West Dunbartonshire council is one of 32 local government council areas in Scotland. The area lies to the west of the city of Glasgow, bordering onto Argyll and Bute, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and Stirling
The collection and disposal of waste and refuse from, 45,000 residents and 700 businesses is the responsibility of Rodney Thornton Fleet & Waste Services Manager and Fleet Manager John Blake. The team of 130 employees operate and maintain a large fleet of vehicles including 21 RCV’s.
Vehicle and employee safety is a high priority for the council, their fleet of new DAF RCV’s with Heil bodies are fully kitted out with a number of safety features. All their RCV’S have full CCTV systems, vehicle tracking and collision detection radar as standard.
After investigation into further vehicle safety advancements for their fleet, their attention was drawn to a product demonstration day hosted by us. Interested in what we were doing they came along to see what we could offer. At this stage VT STOPSAFE was still in development, however even at this early stage, Rodney and John were impressed with the safety features of VT STOPSAFE and invited us to demo the product at their depot. Several local authorities, colleagues and senior people within the council were invited to come and see VT STOPSAFE in action. Rodney explains his initial reaction to seeing the product working “at the time of the demo, the product was very much at concept stage, however after seeing how the product works and the benefits that came with it, we were convinced we needed to seek approval for funding”
VT STOPSAFE is the only product on the market to provide protection against an out of control vehicle, life can be unpredictable, and things can change in the blink of an eye, for instance, what happens if a driver becomes ill or incapacitated for any reason? We developed VT STOPSAFE to allow the crew to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop if for any reason the driver loses control. It is the only product of its kind and the only emergency braking system to get approval from the VCA.
Rodney tells us about his experience “Because it’s a completely new product and a new concept in terms of heavy good vehicles we anticipated there could be a few refinements and modifications needed, however I was personally impressed with Vision Techniques dedication of Marshall and the team to getting the product to where it needed to be.” He adds “Vision Techniques rose to the challenge and showed the dedication to get the product to the market. I have seen it with other products we’ve tried to take forward it’s easy for developers to park it. This didn’t happen with the team at Vision Techniques, It really shows the commitment and belief the company had in the product. Finally getting the certification in place meant that this was a product we were comfortable to bring on board to our fleet, safe in the knowledge the product does the job”
Here at Vision Techniques we support all our installations with in-depth training and support. Our team worked closely with Rodney and his crew, taking them step by step through each of the product features giving them the opportunity to get some hands-on experience.
They found the system extremely simple to activate, the positioning of the lever and the way the lever needs to be constantly applied, removing any risk of accidental use, was well received by the operators.
Each member of the crew took the vehicle for a test run, taking it up to 30 mph and putting STOPSAFE through its paces, the crew commented on how quickly and smoothly the vehicle was brought to a halt with no signs of skidding swerving or lock up. Marshall and the team also spent valuable time in the workshop answering any questions from the technicians with regards to maintenance or repairs.
Rodney commented on the feedback from his team “Overall it’s been extremely positive as everyone recognises the value of it, we have introduced STOPSAFE into our training schedule and all trained employees are issued with a VT training certificate which is held within their development files so that there is a record of when they have completed the training and who is authorised to use it.“
Rodney tells us how VT STOPSAFE is now integrated into their 6-week vehicle inspection test “We sincerely hope we never have to use STOPSAFE in a real-life situation, however by having it fitted we know we are keeping our staff and members of the public safe in case of an incident. To ensure continued functionality, We have introduced the product into our 6-week vehicle inspection, where our technical staff will test and operate the equipment. Our staff have a really good understanding of our safety procedures and feel secure in the knowledge we are doing everything to keep them safe”