and is designed for continuous work on bushes and trees of 100-120 mm in diameter, for intermittent use for trees with a diameter of 150-200 mm, and occasional use on trees that are 220-260 mm in diameter. Bobcat explains that the attachment is intended for a wide range of applications including agriculture, tree care and forestry; wildlife, national park and country estate management; land clearance; cleanup after floods and storms; and maintenance work next to highways, pathways and other rights-of-way, utilities, and railway lines. Another company offering versatility in its product range for verge cutting is Spearhead, one of Europe’s largest vegetation management equipment manufacturers. Spearhead has a range of attachments that can be used with its long-reach Quadsaw/Cutterbar for hedge cutting and shrub control, as well as a range of grass-cutting and mowing machines. Skanska, the highways contractor for Somerset County Council, operates a system of a standard tractor-mounted flail mower and generally uses Twose and McConnel arms and flails. McConnel is a manufacturer of power arm technology and supplier of vegetation control equipment to many of the UK’s local authorities and their contractors, and the company has developed a series of innovations to help teams work harder, faster and safer. The range includes the Revolution multi-function reach arm control system. This enables operators to tackle a wide variety of tasks at the same time, maximising productivity, safety and reliability. Revolution also enables precise fingertip control for the best manoeuvrability. It is, says McConnel marketing manager Wayne Brown, the first control package to give operators full proportional control of up to eight different functions. For grass-cutting, McConnel has its Easy Drive System, a handsfree cruise control verge mowing system that increases working speeds from 4kph up to a maximum of 18kph. Sensors read the contours of the ground ahead, reacting up to 30 times a second to changing conditions and enabling the system to automatically adjust the position of the flail head, resulting in a big reduction in the need for driver input as well as improved comfort and accuracy. ‘McConnel develops and designs arms and operating heads specifically to help operators. We fully understand the increasing pressures on contractors and local authorities to maintain the highest level of service at the same time as they are feeling the impact of budget cuts. If the number of cuts per year is reduced to stay within budget, then it is important to make sure that the job is completed in an optimal manner. The safety of all road users is always going to be a priority when designing equipment.'


Northern Powergrid takes on dedicated Unimogs for hot-glove teams The Mercedes-Benz Unimog has been a feature of the all-terrain utilities sector for decades. The Unimog’s all-terrain chassis has been in continuous development for more than 70 years, to the point where it has the dexterity and flexibility to access difficult locations that might otherwise only be attempted by a specialist tracked machine delivered on low-loader. Northern Powergrid's fleet manager Lin Walker and her team have been the driving force behind a number of recent developments and innovations in all-terrain platforms using the latest Euro VI engine Unimog. Among them is the very first Versalift VOE36MHi platform with manual handling capability of 630kg at the jib, and twin pivoting 130kg buckets for two-man operation. It entered service just recently. Alistair Walton, North Lincolnshire zone manager for NPG explains: ‘Insulated to Category C (46kV), these Unimogs are utilised by hot-glove teams, enabling them to work live on high voltage overhead line networks. This negates the need for planned power cuts while construction, maintenance and repairs activities are taking place.’ In developing these new dedicated vehicles, the management of NPG had to work closely with its field-experienced hot-glove teams as well as with Unimog dealer South Cave Tractors and individual bodybuilders. Another recent addition to the company’s fleet is a higher gross vehicle weight machine. This is another first for both Unimog and NPG.

Rated at 16.5t, it offers manual handling ability and carries the Versalift VST 5000 platform. This vehicle could be considered something of a heavyweight, at least in Unimog circles, but the combination of its large footprint, agri-grip tyres and the Unimog’s fully integrated central tyre inflation system ensures it remains light on its feet.


On-board Weighing Indicator

02920 600 307 LAPV 1/2 ad.indd 1


Touch screen operation with high resolution.


Din slot or dash mount.


Two overload alarm set-points.


On-screen customer identification.


Print & record weights per customer ID and/or per delivery/ collection.


Two channel mV input


Weigh in Kg or Lbs.


