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Local Authority Plant & Vehicles

September 2018





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

The second edition of the Future Fleet Awards is set to be even bigger and better. The event is taking place in the Great Hall of the Guildhall in the City of London on January 23 2019. Plus, in-depth case studies on two of last year’s winners BIFFA and Leeds City Council.


The lowdown on RWM and OWL Roadshow Midlands and Belfast.

10 Clifford Comments

Phil Clifford argues that inspirational memes are fine, but if fleet managers want to improve their operations, they need to be aware of the letter of the law and take their responsibilities seriously.

Editor Ann-Marie Knegt T 01935 374001 E

12 Future Fleet Awards

18 Groundscare

The landscape maintenance team at a housing association has reduced its grounds maintenance cycle by up to four days with the purchase of a Kubota rideon mower.

Commercial Manager Jason Pidgeon T 020 7973 4645 E Production Manager Sue Taylor T 020 7973 6604 E Production Tim Malone T 01935 374014 E


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Winter is coming


Health and safety in waste

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28 Cover: Dennis Eagle Local Authority Plant & Vehicles

September 2018



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A flexible, long-term view of winter maintenance, and a multi-functional approach to equipment, is the answer to dealing with the increase in extreme weather conditions. Evolutions in vehicle design have a key role to play in improving health and safety in the waste sector. Andy Graves from Dennis Eagle examines the driving forces behind the latest developments and outlines the benefits offered by complete vehicle solutions.

Aggregate recycling

A new system from Go Plant Fleet Services is helping local authorities reduce landfill costs and meet their sustainability targets by recycling road sweepings and gully waste into aggregates.


Vans overview


Vehicle test


Safety standards


The move to electric vehicles

LAPV reviews the current state of the commercial van market in 2018, from the inexpensive hatchback vans to the latest in electric options. LAPV takes an entry-level Fiat Ducato van for a test drive. With the introduction of London’s Direct Vision Standard, how can truck door windows help improve safety standards? From air quality improvement to investment opportunities, the shift to electric vehicles offers real and meaningful opportunities for councils.

Events in review

An overview of what happened at the National Refuse Championships in Weston-super-Mare and the recent Southern Municipal Exhibition in East Malling, Kent.

September 2018 LAPV 3


COmment Will you win a Future Fleet award in 2019? Yes, it really is that time again – the Future Fleet Awards 2019 open for entry this month, and we are expecting a record number of entries. Following the phenonmenal success of the inaugural 2018 awards, we have expanded the category list for 2019, which includes two presitigious Citimark awards for the first time, thanks to our partnership with City of London. In addition to the Best Fleet/Road Safety Initiative, Most Sustainable Fleet Management Department, and Most Innovative Fleet Management Strategy, I am also delighted to announce the following new categories, which open up the awards to the private sector for the first time: Young Industry Champion and Lifetime Achievement Award. The two Citimark awards are Transport Operation of the Year and Driver of the Year.

richard hammond test drives jcb machines

The awards ceremony is set to be even bigger and better as well, as we are relocating the event to the Great Hall. This means we will be able to accommodate more people in a truly spectacular location. Future Fleet Forum itself continues to go from strength to strength. The speaker line-up couldn't be better, and the keynote speech in 2019 will be delivered by solicitor advocate Mark Scoggins, whose high profile clients have included Balfour Beatty and Thames Trains. Other speakers include David May, Head of Iowa Department of Transport, and Johan Seuffert, fleet manager for the City of Stockholm, and several other high profile names. Day two will now also take place in the Guildhall and will deliver a range of interactive workshops during which case studies will be discussed with the audience. Support from the industry has been overwhelming and we only have a handful of stands still available for exhibitors. All in all, Future Fleet is set to become the leading event in our industry. Ann-Marie Knegt, Editor LAPV

gmb highlights pay issue Deaths among refuse workers have increased by 50% according to figures from the HSE. There were at least 12 deaths in the waste sector in 2017, up from eight the previous year. Yet despite the hazardous nature of the job, where workers face 1,000 instances of dangerous driving every day, GMB Union reports that refuse worker pay has fallen in real terms since 2011. Refuse workers reported around 360,000 incidents of dangerous or reckless driving every year, including drivers mounting pavements to short-cut around waste collection vehicles. However, GMB Union reports a fall in pay of 7.4% in real terms since 2011. ‘We all rely on refuse workers to keep our cities, towns, and villages clean and safe, but they are risking their lives coming into work each day,’ said GMB general secretary Tim Roache. ‘It is one of the more dangerous jobs you can do. Our refuse workers desperately need a pay rise, but alongside that they need the police, courts, and general public to treat them with the respect they deserve. They are just trying to do a job and look after the rest of us.’

nottingham new rcvs The Grand Tour presenter Richard Hammond put two of JCB’s new construction machines through their paces at a visit to the company’s headquarters in Staffordshire. The TV personality and motoring expert, who joked that JCB’s machines are so tough ‘I think even I will struggle to break anything’, got behind the controls of JCB’s new 20-tonne tracked excavator, the 220X, which launched this year after a £110-million development programme. He also took the company’s high-speed Fastrac 8000 series tractor for a test drive. ‘JCB is an iconic brand and when you think of engineering excellence, boldness and innovation, these big yellow machines are right up there with the best,’ he said. JCB worldwide marketing director Michael Plummer said the company was delighted to have such a well-respected figure from the motoring world test drive its machines.

4 LAPV September 2018

Nottingham City Council has taken delivery of 12 new refuse collection vehicles as part of a framework agreement between Terberg Matec UK and the Nottinghamshire Vehicle Procurement Consortium. A further three vehicles are due for delivery over the coming weeks. Terberg Matec UK is currently one year into a third successive four-year framework agreement with the consortium, which is designed to deliver greater efficiency through the formation of strong relationships with suppliers. The company is working in partnership with Dennis Eagle to supply complete RCV solutions, and the latest order features Olympus bodies on Elite 6 chassis, fitted with a variety of Terberg electric bin lifts. Three of the bin lifts are fitted with Terberg’s Vehicle Data Hub Dynamic Weighing and Identification system certified to a pay-by-weight status. This provides councils with a reliable and accurate solution for chargeable waste collection. The council insisted on electric bin lifts on the new vehicles because of the benefits they provide in fuel efficiency and noise reduction. The vehicle bodies are also being used as mobile billboards, carrying key messages aimed at trade customers and the general public.


CONTRACTS Eastleigh orders seven Olympus RCVs from Dennis Eagle

Eastleigh Borough Council has ordered seven Dennis Eagle Olympus Duos for its food waste collection service and its weekly residual waste and dry mixed recycling collections. The vehicles are fitted with Terberg’s low-voltage, environmentally-friendly and low-noise electric Omnidel E bin lifts. The first two are already in service and the rest will follow in the coming weeks. The council carried out a rigorous tender process to assess the viability of options from various suppliers. This included evaluating products against a number of set criteria, such as value for money, over the entire lifecycle, and practical demonstration sessions with drivers. ‘Drivers were asked to help us identify the best all-round solution for our collection requirements based on ease of operation and rounds efficiency, and the Dennis Eagle vehicles came out on top,’ said Andy Kendall, waste services manager for the council. ‘The Olympus Duos offered the most suitable configuration for the type of kerbside collection we operate. While we could have opted for one type of vehicle for residual and dry mixed recycling collections with a smaller second vehicle for handling food waste, the Dennis Eagle products provided us with a single solution. This has obvious benefits in terms of value, efficiency and sustainability. We have been pleased with the performance of our first two vehicles and look forward to taking delivery of the remaining five.'

Uttlesford District Council uses Spedian for recycling campaign A recycling campaign aimed at raising awareness of the benefits of recycling is set to launch in Saffron Waldon and across Uttlesford District Council. RCVs bearing reminders about what can be recycled and why aim to make people think twice before putting recyclable items into general waste bins. The graphics have been fitted using Spedian’s quick-change vehicle panels system, which the council has used previously to promote other campaigns such as the responsible waste disposal drive run across Essex by the Cleaner Essex Group. Cat Chapman of Uttlesford District Council said: ‘Thanks to Spedian graphics we can take our messages exactly where we want them to go – right past the front doors of everyone living in the district. We are very pleased with the performance so far and look forward to the new campaign being a great success.’ The Spedian panels from Roadvert are lightweight and reusable and take less than an hour to install or uninstall. They don’t leave sticky residue on the vehicles or damage them in any way and installation doesn’t require rivets, screws, nuts, bolts or rails. If the space is rented to a third party, they can even be used by councils for revenue generation.

LSS expands fleet of Scania vehicles

Kent transforms routes for special needs service

Kent County Council has used Qroutes to improve the efficiency of its Special Educational Needs transport service. Using the cloud-based software, Kent CC reviewed 1,500 routes and re-planned transport for its 4,000 SEN pupils and 1,000 people entitled to social care transport. Kent has the highest number of SEN clients of any council in the UK, and its entire SEN and social care transport service is run through flexible framework agreements with local bus and taxi operators. Over a period of two and a half years, the council changed from a system of tendering for 1,500 individual routes to a school-based approached using fewer contracts and bulk buying services to achieve economies of scale. Kent’s client transport manager Shane Bushell said the Qroutes software has enabled the council to optimise the routes for all of its clients, and achieve efficiency savings of up to 15%. The software can plan routes in minutes and can handle variable factors such as stop times and other complexities affecting the special needs services. ‘Qroutes makes the impossible possible. With just a small team of seven people managing the entire transport services, we could not cope without it,’ said Shane. ‘The automation provided by the system frees up time that is better spent dealing with the special needs of our clients.’ Thanks to its rapid data processing, Qroutes also enables the council to quickly review services by running ‘what if’ scenarios. ’Qroutes allows us to continually review services by testing different scenarios. It means we can be sure we are always being as efficient as possible and using taxpayers’ money well.’

LSS Waste Management in Leeds has purchased 14 new Scania XT vehicles for its fleet. The addition of two hook-loaders, two tippers, and ten skip loaders brings the LSS fleet up to 75. A further eight trucks are scheduled for delivery in 2019. The new vehicles are all on full repair and maintenance plans with Scania Normanton. LSS operates a waste recycling centre that processes up to 300,000 tonnes of waste annually, of which more than 95% is recycled. The majority of the company’s fleet is made up of Scania vehicles, and the new XT models are already proving a hit with drivers. Launched in 2017, vehicles in the Scania XT range are designed for heavy-duty use, with steel bumpers, robust suspension and rear-view mirrors, and headlamp protection. ‘I have always tried to buy the best equipment, and Scania are without doubt the best trucks we have run by far,’ said Nigel Woodford, LSS managing director, who added that driver feedback on the new models has been very positive. ‘While the cost of the Scania vehicles is a little more, the return is far greater with the better fuel economy, hardly any downtime, and fantastic care from purchase to service from Scania.’

