Devon-based commercial waste management firm DCW has recently taken steps to improve the safety of its drivers and the communities it serves by installing innovative and unique heat monitoring technology into its trucks.
DCW has been working together with Packaged Group Limited to develop their new PackTEL product which will help to drive up health and safety standards in the waste management industry. DCW fitted the fire detection device onto four of its refuse collection vehicles and over the space of six months the device, capable of measuring heat to 1/100th of a degree, monitored in real time the temperature of the payloads during collection rounds.
DCW managing director, Simon Almond, said: “One of the biggest risks our drivers face is LGV fires, caused by combustion of the waste load. We can’t control the contents of bins, and items such as batteries pose a significant fire risk. Previously, we wouldn’t know that the temperature had reached a critical level until smoke was visible from the back of the truck.
“A fire taking hold of a burning LGV can be a terrifying experience for even an experienced driver, and this technology enables us to identify a fire before it takes hold, enabling the driver to act and abort the load in a safe place, minimising risks to the public and the loss of an expensive truck. The PackTEL system has been a brilliant innovation for our fleet, providing our drivers and the rest of the team with greater peace of mind whilst carrying out their work.”
The easy to fit PackTEL sensor kit is installed on the body of the refuse collection vehicle. It sends an email alert to nominated individuals – if there is a change in temperature, allowing the control team to alert the driver in time to avoid a potential disaster. The control team that could include traffic managers and maintenance crews also have access to an online portal that displays and tracks the temperature readings in real time.
Packaged Group Limited managing director, Robin Chambers, said: “We were delighted to work with DCW on their trial of our heat detecting sensor range. The threat of payload fires for waste collection vehicles is very real – within the UK alone last year, over 5,000 commercial LGV fires on the highway were attended by the fire service, resulting in 84 casualties. Costs can also be significant, developing into thousands of pounds for the operator as well as the emergency services attending the scene. We are proud to provide the technology that reduces this risk for clients, like DCW – who through this trial have helped us to develop this product.”
Each PackTEL early warning heat detection, fire prevention system currently costs RRP £25 per vehicle per month, and includes all hardware for self-install, an online dashboard, unlimited user access for email alert recipients, and all tech back up/service over the duration of a three or five year contract.
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