Wide range of load cells and accessories


VCA certified 16/05/2017 16:19

September 2017 LAPV 39

driver training



FORS accreditation requires that, at the most basic level, drivers and line managers complete appropriate training, focusing particularly on the health and safety of employees and vulnerable road users.

he Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme is a voluntary accreditation scheme open to all transport operators. Established in 2008, FORS membership is available to UK and non-UK fleet operators, and to specifiers and contractors who buy in their transport requirements. With over 4,600 members, FORS is now firmly established as the go-to accreditation scheme for best practice. One of FORS most highly regarded benefits is FORS Professional, the wide-ranging training programme that encompasses the scheme’s three core principles of best practice in safety, efficiency, and environmental protection. FORS Professional consists of many free training courses, regional workshops, eLearning, practical toolkits, guides and advice, all designed to encourage and educate operators to adopt a best practice mindset over and above legal compliance. FORS accreditation requires that, at the most basic level, drivers and line managers complete appropriate training, focusing particularly on the health and safety of employees and vulnerable road users. All drivers and line managers must undergo continuous professional development and approved progressive training to ensure they are aware of the risks posed to vulnerable road users. Sites that require drivers to have completed certain training before entering the area can check whether drivers have the approved training by checking the FORS Professional training register.

A year in numbers To date, over 55,000 drivers have attended Safe Urban Driving (SUD) courses or have renewed their SUDs training. SUD courses benefit from Transport for London funding and provide truck and public service vehicle drivers with an opportunity to gain a cyclist’s view of the road. An equivalent for van drivers, Van Smart, is also available, aiming to improve safety and create long-term behavioural change in the van sector.

FORS offers comprehensive training for managers as well as drivers, understanding that proper fleet management is just as essential for improving safety as driver training. So far in 2017, FORS has already marked the 600th and 700th FORS Practitioner. This is the status given to those individuals who complete all nine of the FORS Practitioner workshops, a series covering all aspects of fleet management including work-related road safety, reducing fuel use, and minimising fines and charges. Companies that reach FORS Gold accreditation are encouraged to have at least one manager with FORS Practitioner status or a completed CPC refresher. The courses ensure that companies are equipped with the latest industry best practice, including regulatory and legal requirements governing fleet operations.

Training in action Camden Council is a FORS Gold member, situated in the heart of central London with a fleet of around 280 road vehicles and over 100 other powered machines. FORS has been a catalyst in helping Camden to deliver a range of improvements and meet its strategic priorities. Camden Council has hosted FORS workshops, including Safe Urban Driving and Van Smart courses, and participated in the development of courses to maximise the knowledge of its diverse driving workforce. As part of the FORS accreditation process, Camden Council has evaluated many of its processes, from vehicle procurement to driver assessments, eye sight checks, collision reporting, and insurance claims. As part of its work-related road risk strategy, the council encourages operators it is working with to gain FORS accreditation. It also encourages companies to undergo progressive training, which includes a mix of theoretical, eLearning, practical and on the job training, as well as continued professional development throughout the term of the contract with the Council. This includes training that

40 LAPV September 2017


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FORS Professional consists of free training courses, workshops, eLearning, practical toolkits, guides and advice, designed to encourage and educate operators to adopt a best practice mindset over and above legal compliance.

The FORS scheme is expanding overseas, and there are now around 40 international members and 2,000 accredited vehicles.

covers the safety of vulnerable road users and on-cycle hazard awareness. Ashtead Plant Hire, an equipment hire company, is a FORS Gold member with Whole Fleet Accreditation (WFA). The company is also a FORS Champion, promoting the scheme throughout its supply chain. Its extensive driver training programme has trained over 1,100 Ashtead Plant Hire drivers in Safe Urban Driving. WFA accreditation means the company maintains a consistent standard across all its locations and has seen a reduction in incidents and collisions as a result of its FORS membership.

Concise, accessible training One of the ways that FORS encourages the uptake of training is by providing online eLearning modules, which take around 30-40 minutes to complete. Concise and accessible, drivers and managers are able to complete the training at a convenient time. Topics such as cycle safety, looking at the importance of driver attitude and perception, are crucial for sharing best practice among drivers. So far in 2017, more than 47,000 eLearning modules have been completed by drivers and managers. Training is reviewed to remain up-to-date, with revised modules launched when new developments come to light. For example, Smart Driving has recently been launched as a revised module. Other eLearning modules include Van Smart, Cycle Safety, Parking and Loading Legally. In January 2017, FORS Professional started to provide two new Locity eLearning modules for its members, the driver module ‘Time to Clean Up’ and the manager module ‘Time to Look Ahead’. FORS is continuing to develop its training and benefits package, including adding Practitioner workshops around the UK and developing new eLearning modules, to ensure it meets the demands of the ever-changing industry.

