One of the UK’s most environmentally-aware local authorities has replaced its bulky refuse trucks with nine dual-fuel Daihatsu Hijet tippers.
Oxford City Council will operate the microvans in Liquefied Petroleum Gas form, using its own two LPG depots for re-fuelling.
Supplied by The Firs Garage near Banbury, the Daihatsus join around 40 other LPG vehicles plus 17 electric cars and vans and are seen as ideal for accessing narrow Oxford streets, squeezing between parkland bollards and avoiding damaging the grass.
"We feel the Hijets will be well suited for street sweeping, recycling and rapid response litter removal and their 600 kg payload should be more than adequate for our needs," said Transport Services Manager, Paul Einon.
He added: "All the rubbish is bagged so they have special galvanised mesh cages fitted and best of all, we can operate two Hijets with a two man-crew instead of one 3½ tonne truck and a four-man crew so they will be far less intrusive."
Oxford City Council’s refuse team is on call from 6am until 8pm, working two shifts, seven days a week with only Christmas Day as an official holiday.
The 1.3 litre Daihatsu Hijet Tipper has a 1,410 mm wide cargo tray which is also 1,930 mm long. The electrically-powered hydraulic tipping mechanism is simple and quick to use via a fascia-mounted switch.
When the mechanism is in operation a warning signal sounds to alert the driver and others that it is operating. A cantilever arrangement, meanwhile, automatically releases the tailgate flap as the deck rises to allow any load to spill out freely. The tailgate automatically locks back in place when the deck is lowered again. The deck rises to a maximum of 45 degrees.
Equally, operation of the Hijet’s LPG facility is as simple as literally flicking a switch with seamless transfer from petrol to LPG and back at any speed.
The 30 litre LPG tank increases the Hijet’s potential overall range by around 75 per cent with no discernible drop in performance. In addition, LPG is only half the cost of petrol.
Priced at only £6,995 (excluding VAT, road tax and first registration charge), the Hijet Tipper can be ordered with the LPG conversion for a cost-effective £680 more when the Government’s Powershift rebate is taken into account.Published 7 February 2003