Earlier this year Andy Guest began a rolling programme to upgrade 10 jetters and vehicles for Innovation Group’s Underground Services team. Around the same period a joint project with Kensway Engineering began to provide Dyno Southwest with four new drain jetting vehicles to add to their fleet. In both cases the companies were looking to upgrade existing equipment for improved jetting performance while reducing the vehicle payloads.
Vehicle weight is a major consideration for drainage contractors, as a reduction in payload greatly improves fuel efficiency and reduces vehicle maintenance costs. As of September 2016 new Euro 6 emission standards are also now enforceable on new vehicles, and although the new regulations encourage better fuel efficiency, there can also be an impact on payload. On average, Euro-6 vans have a payload reduction of between 30kg to 80kg. Many of the new models use Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to inject a reductant called AdBlue into the exhaust stream. While this helps reduce emissions, the additional on-board equipment adds to the overall weight of the van.
In specifying the solution for both companies, payload weight was a primary consideration. The V-Pack 3 series jetting unit provided an ideal solution due to its compact dimensions and low dry weight of only 455KG. Featuring a powerful 33HP diesel engine and triplex plunger pump, the unit produces an industry standard performance of [email protected] and can be installed in most medium to large sized commercial vehicles.
Working closely with Innovation Group’s Underground Services team, the engineers at Andy Guest first designed a specification to meet weight and operational requirements. This was then used to develop a fully operational prototype vehicle. The complete vehicle customisation was undertaken in-house by the team at Andy Guest’s manufacturing base in Keighley, West Yorkshire.
Customisations to the vehicle included bulkhead installation, waterproofed rear section and checker-plate lined front section, along with shelving, storage units and rod carrying tubes. Electrical work included the installation of invertors and LED interior and roof hazard lights. The conversion was then fitted with the lightweight V-Pack 3-Series jetting unit complete with radio remote for single person operation.
Once the prototype vehicle was built it was then weighed with all the engineer’s equipment on board. Finally, the prototype solution was subject to a full field trial. Work then began on replacing all ten existing jetting units and the new vehicle conversions. The old jetters were traded-in using the “webuyanyjetter.com” valuation tool, to offset costs.
Billy Hunter, Operations Director at Underground Services, worked with the team at Andy Guest throughout the process and says weight was a massive issue in deciding which supplier to use:
“The existing jetter units were heavy and used petrol rather than diesel, so were not very efficient. I really appreciated that Andy Guest took the time to really understand our requirements before offering a solution that reduced the payload and provided equipment that is easy to use. We operate from John O’Groats to Land’s End, so access to their nationwide network of service agents was also a real selling point. We now have 10 of the new vans in operation, with plans for more in 2017, and they have been fantastic.”
Jim Varney, Health Safety and Compliance Manager at Dyno Southwest, says that when the company opted to replace older vehicles and their jetting units, the potential to reduce weight and realise better fuel efficiencies was a major selling point: “Less weight is a key factor, as it means we can get more equipment in the vans and this has been a struggle over the years. In terms of efficiencies we’re trying to use the smallest vans possible to carry the payloads we need.”
The project involved the conversion of four new Euro 6 compliant Transit vans and installation of 3-Series Van Pack jetting units. Vehicle conversions included the Andy Guest Store and Seal package, which entails the building of a central bulkhead and waterproofing to the rear. The front sections of the vans were fitted with checker-plate floor and wall lining, along with shelving units for storage. Electrical work included the installation of invertors and interior LEDs and roof beacons.
“The lightweight hose is also a bonus, as it takes weight off the machine and makes it easier for manual handling,” explains Jim. “As nearly all our jetting operations are now manned by a single operator, the Radio Remote makes life much easier, and again reduces payload weight as we’re not having to carry foot pedals and additional wiring.
“I’ve worked closely with Ken at Kensway Engineering for many years and use the company for all our servicing needs. In choosing the Andy Guest solution, Ken’s recommendation was very influential and we’ve been very happy with the new kit and the service we’ve received.”
Jon Woods, UK Sales Manager at Andy Guest, says both projects highlight the growing demand for lightweight van-pack solutions: “The ‘lightweighting’ of jetting units is something that our engineering team has been focused on for several years, and we’ve carried that through to the work we do on vehicle conversions. While the benefits of reduced fuel consumption are obvious, there are other incentives to reducing overall payload weight, such as lower maintenance costs and higher resale values, not to mention valuable space to store other operational equipment. In the current climate it makes a lot of business sense.”
For more information about vehicle conversions and lightweight jetting units, contact Jon Woods on 03300 240404 or visit www.andyguestjetters.co.uk