Sales milestone a ringing endorsement for Dennis Eagle
YOU might not notice the type of truck that collects your rubbish and waste each week, you might even be asleep when it comes to get your bins.
However, many in the waste industry are increasingly taking notice of the attributes of vehicles from the Dennis Eagle brand.
Imported into Australia and distributed by Penske Commercial Vehicles, the Dennis Eagle Elite 2 differs from other trucks utilised for kerbside rubbish collection in that it was designed simply for that one application.
With this one task in mind, Dennis Eagle was able to deliver a truck that boasts a fully flat floor, there's a low entry height requiring just one step into the cab, and the designers maximized visibility to help when the truck is both moving down the road and when the side arm loader is in operation.
One major waste industry player that has got on board in a big way is Cleanaway. Just how on board are they? They recently took delivery of their 500th Dennis Eagle.
A ceremony was held to mark the major milestone and Big Rigs had an exclusive invite to attend the celebration.
Held at the newly opened, and rather impressive new Cleanaway facility in Dandenong, south east of Melbourne, I had a chat to the General Manager of Solid Waste Services in Victoria, Matthew McKenzie.
He agreed that the 500 Dennis Eagle truck milestone was a big endorsement of the truck.
"It really is a great product and it really is designed specifically for refuse waste collections, we really like it, especially for the safety benefits that it brings," he said.
"The safety features and smart design of the Dennis Eagle product not only make it a safe truck but it also delivers productivity improvements too, "
"When you've got a driver that has to get in and out of the cab so many times each day, we love the one step feature and the ease of getting in and out, this helps complete our runs on time and service our customers and the community better."
And it isn't just the design and these features that have Cleanaway coming back for more, Mr McKenzie said the ongoing support given to Cleanaway by Penske Commercial Vehicles has been top notch.
"Having a truck off the road can have major impacts on our operations and the team at Penske are aware of this, so timely servicing and repairs is a critical component for us and we haven't been let down," he said.
"The fact that we really know the truck and that it is so easy to maintain also helps."
While on site at the Cleanaway facility I did notice trucks from a couple of other manufacturers, however Mr McKenzie said the Cleanaway drivers appreciate the attributes of the Dennis Eagle.
"When you're driving a side lift truck you're servicing hundreds and hundreds of bins per day things like the visibility and the ease of access is critical," he said.
"The drivers find it easy to operate and just having improved visibility helps reduces a whole level of stress from them each day."
The new Cleanaway facility might not be what you would expect from a garbage truck depot. No waste either goes in or out of the facility, instead the trucks are unloaded after a hard day's work before they return for fueling and maintenance.
In total there's 21 service bays at the Perry Road centre and the trucks pass through one of two fully automatic wash bays before they hit the streets again.
Banks of computer screens with operators busily at work tracking trucks and making sure bins are collected in a timely manner dominates the large office areas of the building.
Shannon Mair is the National Fleet Manager at Penske Commercial Vehicles, he told Big Rigs that the 500 truck milestone with a major player like Cleanaway is a proud achievement for the operation.
"It's a significant achievement to reach 500 truck sales with any customer and it's a true testament to the partnership approach that both businesses value."
While he also spoke of the growing importance of operators big and small putting drivers into trucks that are as safe as possible.
"We're seeing Councils writing in their tender documents outlining the need for things like low entry cabs and other attributes like direct vision and these are all attributes that our product boasts."
Underneath the cab and the compactor of the Dennis Eagle trucks is a driveline that would be very familiar not only to those in the waste industry, but also those of us from the broader transport game - a Cummins engine and an Allison auto transmission.
The Penske National Fleet Manager saying the benefits of being able to offer the Cummins/Allison combo for this testing application can't be understated.
"The Cummins engine and Allison transmission is a proven, successful engine/driveline combination for the waste collection industry.
"Most of our customers look at running their trucks for seven years, however sometimes that extends out to ten years and with this driveline you just have complete peace of mind that it will get the job done."
I also asked Mr Mair about the advantages that come from having a product that was designed from the get-go to meet clients specific needs in this application.
"It allows us to not only simplify the integration with the waste collection body on the back of the truck, but also really hone in on the requirements of the customer."
So how important is this major milestone for Dennis Eagle? Mr. Mair said he was confident the brand was on the verge of many more wins in the Aussie waste market.
"We know that we've got a really good product, we just need to get out there and shout it from the rooftops."