a

The Dennis Eagle difference: Penske Commercial Vehicles

Penske Commercial Vehicles has applied a variety of lessons from the United Kingdom to ensure its Dennis Eagle brand meets local congestion-busting challenges.

The silver and white Dennis Eagle body complemented a multitude of familiar favourites as stakeholders turned out to Melbourne’s Sandown Park Hotel on a slightly chilly morning.

At the end of last year, Penske Commercial Vehicles held an industry breakfast and vehicle display with its customers from Cleanaway, Bucher Municipal, Citywide and other organisations. In addition to a walkthrough of the trucks, the event featured a comprehensive explanation of Penske’s global and local footprint.

Many in the industry would be familiar with Penske Commercial Vehicles’ distributed range of commercial vehicles, including Western Star Trucks, MAN Trucks & Bus and, of course, the iconic Dennis Eagle refuse brand.

While detailing Penske’s global footprint and remanufacturing capabilities, Shannon Mair, Group National Fleet Sales Manager at Penske Commercial Vehicles, explained that the company continues to grow its capabilities.

“We’ve got a very strong footprint of support in the highly populated areas and on the main routes throughout Australia,” he said, adding that the company also had a strong regional presence.

He then went on to provide a history of the Dennis Eagle brand – a waste industry staple. With a British engineering history dating back to the turn of the 20th century, Dennis Eagle is one of the oldest producers of refuse collection vehicles in the world.

The company was founded in 1895 by John and Raymond Dennis and produced its first motor vehicle in 1899. Now owned by Terberg RosRoca Group, Dennis Eagle has 900 units in service across Australia, with more than 40 councils operating vehicles. The brand offers a range of refuse collection solutions, including the Dual Control and RHS Elite models.

“Many people associate the Penske brand with motor racing. The reason why we talk about the race team being an integral part of our organisation is that our Founder Roger Penske is very passionate about motor racing, and the very same ethos he applies in running a race team – precision, efficiency, dedication – is the same ethos that drives the whole organisation.”

Dennis Eagle collection vehicles have seen hundreds of deliveries over the years from the likes of Cleanaway, Veolia, SUEZ, J.J. Richards, Citywide and WM Waste.

Shannon illustrated that in Australia over the past decade, more than 1600 pedestrians and at least 350 cyclists were killed by vehicles. With London being a well-known congested city, the research shows 25 per cent of pedestrian and 35 per cent of cyclist fatalities involve a truck or heavy goods vehicle.

The research conducted for Transport for London has underpinned Penske Commercial Vehicle’s understanding of blind spots and allowed it to share the importance of the driver’s direct vision – an aspect that is equally as relevant in Australia.

One of the key factors behind the Dennis Eagle difference is its low-entry design, providing best-in-class direct vision, single step entry and a true flat door. Shannon said single step also offers good grip, which is important from an OH&S perspective.

“In the next couple of years, you won’t be able to bring a standard forward control truck into the centre of London. Every vehicle will have to be a low-entry vehicle,” he said.

“When you go out and see the vehicles out in the carpark and sit into the driver’s seat, you will actually notice the driver’s window is in line with your hip and has excellent panoramic view of the surroundings around the vehicle.”

It’s these features that prompted Citywide to begin running a fleet of Dennis Eagles around mid-2018. David Weston, Group Asset Manager at Citywide, says the company saw an opportunity to upgrade its fleet with enhanced technology and capability. Citywide now has around 15 Dennis Eagle Elite models, in both right hand steer and dual control configuration in the fleet.

“The key considerations for us when selecting the Dennis Eagles were around safety, usability by our drivers as well as technical functions,” David explains.

“It was primarily about ensuring drivers have good visibility and can see what is going on around them and better capability to operate, particularly in built-up environments with pedestrians and vehicle traffic.”

He says Citywide use a combination of side loaders and rear loaders for residential and general waste collection from single and multi-unit dwellings, with vehicles designed to suit the work environment, bin configuration and waste requirement.

“The vehicles really suit use within the built-up environment. The length and turning circle improve manoeuvrability and the large cab glass area helps minimise blind spots where pedestrians or cyclists could be hard to see.”

He says the company does not opt for a one-size-fits-all approach and matches the body configuration to the vehicle to optimise manoeuvrability and weight-carrying capacity.

David says the vehicle is custom spec’d with safety features such as rear and side warning devices.

Further supporting the concept is a five-star rating by the Heavy Goods Vehicle Blind Spots Report by Loughborough University’s Design School, based in the UK. The school produced a report that compared vehicles by leading manufacturers to determine how well drivers could see vulnerable road users and found the Dennis Elite 6 outperformed each one in terms of visibility.

A deep step, full width of the doorway in the Dennis Eagle product, ensures a secure footing and significantly reduces trip and fall hazards linked to entry and exit of vehicles.

The walk-through design includes a full stand-up height cab, completely flat floor and clear walkway with no obstructions. Drivers can easily cross cab and never have to enter or exit the vehicle from the traffic side, improving safety and productivity.

David says running costs are also an important consideration and the use of well-known brand components for the engine, transmission and drive axle make maintenance and repair activities easier to manage.

“Another aspect is Penske’s support and backup network across the country,” he says.

“Penske has been very responsive when we’ve had discussions with them during procurement and post-procurement to assist us optimise vehicle specifications and uptime.”

Related stories:

First automated vehicle to hit the road in Victoria

Automated vehicle technology will be tested in rural Victoria in 2019 in the first on-road trial approved under the new Automated Driving System (ADS) permit scheme.

