Binmen given emergency system to stop out-of-control trucks

Vision Techniques has designed an emergency braking system for HGVs in response to the Glasgow bin lorry tragedy in December 2014 that killed six people.

The system enables a crew member on a bin truck to bring a vehicle safely to a stop in the event the driver loses control by simply hitting a red button on the dashboard.

“We call it VT StopSafe,” said technical manager Nigel Armstrong, “effectively the system reduces the vehicle’s speed while simultaneously bringing it to a controlled stop using the braking system.

“The system is activated using a secure emergency button installed to the vehicle dashboard, allowing the crew to react to an emergency situation.”

It is available for any manufacturers’ trucks and is suitable for both new-build and retrofit options.

Blackburn-based Vision Techniques said it has been working on the idea since the fatal accident inquiry launched after the Glasgow incident  made the case for councils to fit emergency braking systems to their fleets.

The company has been working closely with Craven Council in Skipton to help it better understand local authorities’ operations and requirements.

Trials carried out by the council have shown the bin lorry able to come to a controlled stop at speeds of 45mph when the emergency button is pressed.

Craven Council workshop manager Steve Parkinson said: “Every council in the country was shocked by the events in Glasgow. If a driver loses control of the vehicle it’s reassuring to know that equipment like this can step in to prevent a potential disaster. ”

The council plans to fit the system to its fleet once available in May.

Vision Techniques said it will offer the system to every council in the country.



PODFather helps efficiency of central Scotland food waste collections

Commercial food waste firm Keenan Recycling has found PODFather’s route planning and real-time collection management system a key efficiency driver during a period of rapid growth.

The Aberdeenshire-based company has expanded its operation across central Scotland prompted by tougher food waste regulations recently imposed on businesses, which limit the amount of waste sent to landfill.

The PODFather Logistics system was rolled out to help manage more than 20,000 collections a month. It enables contracts to be set up with collection frequencies set according to the amount of waste generated, then automatically scheduled and route optimised on a daily basis.

A back office system then links to in-cab driver handhelds that provide daily route details and capture the waste type and quantity of each collection.

The handhelds provide live tracking location and collection ETAs back in the office, as well as raising an alert should unexpected delays occur.

Workflows on the devices also ensure that if anything unexpected does occur, the handheld will prompt the driver to capture photographs as evidence.

This system includes daily driver vehicle checks at the depot in the morning, with any faults logged and made visible to Keenan transport management staff.

Keenan said it has gained real-time visibility of the collection rounds as they progress throughout the day and reduced the administration associated with processing thousands of paper-based collection notes.

Claire Keenan, business development manager, Keenan Recycling, said: “We were introduced to PODFather by one of our customers who have been using the system for their own office-waste recycling business for a number of years. It was important we could work with a company that understands how waste collection rounds work as we needed the system set up quickly whilst ensuring our duty of care requirements for waste collections were met.”

Register now for Freight in the City Summit in Manchester

The Freight in the City Spring Summit 2016 will be held in Manchester on 3 March. It will focus on what the government’s northern powerhouse strategy means for urban logistics in the north of England.

Following on from the successful Expo at Alexandra Palace in London last October, this is the first Freight in the City event to take place outside the South East. It is free to attend – so register now!

The summit will focus on how hauliers and operators can work with the public sector, as well as other businesses in the private sector, and how the northern powerhouse (comprising Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, New-
castle and Manchester) will drive economic growth in the region.

Other topics to be covered include: improving connectivity and reducing congestion between cities; Manchester’s freight strategy for 2016 and beyond; the new multimodal freight plan and the role of the northern ports, as well as efficient urban delivery success stories from across the UK and overseas.

One confirmed speaker is Helen Smith, the head of logistics and environment at Transport for Greater Manchester. It will be her first presentation to the industry since taking up the post.

Other speakers will include Bruce Carnaby, urban freight development manager at Clipper Logistics; Stuart Pickering, head of strategy at Martin Brower UK; and Kevin Rooney, TC for the North East.

Cartwright, Daf, DHL and Travis Perkins are associate sponsors of the summit, which will take place at Manchester Central (formerly the G-Mex).

Freight in the City Spring Summit podcast available now

With six weeks to go until the Freight in the City Spring Summit, we thought you’d like to hear a bite-size preview of some of issues being covered throughout the day.

To that end we’ve hijacked our colleagues at Motor Transport and taken over their podcast with a Freight in the City Spring Summit special!

Regular podcast host Christopher Walton is joined by Laura Hailstone and Hayley Pink to talk you through what to expect at Freight in the City Manchester; who is speaking at the summit and why this is an essential event for you to attend.

The Freight in the City Spring Summit 2016 will be held at Manchester Central on 3 March. It will focus on how operators and logistics buyers can work with the public sector, as well as other businesses in the private sector, and how the northern powerhouse (comprising Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester) will drive economic growth in the region.

The podcast is available to download or stream on iTunes.