Preston adds safety technology to its waste fleet

Preston city council has upgraded its new refuse collection fleet with safety and tracking technology from Fleetclear.

Matthew Sharp

Preston is a city made up of 70% urban and suburban properties, with an abundance of high-rise blocks and terraced housing alongside new flat developments. Naturally, this makes for many difficult to access areas, narrow streets and cul-de-sacs, which can be hard for refuse collection vehicles to navigate.

Vulnerable road users

In an effort to ensure the safety of the public, vulnerable road users and crews in Preston, and reduce accidents when vehicles are reversing, the council decided to equip its fleets with blind spot monitoring and tracking technology.

The fleets now have Cyclear – a safety measure for cyclists and vulnerable road users – which includes an LED warning sign and audible speaker to alert cyclists. The vehicles also have 360-degree round vehicle surveillance.

The council has also adopted Fleetclear Connect, a web-based fleet management solution that connects vehicle safety technology and software, combining it with tracking, telematics (including fuel and carbon analysis), driver behaviour and compliance monitoring.

Matt Sharp, systems and administration manager, neighbourhood services, said: “We can access the system from anywhere, perform searches and view specific footage from any vehicle at any point during rounds. The geo-fencing feature means that we can search by street or area. The system is a huge time-saver especially when resolving incidents or complaints from the public or crews.”

He added: “We are utilising the tracking features to ensure that vehicles are completing rounds and accomplishing the targeted number of collections, which is especially important when investigating missed bin reports. We can see if vehicles did attempt to make a collection and what transpired for a bin to have been missed, such as access issues or non-presentation of bins.”

Closing the loop

For Preston city council, the next step in the roll-out of the new system is to integrate its Bartec waste management collective software with Fleetclear Connect. Sharp explained: “By integrating round information and collection schedules, we can close the loop and see how the whole operation works together, which will help us to further streamline our front-line services, improve safety standards, reduce costs and work more efficiently.”

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