A Greener Clean

DAF VS500 Sweeper Delivers A Greener Clean

Since the recent introduction of MacDonald Johnston’s single engine VS500 street sweeper, private and public sector operators throughout Australia have been quick to take advantage of the DAF powered sweeper’s category leading performance, with 15 units already in service.

The VS500 sweeper is the first single engine sweeper to be offered by MacDonald Johnston in Australia and has been designed to offer local operators with the first real green alternative to the popular twin-engine sweeper.

With 18 years development in the United Kingdom behind it, the VS500 mounted on the DAF LF45 delivers Euro 5 compliance and car-like driving characteristics with operational savings of up to 30% on traditional dual engine sweepers.

Burnie City Council took delivery of their DAF VS500 sweeper in March after deciding that the benefits of ownership out-weighed outsourcing their sweeping requirements to a contractor.

Bob Harwood, Burnie City Council’s Supervisor of Waste Management, was involved in the comprehensive cost evaluation process that ultimately brought the delivery of the sweeping service back in-house after 25 years with a contractor, and according to Bob the benefits to ratepayers were felt virtually overnight.

“Our inability to address critical incidents like oil spill clean-ups within an acceptable timeframe and without incurring additional costs led Council to review its options in 2009 which gave us the opportunity to look at greener alternatives to the standard dual engine sweepers which were used previously.

“As part of the process we evaluated a number of sweeper options before narrowing it down to a choice between two single engine sweepers.

“Of primary concern for us was Burnie’s operating environment which is in and around traffic, working in confined areas and the hilly nature of the city’s location, so after assessing both options we found that the DAF LF45 with the MacDonald Johnston VS500 sweeper body produced lower exhaust and noise emission, much tighter turning circle and lower profile was much better suited to our needs than the Hino alternative.

“The DAF was also a much lower profile package, with low profile cab, tyres, chassis and hopper which makes a big difference to operator access, overall driver visibility and ease of cleaning which are all important OH&S issues for us.

“And since entering service, the reaction from both the general public and the drivers has been extremely positive, with the public saying they can’t believe its operating as it’s so quiet.

“From the drivers perspective the seating position in the Euro style cab is very comfortable and the location of the controls has been well thought out and easy to reach without the need to twist or stretch.

“The DAF is a very easy truck to drive and unlike other trucks there is very little background hum, so at 1,500 rpm the driver can easily monitor the 2-way radio and listen to the wireless at the same time.

“And in terms of on the job performance, the DAF’s highly responsive steering makes it easy to keep on track, even in cul-de-sacs, while the vision through the mirrors is excellent and allows easy monitoring of the brush locations, which is another really good safety feature.

“By bringing the sweeping function back in-house we are now providing more environmentally friendly service that enables us to respond to any problems 24/7, while having the flexibility to redirect it at anytime to tackle priorities as and when they arise. So the DAF LF45 VS500 sweeper package has definitely improved our productivity and enables us to provide rate payers with a better and cleaner service,” Bob said.

Dandenong City Council has been one of the industry leaders when it comes to being early adopters of new technology and according to Eric Vanderburgt, Team Leader Fleet and Operations Centre Services, the DAF LF45 VS500 sweeper provided the council with the opportunity to further reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

“When we became aware of the environmental impact a single engine sweeper could make on our carbon footprint we arranged to trial a Scarab as well as the MacDonald Johnston VS500 sweeper mounted on the DAF LF45 cab-chassis to ensure we chose the optimal machine for our needs. And after running both machines through their paces it became clear that the DAF LF45 / MacDonald Johnston VS500 combination was a far superior machine.

“In selecting the new sweeper it firstly had to do its job and do it well while delivering real green benefits to the community, and the DAF LF45 VS500 sweeper delivered for us on every level.

“The DAF LF45 features state-of-the-art Euro 5 fuel efficiency with lower noise and exhaust emissions, while the quality, comfort and standard of finish was best in class and offered a dual-steer drive conversion that was so well done the drivers didn’t feel like they’ve changed sides.

“The DAF LF45 VS500 package is not only well built but it also presents really well, so if you’re into engineering and truck design you can’t help but be impressed with it.

“By having a single engine sweeper we’ve not only halved the number of power sources but we’ve gained more up-time as there is less maintenance enabling the sweeper to be on the road longer which has improved service delivery to our customers.

“The DAF LF45 VS500 sweeper is definitely the way of the future as it’s delivering technology that makes a real difference to the environment so we believe that it’s up to public and private sectors to support companies developing these types of vehicles for the sake of future generations.

“At Dandenong City Council we are very conscious of getting the best value for money we can and while we felt very comfortable with the DAF and MacDonald Johnston names we did ring around and talk to a few operators who had the DAF VS500 sweeper in service, as the last thing we wanted to be was guinea pigs – and the feed back we got made the decision dead easy.

“I know that such a break from the traditional dual engine approach to sweepers will be a big step for most, but from our perspective it has proved to be one of the best decisions we’ve made and I am more than happy to share our experiences of the DAF VS500 sweeper with anyone who would care to call me,” Eric said.

When MacDonald Johnston selected the DAF LF45 for the VS500 model, PACCAR Australia commissioned the company to develop a dual steer conversion to meet Australian regulations and the end result has been rated as good as factory built.

MacDonald Johnston’s Victoria East and Tasmanian Account Manager, Warrick Grime, was involved with the VS500’s development from its inception and according to Warrick it’s a package that all involved are truly proud of.

“The VS500 is the first single engine sweeper to be sold by us in Australia, but its technology is based on tried and tested models that have been built and operated in the UK for over 18 years.

“The main aim of the VS500 was to give sweeping companies and councils a cost effective and fuel-efficient street sweeping alternative to choose from.

“Using DAF’s LF45 truck with its 220hp Euro 5 compliant engine, we’ve developed a sweeper package that enables operators to demonstrate that they are adopting green technology to lower exhaust emissions and fuel consumption, which is becoming more and more important to both government and industry operators.

“The LF offers a modern and spacious cab design, low chassis weight for higher payloads, a class leading turning circle for maximum manoeuvrability, easy cab access and car-like driving characteristics making DAF’s LF series chassis the ideal partner for our VS500 sweeper package.

“It’s quite apparent that the DAF LF45 is a better specified truck than the competition, delivering more torque and driver comfort, as the cab features its own suspension, plus it’s a factory built left hand drive vehicle so it comes with all the controls correctly positioned on the left hand side – enabling us to easily replicate a right hand drive station here in Australia.

“In developing the right hand drive conversion for the LF45 we worked closely with PACCAR Australia to develop a factory built standard and in doing so, we came up with a conversion that offered twin gear levers – one on the left and one on the right making it easier and safer to use and the only sweeper on the market offering this configuration.

“Working closely with PACCAR Australia on the development of the product has enabled us to work together to jointly market it, so when we do a customer presentation both companies are represented which our customers really appreciate as every aspect of the package is covered in the one presentation.

“The VS500 represents the first single engine sweeper to deliver the suction of a dual engine sweeper while reducing operating costs by between 20 and 30%, so in essence we are offering more technology, performance and comfort with reduced operating costs for the same money,” Warrick said.

DAF Trucks Australia, a division of PACCAR Australia Pty Ltd, distributes a range of medium and heavy-duty trucks throughout Australia. PACCAR Inc, a Six Sigma company, is a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of high-quality light-, medium-, and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates.  PACCAR also designs and manufactures advanced diesel engines, provides financial services and information technology, and distributes truck parts related to its principal business.

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