September 2018 LAPV 5


contrActs AsL purchases two new rcVs from the rVs reditruck range ASL Environmental has taken delivery of two new RCVs from Refuse Vehicle Solutions' Reditruck range of new, off-the-shelf RCVs as part of its effort to improve the reliability and safety of its fleet. The Bristol-based waste management and recycling company opted for Mercedes Econic chassis with Dennis Olympus bodies, Beta Trade bin lifts and a 360-degree camera system. The vehicles have a shorter wheel base for enhanced manoeuvrability. ALS MD Mark Taylor said: ‘Reditruck is great. There’s nothing else like it in the market place. The brand-new trucks arrive in a matter of weeks fitted with weighing, cameras and safety technology, ready to go to work.’ Paul Brown from RVS said: ‘Demand for Reditruck is very high so we always have vehicles in stock. As well as being able to deliver new trucks quicker than the manufacturers, we also take care of all the ancillaries whether that’s fitting additional equipment, providing finance, collecting and delivering vehicles, disposing of older vehicles, and repairs and maintenance.’

new orion for wanderbus Community transport service Whitbread Wanderbus has taken delivery of a new Mellor Orion bus. Bedfordshire-based Wanderbus is a volunteer-run service that offers scheduled routes through the week and a private hire option for other community groups. The new delivery is the fourth Mellor bus purchased by the service, supplied by Rescroft CT Lite. It has two additional tip seats to give it a capacity of 16 passengers, and all seats have all-age seatbelts. It also has secure storage areas and a flat saloon and fold-out front ramp for passengers with limited mobility. The company has had Orion buses before and decided to stick with the model after trialling a vehicle from Mellor and another company. ‘Having looked at other models we decided that the Orion was the best low-floor option and met our layout needs and budget,’ said committee member Richard Thomas.

new dennis eagles go into service with st helens council

Six new Dennis Eagle vehicles have gone into service with St Helens Council as part of a framework agreement that will see the provision of more than 80 vehicles to 12 local authorities over a three-year period. The Elite 6 6x2 rear-steer chassis with Olympus 21 wide bodies fitted with Terberg Omnideka bin lifts have replaced older models in the council’s 30-strong waste collection fleet. Steve Marsh, transport manager for the council, said the order was placed following a competitive tender process. This is the first time St Helens has purchased the Dennis Eagle chassis. ‘We invited several manufacturers to take part in product demonstrations with our drivers and crews as part of this process, and it was felt that Dennis Eagle was the best match for our requirements in terms of quality and specification, while also offering the best overall value,’ said Steve. Dennis Eagle and Terberg will also be providing body, chassis, and bin lift ‘train the trainer’ training to eight of the council’s frontline supervisors, enabling them to deliver in-house training. ‘This means we can ensure that all team members – including any new employees or agency workers – are equipped with the knowledge and skills to operate the vehicles safely and efficiently at all times.’

biffa expands services with four new acquisitions

ransomes for blenheim Palace Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire has purchased a Ransomes MP495 cylinder mower from local dealer The Turnkey Group to maintain the site’s gardens. Blenheim Palace is the principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough and the only non-royal English country house to hold the title of ‘palace’. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and welcomes around 800,000 visitors annually. A team of ten full-time and six part-time staff manage the grounds maintenance, which includes 120 acres of gardens and 2,000 acres of parkland. ‘We have a lot of land to maintain and it’s important that we have the correct machinery for the job,’ said Hilary Wood, who heads the team. ‘We have used Ransomes since 1981 and opted for the new MP495, which has exceeded all expectations.’

6 LAPV September 2018

Biffa has acquired Weir Waste Services and has three further acquisitions planned for the current financial year. All four businesses will be incorporated into its Industrial and Commercial division. Biffa has agreed the acquisition of WWS for a consideration plus debt taken on of approximately £16.2m. WWS runs a commercial collections business that serves around 1,600 customers and operates a frontline fleet of 45 vehicles. The company also has a recycling and waste treatment operation in Birmingham. The acquisition will broaden Biffa’s customer offering in Birmingham and the West Midlands and facilitate operational and procurement benefits. Biffa has also announced three additional acquisitions for the 2018/19 financial year. For a total consideration plus debt taken on of £3.9m, Biffa will acquire the trade and assets of H&A recycling, (subject to satisfaction of certain conditions), a commercial waste collection and recycling business in Cornwall; the trade and assets of Bisset Waste Management, a commercial waste collection business in Scotland; and certain trade and assets of Vecta Group, a waste collection business in East London. The move is expected to add £4.9m to Biffa’s annual revenue. Michael Topham, chief financial officer and CEO designate of Biffa, said: ‘The acquisitions we have announced today demonstrate our ongoing ability to identify and execute value-accretive acquisitions across the UK. The Weir Waste business significantly strengthens our presence and customer offer in Birmingham and the Midlands while the other acquisitions further enhance our platform in their respective markets. We welcome the staff and customers of these businesses to Biffa.’

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12-13 September 2018, rwm, nec, birmingham A panel discussion featuring Ian Wakelin from Biffa and David Palmer Jones of Suez is one of the highlights of the upcoming RWM show on 12-13 September at the NEC, Birmingham. These industry leaders will be discussing the current state and direction of the waste industry, and both head up companies that have implemented measures aimed at tackling plastic pollution. Biffa already recycles around 780 million plastic bottles a year and is looking to incorporate PET into its operation. Suez has teamed up with Dutch firm Lyondell Basell to develop a new recycling plant that will produce virgin-quality recycled plastics. As Ian Wakelin is soon to step down, this will be the last opportunity for the industry to hear him share insight and knowledge as CEO of Biffa. Attendees will hear him set out what he expects from his successor and the company over the next few years at a time when the industry as a whole must transition from waste management to a circular economy. In addition to Ian and David’s discussion, there will be 16 learning theatres at RWM 2018, which wil consider the challenges and opportunities facing the waste industry. The Keynote Theatre is where you will find presentations addressing the evolution of the industry, with speakers such as Nick Cliffe from Innovate UK, who will lead two seminars providing an overview of the support available for business-led research and development within the waste and recycling industry and the funded research underway that is working towards solutions for plastic waste. The future of the UK’s environmental policy and strategy will be the topic of the seminar from Sir John Armitt of the National Infrastructure Committee.

Sir John, who was chairman of the build projects for the London 2012 Olympics, will also touch on the recent inquiries and reports from the Government and the Environment Audit Committee. The commercial side of waste and recycling management will be covered by Oliver Rosevear, head of environment for Costa Coffee. Oliver will give an overview of Costa’s efforts to reduce single-use waste and how other brands can follow in its footsteps. To find out more about these and the other seminars at the event visit, where you can also register for your free tickets.

20 september 2018, owl roadshow, wroxall abbey

The OWL (Optimised Waste and Logistics) Roadshow comes to the Midlands on 20 September, providing those involved with procuring or operating heavy goods vehicles with the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in technologies, EU legislation, and FORS. Following two well-attended roadshows earlier this year in Wales and Scotland, the Midlands Roadshow will be held at Wroxall Abbey, Warwickshire. The day-long event features a number of guest speakers on topical industry issues including commercialisation and driver safety. For the first time at an OWL Roadshow, Professor Roland Leigh and Tom Hall from Earthsense will be talking about the Clean Air Project. This project is a collaboration between CMS Supatrak and Earthsense designed to demonstrate cutting-edge concepts for air quality monitoring and management. Professor Leigh and Tom Hall will explain how fleet vehicles operating in the urban environment can be part of the solution to poor air quality by fulfilling a role as mobile monitoring platforms. The presentation will describe the mobile monitoring technologies currently in use, and a

number of highly relevant applications to the OWL community. Other speakers include Ian Bourton from Oxford City Council (pictured) who will talk about the commercialisation of services and how this can deliver savings as well as improve safety and compliance. Andrew Drewary will be looking at driver safety and how aware operators are of their responsibilities. Compliance through e-learning driving interventions will be the focus of the seminar from Kevin Barcroft of Simply Waste Solutions. The day will also include the opportunity to test the latest vehicles and safety solutions as well as network with fellow industry professionals. Jason Airey, managing director of CMS Supatrak, which runs OWL on behalf of the OWL Partners, said: ‘The roadshows bring together highprofile speakers and industry leaders from both public and private sectors and they are fast becoming the go-to events for those who want to learn about best practice and innovation in the industry. ‘OWL is a unique collaboration between partner businesses working together to develop fully-integrated products, which ultimately make the sector safer, more compliant and better able to increase efficiency.’ Pre-registration is essential. To register visit owl-midlands-roadshow-tickets-42421771661. The next event after will be in Belfast, Northern Ireland on 18 October 2018. OWL is a partnership initiative developed to provide fully-integrated technology for the waste, transport and logistics industries. The individual OWL partners are all specialists in their fields and already successfully supply stand-alone products. But by working in partnership with each other, and with professional organisations such as FORS, CILT and CIWM, OWL is leading the way in both the development of fully-integrated solutions and driving up standards of safety and compliance. OWL is run by CMS Supatrak on behalf of the OWL partners.

8 LAPV September 2018


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15/08/2018 15:58


Motivational quotes vs practical advice Phil Clifford argues that inspirational memes are all well and good, but if fleet managers want to improve and safeguard their operations they need to be aware of the letter of the law and take their responsibilities seriously.


ike many I have embraced social media, and a recent trend I have observed is the proliferation of motivational messages that seem to clog up my feed. Some are inspirational, many are downright patronising, some are ‘tasters’ aimed at getting you to sign up with management training consultants, and many more are just quotes that people like and repost to their own followers. Some of these messages are aimed at improving our people management skills – and let’s face it, most of us could do with some improvement. One such message we have probably all seen is the quote attributed to the late Steve Jobs: ‘It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do’. This is stirring stuff to be sure, but like the other quotes what it fails to do is provide any actual advice on how to improve either yourself or your management skills and processes. And when it comes to managing fleets, inspirational quotes on their own simply aren’t enough. What fleet operators need is concrete, practical advice on how to do things better, and that’s what I’m going to give you now. Now, I appreciate that many of you won’t be operating heavy trucks or buses, so the strictures of the Operator’s Licensing system may not be at the forefront of your mind, but I am going to advise you all anyway to visit or re-visit the undertakings required of an operator when applying for, or renewing, an ‘O’ licence. Basically, there are, for ‘O’ licence operators, 11 undertakings that you effectively promise to adhere to when applying for the licence. For ‘O’ licence operators, the nominated transport manager will be a signatory to these undertakings and it will be his/her role to ensure they are followed to the letter. In theory, this means that those of us running trucks or buses will have a tight rein on the operation of those vehicles. Now, even for those of you who do not run vehicles requiring an operator’s licence, I would suggest that the first seven of the undertakings should still apply to your operation, you just won’t need to promise the traffic commissioner that you will adhere to them.

So, what are these first seven undertakings? 1. 2. 3. 4.

That the laws relating to the driving and operation of vehicles are observed; That the rules on drivers’ hours and tachographs (where appropriate) are observed and proper records are kept; To ensure vehicles and trailers are not overloaded; That all vehicles operate within the speed limits;

10 LAPV September 2018


To ensure drivers promptly report any defects that could prevent the safe operation of the vehicle or trailer and that all defects are recorded in writing; 6. To ensure that all vehicles and trailers, including hired vehicles and trailers, are kept in a fit and serviceable condition; 7. To ensure you are keeping full records for a 15-month period for all driver reports of defects, safety inspections, routine maintenance, and repairs to vehicles. The remaining undertakings, numbered 8 to 11, relate specifically to ‘O’ licence applicants and refer to the defined operating centres and statutory notifications to the traffic commissioners. The list above may not look too onerous but beware of number one. This is a short sentence, but it encompasses a lot of legislation that will need to be considered. My advice to you would be to create a tick sheet using these seven undertakings and, each month, carry out a desktop exercise to see if you meet all these targets. If you find that you don’t meet them, or are lacking in some areas, it’s time to be the ‘smart person’ in the Steve Jobs’ quote and raise the issue with senior management to ensure that the resources required to bring the operation into line are made available. Do not ignore the issue. The one inspirational quote that I do like is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi and says: ‘If you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth’. By all means, take inspiration from motivational messages, but if you operate vehicles and fail to observe the seven basic rules listed above, you are leaving yourself wide open to prosecution and, heaven forbid, the risk of a serious accident involving one of your vehicles or drivers.

