Vehicle builders in major moves

The chassis and vehicle manufacturing industry is undergoing a period of growth and reorganisation which should result in even more choice in the specialised waste sector for road fleet operators and transport managers. Environmentally friendly waste transport options in water borne and rail freight remain very much on the agenda.

Making news at the end of January was MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG of Munich, which acquired Cheshire-based ERF (Holdings) plc from Western Star Truck Holdings Ltd, a Canadian company producing commercial vehicles.

In another financial move tip gear manufacturer Hyva (UK) Ltd, of Irlam, Manchester, reports that all shares in its Dutch parent company, Hyva Beheer BV, have been transferred to an international group of investors headed by Alpha Beteiligungs GmbH in Frankfurt. The group plans further acquisitions in the automotive and commercial vehicle sectors.

Focus on waste market
Partek Cargotec Ltd, of Ellesmere, Shropshire, recently announced a major change in the structure of its UK operation with plans to establish Norba RCV bodies ­ one of its three product lines ­ as a separate company, Norba Ltd.

Partek Cargotec Managing Director, David Gardner, explained that the customer was the key factor in this change. "The Norba customer base comes from one area - waste management. Norba Ltd can offer a specialist service to the niche market of waste management."

The new company will be a direct subsidiary of Norba AB, Sweden, and will be operation from 1 April, 2000. Eugene Wenger, current product line manager for Norba, will be appointed to take full operational responsibility for Norba activities in the UK. The new company will continue to operate from Partek Cargotec's Ellesmere site and facilities.

Partek Cargotec's other two brands, Hiab mounted cranes and Multilift demountable body systems, will continue to be part of Partek Cargotec Ltd.

Chassis for sweepers
The close partnership between chassis manufactures and specialist body and vehicle builders in the waste and sweeper markets is illustrated in the design of the latest model from Scarab, the Monic 4000 compact, heavy-duty, truck-mounted road sweeper employing the hydraulic drive concept. The Scarab Monic 400 with Omnidrive follows the Kent-based manufacturer's "single-engined philosophy."

In essence, Scarab says it has taken the ISUZU NQR 7.5 tonne GVW chassis and replaced the conventional clutch and gearbox with the Scarab Omnidrive system.

The Scarab Omnidrive has two modes of operation, selected by a single switch on the cab's control console. The first is for conventional drive, with a top speed of 88kmph. The second gives infinite speed control from zero to 25kmph for sweeping.

Complementing the Omnidrive system, the narrow width of 2,150mm and the 7.5 tonne GVW of the ISUZU NQR chassis allows Scarab to incorporate features such as a 4.2m3 body, with a payload of around 2,750kg, and a 900 litre water tank. The Monic 4000 is offered with dual sweep as standard equipment. The 4.7 litre, four cylinder, OHC, Turbo inter-cooled diesel produces 143 bhp at 2,300 rpm.

Water and rail options
In parallel with technical developments on the road transport front, water-borne and rail freight offer environmentally attractive and competitive alternatives for bulk waste movement.

The carriage of London generated waste by Thames barge to disposal sites downriver attracted praise in a recent debate in the House of Lords. ³Waste disposal has been a commercial success story so far as the Thames is concerned," said Lord Greenway, who added, "In total, more than 800,000 tonnes ­ over 20% ­ of London's rubbish is moved by river every year, equating to over 100,000 lorry movements."

He also told the House that Cory Environmental, which transports around 600,000 tonnes a year of waste downriver - from Western Riverside, the City of London and Tower Hamlets, "will be forced to close down its site at Mucking in October 2002. That was the deadline set originally by the GLC. Cory has tried to extend it, so far without success, but after two public enquiries Essex County Council is adamant that it does not want any more of London's rubbish."

Lord Greenway said: "I believe that a realistic, co-ordinated and sustainable waste strategy is needed urgently if London is to resolve its impending waste crisis."

Canal feasibility study
The separate, pilot scheme to transport waste by barge on the Lee Navigation in East London, to London Waste¹s canalside incineration plant at Edmonton, which was announced last June, is about to enter the feasibility study stage.

Rail freight of waste appears to be gaining ground, mainly through special container trains run by English Welsh and Scottish Railway (EWS) for a range of public and private sector customers. At the last count EWS reported that it was moving 1.5 million tonnes annually of municipal and commercial waste to a growing number of rail-connectable landfill sites, transfer stations and waste management facilities, and there is also a growing market in recyclable materials. EWS quoted leading users including ARC, Avon Waste Management, City of Edinburgh, Greater Manchester Waste, Greenways, Shanks and UK Waste.



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