Customers of North Wales-based GEWS – Gwynedd Environmental Waste Services – are some of the first in the country to benefit from a host of new operational and health & safety features introduced to Whale Tankers’ increasingly popular GULLYWhale MVC (medium volume combination) tanker.
Indeed as GEWS Managing Director, Dafydd Thomas is quick to point out: "Our latest fleet newcomer has an abundance of new equipment and capabilities in its armoury, all of which have already been well received by our developing public and private sector client base." And as Dafydd adds: "In looking to offer our customers an improved service offering, our aim is to continue investing in capital equipment that leads the field operationally, and with Whale’s GULLYWhale MVC this is certainly the case."
Representing the fifth new MVC to be specified by GEWS over the last three years, the new generation GULLYWhale MVC is mounted on an MAN TG-M 18.240 4 x 2 18 tonne chassis and features an 1800-gallon capacity, non-hazardous tank constructed from carbon steel. Operating out of GEWS recently opened branch in Deeside and working on a number of new contracts that the company has secured within North Wales and the North West, the GULLYWhale MVC joins a fleet in excess of 50 vehicles.
Whilst vacuum power emanates from a Mistral 400 series exhauster/compressor, it is the GULLYWhale MVC’s new health and safety and performance related features that GEWS customers are now benefitting from. In addition to featuring Whale’s recently introduced anti-vibration gully boom control unit – developed in-house as a means of reducing health and safety concerns surrounding hand-arm (HAV) vibration – the GULLYWhale MVC now benefits from improvements when the vehicle is operating as a high pressure jetting unit.
As Whale’s Mark Warmington states: "High pressure jetting is a serious business and one that can result in accidents if operators don’t know how to handle equipment in question. As part of our ongoing research and development programme, this is an area that we have turned our attention to and the GULLYWhale’s new features bear testimony to this."
The main and secondary reels, for example, 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.
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.
GEWS GULLYWhale MVC also features ‘Pulse Jetting’ that enhances the jetting performance for certain applications by introducing a pulse into the flow, thereby allowing more stubborn obstructions to be broken down, whilst also allowing for longer hose runs to be used.
The settings of ‘Pulse Jetting’ time, or ramping time of ‘Soft Start’ are preset at Whale, but with the addition of the Cab Controller these and many other parameters can be varied by the operator, to suit the precise needs for each particular job.
Also featured relating 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 – suitable for retrofitting – is simple and foolproof to operate.
Other features now incorporated on the GULLYWhale MVC include an automatic interconnecting valve, hydrostatic water level sensor and replaceable nozzle inserts in the gully boom jets.
Storage has also received additional attention, GEWS now being able to benefit from additional space to accommodate solid signs, not to mention heated stainless steel lockers and a nearside rear lockable dedicated nozzle storage compartment.
Since being established in 1994, the GEWS Group has developed into one of Wales’ leading drainage and waste disposal companies. Covering all of the UK and Ireland, GEWS customer base covers domestic, commercial and industrial, public sector and government agencies
Currently employing around 70 full time staff, GEWS policy of priding itself on the quality and reliability of its operations has seen the company grow significantly over the last few years. Remaining a family run business – eight members currently working for the company – GEWS recorded a 26% increase in turnover in 2009, despite the general economic downturn. Today, GEWS operates a fleet of over 50 jetting vehicles and HGV tankers, and has an additional 40 back-up vehicles, vans and tractors.