Phil Clifford is the former fleet manager for Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough councils, operating under the West Suffolk brand. His specialisms include fleet procurement, use of vehicle telematics, and the development and use of fleet management software systems. He is an advocate for sharing best practice and benchmarking. He is also the founder and board manager of the Public Authority Transport Network, member of the Freight Transport Association, East of England Freight Council, and committee member of BSI working group B/508/01(Waste containers and associated lifting devices on refuse collection vehicles). Contact him at philip.clifford4@ or follow him on Twitter @thefleetman.



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future fleet awards

Fusce auctor, ultricies Best road safety initiative Biffa’s campaign to stop dangerous driving on pavements won the Best Fleet/Road Safety Initiative at the 2018 Future Fleet Awards. Biffa municipal health and safety coach Dave West tells LAPV how the scheme has evolved and is now moving beyond the waste sector. Lotte Debell reports.

Biffa's DRoPS campaign results have been felt beyond simply an increase in prosecutions. The key to solving the problem is changing behaviour, and simply making people aware of just how dangerous their actions are can sometimes be surprisingly effective.


hen Biffa said 'enough is enough' and started to tackle the problem of drivers short-cutting on pavements to get around waste collection vehicles, little did the company realise that its pilot scheme would turn into a multi-award-winning, sector-wide campaign with the support of 22 police forces across the UK and backed by councils, competitors, and trade unions. Drivers shouldn’t need to be told not to drive on pavements, but according to figures from the Department of Transport, there are around 2,500 accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians on pavements every year. This problem is particularly acute for waste collection crews. When frustrated drivers stuck behind waste collection vehicles take to the pavements to continue their journey, they put bin crews and pedestrians at risk. And it happens far more frequently that you might think – up to 1,000 times a day, according to Biffa’s research. No wonder around 10% of vehicle-pedestrian incidents occur on pavements. The DRoPS (Driving Recklessly on Pavements) safety programme began life in the Isle of Wight in 2010 when Biffa put cameras on its

12 LAPV September 2018

RCVs and realised the scale of the problem for the first time. The company’s contract managers started using the CCTV footage to help identify drivers who were mounting the pavement, and the initiative grew from there. For Dave West, regional municipal health and safety coach, DRoPS has become something of a personal mission, and it’s not just about the physical safety of staff or pedestrians but the impact on staff wellbeing. ‘Our staff are abused physically and verbally when they do their jobs and it affects them, even if they won’t admit it. Some of our people still think this is just part of the job, and it’s not. It’s not right. This campaign is all part of getting staff engaged with the job and demonstrating that we value their wellbeing.’ In 2015, Biffa set up its first pilot project in Staffordshire. With the help of local MP Gavin Williamson, now Defence Secretary, and South Staffordshire Council, Biffa secured the backing of Staffordshire Constabulary and worked with the police to develop a simple reporting structure that would enable the company to quickly and easily report the most serious incidents and allow police to respond without adding significantly to their workload.

future fleet awards

‘In Staffordshire, if someone drives on the pavement, we upload a video to a police portal, fill in a form and email it to their traffic department. The police then watch the video and determine whether the incident was dangerous. If so, they send a letter to the driver who is either sent on driver training or gets points on their licence, depending on the severity of the incident.’ Securing the backing of the local council and police force was only one element of the DRoPS campaign, however. Biffa also needed to change the attitude of its bin crews from ‘it’s just part of the job’ to a willingness to report incidents knowing they are backed up by the company’s senior managers. Finally, it focused on raising awareness with the public to try to prevent incidents. Clear signage on vehicles and crews’ high-vis clothing was part of this. ‘People see the speed camera logo on our crews’ high-vis and it makes them stop and think,’ says Dave. Staffordshire may have been the first police force to come on board in 2016, but it is now one of 22 police forces in England, Scotland, and Wales supporting the scheme. Gavin Williamson also arranged for Biffa to meet with UK Roads Policing, a meeting that Dave describes as ‘hugely significant’ for helping Biffa bring other constabularies on board. It was for this meeting that Biffa put together a video using camera footage from its vehicles to underscore just how much of a risk this behaviour presents to both its crews and other pedestrians. Some of the incidents in the video are genuinely shocking – it can be viewed online at – and Dave says it was instrumental in gaining police backing. Of the 22 police forces supporting DRoPS, 17 have an agreed reporting process in place, many of them replicating the process and procedures developed with Staffordshire. Another nine have agreed to back DRoPS and are in the process of setting up reporting procedures. Biffa is in discussion with a further five. The scheme also has the backing of 22 councils where Biffa has contracts, and the unions GMB, Unison and URTU. It is even backed by competitors including Veolia, FCC, Serco, Suez, and Kier. ‘We are sharing this scheme with any waste company or local authority that wants to use it, because we feel it is too important to keep to ourselves,’ says Dave. ‘For example, I recently helped Birmingham City Council negotiate a trial with West Midlands Police. We can provide all our documentation to anyone interested in implementing DRoPS and help with setting up the scheme. The more people involved, the stronger the message, and that’s why we are also looking beyond the waste sector.’ From 2011 to 2015, there were at least 2,500 accidents on verges and footpaths every year, according to Department for Transport data. ‘If we want to make a dent in these figures,’ argues Dave, ‘we need to do something nationally.’ And so DRoPS has evolved again. Recognising that similar safety issues affect highway workers, Biffa is linking up with Highways Traffic Management Association, using its experience of DRoPS to help the HTMA speeds up its response to its own safety issues. Highways maintenance contractors are currently looking at Biffa’s strategy for DRoPs to help them with their problem with roadworks vehicle incursions, and Biffa is also targeting training providers of driver CPC programmes to include DRoPs in their schedules. DRoPS has also been presented to Road Safety Great Britain, the Health & Safety Executive – the scheme has been included in the HSE’s new Help Great Britain Work Well strategy – the Local Authority Waste Industry Safety and Health Group, the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee, Liverpool Road Safety, and the Chartered Institute of Waste Management. After presenting at the international IOSH (Institution of Occupational Health and Safety) conference, Dave West met the head of road safety at RoSPA, and will attend the national road safety meeting in October. And so the awareness campaign continues to gather momentum.

The most recent strand to the campaign is not aimed so much at changing behaviour as at stopping bad behaviours before they develop. Young driver/passenger casualties account for 25% of all UK road fatalities, and it is all too easy for young drivers to pick up bad habits. Good Egg Drivers provides training and advice for young learner drivers before they take their driving test, and Biffa has linked with the organisation to include DRoPS content in its Good Egg New Driver Guide. This aims to positively influence the behaviour of learner drivers to drive considerately near waste collection crews, and Dave borrowed a phrase from New York’s successful campaign ‘go slow to go around’ to drive this message home. The link-up ensures the DRoPS message appears in six pilot DVSA driving theory and practical test centres until the end of September 2018, with the subsequent potential of being delivered to all theory/practical test centres nationally. The DRoPs message is also featured on Good Egg’s national digital platform, which is accessible by schools and colleges via links provided to almost 400 local authorities across the UK. But Dave hasn’t stopped there. He is now targeting the Highway Code, seeking a change to the current wording to spell out the need to slow down around service vehicles and road workers. Thanks to Good Egg, he is looking to meet with a senior executive of Road Safety Great Britain to discuss this possibility. The reason DRoPS is gaining such attention and support is not just because it is a highlighting a serious safety issue, but because it is working. After a year of the campaign in Staffordshire, a third of the 300 incidents reported by Biffa resulted in police action or prosecution. Weekly incident reporting also fell by half to just 12. At nearby Cannock Chase, police prosecuted more than 200 of the 600 incidents reported by Biffa in a year. But the results of DRoPS have been felt beyond simply an increase in prosecutions. The key to solving the problem is changing behaviour, and simply making people aware of just how dangerous their actions are can sometimes be surprisingly effective. ‘Most of the people doing this are not criminals, they are just so focused on where they need to be that they don’t realise the dangers,’ says Dave. ‘We have actually had people call the depot after they have been contacted by the police to apologise to our staff once they realise what they have done. This kind of awareness will help to reduce future incidents.’ As a result DRoPS is winning awards, most recently from ROSPA. But the first – and for Dave the most meaningful – was the Future Fleet Best Fleet/Road Safety Initiative in January this year. ‘It was an acknowledgement from the industry and that meant a lot to us because this issue has been ignored for so long. And what made it even more special was the calibre of the judging panel. To get this award from those judges was very special.’

Dave West and the Biffa team were presented with the Future Fleet Award at the ceremony at London's Guildhall on January 24, 2018, by Sir Richard Noble, founder of the Bloodhound Project, and Ann-Marie Knegt, editor of LAPV.

September 2018 LAPV 13

future fleet awards

Most innovative fleet management strategy Leeds City Council won the 2018 Future Fleet award for the Most Innovative Fleet Management Strategy. Terry Pycroft, head of services, tells LAPV about the council’s ambitious plans for a fully alternatively-fuelled fleet and why the award helps keep the momentum going. Lotte Debell reports.


Terry Pycroft, head of services, is spearheading the council’s efforts to transform its fleet.

eeds City Council’s ongoing fleet replacement programme aims to help the city meet its clean air targets by transitioning to low emissions vehicles. With a Clean Air Charging Zone expected to come into force in the city from January 2020, the council wants to ensure all of its fleet of 1,100 vehicles is compliant with the requirements of the zone, even those that fall outside the targeted vehicle categories. Spearheading the council’s efforts to transform its fleet is head of services Terry Pycroft. Terry has been with the council since 2005 and he has been looking at alternative fuels almost since the moment he arrived. His first acquisition was a CNG-powered RCV – Leeds was the first council in the UK to purchase one – which went into service in 2009, and by October this year the council expects to have a fleet of close to one hundred electric vehicles. Terry is a firm believer that CNG is the future for the Leeds heavy vehicle fleet – the council recently put the first CNG road sweeper into service and is procuring land to build a full-scale CNG station – but the announcement of the coming Clean Air Zone for the city prompted a renewed interest in electric vehicles. One area identified for potential transition to electric was the council’s small van fleet. ‘I looked into EVs when I first started at Leeds, but at the time the mileage was very low and they weren’t practical,’ says Terry.

