Founded more than 100 years ago, Heil is a global refuse collection vehicle (RCV) body manufacturer with a 100% UK-based manufacturing facility - the only UK manufacturer of its type. Based in Scotland, Heil-Europe engineers RCVs to individual specifications and is able to deliver bespoke design and flexibility.
The company offers long-established products such as the Big Bite, considered the industry leader because of its carrying capacity of 31cu m and 2.5cu m hopper; the Powertrak, a robust and hard-working vehicle; and other variants.
Its new vehicle, which will be showcased at RWM, is the Heil Twintrak. Taking the proven Heil Powertrak as a base, with different body and tailgate design, the Twintrak claims to offer technologically advanced, industry-leading body and hopper capacity, ideal for high-volume collection of waste or recycling materials.
The Twintrak is available in one of the largest variants of body size on the market, with a capacity of 32 tonnes. Extra volume has been designed-in to make use of every available millimetre, as well as spacious hopper loading widths. It provides added flexibility and economy, and is designed to accept many types of collection material from different waste streams. The operator can even specify the 30/70 split if there is a preference for which side each hopper is located.
Fleet costs are increasingly a topic for discussion with operators. There are a number of solutions on the market, but these can come at a significant cost penalty. Heil is developing a sliding scale of investment to introduce economical and sustainable vehicles during the next few years.
The first and most simple option is the Eco PTO. Reducing engine revs, noise and fuel consumption, this low-cost option will help to increase profitability and help the environment too. A significant number of vehicles leaving the Heil factory are now fitted with this as standard.
One company that has worked with Heil for a number of years is Donarbon, based in Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire. Donarbon won the 28-year private finance initiative contract in 2008 for Cambridgeshire County Council, and the company chose Heil to provide three RCVs for this contract.
Donarbon commercial manager Paul Kirkup explains: “Experience does count in this industry. For me it is the experience and credibility delivered right to our door that gives Heil the edge. With the factory based in the UK, our in-house mechanics can also be trained easily. If they require clarification, help is only a phone call away.”
The Heil philosophy is to provide a fully integrated, customer-focused service with high standards, openness and trust, delivering rugged and reliable vehicles. Known by some as the ‘slumbering giant’, it does seem that, with a little joined-up thinking and customer focused detail, Heil is working towards an awakening that may surprise a few.
Steve Lewis is a partner at conference and event management company Blue Chip