Dennis Eagle’s new Elite+ cab has been enthusiastically received by the first customers.

The Elite+ is replacing the highly successful Elite 6, from which it has evolved. But the new cab, while clearly rooted in Elite heritage, has a new focus. The designers describe it as a 21st century workstation for drivers and crews.

‘We’ve made great strides in improving the efficiency of our vehicles and we’re still pursuing these goals more hungrily than ever,’ said sales and marketing manager Lee Rowland.

‘But our latest development – the Elite+ cab – is focused on the people who operate them and the way they interact with them. And it will provide the greatest benefits to our customers’ operations

‘We’ve produced an outstanding working environment for both drivers and crews. By making it quieter, safer, easier to use, more convenient and more comfortable, we are also helping to make them feel more valued and more positive about their important roles.

‘And the benefits to employers will range across the full spectrum of their operations, from increased productivity to staff retention, improved safety and operational efficiency.’

The Elite+ has all the safety features of the Elite 6, which was independently found to provide the best direct vision of any truck in the UK. Now enhanced and refined, Dennis Eagle has taken its market leader and made it even better.

Above all, the Elite+ has been ergonomically refined to give the driver more control than ever.

The controls and switch bank are now more intuitively arranged and have a very user-friendly touch and feel thanks to new materials with improved finishes.

The seat and the steering column are more adjustable, enabling drivers to position them precisely to suit their own body shape and size. And the in-cab screen is mounted on a ball and socket joint so it can be positioned at any angle.

Entry to the cab remains the lowest on the market at just 495mm from ground-to-floor, making it easy and safe getting in and out. The floor itself remains obstacle-free, so you really can walk-through. And the driving seat puts drivers at eye-level with other road users so they can make direct eye contact.

More sound insulation ensures the cab provides a much quieter environment. Both Standard and Narrow vehicles have driver +1, +2 or +3 seating options but now each crew member has an individual seat instead of a shared bench. This helps define their own space and increases comfort.

The outer seat has been recessed slightly, making getting in and out even easier and this also increases the driver’s near-side view. Along with larger rear windows on both sides, this improves direct vision, making what was the safest truck on the UK’s roads even safer.

Outside, the Elite+ looks reassuringly familiar and is designed not to intimidate other road users.

Modern working practices have been catered for, such as plenty of USB ports for charging mobile phones. And there’s more storage room in the header locker.

The Elite+ is being phased in across all diesel RCV models, with existing orders fulfilled to meet customers’ preferences. The first were delivered to three Nottinghamshire councils – Broxstowe Borough Council, Erewash Borough Council and Newark and Sherwood District Council – for pre-launch assessment.

Broxtowe’s transport and stores manager Roger Wakefield said: ‘The drivers report the switches and controls are somehow easier to use. The new materials and the way they are finished make them very responsive to touch and control. And the new arrangement of the switches is very welcome.

‘They say the Elite+ is more comfortable. The steering column and seat are very adjustable so you can get the right position for your individual shape and size. And that seems to be the starting point for the arrangement of all the controls and switches as well as the in-cab screen, which itself is very adjustable.

‘Getting in and out is easier as the outside seat is slightly set back, giving you more room as you step into the cab. The crew appreciated this even more as they are the ones getting in and out most often. It’s all this attention to detail that makes a real difference and is really appreciated.’

And in tune with this sentiment, Dennis Eagle responded to the loudest customer request of all; they’ve provided more cup holders.

This article was originally published in the spring issue of the magazine. For a free subscription sign up here.