“Good reputation, a versatile product, and excellent customer support,” is how Paul Knibbs, National Sales Manager for PFB Self Drive plc, describes the basis of his decision to order eight 'Gamma' bin-lifters from Zoeller Waste Systems for the latest additions to his fleet of refuse collection vehicles.

PFB is a very successful and expanding commercial vehicle hire company. The recent acquisition of the vehicle fleet and business interests of Evesham based WCR Vehicle Hire Ltd. means that there are now some two hundred municipal vehicles in a total mixed fleet of more than one thousand five hundred!

As is always the case in the hire industry, PFB looks for maximum fleet utilisation ' particularly from capital intensive refuse collection vehicles.

The problem is that, more often than not, vehicles equipped for domestic refuse collection are not capable of crossing over to other duties such as trade waste collection services.

Ideally, they should be capable of multitasking and not confined to one application only. So, how does the 'Gamma' bin-lifter shape up in achieving this goal?

Zoeller also recognised a need for a bin-lifter that could meet the increasing demand from public and private sector operators, and from vehicle hire companies in particular.

From the outset, Zoeller concluded that an entirely new design concept was required and not simply a series of modifications to an existing product. It would have to combine robustness ' to cope with trade waste applications, flexibility - to enable open-back access for bags and bulky waste at one end, through to fully automatic split-lift handling of wheeled containers from 80 to 1,280 litres at the other, and durability ' to continue Zoeller's reputation for whole-life reliability. But most of all, the new concept must be capable of ticking as many 'can-do' boxes as possible.

The result is 'Gamma' ' a fully automatic split bin-lifter with an ultra low-level rave height of little more than a metre, which not only doubles as a hefty trade waste lifter but also, having a drop down rave plate, can be easily tucked away to provide fullwidth hopper access similar to a conventional open-back vehicle for hand loading. The design incorporates Zoeller's proven 'active bump bar' system for maximum emptying efficiency, and 'power-down' during the emptying cycle for greatly improved performance over gravity type systems especially when working on a gradient.

True to the Zoeller philosophy of 'safety through simplicity', 'Gamma' has very accessible operating button stations, flexible rubber barrier arms, and a comprehensive yet easily read diagnostic display for fault and performance analysis. In addition, minimal rear overhang and automatic 'reverse raise' substantially reduce the risk of costly and inconvenient accidental damage when reversing.

Paul Knibbs is confident that 'Gamma' will make a considerable impact in the PFB fleet. He commented; “I did a lot of homework before deciding to place this order with Zoeller. When I was first introduced to the 'Gamma' bin-lifter, I was very impressed. Further research and comments from other users have served to confirm this impression.

Our people here have also benefited from an excellent training programme and, from PFB's point of view, we are sure that the commitment to customer support from Zoeller will prove invaluable. Best of all, we will almost certainly be able to offer our refuse collection customers a vehicle that can service all their requirements in one package. The flexibility of the 'Gamma' design will also be a great advantage to those making the bags to bins transition.”