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New DAFs underpin continued growth at Comet Tankers

Availability of chassis designed specifically for tanker work and good support from the supplying dealers has led Hertfordshire independent waste handling company Comet Tankers to put five new DAFs into its fleet.

Four of the DAFs are FAD CF85 eight-wheel rigids plated at 32 tonnes; two fitted with vacuum tanks by Vallely and two, yet to be delivered, with French built Huwer combi units. The fifth DAF is a CF65 two-axle rigid at 18 tonnes with a Whale vacuum tank.

With much of their work being within the limits of the M25, all the new DAFs have been specified with Euro 5 engines to ensure that they are LEZ compliant. This should also future-proof them against further changes in the LEZ emission standards beyond 2012.

All of the trucks are well specced for what is demanding and often dirty work. As this is often at night, each – including the two-axle 18 tonne CF65 – has been specified with a full sleeper cab in which the crew can rest or take breaks. It also offers plenty of storage space for their PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and wet weather clothing. Air conditioning in the CF85s contributes to a comfortable in-cab environment.

The CF85s are powered by the DAF MX265 engine developing 410 bhp (300 kW) to give an ample power to weight ratio of 12.8 bhp/tonne. Torque output at 2,000 Nm in a range between 1,000 and 1,410 rpm also ensures that these trucks can get moving easily in all road and load conditions. The CF65 has the GR165 engine rated at 250 bhp (184 kW).

These latest trucks take the Comet Tankers fleet to 84 vehicles from a start point of just one less than ten years ago. Today the company provides a wide range of waste clearance and handing services across the South East of England from four locations and also in the Midlands and North from a recently opened depot in Cheshire.

It is an Environment Agency licensed waste carrier, is ISO 9001 & 14001 accredited and provides emergency cover 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Work is carried out at industrial sites, utility plants and both commercial and domestic premises. Recently it 'signed-up' to provide drain clearance services at Aldershot Garrison, the home of the British Army, and it is the only civilian company to have undertaken military vehicle decontamination work.

Managing Director Keith Williams says that the DAFs and their vacuum tank bodies represent an investment in excess of £850,000. “When you lay down that kind of money you need to keep the vehicles working and good service support is the key to that along with the proven reliability we get from our DAFs.

“The proximity of DAF dealers to our five operating centres in the South East and to our new centre in Cheshire, along with their ability to offer out of hours servicing, means we can keep these high value assets out there earning. It also helps us to maintain good availability of vehicles to provide 24/7 emergency cover for our customers.”

The Valelly tanks are 4,000 gallon units and are fitted with a Jurop PR250 water-cooled vacuum pump which operates at 920 cfm and is hydraulically driven from a gearbox-mounted PTO. Discharge is by tipping and the tanks have a fully-opening, hydraulically-operated rear door. The Whale tank has a capacity of 2,000 gallons and is equipped for low volume jetting.

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