Driving FM success
Vehicles have transformed the role of traditional FM service delivery
Vehicles have transformed the role of traditional FM service delivery. fmME explores the use of vehicles in cleaning and waste management.
The noble automobile’s roots date back to the late 1600s. It has since evolved beyond our roads and into the daily lives of FMs in the form of waste management refuse trucks, industrial sweepers, even telehandlers.
The Yas Marina Circuit racetrack sits within a 164ha site and vehicles are nothing foreign to it. The FM team relies on the use of vehicles for much of its day to day operational activity.
“We currently have two different types of telescopic handlers at Yas Marina Circuit; The JCB 540/170 and the JCB 527/55,” explains Edward Loughrey, previously head of FM at Yas Marina Circuit, now senior services manager, Khidmah.
“The 527/55 are the ones used on a daily basis for a multitude of tasks. This versatile vehicle carries out its daily duties with ease and with minimal maintenance.”
Though primarily used as a forklift, they double up as telescopic handlers, used to lift single-seat race cars on to the circuit.
“They are used site-wide on various terrains and are ideal as they are small enough for us to use inside some of the company structures. They are used in all of our FM divisions from unloading trucks to lifting items for civil, electrical, mechanical and circuit operations,” says Loughrey.
As well as high level cleaning, telehandlers are used to help the team achieve its CSR objectives, harvesting dates grown on palm trees around the site which are then sent to local mosques during Ramadhan.
The vehicles are supplied by Galadari Trucks in Abu Dhabi, the UAE dealer for JCB. Since the 527s are not part of the Middle East line-up, they had to be specially shipped
from JCB Europe.
“They are built compactly enough to work in small spaces but have the performance of a full-size machine,” he says.
Two range hydrostatic transmission enables precise operation for re-handling and loading in confined spaces. A dashboard mounted switch control allows changes between work and transport speeds.
The vehicles can achieve up to 19mph max forward speed. Permanent four-wheel drive and equal sized wheels provide traction and flotation in all ground conditions.
The vehicles are powered by an 83hp JCB Dieselmax engine that delivers high power-to-weight ratio. Battery life is maintained by strict schedules to ensure maximum performance.
“Through experience we have found that electrolyte levels require constant attention to ensure the plates do not run dry. This ensures we get the maximum life from our batteries,” says Loughrey.
A common tip for maintaining batteries is to check the electrolyte level before charging. If it is too low, add distilled water or, if unavailable, a good drinking water. This will prevent the plates from drying out and the battery losing its capacity.
Imdaad recently announced the construction of a $3.3m vehicle maintenance facility in JAFZA,. The 10,000m2 facility will handle denting, painting, welding and tyre maintenance of its fleet of over 150-plus small, medium and heavy vehicles.
Vehicles are a significant part of the company’s waste management offering, explains Mahmood Rasheed, COO, and Imdaad uses a compactor, also known as a refuse collection vehicle, for outdoor waste collection from garbage bins. The vehicle’s chassis is manufactured by Mercedes while the attachment or compartment is manufactured by Faun Germany.
“Waste management is an integral part of our business being a leading provider of integrated FM solutions in the UAE,” says Rasheed. “Imdaad therefore invests in premium-quality waste management equipment to carry out operations and ensure that we satisfy the expectations of the communities we serve.”
The vehicle, which is battery powered and runs on diesel, is purchased from M. T. Khoory and Sons, renowned for supplying highly advanced and reliable waste collection and compaction equipment and vehicles. It is deployed to collect waste in bins located in different areas around the community and operates by lifting and emptying the refuse containers into its hopper.
The vehicles are put through a routine maintenance check-up every week in Imdaad’s workshop.
“This is very important to maintain the optimum condition of the vehicle and to extend the battery life,” says Rasheed.
Bee’ah, a dedicated waste management operator has launched a new mobile vehicle to wash the new blue and green bins installed across Sharjah.