The bigger picture: manager training FORS Professional also provides in-person classroom training, and so far in 2017, there have been 14,757 registrations for workshops and courses for both drivers and managers, including the FORS Practitioner courses, Safe Urban Driving, Van Smart, Collision Management modules, and Staying Legal. Toolbox talks are also available to support managers in passing along guidance to drivers to help meet the requirements of the FORS Standard. The packs are designed to cover key areas of the standard

42 LAPV September 2017

that drivers should be aware of, for example, defect checks, tyre and fuel management, and driver fitness and health, to name just a few. The latest course to be added to the FORS Professional programme is collision management training. The two, one-day courses for FORS-accredited operators are designed for those looking for clear guidance on how to reduce the number and severity of road traffic collisions. Managers are expected to share key insights with their drivers to reduce incidents within the fleet. A Road Risk Champion course is available for managers implementing policy, processes and procedures across an organisation. FORS Professional is also providing a Collision Investigator course, suitable for those who need to be equipped with investigatory knowledge and skills, such as duty managers. The courses are part of a wider rollout of a new toolkit, developed by TfL, which provides a practical, effective and logical solution for managing, reporting, investigating, monitoring and minimising road traffic collisions and other transport-related incidents. There are also eLearning modules to complement the package with the ultimate aim of helping operators reduce the number and severity of incidents that vehicles are involved in.

Implementing training in-house 'Train The Trainer' sessions enable operators to deliver FORS approved training in-house, focusing on improving the knowledge and skills of trainers to deliver consistent training that is fully aligned with the requirements of Contractual Work Related Road Risk (WRRR) requirements, CLOCS Standard, and FORS Silver accreditation. Trainers are encouraged to build a good rapport with the audience, to challenge misconceptions, and to meet the needs of the audience.

FORS in the future FORS is not just a local or even a national scheme. It is an international one. It is rapidly expanding overseas with around 40 international members totalling more than 2,000 accredited vehicles. There are now FORS accredited operators in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey. As the scheme grows, FORS Professional will continue to expand its training offering, providing relevant and up-to-date training for drivers and managers, equipping them with the knowledge to create a safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly industry.

driver training

Councils streamline business processes with Assetworks solution When Wakefield Council chose assetworks Fleetfocus solution to manage the increasing demands of its fleet and transport operations, the council was able to bring together all its vehicle, workshop, plant and driver management activities into one system. the assetworks Fleetfocus product suite consists of Fuelfocus, an automated fuel management system, Keyvalet, an automated motor pool management system, integrated telematics and a capital asset management solution. the company also has a suite of mobile applications, Smartapps, that extends functionality outside fleet and maintenance facilities for employees on the go. Since implementing Fleetfocus solution, Wakefield saw vehicle turnaround improve by 3% in the first year, bringing significant cost savings. Customer complaints also dropped to near zero, and it has achieved full compliance with health and safety requirements. in addition, the council has been able to keep on top of its fuel use using Fuelfocus. as a Wakefield vehicle takes on fuel, the data is validated by Fuelfocus and is instantly available in Fleetfocus for billing and reporting. With the help of Keyvalet, the automated motor pool management system, Wakefield also operates a desk-free service for its pool travel scheme, allowing for short-term hires of internal pool and external hire vehicles, including bicycles and travel passes. Bookings are made remotely and the keys distributed securely by code at Keyvalet boxes. the council is also using assetwork’s Smartapps suits of mobile applications and the council is a member of the special interest group

that designed the mobile applications. On the other side of the atlantic, the City of new York is using three forms of business intelligence reports from the Fleetfocus system to assist with its vision Zero road safety initiative. this was launched by Major Bill de Blasio to eliminate road traffic deaths in the city. the assetwork business intelligence reports used by new York fleet include Crystal reports, which provides weekly tracking of things such as collision metrics, defensive driving course completions and preventative maintenance. the fleet also uses dashboards to display real-time information using a graphical gauge format. Fleet uses several emergency and roadside dashboards to show various threshold points, such as breakdowns waiting for a tow, suspended road calls and vehicles awaiting an assignment. Parts availability dashboards keep track of part quantities, order logs and which jobs or units are waiting on parts.

