West-Trans is hooked on innovation
- From the July 2015 issue.
The on-going business partnership between Veolia and West-Trans sees the two entities work together to innovate fleet equipment.
As a transport professional, it’s satisfying working together with a trusted supplier in creating new and successful concepts for the development of a fleet, as Veolia in Queensland can attest.
The environmental service company’s waste management operations in Queensland currently runs a fleet of more than 100 vehicles – including front and rear lift refuse units, hooklift and skip loader vehicles, as well as vacuum tankers, rigids, curtain-siders and flat tops – operating across sites in Brisbane, Townsville, Mackay, the Gold Coast and many regional locations.
Nigel Golder is responsible for fleet management and procurement for Veolia in Queensland and has worked closely with trusted suppliers such as West-Trans to introduce innovative equipment into the company’s fleet – including waste units featuring specialised hooklifts, skip loaders, load cells, custom toolboxes and other user-friendly applications that have lifted efficiencies throughout the local operations.
Recently, Veolia introduced a Volvo FM truck fitted with an HL20a hooklift, a modification developed by Sydney-based West-Trans. According to Veolia, this fit-for-purpose equipment is the culmination of months of preparation and strategic collaboration between the two organisations.
“It’s about helping Veolia to become not only the best, but also the most efficient waste collection fleet in Australia,” says Nigel states. “Our partnership with West-Trans is one reason we can fulfil a number of big waste contracts across the State.”
He explains the two companies have been doing business for more than a decade, with Veolia purchasing numerous West-Trans Equipment products ranging from hooklifts and skip loaders to Danish HMF cranes, for which West-Trans is the Australian dealer.
The new HL20a hooklift is proving a big success for Veolia due to its built-in combination with a tri-axle dog trailer used for carrying an assortment of waste bins ranging from 12 to 30m³.
Since the new combination was delivered in April this year, Nigel says the West-Trans hooklift has significantly increased productivity. “As a result of the truck and dog combination, our drivers can now complete up to 20 drop offs and deliveries each day, more than double what we would do with our older vehicles,” he explains.
West-Trans’ willingness to customise certain features on the hooklift has been a major component of this performance improvement. “When I approached West-Trans with the idea of fitting load cells into this new combination, their engineering team was all ears. While load cells are not new to the industry, it was certainly a first for Veolia’s Queensland division,” he explains – revealing that he consulted with other industry specialists on their weighing systems before asking West-Trans to incorporate it into the combination.
The load cell option proved to be a wise choice, Nigel says. “It’s all come together nicely, the hooklift can accommodate different bin sizes and the combination itself can cart a payload of up to 27.5 tonnes. From a safety perspective, the load cells can also monitor the weight of the waste, which promotes a safe and zero-harm approach for our drivers.”
The focus on developing an industry leading fleet is at the forefront of Nigel’s procurement processes, and he praises the efforts of West-Trans for turning his vision into reality. “Veolia is an advocate of using the latest in load handling technology, but you need companies like West-Trans to complete the picture and the best part about this hooklift combination is that each one of our drivers can step into the vehicle and operate it,” he explains.
“Since we put the HL20a into service, our drivers are praising its user friendliness and how it helps them to remain safe, as they can control everything using a remote control inside the cab. The design is not overly complicated and that’s what we like about it. The last thing you want to do is to waste time fiddling around with the unit, and we simply cannot afford to, with multiple customers and sites to visit each day across all parts of the State.”
Nigel adds, “West-Trans is very flexible in being able to customise their products before and during the life of the unit, based on the requirements of the job, and that’s what we appreciate about them. You deal directly with the manufacturing arm of the business in Sydney and they’re willing to listen to your requests and make changes if needed,” he concludes.