News from Iveco: Major public and regulated services provider Amey has put a fleet of six new 7.0 tonne Iveco Daily light commercial vehicles into operation on its contracts with the Highways Agency.
The vehicles incorporate an innovative new body design which Amey claims make them a ‘game changer’ for traffic management operations, with the ability to carry enough equipment for a full 2km lane closure, while offering multiple safety and operational benefits over larger truck chassis typically used for such deployments.
This design of the overall vehicle is the result of close co-operation between Amey and its suppliers, including bodybuilder Acklea, Strongs Plastic Products and Iveco.
Michael Wilmshurst, HGV & Plant Procurement and Asset Development Manager at Amey, says, “We engaged with colleagues from across the company in order to understand their precise requirements, and then worked closely on the design of this vehicle with our suppliers. The design went through a prototype build, and then was modified following feedback from staff working on different contracts.
“We currently have six vehicles in service and the feedback has been overwhelming. This vehicle is a game-changer for traffic management applications and highlights just what can be achieved when you apply fresh-thinking to an existing solution, and work closely with suppliers in the industry to make it happen.”
Key to the vehicle’s enhanced efficiency is Iveco’s Daily 70C17 chassis, which despite a 500kg lower gross vehicle weight compared with a traditional 7.5 tonner, offers an increase of 250kg in payload capacity. Being a light commercial, running costs are also lower due to improved fuel efficiency, reduced maintenance costs and there is no requirement for AdBlue. The ride height is also lower than a conventional truck chassis, ensuring easier access to the cab and enabling the body to be lower to the road, which is crucial for traffic management deployment.
The Daily has been specified with rear air-suspension to maintain ground clearance levels at the rear of the vehicle, guaranteeing its suitability for use on a tight or hilly road network. An ECU pre-set also allows the speed of the vehicle to be restricted to a maximum of 15mph when deploying traffic management assets.
Such impressive payload capacity has been achieved by constructing the sub frame and body primarily from plastic, supplemented by galvanised steel, which reduces weight over conventional materials. This combination is also expected to increase vehicle longevity and maintain a clean image, with no rust, throughout a projected nine-year life in service.
Health and safety have been enhanced with the design of a ‘D’ gate system which allows an operative to close off 50% of the cone well, enabling them to secure themselves and then pass cones from the vehicle bed onto the road through the other half of the well. This system also allows for ease of access and egress to the vehicle bed.
A new ‘trombone’ guardrail system allows the operative to open and close the gates above the cone well within the vehicle width. This ensures an improved line of sight when deploying equipment from the cone wells.
Other features include a specially designed push bar system to retain all sign frames on the vehicle bed, allowing operatives to easily secure the load and access the frames when required. Underslung tilt boxes also allow for easy access and storage of sandbags, helping to reduce manual handling issues. Operator safety is also enhanced with an audible buzzer which can be activated from the cone well to alert the driver in the event of an incident; a camera also allows the driver to monitor the vehicle bed from the cab.
An LP13 light arrow is mounted on the rear of the vehicle, to direct traffic either side of the Daily when on deployment, plus the chassis is mounted with an on-board weighing system and storage pod for the crew’s personal protective equipment.
Amey operates approximately 6,000 commercial vehicles in the UK, but this is the first time it has specified the Daily for a traffic management application. Other Dailys in the fleet are used as mobile elevated work platforms, and most recently the 7.0 tonne Daily chassis has been specified for tipper operations.