Waste Management In Action

Waste trucks of the future: STG Global

With the introduction of a new line of tech-savvy waste trucks, STG Global is poised to modernise an essential service.

As the world was coming to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic in late March 2020, the United Nations called on governments to recognise waste management as an essential service.

The call highlighted the way in which waste management, notably waste collection, touches every segment of society.

As Australia’s population and waste generation rates continue to rise, demand of collection services will increase – suggesting a need to rethink and revamp current processes and technology.

It’s this line of thinking that inspired specialised equipment manufacturer STG Global’s recent market entry.

With a 30-year history in the construction industry via water, vacuum, service and tilt tray trucks, STG Global has extended its ingenuity to the waste management sector – introducing a new range of waste trucks to market in late 2020.

The Bandit side loader, Claw rear loader and Tusks front loader designs bring added safety, automation and efficiency to waste collection, and are already being trialled by one of Australia’s largest municipal waste collection services.

Managing Director Ross Yendle explains that STG’s entry into the waste market follows a long tradition of entrepreneurship and innovation for the company.

“We are always looking for opportunities in growing markets where this is room for innovation,” he says.

“We started looking into the waste industry, which we believe is a non-cyclical market. And after talking with industry and understanding what their pain point were, came to the conclusion that the sector was looking for a new player that could modernise and innovate.”

Despite functioning as the industry’s workhorse, the humble waste truck has undergone little innovation in recent decades. This, Yendle says, inspired STG to work with a team of robotics and automation engineers to develop solutions that would streamline industry processes.

A key frustration for major waste players and local governments is missing bins during pickup runs, Yendle says. He adds that one council STG spoke with misses roughly 20 bins each day.

To mitigate the issue, STG has equipped its trucks with an automated radar system that sounds off an alarm to tell operators they’ve missed a bin.

The radar also automates the pickup process, scanning bins and unloading them without operators having to manually input via a hand control.

The trucks also feature an integrated control system, which provides operational and performance insights across a fleet – enabling city councils, waste operators and collection companies to increase their productivity.

One of the system’s key features is the ability for fleet managers to upload their own software and applications, meaning less screens in the cabin to reduce operator clutter.

“In the cab of a waste truck at the moment, there will generally be three to four screens. But what we’ve done is work with engineers and put everything into one screen with the iPad pro,” Yendle says.

“Apple has spent billions of dollars developing this beautiful iPad. So, we thought rather than go out to market and put three or four screens in, let’s put some work into the software and put it all into one interface.”

The control system app is suitable for ‘split screen’ operation, so a second app can run in parallel on the same screen. The interface also features night and day modes, thereby alleviating operator eye strain and in-cabin distraction.

The trucks also benefit from STG’s patented modular design, which allows operators to attach and detach multiple hooper and packer systems and configure the trucks to individual collection requirements.

“Current manufactures generally build one body, so if something goes wrong the whole truck has to be pulled off the road, which means downtime and lost revenue,” Yendle says.

“With our modulated design the compactor and arms both separate from the body, so if the compactor wears out halfway through the life of the machine, the operator can bring the truck in and swap the compactor out.”

STG facilitates a reman service, meaning parts can be swapped out within four hours and trucks can return to the road.

“We put a lot of work into modernising the shape and design of the vehicles, which are manufactured with a non-corrosive, hard ox material,” Yendle says.

“Steel on the floor of waste trucks tends to rust out, so we found a company in Europe that are making this hard ox material. It’s specifically built for the waste industry to stop rust and prolong the life of the machine.

“I believe we’re the first in Australia to use it.”

To support the roll out of its trucks, STG has set up an Australia wide dealer network.

“We’ve partnered with truck dealers across the country, teaching them about the machines and the backup,” Yendle says.

“We’ve also got a full online parts presence that allows customers to go online, click on their machine, explode the drawing out and order any needed parts.”

STG also has service centres in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne, with centres opening in South Australia and Tasmania later this year.

“Since we launched the range the response has been amazing. A lot of the big players are reaching out, right through to the smaller players, which I believe highlights that the market was looking for something new,” Yendle says.

In addition to the new waste truck range, STG recently won exclusive rights to distribute the Aebi Schmidt Group’s latest technology for airport equipment and special sweeping technology for road cleaning, the Street King 660 and Airport Sweeper 990.

“When we started looking into the waste industry, we decided we needed a sweeper range to complement the waste trucks,” Yendle says.

“We went over to Europe and found one of the best manufactures in the world.

“The great thing about the Aebi Schmidt sweepers is they’ve been trailed and tested internationally, so we can be sure we’re offering the best sweeper technology to our customers.”

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