New vehicle technology for waste collection
A daily vehicle check is a way of life for Amey’s Environmental Services crews. Each morning before setting off they go through a standard check of their vehicle which can take up to 15 minutes. They work their way round systematically, they check brakes, wipers, mirrors and [add in]. Wheel checks are made easy through the use of bright green markers on the wheel nuts.
After setting off, Amey’s crews can make use of new technology which is becoming increasingly standard as we invest in new vehicles, designed to our specification.
At Surrey Heath, for example, where Amey is the waste collection operating partner, we invested £12 million in an entire new vehicle fleet two months after mobilisation of the contract in February 2018.
All of the cabs in the nine 27-tonne Mercedes Econic household waste collection vehicles and five 10-tonne Iveco food waste collection trucks have a 360° camera. This allows the drivers to see where the crew is working and alerts them to all road activity. Footage of any incidents can be downloaded onto computer and used as evidence.
Latest safety equipment for cyclists
These vehicles – and others in Amey’s fleets across the UK – have the latest cycle safety equipment. Drivers receive an audible warning if a cyclist or pedestrian is attempting to pass between the vehicle and the kerb.
From the cyclists’ perspective, there are clear eye-level cyclist hazard lights, along with an audible ‘turning left’ warning sound. Every vehicle has LED flashing lights at the front, back and side.
In Solihull, where we operate the Solihull Strategic Environmental Services Contract on behalf of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, our street scene crews travel in new Mercedes Sprinter vehicles. These were chosen as being the most capable of carrying the entire team within the correct weight limits for the front axle.
Features on the vehicles include reflective strips along the side, LED flashing beacons, a reversing camera, and weight sensors. Bars around the flatbed at the back of the vehicle can be lifted for access and replaced, minimising risk from working at height. A winch is available for heavy lifting, preventing risk of lifting injuries. There is a secure locker for tools.
Out on the street, the crews can be equipped with wearable body cams to record any incidents – for example being accused of holding up traffic – while carrying out vital leaf-clearing or other daily tasks.
This technology is not only keeping people safe, but reducing minor incidents and insurance claims and therefore offering cost benefits to Amey and our clients.