St Helens Council adopts dual role concept

Published:  06 January, 2012

St Helens Council has taken on two new dual role DAF vehicles, which can grit in winter and empty gullies when conditions return to normal.

The LF55 18-tonners have been designed to take either a gritter body or a gully-emptying tank. When snow and ice are predicted, the trucks can be prepared for gritting and ploughing in not much more than half an hour and when conditions return to normal they can quickly be put back into use as gully emptiers.

“When you add together the cost of both the equipment and the truck, then these are expensive pieces of kit,” says Council Transport Manager Colin Smith. “And we needed to find a way to optimise their use and help deliver better value to our 177,500 local residents, particularly with the present squeeze on the council's budgets.

“Successful trials with vehicles showed that having the ability to swap bodies is a good way to make significant savings.”

With a wheelbase of 4.75 metres the DAFs can take an 8m3 Econ gritter body and snowplough or a Whale gully emptying tank. To change a body it is first raised off the chassis hydraulically from controls inside the cab.

Support legs are then manually inserted, enabling the chassis to be driven away. Power for the hydraulic lift system and to operate the equipment comes from an enginemounted PTO, which was fitted on line during build at Leyland.

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