Biffa Municipal has bought an £11m vehicle fleet for its Manchester City Council household collections and street cleansing contract.
It expects the 100-plus strong fleet to be more efficient and reduce transport costs.
The firm’s engineers will use nine of the 14 refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) delivered so far in a six-month trial to find the best configuration to optimise their performance, with the results used across the remaining 30-plus RCVs.
Three different RCV bodies (Dennis Eagle, Faun & Heil Farid) and two bin-lift systems (Terberg and Zoeller) will be monitored for wear rates, warranty failures and response times, along with vehicle uptime and availability.
Engineers will analyse fuel economy, the number of bin lifts made and vehicle payload for all waste streams, to help decide the optimum configuration of body and bin lift.
Mark Hodkinson, general manager for Biffa’s eight-year Manchester contract, which began last year, said: “While performing their normal duties, the larger RCVs will be providing valuable information about how they can best be used to deliver efficient and economical collection services.
“We’re also keen to get feedback on the safe cyclist system, which we hope will be an important aid that gives our drivers greater visibility of all road users, particularly cyclists, at all times.”
A further trial involves a RCV fitted with a 360-degree video camera and the Cy-clear safe cyclist system to assess how effectively technology can help improve safety.
The firm has taken delivery of two 18-tonne Mercedes Econic 1830 RCVs, nine 26-tonne Mercedes Econic 2630 rear steer RCVs, three 16-tonne DAF LF RCVs, 20 Ford Connect L1 vans and 30 Ford Transit cage tippers.
Each RCV is expected to have a working life of around 10 years, during which time it will cover over 75,000 miles.