Greater fleet utilisation and capital cost savings are two of the main reasons
behind St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council’s decision to specify two new DMC
(demountable medium combination) units from Whale Tankers and Econ Engineering.
The swap body system – the result of a joint development programme between two
of the UK’s leading specialist vehicle producers – sees Whale’s medium volume
combination tanker equipped with Econ’s QCB (Quick Change Body) system.
Commenting on the decision to specify the DMC units – supplied on DAF 18-tonne
GVW 4 x 2 chassis – the council’s Geoff Caine said: "With the swap body system we will now have the ability to achieve greater utilisation of the vehicles on a 24-hour basis throughout the winter period when maintaining 760km of highways and some 34,000 gullies. From here on in, gully maintenance will be achieved during the day and gritting duties throughout the evening, with the option of attaching snow ploughs when necessary. And with the operation of changing bodies taking only approximately 20 minutes, the vehicle’s versatility will be further increased."
In specifying the new DMC units, in particular due to their high pressure jetting capability, St Helens Council will now be able to increase operating efficiencies, whilst reducing its reliance on external contractors to help deliver its gully cleaning programme, thereby realising cost savings in the process.
As Geoff adds: "With the new vehicles having both a main and secondary jetting
reel, we now have the ability to rectify any blockages that we may come across in one visit.
"In the past, with only a small jetter unit, we would have to arrange a second visit by an external contractor. As such, the new DMCs will enable us to meet one of our target of completing a full cycle of highway gullies across the borough within a 12 month period, whilst also reducing expenditure as the majority of works will be completed in one visit and the reliance on an external contractors reduced."
And last but not least, the DMC’s versatility will enable Geoff and his team to
maintain and clear lengths of highways that have long stretches of beeny blocks,
something that again used to be subcontracted.
Commenting on the success of the Whale/Econ DMC, Whale Tankers’ Managing Director, Mark Warmington said: "Following its introduction 3 years ago, the DMC
system has been widely adopted by a number of municipal operators, St Helens being a prime example. Not only does the technology offer greater utilisation of
the chassis and capital equipment all year round, our MVC tanker offers a number
of performance and health and safety features and operator improvements.
As Mark adds: "The ongoing design improvements that we are continuing to bring
to the MVC are serving to deliver an increasingly efficient product that is simply difficult to beat when it comes to gully cleaning and jetting."
The MVC units supplied to St Helens feature twin compartment tanks to provide an
overall capacity of 7000 litres. In addition to 3000 litres being dedicated to jetting water, the MVC also has a 4000 litre compartment for debris. Featuring the Econ QCB demount system, high pressure jetting is supplied by an ORCA 240 high pressure pump that delivers 120 l/min at 120bar. Complete with Whale’s antivibration gully boom control unit, each DMC features a vacuum capability delivered by a Mistral 400 series exhauster/compressor.