14 LAPV September 2018

‘However, the announcement of the Clean Air Zone helped to take things to the next stage and we started looking at electric again. This was around 2015/16, and after we compared the mileage of our current vans against what the EV market could offer, we bought 41 Nissan NV200 vans and two Nissan Leaf cars. These Nissan electric vans have a mileage of 70 miles. They are used across multiple service areas including city centre enforcement, highways, maintenance, and fleet services, and have been so successful that Leeds has procured further vehicles. ‘Nissan now does a 140-mileage version and this really opens up electric vehicles to a whole new category of vehicle for us,’ says Terry. ‘We have ordered 51 new vans, which we expect to be delivered later this year.’ The ultimate aim is to transition the entire fleet onto some kind of alternative fuel. ‘Our small vans, cars, MPVs, and 4x4s will all be electric where possible. That’s approximately 300 vehicles. The larger vehicles will be CNG or Euro VI.’ Leeds has a total fleet of 1,100 vehicles and by the time the Clean Air Charging Zone comes into force in January 2020, Terry expects to have transitioned all fleet vehicles. ‘We are currently replacing vehicles as we find suitable alternatives on the market, however, in a lot of categories a CNG vehicle simply doesn’t exist yet. We have 33 vehicle types and only three or four of them come into the EV bracket, and sourcing CNG vehicles for the rest of the categories is no mean feat with the market as it is. That’s why, in some cases, we will have to choose Euro VI until a CNG, electric or hybrid version becomes available.’ That isn’t the only obstacle to Leeds ambitious plans, however. While Terry is committed to CNG for the majority of the vehicle fleet, plans to transition the entire small van fleet to electric requires the council to have the charging infrastructure to keep them on the road. Currently Leeds has 106 charging points for EVs and has maxed out the charging capacity of its depots, which means that it has reached capacity for electric vehicles unless it can find some other way of charging them. Not to be deterred, Terry organised a trial of a home charging project with a handful of vehicles across various service areas. ‘We have a lot of people who travel to and from their homes to work in our vehicles so we put together a pilot project to see if there was any interest from staff in home charging. We installed a charging unit at their homes and reimbursed them for the cost of charging the vehicles, and it is very popular. We currently have seven people using home charging across highways, maintenance and parks maintenance, and we have more people interested in joining the

future fleet awards

By the end of the year Leeds expects to have a fleet of close to 100 electric vehicles, and plans to transition its entire fleet to alternative fuels by the time the Clean Air Charging Zone comes into effect in 2020.

scheme – currently we can’t get the vehicles quickly enough to enrol more staff in the scheme. We are hoping to end up with 225 vans of this type so potentially we could have additional people home charging.’ There are certain requirements staff must meet to join the home charging scheme (off-street parking, for example) and home charging alone won’t completely solve the council’s charging problem – 'We will also need to put more infrastructure into our own sites,’ says Terry – but it is a practical and inclusive solution, involving council employees directly in efforts to improve the environmental performance of its fleet. In fact, the inclusive nature of the council’s efforts and the way staff have been involved at every stage of the project was one of the aspects particularly praised by the Future Fleet Awards judging panel. In addition to the charging pilot, the council also consulted each service lead and organised internal and external events to explain its objectives and ensure everyone understood its mindset on alternative fuels. Leeds also organised its own green forum to share lessons-learnt for other organisations. Terry says that the support internally has been fantastic. ‘It helps that I have been working with these people for a long time and they have seen how the technology has proven itself. The normal lifecycle of an RCV is five years. Our CNG RCV is now in its ninth year, so they can see this works.' He adds that it is the boost that it has given to everyone involved in the project that makes winning the Future Fleet Award so special. ‘We are working hard on this and it is nice for our efforts to be recognised. There are a lot of people involved in this right across the service areas from the managers down to the drivers, and this award helps to keep the momentum going.’ And that momentum is important because there is still a long

way to go. ‘The challenge now is making it happen,’ Terry acknowledges. ‘We know what we want to achieve and we have the backing of the CEO but there are still obstacles, such as the availability of suitable vehicles currently on the market.’ In the meantime, however, Terry is busy ensuring that the support and infrastructure for Leeds' new fleet is in place. The council has upskilled its 30 engineers to enable them to work on electric vehicles. ‘Nissan has three levels of engineer who work on the EVs. Our engineers have completed level one City & Guilds training for EVs, which means they can work on these vehicles safely and carry out servicing and maintenance. I hope to put them through levels two and three so that by the time the warranties expire, they can carry out whatever work is required. Then we want to do the same for our CNG vehicles.’ Terry also has ambitious plans for the council’s workshops. His own site was built as a tram shed in 1934 and is long overdue for an overhaul. ‘We want to turn it into an eco-site. This means changing the roof so it is south facing so we can install solar panels to charge vehicles, and ventilating the space with automatic roof opening so it can be used with CNGs vehicles. We also want to harvest rainwater and put in EV charging infrastructure for our electric fleet.’ This emphasis on implementing a sound infrastructure while maintaining a holistic view of the entire operation was a key factor in the decision of the Future Fleet judging panel to give the Most Innovative Fleet Management Strategy to Leeds City Council. And its thorough exploration of options, innovative approach to solving problems, and willingness to share what it has learned is why Leeds, and Terry, have become the go-to experts for advice and guidance for both public and private sector organisations hoping to follow Leeds example.

September 2018 LAPV 15

Sign up for the 2019 Future Fleet Awards The Future Fleet Awards are returning for 2019, bigger and better than ever before. The event is taking place in the Great Hall of the Guildhall in the City of London on January 23 2019. It's time to start planning your entries!


osted by the City of London and LAPV, Future Fleet Forum has once again partnered with the City of New York and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. The lavish awards ceremony on 23 January 2019 will be sponsored by NRG Fleet Services, and the drinks reception will be sponsored by Dennis Eagle and Terberg Matec. Four new award categories have been added, including the prestigious Citimark awards, and some have also been opened up to private sector suppliers. The 2019 Future Fleet Awards feature the following categories: Best fleet/road safety initiative (public sector and outsourcing companies only) Most innovative fleet management strategy (public sector and outsourcing companies only) Most sustainable fleet management department (public sector and outsourcing companies only) Young industry champion (under 30) (open to public, private sector and industry suppliers) Outstanding young professional (for fantastic performance and ground-breaking innovation) Life-time achievement award (open to public and private sector and industry suppliers) Citimark Award: Transport Operator of the year Citymark Award: Driver of the year A high-profile panel will bring the combined expertise of fleet management from London to New York to the judging process. Determining the 2019 winners will be 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, Arend Mouton, vehicle fleet manager, City of London Police, Phil Clifford, independent transport consultant, and Ann-Marie Knegt, editor of LAPV and Fire and Rescue magazines.

Enquiries for the Future Fleet Awards 2019 should be sent to LAPV editor Ann-Marie Knegt at and the portal for submission will go live in mid-September.

The deadline for submissions is 26 October. How to enter Public sector organisations and contractors can enter by submitting a 750-1,000 word case study describing their project via the submissions portal. This 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. For the four new awards, convincing reasons should be noted down that clearly communicate why the nominated person deserves the award and how they have benefitted the public as well as their achievements for their organisation and the environment. 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 winners’ badge on their literature. On the night itself there will be a three-course dinner and entertainment as well as the awards ceremony. Individual seats at the awards dinner are priced at £180. A table of ten costs £1,620, a saving of £180. A half table of five seats costs £850, a saving of £50. Please contact Jason Pidgeon at to purchase tickets. These sell out quickly, so don't delay. For more information visit

16 LAPV September 2018


























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Mowing wizard






The landscape maintenance team at a South Gloucestershire housing association has reduced its grounds maintenance cycle by up to four days with the purchase of a Kubota GR2120 ride-on mower.


erlin Housing Society is a communityfocused housing association that aims to provide a high standard of affordable housing for residents. The association’s customer service goals not only include building homes of the highest quality, but also maintaining them to a high standard. Daily maintenance is led by David Yabsley, who heads up a team of ten professionals at Merlin’s Chipping Sodbury-based landscape services team. The team works on 54 independent living schemes and 102 open space sites across South Gloucestershire, as well as additional areas in Bristol and Bath. The team recently purchased Kubota’s GR2120 ride-on mulching mower, supplied by Lister Wilder’s Cirencester depot, to support their daily grounds maintenance tasks. Previously, grass at all the independent living schemes across the various sites was cut and collected then transported to Merlin’s Wickwar depot or recycling centre for green waste disposal. However, the new mulching mower is saving the team time and money because it eliminates the frequent need to empty

18 LAPV September 2018

a grass collector or haul large loads long distances for disposal. And, by returning finely chopped grass cutting to the ground, it feeds the surface and promotes better long-term lawns. The team also now has more time to spend on their other maintenance tasks. ‘The volume of green waste we were producing was huge and the cost of dealing with it was phenomenal,’ says David Yabsley, who adds that the time spent returning to the yard or tipping several times a day was a real strain on the team’s resources. With the Kubota GR2120 ride-on mulching mower, cut grass is circulated beneath the cutter deck and chopped into tiny particles rather than being discharged into a collector. These particles are then blown right down into the base of the turf where micro-organisms aid rapid decomposition, returning nitrogen to the soil. ‘The new mower also cuts brilliantly and leaves a really nice finish without piles of grass lying around,’ says David. ‘The quality appearance means our customers like what they see and are happier because our teams are able to use the

time they are saving for things like path edges, pruning, and leaf collection. We were taking 14 or 15 days to do the complete round, but now we are doing it in 10 or 11 days.’ The 21hp diesel-powered mower is tough, easy to operate, and fitted with all-wheel-drive hydrostatic transmission. Key features include the unique Kubota glide-steer system, which delivers a combination of manoeuvrability and turf protection as the front axle approaches its full lock of 70°. Glide steer enables the operator to drive around an obstacle such as a tree with an extremely tight turning circle, allowing a single-cut pass without the worry of the wheels scuffing the turf. At full lock, the uncut circle left by the GR2120s mower is only 100cm. Of particular importance for Merlin’s team is the ability to drive the mower easily into a box van. Supervisor David Wootton adds: ‘We get a lot more done not just because we aren’t picking up grass but because the mower gets easily into small spaces, runs quickly across bigger areas, and has a tight turning circle. It is at least a third quicker and it leaves an exceptional finish.’




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winter maintenance

Winter is coming A flexible, long-term view of winter maintenance, and a multi-functional approach to equipment, is the answer to dealing with the increase in extreme weather conditions, argues Tony Richards. Top: Holder tractors have a travel speed of 40kmph, cutting out the need for additional transportation and maximising response times from site to site. Below: Hako’s Citymaster range starts with the small and agile Citymaster 600 for accessing small, confined areas.


he UK has just enjoyed one of the longest, wettest, snowiest winters, followed by the longest, driest, and hottest summer in living memory. We were warned: global warming doesn’t just mean heat, it means extremes of weather across the spectrum. However, local authorities must deal with these weather extremes and rising customer demand for services at a time when their funding has been cut back, and nowhere is this challenge more apparent than in winter roads maintenance. Local authorities and their contractors must take a long-term view of all seasons. For winter, they require equipment that is not just highly efficient, but also stands up to the demand for long-life productivity. Fortunately, technology is keeping pace, particularly in regard to the accuracy and efficacy of salt spreading and gritting. There are now many machines on the market that can perform effectively in all manner of conditions while saving on waste and reducing councils’ financial outlay. Snow blowers and even snowploughs are often warm and dry in

the council garage between October and March, but 2018 was different, and going forward the pattern of weather experienced in 2018 could easily be repeated or even become more extreme. Will budgets allow highways authorities to meet the challenge? ‘The only thing that seems certain is the unpredictability of the British climate so local authorities are looking for cost-effect solutions that meet this growing uncertainty,’ says Multihog’s strategic marketing manager Josh Sweeney. ‘The adaptability of plant and equipment within council arsenals to tackle erratic weather will be a key advantage in terms of operational response and long-term efficiency.’ The Multihog range consists of articulated multi-purpose vehicles that accept a wide array of attachments to the front and rear for allyear operation. The aim is to maximise return on investment through improved fleet efficiency and operational productivity. The machines have helped more than a third of UK local authorities reduce overheads and maximise service delivery through the use of one versatile machine to tackle several different highways, grounds, and winter maintenance operations. Multihog offers a range of robust, road-legal, and hydrostatic fourwheel-drive machines, and Josh believes their enhanced manoeuvrability and reliability across a range of applications, particularly winter resilience, is what has made them such a popular solution in the UK. Multevo has been the UK Multihog distributor since 2010. It has the world’s largest dedicated Multihog and attachments hire fleet, which enables existing Multihog customers to hire additional winter attachments such as snowploughs, gritters, de-icers, and snow blowers to integrate with existing machines at minimal cost. Multihog’s latest compact machine, the CL, offers local authorities the ability to operate the basic benefits of the multi-purpose Multihog. The CL is based on the compact CX model, designed for maintenance in tight urban areas, cycleways, and footways, but requires less investment than the CX by limiting some functions. The CL has one load-sensing hydraulic pump working at up to 90 litres per minute, making it ideal for attachments such as snowploughs, sweepers, and mowers. The new unit is also lighter, which means it has greater carrying capacity on the rear for salt spreading. Bucher Winter’s research and development teams invest millions each year to ensure the company is at the forefront of winter maintenance technology. The company, along with Johnston Sweepers, is part of Bucher Industries.

