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Waste trucks need to get round Bristol’s narrow streets


Who are you?

Iain Fortune, fleet manager, Bris­tol Waste Company (BWC).

How did you get into the waste industry?

I moved into waste management vehicles from passenger transport about five years ago, first for a large private environmental ser­vices company and then for BWC when it was created by Bristol City Council.

What did you buy?

We have taken a fleet of 10 refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) on a two-year contract hire agreement, including maintenance, from Gloucestershire-based municipal vehicle hire company Collett Transport Services (CTS). They are to replace existing vehicles in the fleet.

The RCVs comprise seven 26-tonne, 6 x 2 Dennis Eagle rear steer narrow chassis, with Olym­pus OL19 narrow body and Ter­berg OmniDel Standard lift, and three 18-tonne 4 x 2 Dennis Eagle narrow chassis with Olympus OL10 narrow body and Terberg OmniDel Standard.


BWC operates a fleet of more than 180 vehicles and we collect 140,000 tonnes of waste and recy­cling each year. We also clean 800 miles of streets and footpaths in the city.

We had the choice to purchase vehicles rather than hire but, due to the complexities of modern RCVs and the level of training required to maintain and operate them, we would have had to recruit a mechanic and provide additional training to our crew.

It was unlikely we would have achieved the necessary level of capability in time, especially because finding new mechanics is very difficult.

What was your criteria?

The tender document specified vehicles that could work in a nar­row urban environment – narrow chassis/bodies and rear steer – to ensure good access to all the tight spots in Bristol.

The council has increased the number of buildings that are being made available for student accommodation and blocks of flats, so the need for narrow access vehicles is on the rise.

“In the future we want to further reduce carbon emissions and fuel use, so we are also looking at alternative fuels and different operating methods”

How many options did you consider and what were they?

Six companies submitted a bid. Our tender process provides dis­tinct criteria on which all bids are scored: 60% of the points relate to price and 40% relate to quality questions such as maintenance capabilities, sustainability, and health and safety.

We investigated each provider’s ability to deliver the right vehic-les on time and the level of sup­port with maintaining the vehi­cles. We also stipulated the inclusion of tracking systems to monitor the movement of each vehicle and underbody weighing for vehicle weight control and axle protection.

CTS scored the highest of all the bidders and we were impressed by its flexibility, competitiveness and support capabilities.

How does the equipment fit in with your future plans?

The RCVs are the best equipment available for us in the market­place, and offer high reliability as well as low emissions. They were delivered on time and the contract offers excellent value for money. They fit in well and have the right carrying capacity.

In the future we are looking to further reduce carbon emissions and fuel use, so we are also looking at alternative fuels and different operating methods.

The vehicles are Euro 6 so meet the latest emissions standards. BWC is currently consulting with the Fleet Transport Association on its HGV Safer Lorry Scheme, which is similar to the FORS and CLOCS schemes, but is more appropriate for fleets operating outside London.


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