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Key to successful vehicle procurement is the development of an operational specification, not just a vehicle wish list.

hile it is certainly the case that modern vehicles are far more reliable and environmentally friendly than they used to be, pick the wrong one and you are left with a vehicle that almost, but not quite, fulfils its intended function. The result is an inefficient vehicle and a frustrated operator for the operational life of the vehicle, which could be up to five to ten years. Pick the wrong supplier or funding route, on the other hand, and the downstream consequences can be even more severe from a financial point of view. Without the right aftersales service, the vehicle could also incur more costs and have more downtime. So, what are the most common mistakes buyers make when purchasing commercial vehicles, and how do you avoid them? Firstly, develop a true operational specification before you do anything else. Very few vehicle operators seem to carry out this step. Many organisations buy ‘more of the same’, or specify a particular model without carrying out a full assessment to determine whether it is the most appropriate vehicle for the job. That's a mistake that could affect productivity if the wrong vehicle is purchased.

Instead, to ensure you purchase the right vehicle, go back to basics and specify exactly what that vehicle needs to do, who is to use it, and how. Consider questions such as: who will drive the vehicle? How often? For how many hours per day and over how many miles per year? How many passengers will there be and what equipment will it carry? Where will it be operating? What load will it carry (specifically weight, volume and numbers)? Are there any constraints on loading or unloading? The list can be extensive, and it must be specific to your operation. This part of the process involves some hard thinking and also requires operators to look to the future and take into account potential changes to work patterns and business requirements. It should also include consideration of the latest vehicle technologies that may affect the operation, as well as the numerous variations and options available. In developing the operational specification, managers may also need assistance and contributions from drivers and vehicle operators. It always pays to ask the person doing the job exactly that they want

44 LAPV September 2017







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and need from a vehicle. This is crucial if you want to specify the right fleet and get buy-in from employees. Armed with a true operational specification (not just a buying wish list), you are already ahead of 90% of vehicle buyers.

Look at whole-life costs This really is critical, and although everyone talks about it, it is surprising how often it gets overlooked in the procurement process. Don’t make the mistake of being seduced by a high upfront discount – which can make you feel like you are getting a good deal – and forget about the whole-life cost. That you get what you pay for holds just as true for vehicles as for everything else. Cheap vehicles and special offers can look attractive, especially as you can demonstrate initial savings to finance directors, but buying cheaply often leads to higher costs downstream when the cost of repairs or high downtime or poor fuel efficiency makes the fleet more expensive to run. Yes, this process is complex, but calculating lifetime costs is actually quite straightforward. Look at depreciation, fuel, and repairs. For this exercise, other running costs such as labour can usually be taken out of the equation, as they should be similar for each vehicle. Obviously, if there are significant issues for a particular purchase, such as opting for an electric vehicle, factor these in. Otherwise, keep things as simple as possible. Fuel is usually in the top two running costs for heavy commercial vehicles. Even so, buyers don’t always attempt to factor in the cost of lifetime fuel when making a buying decision. And, as local authority mileages tend to be low, fleet managers often ignore their impact. However, as an example, take a truck with a purchase price of £50,000. Imagine there are two comparable vehicles that could do the job. One achieves 9mpg, while the other manages 10mpg. Say the vehicle at 9mpg has an extra 3% discount on the purchase price, which equates to £1,500. At current rates, the vehicles would only have to travel 30,000 miles before the extra discount is completely eradicated by the extra fuel cost.

New Dynamic Purchasing System from CCS The Crown Commercial Service launched a new Dynamic Purchasing System for vehicle conversion services in August. It replaces the CCS’s Vehicle Conversion and Reconditioning Services Framework (RM956) and is open for businesses to sign up now. Dynamic Purchasing Systems are intended to allow unlimited numbers of suppliers to sign up for access to public sector opportunities.They are designed to make the application process less labour intensive by using existing systems for supplier registration and completion of selection questionnaires. This enables suppliers to reuse company information for future applications and to self-certify their status until the point of contract award. The first DPS is for vehicle conversions, focusing on helping public bodies to make savings when converting vehicles for operational use. It covers everything from simple vehicle signage or internal storage to full conversion into emergency vehicles or specialist communications equipment. Public bodies can use the system to search for suppliers who meet their needs. Filters include location, customer sector, vehicle type, service types, and detailed products. To sign up, visit the Supplier Registration Service at

