Challenging the conventional approach to low-entry, high-vision vehicles, Renault Trucks UK – working in partnership with Veolia – the UK’s leading resource management company, has delivered a class-leading lowest entry Range D day cab, as part a £5 million investment over the next two years, that improves driver direct vision while increasing productivity for multiple collection operations.
“Transport for London’s CLOCS programme has made low-entry, high-vision vehicles a priority to minimise work-related road risk, underlined by the London Mayor’s Direct Vision Standard system,” says Nigel Butler, Renault Trucks UK’s Commercial Director. “By working with Veolia we have been able to gain a real insight into the complexities of their operating environment and to deliver a cost-effective, ex-factory low-entry vehicle solution that requires no additional conversion and is designed around their urban cycle to improve both on road safety and operational efficiency.”
With a class-leading ground step height of just 375mm (some 75mm lower than traditional crew cab models in this sector) the Range D Low cab is accessed via two steps that sit slightly inside the cab for easy use.
For Veolia’s crews, often undertaking more than 100 collections in a day, the class-leading entry and exit height, achieved by fitting 315/60 tyres and air suspension front and rear, is highly valued. An additional ‘kneel’ function drops the front of the vehicle a further 50mm. The day cab also improves the driver position, supporting primary awareness by giving more direct vision of other street users. It also provides a more flexible option for logistics management when vehicles only have a crew of two.
Currently operating the second biggest self-managed fleet in the UK, Veolia manage many contracts that involve vehicle collections in busy urban areas. With a central focus on maintaining health & safety and the environments where they work, the company continuously look for ways of advancing their operating capability.
Highlighting this latest innovation Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice President for Veolia UK and Ireland says: “Work safe, home safe, is our guiding principle for both our teams and for the communities where we work. By introducing this development for our fleet we will help to protect other road users and help our crews. This will also help us to operate more productively for our many customers, and extend the safety aspects of our operations.”
Commenting on Veolia’s decision to take the 26-tonne Range D low 6×2 rigid onto its fleet, John Avery from Renault Trucks National Fleet says: “As a leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles this project has helped us to look at how, by working with our customer and taking an innovative, solutions-based approach, we can make significant, cost-effective advances in on-road work related safety and operational performance.”
Mike Stringer, Product Manager at Renault Trucks, adds: “The Range D Low cab challenges the conventional industry solution with a traditional day cab that delivers class-leading low entry access and egress. Despite its lower bumper, the vehicle’s shorter front overhang compared with alternative low entry crew cabs on the market offers an improved approach angle for easier manoeuvrability on city streets, helps with ground clearance issues to reduce vehicle damage, and crucially, enhances the field of vision by putting the driver in direct control.”
Renault Trucks’ new low-entry solution is based on a Range D Wide (2.3m) cab, and is available as a 4×2 18-tonne rigid or 26-tonne 6×2 rigid tag with fixed or steered rear axle. Equipped with Renault Trucks’ fuel efficient DTI 8-litre engine, with a choice of power ratings (250hp, 280hp or 320hp), the Range D Low can be specified with a manual, Allison (automatic) or 12-speed Optidriver automated gearbox, making the vehicle suitable for multi-drop operations as well as regional and national use. Further flexibility is provided by multiple body options.