ACCO cleans up at big expo
WITH A significantly large percentage of the new trucks sold in Australia going off to work in the waste industry each year, we thought it would be a good idea to get along to this year's Australian Waste and Recycling Exhibition to see what new developments are coming up.
Taking centre stage at the Sydney event was a vehicle that many waste operations were looking forward to getting their hands on - the all-new IVECO ACCO.
The dominant player in the waste industry for decades, the ACCO has been given a significant overhaul by the Italian-owned brand, with the new version sharing the same chassis as the now locally manufactured Stralis.
Still being built at IVECO headquarters in Victoria, the new ACCO promises a more comfortable environment for the driver, easier access and safety features like advanced emergency braking and stability control.
The dual control ACCO on display at AWRE featured a compactor body from one of the biggest players in the local waste industry, SuperiorPAK.
Speaking of dual-control trucks, Isuzu also had a new model on show, with both right-hand drive and left-hand drive capability.
The Japanese truck brand used the event to officially launch their new dual-control waste and refuse truck line-up, with four F-Series models set to hit the local market.
The factory-built offerings will be put to work in configurations ranging from 4x2/16.5-tonne to 6x4/24-tonne GVM and it looks like the big changes to the ACCO gave Isuzu the motivation to try and get a bigger slice of the waste industry pie.
Isuzu national sales manager Les Spaltman told us the timing wasn't a coincidence and that he was confident the new Isuzu dual-control trucks would "tick some key boxes for Australian operators”.
Mercedes-Benz, a brand considered a sleeping giant in the kerbside collection segment of the market, had their range of Econic trucks on show at AWRE too.
Also featuring dual-control options, the German truck had something neither the Isuzu or the new Iveco boasted - a completely flat floor.
Mercedes-Benz representatives told us this design allowed for easy access into and out of the vehicle for the driver from either side of the cab.
Penske and their waste industry-focused British brand Dennis Eagle were notable absentees from the AWRE event this year and thus didn't get the opportunity to showcase their increasingly popular flat floor and dual-control offering to delegates and visitors.
One truck on show that really caught my eye was a whole lot smaller than the Iveco, Mercedes-Benz and Isuzu offerings and featured just right-hand drive.
Despite this, the new Isuzu N-Series based HSR Southern Cross Refuse Collection Micro truck looks set to fill a niche that might not have adequately filled previously - satellite waste collection.
Hitting the local market earlier this year, the tiny truck features a small compactor that can accommodate loads of up to 1.2 tonnes and is designed to easily access tight spots such as caravan parks and inner-city public spaces.
One major advantage the truck has over traditional offerings in this space is that the completely enclosed compactor doesn't require the driver to tarp or secure the load once it's on board and ready to be hauled away.
A popular offering in Europe, the satellite truck offering is expected to find many customers in the local market, especially councils.
Meanwhile a new player could soon be coming into the Aussie trailer market, with Northern Ireland trailer manufacturer BMI Trailers on the ground at AWRE.
In Australia and looking for opportunities, along with a posse of six other waste industry players based in Northern Ireland, BMI Trailers can see a potential market here for their compactor, walking floor and ejector trailers.
Managing director Brendan McIlvanna told me their offerings had an advantage over what local operators were currently using in applications such as scrap metal haulage, as they could still be top loaded but didn't need to be tipped up to eject the load.
He said this brought safety advantages and allowed for unloading in indoor areas and other low-clearance environments.
Mr McIlvanna also told me he saw a potential opportunity in Australia for another trailer model they produced that didn't seem to be offered by any existing local manufacturer - semi-trailer compactors.
Hand-loaded at the rear, the trailers are designed for long-run-type applications that can allow an operator to utilise just a single truck, rather than two traditional rigid compactor trucks.
He said these trailers could potentially accommodate loads of more than 30 tonnes or 45sqm of waste.
Away from the trucks and truck-related items on show at AWRE, show-goers seemed fascinated by a true behemoth that took centre stage - the TPS 120 Track Picking Station.
Measuring more than 15m in length, the mobile unit is designed to scoop up and separate waste, with power coming from a massive Perkins diesel engine.
At the other end of the spectrum - and perhaps potentially defeating the purpose of garbage collection trucks - was a range of compostable food packaging that included plates made from palm tree leaves and takeaway trays made from bamboo.