Van fuel figures can be obtained from the Vehicle Certification Agency, although as these are test figures they should only be used for comparison purposes. More realistic van fuel figures, as well as those for heavier commercial vehicles, can be obtained from regularly published cost tables such as those produced by Motor Transport and the Road Haulage Association. Better still, obtain some test or trial demonstrator vehicles from the dealer or manufacturer for as long a period as possible. Utilise them in your actual operation and monitor the real-life fuel consumption. Allow for the fact that this should improve slightly over a longer period of time and it should give you a realistic indication of downstream costs. Similarly, don’t try and over-complicate the depreciation calculation. Simply take your final quoted purchase price and subtract any expected residual value over the period you expect to be operating the vehicle. Many local authorities run vehicles until they have little value to reduce capital costs. This is good practice as long as the increased maintenance is truly factored in, but this tends to get forgotten. The best way to get residual values is from valuing organisations such as Glass’s Guide or CAP, allowing some factoring to account for your specific vehicle specification and operation. A more rough and ready method is to search trade magazines to see what residuals current vehicles are achieving. Don’t try to factor in inflation, use straight line depreciation. Just be aware that if you have to get rid of the vehicle early, it may not realise the book value. For servicing, almost all dealers and manufacturers will be keen to supply the vehicle complete with a repair and maintenance package, although perhaps not for the full-term that the vehicle might be kept by local authorities. Keep in mind that this will only cover the routine servicing items. Almost everything else will be an additional cost. To factor this in, check the prices of likely repair items such as brake pads and discs, wing mirrors and headlamp lenses. For internal workshops, ask the workshop manager to undertake an exercise on the maintenance schedules and ask them to predict likely repair and maintenance costs. They will also have to undertake some research on prices of spares. So, now you have the true cost of the vehicle over its life, plus the likely servicing costs and the fuel cost. It is not unusual to find that the vehicle with the cheapest purchase price is the most expensive to run over its operational life, but this is not always the case, which is why it is important to carry out this exercise.

Include aftersales costs in the negotiation Many organisations do not fully realise their own buying power. As soon as you buy more than one vehicle you effectively become a fleet buyer. Rather than focusing on buying price and discounts, use the fact that you are buying either multiple vehicles or a series of vehicles from the same supplier to see how much can be included in the package. Examples could include items such as an improved or extended R&M package, increased discounts on spares, extended warranty on the vehicle or parts, free or subsidised technician training, and free or subsidised special tools. Many dealers and manufacturers find it very difficult to lower prices any further but can surprise you with what they are able to throw into the package. This is because these things can be a real benefit to you as the buyer and can help them make the sale without representing a major cost to their organisation. Finally, do some research into the many buying consortiums available. There is no substitute for going through the small print to see what benefits each of these pre-arranged contracts offers compared with what you can negotiate through other routes. A simple spreadsheet or matrix to compare costs and benefits can be of real help to clarify what’s on offer and decide on the best option.

46 LAPV September 2017

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Autonomous future

As refuse collection and street cleaning become ever more streamlined and each new vehicle incarnation removes another element of human involvement, will people disappear from the process entirely? William Sachiti of the Academy of Robotics believes so.


Driverless passenger cars already exist in some forms, but they will hit the market in the early 2020s and emerge with increasingly advanced capabilities over the coming decades.

s driverless vehicle technology is rolled-out in the near future, it is likely that non-passenger carrying vehicles will be the first to become automated, and this includes refuse collection. The form that the future of refuse collection will take will vary by country, city and local authority. However, the basic picture is gradually becoming clearer. You just need to look around the world for clues. Take the first step of the process, where trash is thrown into the nearest bin. Rather than trucks hauling away huge bins or individual workers emptying smaller versions, many urban areas use an automated vacuum collection system. Bins using this system haul the internal waste underground via pneumatic tubes, where it is sorted into recyclable and nonrecyclable materials before being compacted into containers. It is only at this stage of the process that vehicles will begin to play their role – to transport waste to either a landfill or recycling plant. The system may sound futuristic, yet it has existed since the 1960s and is already installed in cities all over the world, including in Wembley, London. It is surprising that the UK has not more widely adopted such automated systems in our cities. To paint a picture of how it might operate, Australia’s Queensland Council last year unveiled plans for a 6.5km system of underground vacuum pipes below Maroochydore City Centre, which will transport rubbish from commercial buildings and apartments at up to 70kph. ‘The rubbish revolution means that city workers and residents will never have to walk past rows of wheelie bins or be woken early by

