THIS month Exeter City Council welcomes its first delivery of new refuse vehicles as part of a new seven-year fleet contract hire agreement with Specialist Fleet Services Ltd (SFS).
The contract, which could be extended for another seven years, encompasses the provision and maintenance of approximately 210 vehicles ranging from 26t refuse vehicles, sweepers, hook loaders, and tippers to vans, cars, telehandlers and grounds maintenance equipment. The new fleet includes a number of electric vehicles.
The first lot of new vehicles comprise seven 26t Dennis Eagle refuse vehicles with the latest Euro 6 low emission engines and fitted with reverse radar, and 360-degree camera systems. The ultra-safe vehicles are also equipped with cyclist detection and warning technology, and auto-braking systems, from Vision Techniques. The council has also taken delivery of a Kramer telehandler and a Hako compact sweeper.
Simon Hill, Service Manager – Recycling, Waste and Fleet at Exeter City Council, said: “The contract with SFS is allowing us to speed up the replacement of our older vehicles and introduce the latest models, which have a higher level of emission control and are equipped with the latest safety technology. SFS have also provided us with more electric vans and cars, so we now have over a dozen electric vehicles on our fleet. In the future, when the technology is properly tried and tested, we hope to be able to introduce electric refuse vehicles to the fleet.”
Bob Sweetland, managing director at SFS, added: “These vehicles will not only enhance the efficiency of collections across Exeter, they are also cleaner and safer. We will be delivering further vehicles over the term of the contract as existing vehicles are due for replacement.”
Exeter City Council, which uses the BARTEC Auto ID system to schedule and manage commercial waste collections, has fitted bin-weighing equipment to five of the new refuse vehicles. This will enable the authority to analyse each collection, plan rounds more efficiently and determine costs more accurately. The weighing equipment is a particularly helpful tool for managing the manual handling of heavy bins, monitoring crews’ workloads and alleviating the risk of injury.
Simon Hill added: “We’ve been using BARTEC for a few years to help us organise collection rounds and track progress but the bin-weighing adds a vital layer of measurement to help us protect our staff, analyse costs in more detail and inform our commercial pricing strategy.”
SFS has been delivering contract hire, fleet and workshop management solutions to the public and private sector since 1992. With a network of workshops and its own municipal vehicle hire division (CTS Hire), SFS can provide the full range of vehicle and plant solutions from short-term vehicle hire to meeting the most complex fleet requirements.