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Product news round-up

Recycler buys its first Mercedes-Benz truck

Recycling operator Waltet has purchased its first Mercedes-Benz vehicle, which is also its first truck to be fitted with an automated gearbox.

The Southampton-based operator’s 32-tonne Actros 3236K arrived via local dealer Pentagon Commercials.

Fitted with Hyva hook loading equipment, the eight-wheeler is capable of handling roll-on/roll-off eurobins with capacities of up to 50 cubic yards.

It is working from Waltet’s MRF at Timsbury, near Romsey, and a depot in Alton, and is transporting non-hazardous waste such as crushed concrete for use in road construction and other civil engineering projects.

Waltet managing director Mark Howard said: “These are still early days, but first impressions are very positive. The Actros is a lovely truck and clearly well built, while the PowerShift 2 transmission is of particular interest.

“It’s our first auto box, and we are keen to see whether it delivers savings in terms of reduced wear and tear on the driveline, as well as helping to make life at the wheel easier and safer for our drivers.” 

Terberg buys fire appliance company

Terberg DTS (UK), based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, has purchased the business of CAT9, based in Bromyard, Herefordshire. CAT9 services, maintains and refurbishes airfield fire appliances.

Terberg DTS, a global supplier of specialist vehicles and support, made the strategic purchase of privately owned CAT9 after identifying it as an excellent opportunity for its continued growth and development in the specialist fire and rescue sector, which sits within its well-established specialist vehicle business.

Managing director Alisdair Couper said: “I am delighted that this acquisition has

gone ahead and take this opportunity to welcome the team to the Terberg family. Further news will also follow regarding the continued growth of this exciting sector.”

Leaf blower

Leaf litter is blown back into hedge not landfilled

Sweeper manufacturer and refurbisher Stocks Sweepers has introduced a newly patented flagship sweeper option: the Tempest leaf blower.

Stocks Sweepers founder Jeff Stock said: “Councils need to save money and the Tempest leaf blower helps them do it. It blows leaves back into the hedgerows rather than picking them up for disposal at a landfill site.

“It is important to deal with leaves before they become a brown slushy mess, and this enables people to do that more efficiently than ever.”

The blower was developed following a request from Powys District Council to build a bespoke unit.

Stock added: “Since other councils have realised what Powys is doing and how the Tempest has saved them an absolute fortune, I’ve had lots of enquiries about this innovation, and we’re the only ones doing it. It was developed last year and we have had it patented since Christmas.”

TIP branches approved for trailer braking network

Following an extensive training programme, five TIP Trailer Services branches have become fully approved WABCO Service Partners.

TIP’s branches in Manchester, Newcastle, Nuneaton, Felixstowe and Grays are now part of the extensive WABCO Service Partner network of more than 2,000 approved service partners worldwide that support the company’s long involvement in the commercial vehicle industry.

Karl Davies, services and marketing director at TIP Trailer Services, said: “This development is part of an emerging relationship with WABCO that goes back five years.

“It marks a long-term partnership between the two companies that upskills the technical services available from TIP to its customers, and forms part of our planned ongoing staff training programme.

“Trailer braking systems have developed substantially in recent years, and the need to keep up to speed on new technology is essential, especially in relation to the current changes and effects of whole vehicle type approval.”

Simon Cage, UK aftermarket and trailer manager at WABCO Automotive UK, added: “We welcome the inclusion of five professional TIP workshops to our network of service partners.

“We are constantly seeking to improve the service standard of our network, and this tie-up with TIP’s efforts to establish a professional trailer service on complex braking technology to UK fleets is a large step forward.”

Food safety testing sensors just got cheaper

Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology, Universitá di Catania, CEA-Liten and STMicroelectronics have invented a cost-effective circuit that makes it possible for food packaging to test whether the contents are still safe to eat: a plastic analogue-digital converter.

Food producers could include the sensors in their packaging to monitor acidity levels of food, for example, to stop still edible food being thrown away because it has passed the ‘best before’ date.

Researcher Eugenio Cantatore of Eindhoven university said: “In principle that is all already possible, using standard silicon ICs. The only problem is they’re too expensive, easily costing 10¢. That is too much for a one euro bag of crisps.

“We are developing electronic devices that are made from plastic rather than silicon, which means you can easily include these plastic sensors in plastic packaging.”

The plastic sensor circuits would cost less than 1¢.

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