48 LAPV September 2017

noisy garbage trucks in the Maroochydore City Centre,’ said Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson. ‘Common aspects of waste collection such as odours and vermin will be avoided, and the costs of daily street cleaning will be reduced.’ This summarises the appeal of such automated technology. After all, automation replicates undesirable human labour, and repetitive tasks are targeted first. When transport is involved, clearly planned routes – such as those used by buses and refuse collection trucks – are being scoped for automation. Even courier routes, while optimised and tweaked regularly, are usually pre-defined and therefore primed for automation. For instance, our driverless delivery vehicle Kar-Go will autonomously deliver packages to those living in the UK’s residential areas from as early as 2018. Kar-Go uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to complete this task, without any human involvement. The efficient and instant decision-making power of AI is already used by human drivers. The UPS-developed On-Road Integrated Optimisation and Navigation (ORION) system uses masses of data and advanced algorithms to optimise routes for its drivers. According to the company, the technology helps drivers determine the optimal way to deliver and pick up packages within a set of stops defined by start time, commit time, pickup windows, and special customer needs. With robots fully capable of dealing with the planning of a process, the next logical step is for them to handle the execution. So How should fleet managers prepare?

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


William Sachiti founded the Academy of Robotics. He was the founder of Clever Bins – bins with solarpowered digital advertising – which featured on Dragon’s Den. He formed Kar-Go in 2016 and is preparing to launch an autonomous delivery vehicle as well as driverless cars.

The UK government recently set a target for all new cars to be electric by 2040. While it may be a few decades away, when fleet managers are faced with the decision to replace their entire fleet in a world of driverless cars, new ways to collect waste will have to be considered. It may be cheaper to switch to a vacuum system than to buy an entire new fleet over time. And by the time a vacuum system is widely established, the vehicles that will remove the recyclable material from the other end and transport the waste to a landfill will be driverless and carbon-neutral. Where vacuum systems are not used, the most likely outcome is a change in design, placement and format of street bins to allow them to be more easily picked up by autonomous vehicles. The exact method and execution are up to governments and local authorities across the world, but it is unlikely that such processes will not move towards automation. After all, humans are growing increasingly accustomed to machines taking over our daily responsibilities. Since the days of early automation, we have seen more and more tasks replicated entirely by machines. Despite the challenges of redundancies and retraining requirements for those whose jobs are replaced by robots, when it comes to eliminating the need for tasks that humans do not wish to do, automation could be a good thing, if implemented responsibly. So far though, many of us might not have noticed the increasing adoption of machines in order to undertake major tasks. After all,

50 LAPV September 2017

such revolutions occur on the factory floor rather than in the everyday lives of consumers. However, when self-driving cars hit the roads, it’ll be hard to deny that we’re living in a technological future. Driverless passenger cars already exist in some forms, but they will hit the market in the early 2020s and emerge with increasingly advanced capabilities over the coming decades. Very soon, we’ll be able to prepare for a business meeting during a London commute or read a novel while travelling to a family gathering. Motorists will never have to take the wheel again – unless they choose to – with future driving tests, insurance and the like reflecting the extent of automation of the vehicle rather than the type of vehicle itself. AI-operated vehicles can ‘travel safely closer together, and with less braking and accelerating than human drivers’, leading to reduced congestion, a greater capacity for roads, and greater overall efficiency, according to a Guardian interview with Stan Boland, CEO of FiveAI, which develops driverless car software. Human error is the critical reason for 93% of crashes, according to the findings of a 2008 US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey. If you consider speeding, drink-driving, negligence, and phone use at the wheel, it becomes clear how much safer AI-controlled cars could be. However, as the availability of driverless cars goes up, car ownership is projected to go down. While an increasing proportion of car owners want driverless and electric cars, half of today’s owners do not want to own a vehicle in the future, according to a KPMG survey. If you imagine how driverless cars might fit into our lives, the reason becomes clear. You may, for instance, need a car only for your commute to work, totalling a few hours each day, plus the occasional weekend trip with the family. Owning a car and storing it 24/7, with all the related responsibilities such as MOT, insurance, road tax, upkeep etc, makes little sense for the part-time driver when other options are available. So if you only need a car for a few hours each working day, it makes sense from an environmental, economic and practical point of view to borrow rather than own a car. Renting could become the natural solution. Just imagine it. A car may have driven another commuter to work for an earlier shift, and then drives itself straight from the commuter’s office to your home. Having dropped you off, it would then move along to the next person in need of a vehicle, and so on. Likewise, you could easily organise a car for ad-hoc weekend trips. All the logistics and the driving itself would be AI-operated and fully autonomous. So you can see why any industry that relies on transport can expect to be well and truly shaken-up by automated technology.

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LAPV September 2017  
LAPV September 2017