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The Eagle has landed

Dennis Eagle

Dennis Eagle trucks are built by refuse people, specifically for the refuse industry.

Shannon Mair, Head of Fleet, Penske Australia, says Dennis Eagle has about 20,000 refuse bodies in service worldwide, and experience that spans more than 100 years.

“Rather than take a generic truck and trying to make it suitable for the waste industry, Dennis Eagle builds cab chassis and refuse bodies tailored specifically for the industry,” he says.

UK-based Dennis Eagle is owned by Royal Terberg Group, Europe’s largest refuse collection vehicle manufacturer.

The Dennis Eagle Elite 2 low entry cab has been available in Australia since 2009 as a Euro 5 variant and more recently as a Euro 6 version. The new Elite 6 builds on the fundamental design of the previous model and incorporates Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) including autonomous braking, lane departure warning and electronic stability control. It has been independently recognised as one of the safest on the market.

“The UK is a lot more advanced in investigating interaction with heavy goods vehicles and vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists,” Shannon says.

“Dennis Eagle engaged an independent design school at Loughborough University to compare leading truck manufacturers and how well they performed with blind spot and direct vision. Dennis Eagle outperformed every brand in each instance. The Elite 6 was the only one that got a 5-star direct vision rating.”

Shannon says it’s one of the design features of the Dennis Eagle that make it ideal for the waste industry.

Dennis EagleThe trucks are low entry vehicles which means the cabs sit forward and low. If they are parked against a kerb, it is only one step for drivers to get in and out. Having a low entry point also improves driver visibility of vulnerable road user such as pedestrians and cyclists. Window pillars and mirrors can be blind spots for drivers. The Dennis Eagle has the narrowest pillars in its class.

“You get excellent panoramic vision,” Shannon says.

A “true” flat floor walk-through cabin allows drivers to transition from the driver’s side of the truck to the left-hand side without stepping into traffic, particularly useful for dual control side-loader collections.

Newer aesthetic headlights, stability control and electronic levelling control are now standard across the Elite 6 range.

“When you add these ADAS systems, on top of the already fundamental safe truck with best-in-class visibility, easy ingress and egress, efficiency and moving to Euro 6 well before it’s legislated – we believe we have the perfect and best choice for the waste industry,” Shannon says.

Dennis Eagle continues to be popular in the waste industry in Australia with close to 600 trucks in operation with Cleanaway and another 400 with other major fleets and city councils.

Shannon says the fundamentals of the truck have always been right, but it has been refined to suit Australian conditions including distances travelled and the number of bins collected.

“In a side-loader vehicle in Australia you can be picking up anywhere up to 1500 bins a day,” Shannon says. 

“That’s a lot of stop-start activity. When you go from household to household, you’re always going to accelerate hard and brake hard. That type of stop-start is very arduous and takes a toll on the vehicle. You’re also putting 10 tonnes of waste in them. We had to build in improvements to suit the Australian market. We’ve introduced all the learnings from our time here in the last decade into the product we’ve got today.”

He says some clients have now had vehicles in service for more than a decade and are looking at new contract terms.

Dennis Eagle continues to be distributed in Australia and New Zealand through the Penske owned and independent operated dealer network. Staff members who had been with the Dennis Eagle brand since 2009 in Australia have stayed on, providing a continuity of service.

*Penske and Dennis Eagle will be at stall 43 indoors and displays 23, 24, and 25 outdoors at the Waste 2022 Coffs Harbour Conference. 

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