20 LAPV September 2018


Local Authority Plant & Vehicles

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23/08/2018 12:58

winter maintenance

Top: Bucher's Phoenix Electra is the first fullyelectric spreader in the industry. Below: Multihog articulated multipurpose vehicles accept a wide array of attachments for all-year operation.

Bucher’s Phoenix Electra highways salt spreader is the first fullyelectric spreader in the industry. This is not just an environmental benefit. It also removes the need for hydraulic components, which don’t fare well in winter weather. The Phoenix Electra delivers the same performance as a traditional spreader, but the whole-life-cost of electric components is much easier to manage, and the cost of routine servicing is removed, which can significantly reduce operating costs. Fixed maintenance contracts of up to ten years are available. Johnson Sweepers’ regional sales manager Andrew Manson argues that the spreaders can deliver significant operational savings through the combination of electric technology and spreading

22 LAPV September 2018

technique, which is different to the UK norm. Traditional belt-driven, salt-dispensing technology involves the use of rubber belts, which require the salt hopper to be emptied every night and filled again every morning. However, Bucher Winter’s accurate salt distribution uses a patented chain drive system and eliminates the requirement for emptying and refilling, cutting down overtime labour costs and improving productivity. Snowploughs tend to be forgotten about until storms such as the ‘Beast from the East’ hit. The argument for using snowploughs comes down to simple economics. At temperatures just below freezing,1kg of salt will melt 50kg of ice. So for every tonne of snow that’s ploughed out of the way, 20kgs of salt can be saved. Investment in a quality snowplough can reduce the amount of salt that needs to be used. ‘With the British weather so unpredictable, it is essential that councils have the right tools to reduce disruption caused by heavy snowfall and changing conditions,’ says Ali Conroy, Hako’s marketing director. The Hako range is multi-functional, and, as such, an ideal workhorse for a variety of applications throughout the year. Hako’s Citymaster range starts with the small and agile Citymaster 600 for accessing small, confined areas. The 600 can be fitted with a power snowplough, snow broom, snow blower, or a rear-spinning gritter. The hopper can be removed in minutes to accommodate a salt carrier for the rear gritter. Other options include the Citymaster 1250+, weighing in at 2.6 tonnes, and the top-of-the-range Citymaster 1600, both of which can be fitted with winter maintenance attachments. The largest is the Citymaster 2200, with a payload of 2.9 tonnes and a travel speed of 62kph. The 2200 also operates a snowplough, snow broom, and a full body gritter. Gulliver’s Truck Hire responded to the extreme weather this last winter by devoting a team of specialists to support the winter maintenance equipment team, understanding their customers’ need to reduce downtime and keep the fleet in top working condition. The company’s gritter options include the Euro VI Mercedes Arocs and Axor mounted with snow plough and Aebi-Schmidt bodies and equipment. The 18t R18.24 and 26t R26.33 chassis vehicles are fitted with the latest gritting bodies of either 6m3 or 9m3. ‘These easy-to-use gritters operate under a simple and clear control system, perfect for night-time operations,’ says Gulliver’s UK sales manager Jason Maddern, who adds that development of the spreaders has led to significant savings in salt of up of 20%. ‘To complement this, all our gritters are fitted with Aebi-Schmidt snowploughs as standard, although these are removeable.’ The ploughs incorporate an integrated snow deflector complete with impact resistant blades, with independent spring-loading cutting edges and floating hydraulics to prevent damage when ploughing over cat’s eyes or man-hole covers. With locations nationwide around the UK, the majority of vehicles are maintained in Gulliver’s fully-equipped workshops. The company also has a fleet of mobile technicians and mobile service vans. They are not only equipped to deal with breakdowns, but they also offer daily defect clinics for customers to correct defects on site. Holder Equipment UK is the supplier of the German Max Holder range of multi-functional tool-carrier tractors including snow clearers and grit spreaders. They are designed to operate in confined spaces as well as on open roads and at airports. The tractors’ four-wheeldrive positive diff lock and articulated steering allow them to carry out winter maintenance operations on pavements, walkways, and roads. The front-mounted attachments include standard snow ploughs, power brushes, and snow blowers. A mounting point over the engine allows for a number of salt spreader attachments or Brine sprayers. Holder tractors have a travel speed of 40kmph, cutting out the need for additional transportation and maximising response times


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winter maintenance

Gulliver’s winter maintenance fleet includes the Euro VI Mercedes Arocs and Axor mounted with snowplough and Aebi-Schmidt bodies and equipment.

from site to site. The Holder B & C Series tractors have a minimum working width of 1.2m for narrow-access work and on footpaths and cycleways. The S series models, from 100, 118 and 130hp when fitted with snow blowers, can help in opening major roads and country lanes after heavy snowfalls. They can also be equipped with rear-mounted salt spreaders. The Holder Muvo is a Rigid chassis tool carrier with four-wheel drive and four-wheel steer with a road speed of 60kmph. At 1.4m wide it can be equipped for winter with snow ploughs, rear-mounted spreaders or sprayers. All Holder tractors are designed for all-year use and there are more than one hundred attachments available for everything from grass cutting to highways maintenance, including patch planers, verge mowers, and sweeping systems. This practical and flexible approach being taken by manufacturers and service providers is good news for councils, which are realising that investing in single-use equipment no longer makes sense when the climate has become so unpredictable. Highways maintenance depends largely on the ability to respond quickly and effectively. The sooner ice can be prevented, and the faster snowfall cleared, the less chance of damaging accidents and delays. There is every reason for councils to feel confident that if ‘snowmaggedon’ hits again, highways authorities and contractors will have the most efficient equipment to deal with it.

Compacts combat the cold after successfully dealing with last winter’s heavy snow across the tayside area of Scotland, tayside contracts has added seven new John Deere 2026r compact tractors to its existing fleet, supplied by local dealer Double a based at cupar in Fife. the ‘footpath gritter’ tractors are chiefly used for winter maintenance of public footpaths. they are equipped with industrial tyres, a 54-inch front blade, and Kuhn 360-litre rear-mounted spreaders. these feature one of three hopper types suitable for spreading salt or brine or for spraying fine salt to combat frost and ice. they are also specified with fully-heated John Deere cabs, which incorporate a demister – vital for efficient and weatherproof operation on cold winter mornings. tayside contracts provides catering, cleaning, roads, winter maintenance, and vehicle maintenance services to angus, Dundee city, and Perth and Kinross councils. it reports to a joint committee representing the three councils and has an annual turnover of around £70m. tayside contracts construction Division, within which the transport unit sits, is the largest civil engineering construction organisation in this area of Scotland, employing over 400 people. Purchasing decisions are based on an established tender process using the Scotland excel collaborative procurement framework, which is designed specifically for the local government sector. this service is funded by Scotland’s 32 local authorities and is designed to ensure the sustainable delivery of the services that the community needs, while also helping councils meet the challenge of reducing budgets. transport services manager Bob ritchie is responsible for overseeing the purchase and operation of the compact tractor fleet. this currently numbers 65 in total, including 40 John Deere models that also include the 2026r’s predecessors, the 2025r and 2320. Unusually for John Deere machines, they are liveried in tayside contracts’ corporate colours of golden yellow and aircraft blue, and the latest models have been supplied with a three-year warranty. ‘we have been buying compact tractors from Sandy armit at Double a since 2012,’ says Bob ritchie. ‘the evaluation process is based on a 70/30 cost/quality equation, which means the lowest cost equipment doesn’t necessarily make the best choice. Our experience of John

24 LAPV September 2018

Deere machines has proved over time that we get tractors that do the job they are required to do reliably and efficiently, and work well in the conditions that they are faced with each winter.’ tayside contracts carries out all its own maintenance in three workshops, and around 20 tractors are kept at these sites ready to go out over the winter when required, usually when gritters are being used on the roads and the weather forecast is for ice on pavements. ‘typically, we run the tractors up to around 200 hours a year, depending on the winter conditions, but we’ve known years when this figure can be as low as 50 hours per machine in a mild winter,’ says Bob ritchie. ‘this can also depend on the routes the tractors take and the windows available for the work to be done. as with the road gritter crews, we try to focus on schools, main routes, and public areas where we can have the biggest impact. ‘GPS is used on every tractor to give us essential information, such as where they have been, what they have done, and what speeds they have been working at. Being able to react quickly to public concerns is also very important. we are now developing a live website that will show exactly where the tractors have been working, which will hopefully help to address these issues.’

Customer Driven

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vehicle design

Safety by design Evolutions in vehicle design have a key role to play in improving health and safety in the waste and recycling sector. Andy Graves from Dennis Eagle examines the driving forces behind the latest developments and outlines the benefits offered by complete vehicle solutions.


Launched in 1992, Dennis Eagle's Elite 1 (left) was the UK's first lowentry cab.

aste and recycling has a statistically higher rate of workplace injury and work-related ill health than other industries, according to the Health and Safety Executive. The industry employs around 120,000 workers and they are more likely to suffer work-related illness than any other sector. Statistics show that the main causes of fatal injuries to workers in this industry are being struck by moving vehicles, coming into contact with moving machinery, and being injured by something collapsing or overturning. In the five years to 2016/17 in the waste sector there were 39 fatalities. Eleven members of the public were also killed as a result of work activity in the sector. However, the HSE argues that such incidents can be prevented if organisations have proper risk management in place. A lot of work has been done over recent years to improve occupational safety levels in the industry, but there is always room for improvement, and Andy Graves, product marketing manager at Dennis Eagle, believes that the design and specification of vehicles has an important role to play here.

