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Busy times for Browns new DAF

At around 65 collections a day, six days a week, a new DAF eight-wheeler with a Heil rear-end loading body is proving to be a highly productive vehicle for Staffordshire company H Brown & Son (Recycling) Limited.

The truck is being used on an intensive trade waste collection service throughout Staffordshire and South Cheshire. Collections are made from a wide range of industrial and commercial customers, including several blue chip companies. All materials are deposited at the company's modern waste transfer station at Burslem, in which they have recently invested £2.5 million. Over 80 per cent of materials are recovered for a second life use.

The 32-tonne FAD CF85 has been built to a precise specification determined by Rod Brown, managing director of the family-run business. He's using it as something of a test bed to determine what features will best contribute to overall performance, minimum downtime, and the lowest cost of ownership over the whole life of the vehicle.

Air suspension has been specified on the rear bogie to improve service life and avoid problems of spring breakages previously experienced with steel sprung vehicles. With its tall body, the DAF also has a high centre of gravity and the air suspension helps to cushion the rolling motion and improve the vehicle's stability. Hub reduction axles have also been specified for increased durability and better off-road performance.

The company is also trying out the automated AS-tronic gearbox. With the DAF's daily work involving a lot of short runs and constant stopping and starting, the automated transmission considerably eases the effort on the driver, which contributes to increased productivity and safety.

Power for the new DAF is from the 12.9 litre MX engine rated at 410 bhp (300 kW). At 32 tonnes gvw, this gives a comfortable power to weight ratio of 12.8 bhp/tonne to help maintain good journey times in all road and load conditions. The engine also delivers plenty of torque at 2,000 Nm across a band from 1,000 to 1,410 rpm.

Driver Steve Angel is reported to be very pleased with his new DAF. As he's in and out of the cab many times in his working day he appreciates the lower cab entry provided by the drop beam front axles, the wide, well-spaced and illuminated steps along with the big doors and conveniently placed grab handles. When on the move the cab is quiet and he's got plenty of storage space for his personal items, including his wet weather and other PPE gear that he needs to carry.

A 'Big Bite' compactor body from the Dunfermline company Heil is fitted to the DAF. This has a capacity of 31 cubic metres and a large 2.5 cubic metre hopper, which helps reduce collection times on each trip by increasing the volume packed in each cycle. It can lift bins from 1,100 litres to 16 cu.yd capacity and has a fast cycle time of between 27 and 32 seconds.

Browns Waste Management has been a family run business for more than 80 years. Today it employs over 40 people to operate its fleet of skip and rear-end loaders, its highly sophisticated waste sorting system, and its car and scrap metals crushing, shearing and baling equipment.

Like all the vehicles in the fleet, the DAF is smartly turned out in the company's distinctive colour scheme of brown – naturally – white and grey with red detailing and yellow lettering. A full width sun visor and stainless steel vertical exhaust stack result in a very eye-catching truck.

The truck was supplied by the local DAF dealer, Imperial Commercials of Stoke.

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