For Northumberland County Council Housing Services, versatility was key to creating a specification for their new responsive maintenance vehicle. Balancing the requirement for high-performance jetting against the need to reduce the overall weight in the van meant finding a specific solution. The lightweight V-Pack 2-Series by Andy Guest Jetters was able to measure up.
“Payload was a main issue for us,” says Albert Straughan, Responsive Maintenance Team Leader of the Housing and Public Protection team of Northumberland County Council. “Our previous jetter was a big, powerful machine but it was heavy and meant that we couldn’t carry any water in the van without going over the payload limits. So, we were looking for something lighter with the equivalent power.”
Hunting around for a lightweight machine led Albert to Andy Guest: “We needed a jetter to install in a 3.5t standard commercial van so that it could be driven by anyone with a license. We also needed to carry water on board as it’s not always easy to find a standpipe on site.”
In choosing the V-Pack 2-Series, the Council were able to satisfy these requirements. The low weight of the jetter also meant a non-standard 500L water tank could be installed without the van going over the legal payload weight when fully loaded with water.
The fully-featured machine includes a hydraulic drive HP reel and integrated filling reel. The powerful 24HP diesel engine and Triplex Plunger Pump provide performance figures or [email protected] To enable single man operation the new machine was supplied with a 5 Channel Radio Remote.
The versatility of the equipment was also a factor in choosing the 2-Series, explains Albert: “The team also use the jetter for cleaning tasks such as spillages on paths and removing graffiti from walls. Having a multipurpose jetter makes this possible.”
The Responsive Maintenance team oversee a stock of 8,000 houses and Albert says the team are “over the moon” with the new equipment. “It definitely means biggest isn’t always best and it’s an ideal machine for what we wanted.”
For an increasing number of councils and housing associations, in-housing specialist skills such as drainage engineering is being viewed as a viable option. Moving away from outsourcing provides a better way to control costs and develop skilled staff within the organisation.
“The new machine and van are definitely saving money,” explains Albert. “We’re now able to do about 80% of the work in-house, whereas before we were outsourcing a lot more work to private drainage contractors.”
Jon Woods, UK Sales Manager at Andy Guest, worked closely Phil Ryan, Fleet Technical Officer at the Council, to develop a vehicle conversion to suit the Council’s specific needs before it was handed over to Albert and his team.
The van conversion, carried out at the Andy Guest facility in Keighley, included a full vehicle lining kit with chequer plate flooring and central bulkhead to create a waterproof-sealed front section. Steel shelving and pipe carriers were added for additional storage, along with a heated washbasin and welfare equipment, interior and exterior lighting, and a split-charge invertor system.