visibility this offers has reinforced the position of the Elite 6 as a favourite choice for operators seeking to maximise safety and reduce the risk of injury to other road users – not just across the refuse collection industry, but also in the construction and logistics sectors.’ Figures from ROSPA show that 18,477 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents in 2016, including 3,499 who were killed or seriously injured. Initiatives such as the Construction Logistics and Community Safety (CLOCS) programme, the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), and the introduction of the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) are playing an important role in addressing vehicle safety standards to make roads safer for cyclists and other vulnerable road users. As well as UK-wide audit coverage, the FORS accreditation scheme also has a network of auditors across Europe, with more than 30 registered and accredited fleets operating over 2,300 vehicles in places as far afield as Turkey, Tipperary, and Thalgau. However, despite the fact that CLOCS and the DVS are currently focused on vehicles operating in and around London, by putting road safety issues under the microscope the improvements they are helping to deliver are bringing benefits to operators across the UK. While it is true to say that densely-populated urban areas have busier roads, whether a vehicle comes into proximity with multiple cyclists and pedestrians during rush hour in the Square Mile or encounters a lone cyclist or walker on a narrow and winding rural lane, the same safety considerations apply. ‘Dennis Eagle’s Elite 6 cab is one of the few models to have attained a five-star DVS rating,’ says Andy. ‘Its wide and narrow variants rank first and second overall according to the DVS scoring system. In addition, our older Elite 2 Euro IV and V models have also achieved five-star ratings. This means our customers can be confident that they offer an unrivalled standard of direct driver visibility, whether they are operating our vehicles in the capital or elsewhere in the UK.’ Additional features include sideguards, which are designed to mitigate the risk of cyclists or pedestrians being dragged underneath a vehicle in the event of a collision, and lane departure warning and advanced emergency braking system technology, which monitors and regulates the trajectory and speed of a vehicle under certain conditions and stops it straying across lanes unintentionally. Blind spot mirrors, 360-degree camera systems, proximity sensors and LED lighting can also be fitted to further enhance vehicle safety. ‘At Dennis Eagle and Terberg Matec UK, our bodies, chassis, and bin lifts are engineered to integrate seamlessly together, providing a complete vehicle solution. Despite the addition of so much new technology over recent years, the ergonomics of the cab and body controls have been optimised to reduce the number of monitors and
screens in the cab, enabling features such as multi-camera systems, DVR recording systems, and monitoring systems for cyclists and vulnerable road users to be integrated without providing an information overload to the driver.’ In addition, Andy says the integrated design of body and chassis means some of the usual compromises associated with modifying a haulage chassis for waste operations can be eliminated. For example, the valve gear and test connections for hydraulic and electrical equipment are positioned so that the service engineer or operator can work at ground level wherever possible, eliminating the need for access onto the roof of the vehicle for most service operations. During vehicle loading, crew members are exposed to a number of moving parts, and Terberg bin lifts have various features designed to optimise safety for operators and members of the general public. These include a patented rear protective device on all automatic and semi-automatic systems. Fully compliant with EN1501.5, this features intelligent sensors to halt operation should anyone walk underneath the lift during operation. Container tipping angles are also engineered to eliminate the risk of non-discharge and bin ‘kick out’ during lifting to reduce the likelihood of injury. Plug-and-play wiring rated to IP69k helps to reduce repair and maintenance times and ensures that bin lifts work in harmony with bodies and chassis at all times to offer a comprehensive refuse collection solution. ‘As well as the safety benefits associated with tried-and-tested complete vehicle systems, there are a number of additional advantages in terms of efficiency and reliability,’ Andy points out. ‘As well as providing enhanced functionality and rounds analysis, our Dennis Connect telematics technology monitors the health of the vehicles in real-time and allows us to identify defect trends, introduce preventative programmes, and recommend smarter service and maintenance scheduling. ‘Notifications such as low oil or coolant levels, engine overheating, brake-pad wear and oil filter replacement help to ensure that vehicles are operating safely and efficiently at all times, and the fact that we offer a one-stop shop for all aftermarket requirements can help save time and resources.’ It is clear that the drive for improved safety, reliability, and efficiency has led to significant improvements in vehicle design over recent years, but despite the fact that many features designed to mitigate the risk of accidents now come as standard on new refuse collection vehicles, operators must not be complacent. Local authorities and waste management companies have an important role to play in ensuring the safety of employees, as well as the general public, and by making sure that operators are fully trained they can play a vital role in working alongside manufacturers and industry bodies to make the UK’s roads a safer place.
Dennis Eagle and Terberg Matec engineer their bodies, chassis and bin lifts to work seamlessly together to provide a complete vehicle solution.
September 2018 LAPV 27