Innovation offers advances in loading and lifting sector

Special correspondent Mike Gerber reports on the latest developments in RCV chassis, bodies and lifters, many of which were unveiled at the recent Torbay 2001 Exhibition. Innovation across the board offers local authority and private sector fleet managers an ever-widening choice of chassis and equipment to provide solutions in refuse collection.

Side-loading RCVs might be about to take off at last in the UK, if the OMB display was any indication. The Italian parent company, through its Shrewsbury-based satellite, has been trying to interest the British market in its sideloaders for the last two IWMs.

Where things are getting intriguing is that a local authority is getting mighty interested in OMB's big one-man operated CMPL7 sideloader. The company did not want to give much away just yet, but the CMPL7 exhibited was adorned in Edinburgh City Council's livery.

A novel frontloader RCV from NTM of Finland made its UK debut. The FL-P, marketed here by MSM Vehicles of Shrewsbury, features a patented ìpendulum pressî compactor using "programmable logic" to facilitate one-time loading. Automatic compaction continues during the loading cycle.

Landfill in mind
Mercedes gave a first showing anywhere to the Econic 2628LL, which was equipped with a Dennis RCV body for Onyx. East Dorset district council had just become the first UK customer for the 6x4 version for the council's refuse services. The new Econic is double-drive, variable ride height and comes with a Euro 3 engine. It is designed specifically to meet the needs of the UK market where landfill operations are still common.

An exhibit which RCV bodymaker Ros Roca said drew a lot of attention was its vertically split Cross compaction body shown on rental company TLS's stand. It has a 24m3 capacity two-compartment body split 70/30 for the collection of household waste and recyclable materials respectively. A key feature is the use of separate hydraulic compaction for each compartment, enabling storage and compaction on the same load. Ros Roca's split body, at present used almost exclusively on the continent, can be supplied with a choice of bin lifts.

Heil gave an outing to a curved version of Heil's Powerlink RCV body, but Customer Services Director Roy Cooper said the company wanted to test it out in the field before deciding to sell it. Four vehicles thus equipped are in use with Hannay in Scotland, he said. "It's aesthetic, it's easier to put a livery on, but arguably they're going to be lighter," said Mr Cooper. "The jury's out on that. It's a balance between lightness and durability. The curved body will allow itself to have more visible damage. We have to keep an open mind. Our US product is all curved."

There was a first official showing, too, for Heil's UTL bin-lift, although it is already in operation with Swansea, Flintshire, Glasgow and Cleanaway. "We wanted to put them out to get feedback," explained Mr Cooper. "The UTL is designed with the end user in mind, rather than what we thought they wanted." The unit is capable of lifting bins from 120 litres to the continental 1280 litres, and there's an option for bolt-on paladin council bins to be used.

New split bin lifter
New in the UK was Terberg Matec's Tinium Semi-Auto split bin lifter, designed with compact RCVs with a GVW of as low as 10 tonnes in mind. The lightweight construction means there is minimal impact on payloads and permitted axle weights.

Terberg Managing Director Tim Conlon indicated that a new "more radical" Kerbsider recycling body that will be out soon.

Partek Cargotec's product line included a new small demountable Multilift hook lift, the HL4L. Partek says it fills a gap in the 7500 GVW chassis market. Its weight and dimensions give it a "surprisingly" high payload used with small vehicles, suiting councils who want to transport recyclables.

Geesink Norba brought the new Norba L500 bin lift, which Biffa is trialing in the UK after seeing it in operation in Sweden. "It has a very short overhang and doesn't rely on going round the back of the hopper," said Sales Director Kevin Else.

Trophy Lifters, a new company in the Applied Sweepers group, paraded the Schneider Trophy automatic bin lifter. Launched recently, it has been out on test on the back of a Derby City Council RCV. Its operation is smooth and fast, says Trophy. Apparently it has enabled Derby to knock an hour a day off collection times on the typical round.

PM On Board's latest BinWeigh system identifies and weighs wheeled bins from 80 to 1,700 litres, using IT to help with planning through to customer invoicing for the weight of waste collected. The company was also giving a handheld weight indicator, the 510, its first showing anywhere. Two 510s, which give radio remote weight readings, are currently out on test.

Arch-competitor Red Forge had the new Skip-A-Weigh on-board weighing system, designed specifically for skip loaders. "It's very tough," said product manager John Brown. "The chain supporting the skip would snap before this does."

Hold your breath though, because Red Forge is promising to launch a product in the next few weeks which would "turn the market upside down" in terms of application and accuracy.

Back on the Haller stand there was a first showing for the X! REL skip lift, adapted to Hales spec so it tucks away with sufficient ground clearance to facilitate rear-end loading. It has been purposely designed around the Haller tailgate, and Production Manager Adam Stephenson revealed, "It's so new it's just arrived from the paint shop."

Trio introduced the CH18 Telematic, billing it as "the most technically advanced" skiploader available. Laser technology has been used to cut the steel to improve component-fit and build quality, reducing noise pollution and offering better fuel efficiency.

Hyva unwrapped two lightweight skip hook loaders to fill a gap in its range of equipment. The 6-37 and 4-32 models deliver lifts of up to six and four tonnes respectively.

A versatile new skiphopper from LinkTip, the 4/4600, allows six to eight mid-sized bins to be emptied into a Jumbo bin, and can stack up to14 empty skip bins, depending on size.

On the Webb stand, Director Simon Webb said the TA3 Skip Handler, debuting at IWM, was the "first machine in the world with telescopic arms on a three-and-a-half tonne chassis".

Meanwhile, GLD showed the HPR14T, part of a new range of skipholders with either telescopic of standard lifting arms.

A new generation MacLift was at IWM, with several modifications over its predecessor. The listed benefits include reduced noise levels and fuel consumption, and off road loading nearly halved to 18 seconds.

New from RDS was the Axalog 2000 system whose digital display immediately warns drivers of any axle or gross overload, fitted to two-axle vehicles. Tipmaster markets the system.

Tyres and safety
Dunlop chose IWM to wheel out its latest on-off road heavy truck tyre, the SP841. Truck tyres used in quarry or landfills often fail well before their tread is worn out, so Dunlop says its design engineers have paid particular attention to bringing tread and sidewall life expectancy closer together.

Safety-wise, Vision Techniques sales executive Nigel Armstrong said a new rear vision system was due out within weeks with near TV quality resolution monitors. Moreover, infrared would permit 24-hour operation.

GPS satellite road logistics systems were on offer from Olympic and Fleetstar. Olympic's Road Link system was developed specifically for the waste management industry. Benefits include radiotelephone, GPS location reports, mapping, link to scales and bin ID and compactor computers, and confirmation of completed work.

Fleetstar's enables the tracking and reporting of fleet movement via a dedicated PC at base. Users range from Hampshire Police to Basingstoke Skip Hire.

Dennis Eagle, which purchased Jack Allen (Refuse Services) in December, whilst not exhibiting this year, nevertheless held its annual IWM show bash at a Torquay hotel, where Marketing Manager Elizabeth Cox advised LAWE that it would be launching the Pheonix 2 RCV in September.

"There's no technical data available yet. We want to save something for the event," she said.


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