26 LAPV September 2018

‘Health and safety for vehicle operatives first came into the spotlight in the early 1990s because of the high number of leg and back injuries, as well as trips and falls, caused by climbing in and out of higher cabs, many of which had multiple steps. It was in response to this issue that Dennis Eagle launched the Elite 1 in 1992.' With its single-step entry, walk-through cab, the Elite 1 enabled drivers and crews to easily exit onto the kerb rather than into the path of traffic, and significantly reduced the risk of trips and falls. In addition, its panoramic windscreen provided increased visibility for drivers. As the UK’s first low-entry cab, it was a ground-breaking innovation of its time, and helped to reduce the number of occupational injuries in the industry. Its modern successor, the Elite 6, has continued in its footsteps. ‘Today, the Elite 6 is still the only single-step model available,’ says Andy. ‘At just 495mm from floor to step, it also has the lowest entry. The panoramic windscreen of the Elite 1 has remained a prominent feature and, as the focus has shifted to the safety of vulnerable road users over recent years, the unrivalled standard of direct driver

vehicle design

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


Sweeping solution The cost-effective disposal of road sweepings and gully waste has long been an issue for councils. Now, Go Plant Fleet Services is helping local authorities reduce landfill costs and meet their sustainability targets by recycling this waste into aggregates through the installation of a new Gritbuster system.


The Gritbuster system in operation at Go Plant's waste treatment facility in Telford.

pending constraints have put local authorities under pressure to meet recycling targets while maintaining quality of service. While many achieve their objectives for paper, cardboard, and plastic recycling, some are still struggling to find a cost-effective method for the disposal of road sweeper and gully waste. Fleet management specialist Go Plant Fleet Services is helping councils overcome this problem with the installation of an innovative machine that enables the vast majority of such waste to be recycled. Go Plant is one of the UK’s largest providers of specialist commercial vehicles and associated services for both the public and private sectors. The company has a network of 37 depots and service centres nationwide and operates a 4,700-strong fleet of both large and compact road sweepers, gully tanks, gritters, vans, cage tippers, RCVs, and street washers. In order to improve its environmental credentials, and to offer an enhanced service to customers, the company has invested in a stateof-the-art Gritbuster system that transforms sweeper and gully waste into aggregates. Paul Langham, operations director at Go Plant, explains that the move forms part of the company’s forward-thinking approach to sustainability and he says that the system has proved to be a huge success since it was first trialled at the company’s waste treatment facility in Telford in 2016.

28 LAPV September 2018

‘We have invested more than £600,000 on a solution that transforms sweeper and gully waste into secondary aggregates. We’re proactively recycling what we sweep off the roads so that less than 10% of the waste ends up in landfill, which is having a positive effect on the environment.’ While it was a significant investment, Paul says the decision to install the Gritbuster was taken to benefit both the company and its customers. ‘It felt like the right thing to do and we are delighted it has proved so successful.’ Go Plant worked closely with Siltbuster, which developed the Gritbuster, trialling the system for three years before upgrading to the recycling system at its waste treatment facility in Telford. ‘Sampling tests had identified the base constituents of the waste and showed it was possible to recover a large percentage of the base material if it was correctly treated,’ explains Go Plant’s regional manager Ben Gilmore. ‘We carefully considered the options and worked with Siltbuster on the development of a next-generation Gritbuster unit specifically tailored to our type of road sweeper and gully waste operation. The collaboration resulted in the development of a state-of-the-art Gritbuster WT 250 machine that delivers greater waste recycling capability than ever before.’


‘The original Gritbuster unit was designed around processing road sweepings tipped directly into the system by road sweepers and gully tankers,’ explains Dr Richard Coulton, managing director of Siltbuster. ‘The enhanced WT-250 system can be fed by a telescopic loader, thus removing the need for the original bucket wheel feeder and enabling us to introduce a larger trommel. This increases the capacity of the system from 15 tonnes to 25 tonnes per hour.’ Go Plant is the first company in the country to use the WT-250 unit in combination with its diverse range of vehicles, which operate nationally in England and Wales. ‘The system enables us to offer an added-value service to our clients, as well as helping us achieve our objectives to reduce our own carbon footprint and running costs,’ says Ben Gilmore. The new system combines innovative new design features with many of the proven concepts of the original machine. ‘It includes an elevated screw feed hopper suitable for loading with a telehandler, a larger diameter wash trommel, a hydraulic density separator, which increases the recycling potential, as well as a new control panel and system,’ says Dr Coulton. The machine and process can recover up to 92% of road sweeper and gully waste. The main constituent of this is sand. Once collected, this sand can be reused across other industries such as the construction sector. ‘The model ensures that both dry and wet feed stocks are handled with ease, with the wash trommel specifically designed to wash and separate aggregate while minimising the risk of contaminating the sand product with organic matter to produce a clean end product,' adds Dr Coulton. 'It also enables the recovered sand and gravel to be reused as non-structural fill or secondary aggregate in accordance with the WRAP Protocol.' Designed to process up to 25 tonnes per hour, the Gritbuster machine passes the waste material through a separating trommel, a water/chemical dosing plant, and a double-density separator system, which delivers an end product consisting of coarse and fine aggregates and organic matter. The remaining ultrafine particulates suspended in the water are then removed by a combined chemical process, passing through a clarifier and a filter press to leave a compacted material or ‘cake’. The cleaned water is then recirculated as part of the process, reducing both clean water consumption and waste water discharge. The separated materials, which would have previously been taken to landfill, can be used as recycled aggregate, inert fill, or pipe bedding. ‘The recovery offers the most effective method of processing this type of waste and enables local authorities not only to achieve recycling targets but also minimises the amount of material going to landfill, significantly reducing the associated costs of landfill tax and tipping charges,’ says Paul Langham. ‘The Go Plant Fleet Services operation is a one-of-a-kind solution for recovering and reusing waste materials and one that has a major part to play in the future of the waste industry.’ The installation of the waste recycling equipment forms part of Go Plant’s proactive environmental policies, according to Mark Gallimore, the company’s commercial director. ‘Following the success of the initial project, we’re developing a further three sites in Newcastle, Barnsley, and London for de-watering facilities to ensure our environmental efforts are consistent across our national network.’ Paul Langham adds: ‘We’re acutely aware of our obligations when it comes to sustainability and our investment in the Gritbuster system was a part of that. We currently operate around 500 truck-mounted sweepers, run from 10 operating centres throughout England and Wales. Over 150 of our vehicles feature water recirculation, which uses less water and enables the grey water collected in carrying out the road sweeping process to be used again. We specified this capability as we recognise the environmental and commercial benefits it delivers.’ Almost half the Go Plant fleet runs on Euro VI engines, and the company invests in its drivers through training with both safety and the environment in mind. ‘Our drivers are trained to NVQ standards and we’re always looking at the vehicle telemetry to help monitor and track driver behaviour,’ says Paul. ‘These are the right things for us to invest in and we’re keen to do more as the business continues to grow.’

September 2018 LAPV 29

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30 LAPV September 2018

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l Buy direct from the world’s number one l Comprehensive nationwide back-up service l Information and brochures available online Tel: 01604 662049


Southern Municipal Exhibition

cased the ne in Kent show n held on 21 Ju tio minar bi se hi nd Ex tte al -a ip to rn Munic ongside a freeal s et he fifth Southe fle r fo and technology latest vehicles IWM. on a career in pported by C su by Phil Clifford lk ta a ed ud programme cl ent as a e event in fleet managem planned for th y to recognise str fleet du of in Presentations e ile th nged raise the prof ent. Phil challe ct can be done to t tra at ha w to e d fleet managem or an pl e st a job, and ex on they deserv ju iti t gn no s, co n, nd re la sio e id es th M prof get them air of CIWM practitioners to and n, Paul Frith, ch s io ge ss an se r ch y he management ot ke industry. In an ul addressed e Pa th . es to ic s nt rv so al tra se new en today. He unicipal waste sposal services evolution of m atment, and di looked at the tre recyclate n, io nd ct ou lle ar co livery of y new challenges e th g in trends in the de ud er responsibilit cl uc in recast of prod rity measures, d te ste au oo m d e se th us disc stem, and posit return sy markets, the de ant Fleet ste strategy. wa l na tio knorba, Go Pl and na eveld, Geesin en ro G for packaging ace, Boughton -tr ed C ud e event incl CMS Supatrak, l, na io at rn te Exhibitors at th Weighing erg, ISS In ering, Vehicle is Eagle, Terb Hillend Engine rid Fa P Davidson, g, C Services, Denn , in rs gh arab Sweepe Onboard Wei Sc G n, io VP at g, m in to rs, RVS, er Au Engine a Mobile , Stock Sweepe h Ashbury, Mob roup, Munihire G ia . ed PV M LA ic Solutions, Bunc d n UK, Ep un Zoeller, an , Hako, Overto Sparshatts, Fa of Epic , n es to qu ur ni Addex Group M n ch vi Te stems, Vision of VWS and Ke Sy le ty po fe n this ss Sa la ow G rd gr n s Spilla by Julia the show ha jointly hosted w hted with how ne lig s de us e sc The event was ar di e to ‘W : er the country n Murton said ov vi l Ke al r . ei m up th fro ro r s G fo Media k exhibitors ome delegate uld like to than s great to welc wo wa e it W d . an or ct ar se ye in our d innovations technologies an t. or continued supp


32 LAPV September 2018

Northern Ireland Waste Expo 18 October 2018 | Titanic, Belfast

Join us for a day of all things municipal and fleet. This OWL Affiliated event is designed to help both local authority and private waste operators understand the benefits of the very latest vehicles and technologies. There will be seminars covering topics such as EU vehicle legislation, managing driver risk and the latest vehicle safety systems plus an exhibition of best in class waste sector suppliers and vehicles.

Register free at: or visit for info about OWL events.

Reduce your costs

Maximise your resources

Reduce your carbon footprint

CILT award CPD hours for attendance at OWL events

Committed to excellence in sustainable resource management

CMS SupaTrak manage the OWL Partnership on behalf of the OWL partners.

Protect your workforce

To find out about exhibitor opportunities, or to be added to the OWL mailing list email:

vans roundup

How to plan for a new van Steve Banner reviews the current state of the commercial van market in the UK in 2018, from the inexpensive hatchback vans to the latest in off-road and electric options.


The new Combo van from Vauxhall is set to arrive before the end of the year.

he humble van is a highly versatile asset for modern fleets and is used by local authorities and commercial fleet operators to deliver a wide range of services. Choosing the right one depends on a thorough understanding of the requirements of the role it will fulfil, and there are all manner of options out there from basic to 4x4s, pick ups, and electrics to meet a range of needs. Vans based on the three-door hatchback car might not seem like the most logical choice for fleets in this day and age. Their payload is usually meagre, as is their cargo space, and a purpose-built light commercial vehicle with plenty of weight capacity and a good-sized load area with both side- and rear-access doors might appear to be a more sensible option. However, as the respectable sales of Vauxhall’s Corsavan over the last few years show, there is still a place for vehicles of this type, particularly as inexpensive tax-efficient runabouts for site managers. Now there is a new player in the mix as Ford has revived the three-door Fiesta Van, now being promoted under the Fiesta Sport Van banner. Under the bonnet you will find either a 120hp 1.5-litre TDCi diesel or a 125hp 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol engine. Load cube is approximately 1.0m³ while, at half a tonne, gross payload capacity is surprisingly respectable. There’s no shortage of creature comforts for drivers. Ford's SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system is a standard feature, and both the Fiesta Sport Van and its larger Transit Connect stable-mate benefit from the manufacturer's Ford Pass Connect onboard modem technology. This turns them into mobile Wi-Fi hotspots with connectivity for up to ten devices. Ford has also recently upgraded the exterior of the highlysuccessful Transit Custom van as well as the cab interior. What is more significant, however, is what cannot be seen. Electronic onboard safety technology is becoming increasingly important and increasingly sophisticated, and the Transit Custom is available with intelligent speed assist, intended to help drivers remain with the speed limit, and blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert. The latter is there to prevent you from veering into the path of

34 LAPV September 2018

oncoming vehicles if you are reversing onto a main road. Of equal interest is pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection. An emergency braking system that relies on camera and radar information, this is capable of reacting at night if pedestrians wander out in front of the van and are picked out by its headlights. In light of the mounting pressure on local authorities to cut emissions, Ford will be putting a plug-in hybrid Custom into volume production in 2019. In the meantime, it is offering an Econetic variant of the diesel model with CO2 output set at 148g/km, according to official figures. Meanwhile, the new Combo van from Vauxhall is set to arrive before the end of the year. The manufacturer is now owned by PSA Group, parent to Citroen and Peugeot, and the Combo will share the same platform as Citroen's new Berlingo van and Peugeot’s new Partner van, both of which are also on their way. Initial details of the Combo indicate that it will be sold with a load area of up to 4.4m³ and a payload capacity of up to a tonne. An onboard weighing system will also be available, designed to prevent overloading.