The bin washer truck is supplied by Excel industries and is fully automated, resulting in the reduction of manual labour and as a result cutting costs, explains Russell Sikora, vice president of Tandeef operations at Bee’ah.
Further, the use of vehicles in the waste management industry improves operating times and ensures higher efficiency, better collection operations and optimisation of scheduled collection routes throughout the emirate, he says.
“Our aim is to constantly look for ways to improve Tandeef’s current system in order to deliver the best cleaning and waste collection services for our Sharjah community. Acquiring these new vehicles, helps us accomplish just that. Without these vehicles, we would not have been able to complete Tandeef’s mission for a cleaner, greener and [more] beautiful Sharjah,” says Sikora.
Bee’ah has also introduced the street washer truck which has a high capacity water tank and a high volume pressure pump. It has the capability of adding on accessories such as curb stone washers, buildings cleaners, graffiti removal and a mobile truck wash.
“The street cleaning vehicle’s power and technology will ensure higher efficiency and thorough performance during the street cleaning process,” says Sikora.
But it’s not just on the outdoors where vehicles are making a difference to FMs. Kaercher has launched the KM130/300 and KM 150/500 R vacuum sweepers for use in the building materials and metal processing industries, foundries and other environments that generate dirt.
The sweepers run on diesel, liquefied petroleum gas or batteries. With a battery, the KM 130/300 R covers a maximum area of 9,100m2 per hour or 13,000m2 per hour with a combustion engine. The KM 150/500 R operates at a maximum of 12,000m2 and 18,000m2 respectively.
“To simplify maintenance, only heavy-duty electrics have been installed. The sweeper motor can be made accessible from nearly every angle in just a few simple steps,” explains Melanie Mueller, marketing and communications, Kaercher.
“The hydraulic system is equally easy to service, simply by replacing hoses as required. No tools are needed to change the roller brush. An extensive range of accessories includes a choice between a canopy, a partially enclosed or a full cab, with heating or air-conditioning if required.”
The KM/130/300 R has a sweeping width of 1300mm with one side brush and up to 1550mm with two. While the corresponding figures for the KM 150/500 R are 1500mm and 1800mm. The KM 150/500 R comes with an optional third side brush that is attached on the right-hand side to an arm that swivels in all directions for sweeping in lateral spaces and on top of steps and ledges.
An optional water spraying system prevents dust from swirling up around the side brushes. Fine-dust covers can be fitted if no moisture is required. The KM 130/300 R is equipped with a 3-wheel chassis, while the 150/500 R comes with either a 3-wheel or a 4-wheel chassis for uneven terrain.
The machines have a small turning circle of just 3.90 or 4.50 metres respectively, enabling them to turn in a tight space. Both machines have two horizontally fitted flat filters with a total filter area of 5.5 m² or 7 m². The dirt container, holding 300 l or 500 l, has a stainless steel flap that shuts automatically for transportation. It can be lifted hydraulically to a maximum height of 1.40 m or 1.52 m to save time while emptying dirt into a standard refuse container.
Mueller says the most important feature of an FM vehicle is its impact on the role and enhancement in service delivery.
“The launch of new larger capacity sweepers allow one person to cover more surface area in a shorter time.
“The time savings and energy savings, which contribute to CSR objectives are the biggest
benefits vehicles such as these have to FMs,” she concludes.
Top tips for maintaining battery life
• Recharge immediately after each use
• Use battery charger matched to the battery’s size
• Do not overcharge; an automatic charger that turns off or on with a timer is your best bet
• Always slow charge a deep cycle battery; never fast charge or boost charge it
• A 10-12 hour charge with the appropriate charger at the correct amp rate will usually bring your battery to a full state of charge from a deep discharge
• Regularly clean the battery container and terminals
• Make sure vent caps are tight to prevent water or baking soda from entering cells
• Apply baking soda to any corrosion and rinse cover with water
• Impurities or additives in the water will reduce the life and performance of the battery. Manufacturers usually recommend use of demineralised or distilled water, since even potable tap water can contain high levels of minerals.