Outsourcing the maintenance of its refuse collection vehicle fleet has paid off, says Exeter-based waste management company Devon Contract Waste (DCW).

DCW operates a fleet of 30 vehicles including 11 refuse vehicles and they say the business grew by 18% last year. But they chose to outsourcee fleet maintenance to Gloucestershire-based Refuse Vehicle Solutions Ltd (RVS). DCW managing director Simon Almond confirmed the decision had paid dividends.

'There's a whole list of reasons why it makes sense to outsource the maintenance of our refuse vehicles,' he said.

'Firstly, these vehicles are very complex, expensive machines, and they require the attention of expert municipal vehicle engineers to keep them in tip-top condition. We'd rather focus on our core business ' collecting, sorting and recycling waste ' and improving the environment.

'We used to be very reactive when it came to the maintenance of our vehicle bodies; we just used to fix them when they broke down and hire replacement vehicles, which can be very expensive.

'Our vehicles need to be fit for purpose, reliable and they need to meet the highest safety standards. RVS takes care of all of that and since it took over we have seen an enormous reduction in vehicle breakdowns.

Simon Almond said they have also been able to control fleet replacements more effectively as well as monitor driver damage and improve health and safety.

'We now have a greater confidence in our trucks because they are being kept in superb condition. From a business perspective the preventative approach certainly pays off. Our business is more efficient and we've reduced our repair bills'