Off-road options Some councils need vehicles that can venture off-road and therefore may decide to acquire a few 4x4 pick-ups. Mitsubishi has unveiled the new Shogun Sport Commercial 4x4, which may be an option for councils that need to stay mobile in mud, snow, and ice. Power comes courtesy of a 181hp 2.4-litre diesel married to a new eightspeed automatic gearbox – a growing number of vans are being marketed with multi-speed auto transmissions. Load cube is 1.5m³, payload capacity is approximately 600kg, and Mitsubishi's latest light commercial can tow a trailer grossing at up to 3.1 tonnes. Onboard safety systems include ultrasonic misacceleration mitigation system. This makes use of the front parking sensors to stop any accidental sudden acceleration if objects are detected in the vicinity. Another option comes from Toyota, which has introduced a van

vans roundup

version of the 4x4 Land Cruiser powered by a 175hp 2.8-litre diesel married to a six-speed manual gearbox. Land Cruiser Utility Commercial is marketed in both short- and long-wheelbase versions with three and five doors respectively and load capacities of either 1.6m³ or 2.2m³. It can handle payloads of up to 756kg and its trailer-towing capacity goes up to a healthy three tonnes. Land Rover has dipped in and out of the 4x4 van market over the years and is about to dip back in again with the Discovery Commercial. This comes with a 1.9m³ cargo compartment that can transport over 800kg depending on which version you opt for. Power is delivered by either a 2.0-litre 240hp or a 3.0-litre 258hp diesel. Automatic transmission comes as standard. However, 4x4 pick-ups aren’t letting 4x4 vans have it all their own way. Ssangyong has recently released its new Musso double-cab pick-up. It is well-equipped, competitively-priced, and carries a pickup-sector-leading seven-year 150,000-mile warranty. While this is a move to be applauded and should help the Korean manufacturer become better-known in the UK, the devil is always in the detail where warranties are concerned. The seven-year package covers all the major mechanical components including wheel bearings, suspension joints and bushes, steering joints, and shock absorbers. It also covers the audio system. However, components that clearly wear such as clutch discs and brake friction materials are only covered for one year or 12,500 miles as Ssangyong says their life could be reduced by poor driving. This is actually a sensible approach to take, and the Musso is worth investigating. It is well-built, well-equipped, and competitivelypriced and Ssangyong is open to discussing fleet deals. Elsewhere, Volkswagen recently unveiled a top-of-the-range version of its Amarok pick-up with a V6 TDI diesel engine pumping out 258hp and up to 580Nm of torque. But Mercedes-Benz is determined to steal sales from Amarok with the launch of the upmarket and pricey X-Class. This is the first time the company has ventured into the purpose-

built pick-up sector. Sold solely as a diesel four-door five-seater 4x4 double-cab – double-cabs are making all the running in the UK pickup market at present – the X-Class comes with a 2.3-litre engine generating either 163hp or 190hp. Opt for the former and you get a six-speed manual gearbox. Choose the latter, and you can enjoy a seven-speed automatic box.

Electric vans Nobody has yet come up with a mainstream electric 4x4 pick-up but plenty of manufacturers are extolling the virtues of 4x2 electric vans designed for on-road use. Now available from Renault is the electric Kangoo Z.E 33, which has a longer range than the previous batterypowered Kangoo. It can now complete 168 miles between recharges, according to official New European Driving Cycle figures. Moving up the weight scale, Renault has been exhibiting the new battery-powered Master Z.E, which reputedly offers a real-world range of 74 miles between recharges. It will go on sale later this year. Not to be outdone, Chinese manufacturer LDV has been promoting electric versions of its line-up. The manufacturer is not neglecting diesel power, however. On its way next year is the new LDV V80 with a 2.0-litre engine good for up to 214hp. Also due out in 2019 is a battery-powered version of the latest incarnation of Mercedes-Benz's Sprinter. Restyled internally as well as externally, the newcomer features front-wheel-drive for the first time – its predecessors were either rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive, and both configurations remain available – and can be ordered with an optional nine-speed automatic gearbox. It is the first time an auto box with so many speeds has been offered in a light commercial. More and more panel van manufacturers are offering both frontand rear-wheel-drive variants in a bid to broaden the appeal of their products. Again with an electric variant in the pipeline, VW's latest Crafter is a good example, as is MAN's TGE, which is essentially a rebadged version of the Crafter. MAN is owned by VW, as is sister brand Scania, and this is the first time the truck manufacturer has ventured into the light commercial market.

Top: Ford has revived the three-door Fiesta Van. Bottom: The Mitsubishi Shogun Sport Commercial 4x4 is an option for councils that need to stay mobile in mud, snow, and ice.

September 2018 LAPV 35

vehicle test

Inter-city cruiser Steve Banner puts an entry-level Fiat Ducato van through its paces for LAPV and is impressed by its power and handling.


The Ducato's handling is far sharper and more dependable than what is on offer from most vans of its size, writes Steve Banner.

he motor industry is enmeshed in a bewildering cat's cradle of joint ventures. One of these is the long-standing cooperation agreement between Fiat and PSA Group, which owns Citroen and Peugeot. As far as Ford Transit-rivalling panel vans are concerned, the fruits of this cooperation include Citroen's Relay, Peugeot's Boxer, and Fiat's Ducato. Yet while the three front-wheel-drive vehicles share the same basic design, there is a key difference under the bonnet. Fiat fits its own 2.3-litre MultiJet II diesel at 130hp, 150hp or 180hp, plus its own 2.0-litre MultiJet II diesel at 115hp. The Ducato is sold with three different heights and three different wheelbases. Volumetric load capacities range from 8m³ to 17m³, weight capacities range from 1,000kg to 2,100kg, and gross weights from 3 tonnes to 4.25 tonnes. The Ducato is also produced as a crew van with a second row of seating and a rear cargo area, a window van, a chassis cab, a chassis crew cab, and a platform cab. Fiat commercial vehicles are marketed under the Fiat Professional banner. LAPV opted to get to grips with a medium-height, mediumwheelbase 35 MH2 2.3 3.5-tonne van built to entry-level standard specifications and with 130hp on offer. More upmarket Tecnico and Sportivo specification levels are also available. Turbo-charged and intercooled, the four-cylinder common rail engine delivers its maximum power output at 3,600rpm. Top torque of 320Nm kicks in across a 1,800rpm-to-2,500rpm plateau and the engine is paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. Fiat Professional has installed a low-pressure EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve to ensure Ducato meets the Euro 6 exhaust emission rules. Adblue is not required, which saves on weight and the cost of tipping in the fluid every few thousand miles. Independent suspension with MacPherson-type struts is fitted at the front while longitudinal leaf springs help support the rear.

36 LAPV September 2018

The demonstration vehicle’s extra-cost 15-inch alloy wheels wore 215/70 R15 C Contivancontact 100 tyres made by Continental. Power steering delivers a 12.8m turning circle between kerbs, and disc brakes are installed all round. Access to the 11.5m³ cargo area is through a sliding nearside door or twin rear doors that can be opened through 180 degrees. Generously-proportioned side- and rear-door apertures make for easy loading, and the low cargo bed will be appreciated by anybody who needs to manoeuvre something heavy onboard. The doors can be locked and unlocked from the cab. A full-height steel bulkhead ensures that whoever is sitting in the cab is protected if the load comes hurtling forwards, and there are plenty of tie-down points in case cargo needs to be lashed down. The vehicle load length is 3.12m while load width is 1.87m, narrowing to 1.42m between the rear-wheel boxes. Load-bay height is 1.93m with a rear-loading height of 55cm. The gross payload capacity is 1,575kg. The demonstration vehicle was capable of towing a braked trailer of up to 2,500kg with a suitable tow-bar. Faced with quality-obsessed competitors such as Volkswagen with its Crafter, Fiat Professional could probably stand to improve the standard of the three-seater cab's plastic trim. On the positive side, however, access is easy and there is no shortage of storage space. There are two bins in each door, a glove box with a shelf above it, and a lidded compartment on top of the dashboard. If your Ducato is equipped with air-conditioning, this acts like a cool box to stop your Kit-Kat from melting. Close to the compartment is a permanently-attached clipboard to keep your paperwork tidy. A removable container also sits on the dashboard, which you can use for rubbish. Twin cup-holders and a tray are housed in a unit that sticks out from the bottom of the dashboard. It also accommodates a smartphone holder plus an awkwardly-positioned aux-in and USB sockets. These are all useful

vehicle test

facilities but providing them in the unit does steal some of the middle passenger's leg room. If nobody is sitting in the middle seat, however, you can pull down the centre section of the seat back. Doing so transforms this into a desk with a pen tray, two cup-holders, and another clipboard. The angle and height of the driver's seat cushion can be adjusted and the steering wheel, which is inconveniently offset to the left, is also height-adjustable. The seat offers both lumbar adjustment and an inboard arm rest. Adjustable and heated exterior mirrors with a lower wide-angle section are fitted, as are electric windows. Bluetooth is standard and the radio features remote controls on the steering wheel. Our Ducato was kitted out with a pile of extra-cost options including air conditioning, cruise control, a DAB Uconnect radio with a CD player, and a Tomtom satellite navigation system. The sat nav display is on a five-inch dashboard colour touchscreen. A slightly larger 7-inch screen would provide greater clarity, especially since it also displays images from the optional rearview camera when you engage reverse. Engaging reverse also switches on the rear parking sensors and the reversing beepers. The Ducato comes with ABS, electronic stability control, rollover mitigation, load adaptive control, and hill holder among other electronic safety measures. If none of these prevent an accident, at least the driver is protected by an airbag. An optional dual-passenger airbag was fitted in the vehicle we tested. The Ducato's handling is far sharper and more dependable than what is on offer from most vans of its size. It hangs on surprisingly

well through bends, showing no inclination to deviate from its course, unless, of course, the driver does something silly. There is no shortage of feedback through the steering and the way the suspension is set up ensures you feel properly planted on the highway. Nor is the Ducato short on performance, especially on the motorway. As you accelerate through the gears the power just keeps on coming, and eventually you have to start reining it in. It's a more-than-capable, high-speed, inter-city cruiser. Unfortunately, the gear change is not always as smooth as it could be. More attention needs to be paid to in-cab noise suppression and the ride is acceptable rather than outstanding. During the test drive we averaged around 45mpg, which is roughly the official combined fuel consumption figure. Official CO2 output is 166g/km. Service intervals are set at two years/30,000 miles, and the Ducato is covered by a three-year/100,000-mile warranty, with no mileage limit in the first two years. Roadside assistance is provided free for the first 12 months of ownership. The Ducato we drove costs ÂŁ28,420 plus VAT. If all the options are fitted, the price goes up to ÂŁ33,410. Verdict? A capable workhorse that ticks most of the boxes. On one last note, bear in mind that not only does PSA own Peugeot and Citroen, it also owns Vauxhall. Vauxhall's Movano is based on Renault's Master, but with PSA in charge it is a fair bet that whatever ultimately succeeds the Movano will have a lot in common with the next generation of Boxers and Relays, and (assuming the PSA/Fiat collaboration rolls on) with Ducatos.

