One of Whale Tankers’ headline exhibits at this year’s PAWRS – the Plant and Waste Recycling Show – was the constantly evolving GULLYWhale Medium Volume Combination (MVC) gully cleaning tanker.
In response to improving the implementation of some aspects of the Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 8, Whale Tankers – specialist manufacturers to the waste and cleaning industries – has devised an innovative means of incorporating a rear mounted, lightweight bi-directional lighting warning arrow to deliver further operational and health and safety benefits.
Developed in-house by Whale’s design engineering team, the system for mounting the high visibility arrow, introduced to alert other road users of a vehicle’s presence whilst working, uses a specially designed frame that is located high on the rear of the vehicle. Removing the need for a crash cushion, the system is operated via a hand control within the cab, the lighting arrow being raised or lowered electronically subject to whether the gully cleaner/jetter is in operation or not.
Supplied with 15 200mm LED amber lamps, the system is available as an optional feature on all GULLYWhale combination units that are proving increasingly popular with municipal operators for gully cleaning and drain jetting.
As Whale Tankers’ Managing Director Mark Warmington comments: "The GULLYWhale continues to benefit from a process of ongoing product development and enhancement, with this latest system focusing on ensuring that the safety of operators and other road users isn’t compromised. It gives the GULLYWhale excellent visibility when operating on any road network and provides the level of safety protection needed on a vehicle of this type that is called on daily to perform in a busy and potentially hazardous environment."
The GULLYWhale MVC featured at PAWRS – equipped with an 1800-gallon capacity tank mounted on a DAF FA LF 55.220 4 x 2, 18-tonne day cab chassis – had a wide range of health and safety and performance related features, with particular emphasis being placed on jetting. The main and secondary jetting reels now have their own dedicated pressure control switches, located near to each reel for convenient operation. These are now all electronic which, with the addition of a heavy-duty unloader valve, allows for much more responsive jetting control. An electronic interlock also prevents the second reel being operated, if not required. If both reels are needed for a particular application, this function can be overridden by an optional cab controller.
Additionally, when using a jetting nozzle, a ‘safe start’ mode ensures that the jetting pressure reverts to zero after each operation, and then increases as required, rather than starting at a high pressure, which can lead to accidents.
For hand-lance jetting, a ‘soft start’ facility allows for the jetting pressure to start at a more manageable 25 Bar, before automatically ramping up to the desired pressure and thereby significantly reducing the ‘kick’ in the lance that can sometimes occur when pressure increases. Furthermore, a convenient memory function allows the pressure to return to the desired setting after each jetting operation.
Given the importance of these features in relation to improving health and safety performance, Whale Tankers has now made them part of the GULLYWhale’s standard vehicle specification. Additionally, there are a number of options that can be added to further improve the performance and usability of the vehicle’s jetting system.
Another new option related to jetting is a ‘hose meter’. Operating via sensors located outside the reel housing, tolerant to its working environment, a digital display provides the operator with two read outs; one showing how much hose remains on the reel at any given time, the other an incremental measurement of the length deployed down a drain. Mounted on the reel frame itself, the unit is simple to operate and suitable for retrofitting.
Other features now incorporated as standard on the GULLYWhale include an automatic interconnecting valve, hydrostatic water level sensor, replaceable nozzle inserts in the gully boom jets, and Whale’s anti-vibration gully boom control unit – developed in-house as a means of reducing health and safety concerns surrounding hand-arm (HAV) vibration.
Storage has also received additional attention, Whale Tankers now giving the customers the option of incorporating additional space to accommodate solid signs, heated stainless steel lockers and a lockable dedicated nozzle storage compartment fitted at the rear workstation.