The first ever Dennis Eagle spreader lorry is set to be featured on the children's TV show Blue Peter on Thursday 7 February.

The new vehicle has been named Blue Peter and given a special livery to mark its adoption by the ever-popular TV show, which has been broadcast for more than 60 years.

The vehicle, which was ordered by Doncaster Council and delivered just before Christmas, features a Dennis Eagle Elite 6 chassis with low-entry cab and was bought for use as a super-safe construction tipper by day ' but also a specialist spreader for winter maintenance.

It takes 15 minutes to switch functions and is enabled by the Econ QCB system which enables a range of attachments to be added including a 6cm2 spreader unit and a snow plough.

Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell visited Doncaster Council with a film crew to report on how the council undertakes vital work to keep the road network safe and working in icy winter conditions.

The show itself is scheduled to be aired on Thursday February 7th at 5.30pm on the CBBC channel ' Sky channel 613 (HD) and 646, Freeview 201 and 204 (HD).

The Elite 6, which was originally designed as a refuse collection vehicle, caught the eye of Doncaster Council's Highways Operations Manager Gary Willmot because of the outstanding safety it provides in urban environments.

He said: 'When I saw the Dennis Eagle Elite 6 at the NEC commercial roadshow I wondered if the company could adjust it to suit our needs? I was already aware that the company had adapted its refuse collection chassis to be used as a tipper, l but I needed more.

'We needed to find a multi-purpose solution that would suit the varied works we provide in Doncaster. We were able to negotiate adaptations that met our specific needs. The end result provided extra room for passengers and ensured the ongoing safety of our staff out on the highway.

'We have been proud to be able to work together and create this vehicle and hope it will benefit other service providers in the future'

The vehicle is powered by a Volvo 280bhp engine and is set up in 4x2 configuration featuring full air suspension on both the front and drive axles. This ensures a smooth and efficient ride on difficult terrains for both the driver and up to three crewmembers. The ride height can also be raised at speeds up to 15kmph so off-road approach and departure angles are not compromised.

Although originally developed for the waste and recycling sector, the vehicle is becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry for which Dennis Eagle helped develop the Construction Logistics and Community Safety initiative ' better known as CLOCS ' to reduce injuries and deaths caused by work-related road risk.

As well as meeting the CLOCS nationwide standard, the Elite 6's low-entry cab provides several safety features, most noticeably the low driver-seating position and panoramic windows that allow the driver and other road users ' including cyclists ' to clearly see each other.

Dennis Eagle sales support engineer Charlie Everitt, who helped develop the vehicle to meet Doncaster Council's specific needs, said: 'It was clear from the spec that they needed a vehicle that was robust enough to cope with the worst winter conditions, which the Elite 6 takes in its stride. In addition to that, the high level of visibility and direct vision the cab provides is unrivalled and very attractive to urban truck operators in an increasing variety of niches, from waste management to construction and now winter road maintenance.

'It was an exciting new project for Dennis Eagle ' it's the first time we've fitted a gritter, snow plough or demountable body to an Elite 6 chassis ' but it seems to work beautifully and adds to the Elite 6's growing reputation for enhanced safety'