We are constantly reviewing vehicle and machine logistics within our operations to ensure the efficient movement of staff and machinery across contract sites. It also ensures we are in a position to take advantage of new technology which reduces environmental impact whilst ensuring compliance with ever changing legislation. Alternative fuel types and more efficient routing is always high on our agenda. After several trials of tracking systems we have teamed up with Motrak as the supplier for our vehicle and machine telematics. Their system gives real time information on vehicle positioning along with details on how the vehicle is being driven, and so can be used as part of our risk reduction programme by identifying drivers whose driving practices need to be improved.
Where specifications allow, electric vehicles of up to 1500kg are utilised to undertake general horticultural duties and litter collection in parks, town centres or where there are several sites within the range of the vehicle’s battery limits. We have evaluated several options over the past few years, but in the main these were industrial variants derived from the humble electric milk float or golf buggy. A new generation of custom-built vehicles is now available which give greater speed, range and carrying/towing capacity. Although these larger versions tend to be expensive, they are always considered where it is cost effective to do so.
Of more relevance to our industry is the recent advances in diesel/electric hybrid technology for vehicles up to 3500kg and we will see the larger vehicles in our fleet move to this configuration during the coming year.