On January 21, Acting Premier Jacinta Allan announced that Bosch has been awarded $2.3 million from the Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) trial grants program and granted the state’s first ADS permit for on-road testing of highly automated driving systems.

“Victoria is leading the nation in the future of on-road technology and this trial is an exciting step towards driverless vehicles hitting the road.

“The tragic fact is that you’re five times as likely to be killed on a rural road than in the city.

“That’s why we’re rolling out a record roads investment in rural Victoria – and this is another way we can improve safety and save lives,” Mr Allan said.

In 2018, Victoria finalised regulations to support the ADS permit scheme, which authorises the use of automated vehicles for testing and development on Australian roads.

Bosch is currently developing its automated vehicle technology and will begin testing on high-speed rural roads later in 2019.

The aim of the Bosch trial is to use the technology to improve safety on rural Victorian roads – where drivers are five times as likely to be killed in a crash than in metropolitan areas.

Bosch Australia president Gavin Smith said the company is eager to start this trial with technologies that will show how road safety can be improved and how road trauma on rural roads can be reduced.

The testing will be conducted on roads that expose the automated vehicle to a range of different conditions including traffic, weather and infrastructure.

In late 2017, VicRoads called for expressions of interest from companies, industry bodies and other transport technology organisations to apply for funding to spur the development of these emerging technologies. which will lead to reduced deaths and serious injuries.

Other successful applicants will be announced soon.

The trials will support Victoria’s readiness for CAV technologies and the knowledge gained will provide a better understanding of the infrastructure required to get these vehicles on the road, maximising their safety benefits.

Repurpose It goes Volvo buying excavators and loaders

Australian waste-to-resource company Repurpose It have opted for Volvo Construction Equipment’s excavators and loaders for their Victorian plant.

The five new machines will assist the company’s loading and handling duties to assist in their recycling operation that sees large quantities of waste material re-used in the construction industry.

One Volvo EC250DL and two EC220DL units were chosen for excavation duties on the site, Repurpose It aims to input the tools on general earthmoving, screen feeding, sorting and stockpiling projects.

The company chose the L110F and L220H two-wheeled loaders for their loading work which will see hopper fed into their new recycling plant.

Repurpose It CEO George Hatzimanolis said that the company was happy to choose Volvo as the manufacturer alings with their energy efficiency commitments and engineering values.

“Our business is focused on reducing our carbon footprint and working towards a more sustainable future, as is Volvo,” Mr Hatzimanolis said.

“We were also attracted to the quality that comes with Volvo machines.”

The two EC220DL excavation units chosen for the site uses Volvo’s modern D6 diesel engine reporting 10% extra fuel efficiency over its competitors.

The Volvo machines were purchased from Dandenong’s CJD Equipment, Volvo’s exclusive Australian distribution partner.

IVECO leaves no stone unturned

IVECO’s Marco Quaranta explains the complex testing and manufacturing of the company’s latest iteration of its iconic waste industry truck – the ACCO.

Read moreIVECO leaves no stone unturned

Volvo backs new program for women drivers

The first Superior Heavy Vehicle Licensing (SHVL) program for women will be delivered in partnership between Wodonga TAFE’s Transport Division DECA, Transport Women Australia Limited (TWAL) and Volvo Group.

The program has been created to help women qualify for their heavy vehicle licence. Volvo will supply a prime mover for the four-week intensive training course designed to provide students with behind-the-wheel experience.

By encouraging female drivers to participate in the course, DECA was looking at a solution to address the driver shortage across the road transport sector.

At the recent Transport Women Australia Conference in Canberra, Women Driving Transport Careers was launched. Offered in Metropolitan Melbourne, the course will be arranged in conjunction with Volvo Group Australia Driver Academy.

Simon Macaulay, National Manager Transport at DECA, said the training will assist females obtain a high demand skill for which to fast-track their entrance into the heavy transport workforce.

“We provide participants with the industry standard skills and know-how. We take them through areas that are barely mentioned in a lot of licence instruction, such as safety protocols and health and safety procedures, road maps, fatigue management, chain of responsibility and use of technology,” Macauley said.

Volvo Group Australia has found the average age of truck drivers in Australia is 47. Meanwhile 52 per cent of employers, according to its research conducted in 2016, struggle to attract the quantity of drivers needed and 46 per cent are already experiencing a shortage of available drivers.

President and CEO of Volvo Group Australia Peter Voorhoeve said the company is working hard to attract new and more diverse talent into the heavy transport sector.

“Australia is standing on the precipice of a serious truck driver shortage, the effects of which will be felt far beyond the transport industry. If the industry does not find ways to attract more drivers to the industry, we will all feel the pain in higher prices for the things that trucks move up and down our highways – food, clothing, construction materials, medical supplies and consumer goods to name just a few.

“As the leading manufacturer of trucks in Australia, we take our role in the industry seriously, which is why we are constantly looking for new ways to grow the heavy transport sector workforce and champion greater diversity in the driver workforce.”

(Image: 2017 Volvo Truck Challenge finalist Kerri Connors).

Metro Skips growing through going the extra mile

Metro Skips uses UD Trucks in its fleet
Running a fuel-efficient, reliable and smart fleet with optimal dealer support is integral to helping a waste collections business flourish. For Queensland-based Metro Skips, its experience with UD Trucks has exceeded these expectations.

Read moreMetro Skips growing through going the extra mile

X