September 2018 LAPV 37

direct vision

Improving line of sight With the introduction of London’s Direct Vision Standard, Lee Allen from Truck Align tells LAPV how the company has developed a portfolio of truck door windows that can be retrofitted into any truck type in operation in the UK.


A truck stop in Japan, where kerb/direct vision windows began to be installed in HGVs in the 1970s after accidents involving vulnerable road users became a serious social issue. Right: A Scania cab with a retrofitted window from Truck Align.

ver the past three years, HGVs were involved in 20% of pedestrian fatalities and over 70% of cyclist fatalities in London despite only accounting for 4% of road miles. More than 80% of cycling fatalities occur when the cyclist is to the front left of the vehicle, where it is difficult for the driver to see them. Windscreens and mirrors do not provide a complete view of the area surrounding an HGV. The resulting blind spots mean that the line of sight capturing cyclists to the left and front of the HGV can be poor. Providing drivers with a large field of view increases hazard detection, potentially reducing the number of incidents. In 2015, then Mayor of London Boris Johnson proposed introducing a requirement for safety modifications to all HGVs in London, including the retrofitting of bigger side windows to further reduce the driver blind spots that contribute to so many tragic accidents. However, despite numerous consultations, focus groups, and seminars, this requirement was not implemented. But, the ensuing discussion and public debate helped increase understanding of the value of such windows in helping to reduce incidents between HGVs and vulnerable road users. It was around this time that Truck Align London was approached by one of its long-standing customers to develop a product that would offer its drivers an optimum field of vision while meeting the engineering requirements of the original equipment manufacturers. Truck Align’s MD Lee Allen recognised that, in future, these windows were unlikely to be restricted to vehicles that operated in London. Major construction projects such the Thames Tideway were already mandating kerb/direct vision windows for vehicles operating on site. 'These are windows of a type we were fitting for our customers decades ago,' says Lee, who adds that installation of kerb/direct view windows on HGVs in Japan began during the 1970s as accidents involving vulnerable road users had become a significant social issue. Although, Truck Align had been involved with many contracts over the years that included modifications to vehicles, Lee knew that if

38 LAPV September 2018

this new type of window was to be accepted as a viable option by truck manufacturers, the design standard and build quality would need to be of the highest calibre. Lessons learned over the company’s four decades in business dictated that simply cutting a hole in the door of a vehicle and replacing it with a piece of glass was not the answer. Therefore, Truck Align didn’t just call on the expertise and experience of its staff directly involved with truck repair and refurbishment in the development process. The company also worked with the design and mechanical engineers from its wheelchair access ramp manufacturing arm, Compak Ramps. ‘The biggest hurdle was the concern that the structural integrity of the door would be compromised by the installation of a window in its lower section,’ explains Lee. So to address this issue, a single piece of Type Approved glass was bonded into the door rather than using a traditional rubber gasket. ‘In addition to the strength issue, bonding the glass prevents illegal entry into the vehicle by removing the gasket. It also eliminates the problem of condensation and means the inside face of the window can be cleaned. This is important because some ingress of dirt is inevitable.’ The size of the glass itself is universal and sized at optimum dimensions of 485mm x 235mm. ‘On some makes/models of truck there’s an anti-whip bar attached to the internal extremities of the door, which we remove,’ says Lee. ‘Some people mistakenly assume that this weakens the door structure. In fact, the reverse is true, as the bonded glass actually makes it stronger.’ The inner door card is modified to provide visible access through the glazed section. In some cases, it is necessary to install an inner surround to retain the look of the original OEM door card. The next big challenge was to develop and produce windows for all makes and models of truck sold in the UK. Customers wanted the windows fitted to all vehicles in their mixed fleets to give them the flexibility to operate any of their vehicles in London. To meet this demand, Truck Align had to develop a product portfolio to satisfy the

direct vision

needs of its existing and potential customers. There was, however, one further obstacle. Drivers wanted to be able to clean exterior mirrors from inside the truck cab, therefore the kerb/direct vision window had to be designed so that it did not impede the operation of the cab door window. Engineering constraints mean this objective has not been possible on certain makes and models, but Truck Align has overcome the issue in the majority of cases, while also ensuring that no part of the window operating mechanism is visible in the kerb/direct vision window. In the years since Boris Johnson first suggested implementing a requirement for these windows, Transport for London has developed its Direct Vision Standard star rating and safety permit scheme, which has put the spotlight firmly on the issue of kerb/direct vision windows. For fleet owners and operators, the installation of these windows is not only important from a compliance point of view. There is now widespread recognition that these are an additional and inexpensive safety feature in their own right. The windows will be on display at the CRH Safety Seminar in Amsterdam for the third consecutive year. Aggregate Industries is now specifying truck door windows on all its vehicles and Cemex is following suit. The windows are now being sold through truck dealers across the UK and Truck Align is in discussion with manufacturers. As one of the attendees at last year’s CRH Safety Seminar commented: ‘It is such a simple idea, but it is so effective in helping to prevent accidents, which impact on drivers, and addressing the issue of corporate liability for owners and operators.’

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ev infrastructure

Pivot Power is planning a network of EV charging superhubs to unlock a charging capacity large enough to power up to one million homes. Below: Department for Transport data on barriers to EV adoption.

The shift to electric The scale of the challenge facing local authority fleet owners and operators when the shift to electric vehicles takes place is daunting. However, from air quality improvement to investment opportunities, this challenge provides real and meaningful opportunities for councils. Matthew Boulton from Pivot Power tells LAPV how the company is working with councils to develop the infrastructure to accelerate the electric revolution. 40 LAPV September 2018




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13/07/2018 16:24

ev infrastructure


Matthew Boulton from Pivot Power says the company's aim is to accelerate the EV revolution and it is looking to collaborate with local authorities to install the infrastructure to galvanise EV uptake.

The UK's councils are on the frontline in the transition to electric vehicles. While the number of local authority-owned fleet vehicles in the UK is only around 50,000, when it comes to providing the necessary infrastructure required to support the increasing appetite for EVs, the buck will inevitably stop with councils. However, providing the infrastructure for the transition away from internal combustion engines is no simple task. Street space comes at a premium in most cities and towns, and each street typically has enough copper in the ground to support a few chargers, but not more. Similarly, an average business is really only able to host five to 10 charging points. Yet local authorities will have to find the space needed for large-scale charging to ensure the UK meets its obligations under the Paris Agreement. Adding to the urgency, air quality concerns have driven the topic of e-mobility up the Government’s agenda. The Road to Zero report, published on 9 July 2018, laid out the UK Government’s ambitions to phase out diesel and petrol vehicles by 2040. The National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios, published shortly afterwards, also raised expectations of electric vehicle uptake in coming years, suggesting that there could be as many as 11 million electric vehicles on UK roads by 2030 and 36 million by 2040. The reality, according to Matthew Boulton from EV infrastructure company Pivot Power, is that the UK requires multiple roads to zero, shaped and defined by the councils who know what is best for their local communities. ‘Local authorities must meet the challenge of providing enough space and equipment to service the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of predicted EV vehicle journeys in and out of major cities and towns in any given year.’ Matthew says that Pivot Power is addressing this challenge by bringing enormous amounts of power directly from the country’s central transmission system rather than the more usually accessed distribution network. The company is installing a 50 MW battery at each of its sites and is then planning to take some of the additional power available at these connection points to the edge of nearby towns to create intensive pockets of EV charging, all at affordable prices. ‘Following significant industry research, we are confident that this is the future of energy sourcing for low carbon, electrified transport,’ says Matthew. ‘We have devised a £1.6bn investment programme, underpinned by experienced sustainable finance backers, to anticipate the expected explosion in EVs and therefore allow Pivot Power to implement this plan. The network takes inspiration from schemes in Norway and the Netherlands, where both countries preinvested in charging infrastructure, enabling significant uptake in electric vehicles.’ Southampton is one such area where Pivot Power is looking to install an ‘EV charging superhub’. ‘We have just received planning permission for the battery, which will be located adjacent to the local transmission system substation. We expect this to be operational by September 2019, with nearby EV charging facilities installed shortly thereafter. We then plan to establish a further 10 sites over the following 12 months and aim to build out all 45 of the sites we have targeted by 2023.’ Pivot Power plans to unlock a connection capacity large enough to power more than one million homes. A battery network of this scale can contribute valuable balancing services which will allow more renewable energy generation onto the grid, something that is obviously essential if the UK is to achieve its climate change targets. And the EV charging network it creates will support in the tackling, head-on, of the three largest perceived barriers to the uptake of EVs as identified in research by the Department of Transport: charger availability, range anxiety, and cost of ownership. It is worth adding that many analysts are expecting EVs to be close to price parity

42 LAPV September 2018

(without subsidy) by 2022. These plans place local authorities at the heart of the electric vehicle revolution and have the potential to unlock substantial benefits in meeting transport, decarbonisation, and air quality targets. 'As a public service provider and policymaker, local authorities can use a regional energy storage facility as a springboard for electrified transport in the region,' says Matthew. 'They can lead by example, electrifying vehicle fleets (cars, vans, buses, refuse trucks) and creating the necessary charging infrastructure off the back of the local Pivot Power battery. ‘With this infrastructure in place and widely available to the public, it will be easier to introduce low emissions zones and mandate a faster transition to electrified transport in the area,’ he adds. ‘Not only will the main barrier – access to charging – have been resolved, but as an early adopter, the local authority will have the power to showcase the unlocked potential of e-mobility and, in the process, familiarise the local community with this technology.' Pivot Power is looking to work closely with local authorities throughout the whole process, especially when choosing the land on which to locate these new superhubs. ‘Whether it is for the initial “battery on the substation” application, or for the superhub at the motorway junction and the cable connecting the two, the local authority will have a key role to play in the statutory processes assessing planning applications. We will be studying local development plans and engaging proactively with local councils to try and make sure these developments fit into local strategy and objectives.’ By installing the batteries, which will then quickly be followed up with the deployment of the EV superhubs, Pivot Power will be building assets that will play a fundamental role in the UK’s lowcarbon future. Whether or not these are located on local authority land, there will be opportunities for co-investment in both the batteries and the EV chargers as a means of securing long-term revenues into the public purse while stimulating the local economy through job creation. Matthew says that Pivot Power’s aim is to accelerate the EV revolution, and the business is looking to collaborate with local authorities who want to seize the opportunity to shape the impact this revolution will have locally, by designing and installing appropriate infrastructure that galvanises local EV uptake, improves local air quality targets, and establishes reliable future revenue streams, setting an example for other towns to follow.

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LAPV September 2018  

LAPV September 2018