Geesinknorba has been working with UK software specialists CMS Supatrak to try and steal an edge in the competitive RCV market. And with the launch of the Geesinknorba Eurovim Plus telematics and vehicle control system at the RWM Show this year, UK Business Director Bob Billington believes it has developed a market-leading system that offers new and significant savings for operators.

In this era of slim margins and pressure on costs it is hardly surprising that vehicle manufacturers are investing heavily in technology to improve efficiency and save operators money. The manufacturers of refuse collection vehicles face more complex challenges than most but this also presents opportunities to make a bigger impact. With this in mind, 'The Geesinknorba developed the Eurovim Plus system. 'It not only offers more than other systems in the sector but it also takes a more joined-up approach than ever before. It fully integrates other monitoring systems, such as bin lift and chassis systems, to take total control of what is going on and make it work most efficiently.' said UK Business Director Bob Billington.

'In a nutshell, it gathers information from all over the vehicle and sends it 'live' to where it is needed ' to the driver, the depot and to other parts of the vehicle. Fed with very relevant information, the vehicle itself is able to optimise efficiency of certain operations while the driver manages others during the course of the collection round.

'However, it is at the depot that the data can be put to most use. Here, the systems and operators are able to take a much broader view and analyse the information they have so that it can be put to many different uses. These include improving the performance of the driver, improving the efficiency of the vehicle and improving the efficiency of the collection round.

'And, with one eye on the future, it can record, transmit and analyse individual collection point data ' from both households and commercial premises-up to the point where a customer or 'household bill is produced.

'In addition to all this, the new system also manages the routine requirements of the vehicle, such as booking it in for services or oil changes, so providing a truly joined-up approach to the management of waste collection and recycling.'

How does the system work?

The system ties together several systems which traditionally had different roles. Geesinknorba Eurovim Plus' body telemetry allows the recording of every movement or 'event' in the body and lift as well as managing predictive servicing and maintenance.

The EcoTrak chassis telemetry system is focused on reducing costs by improving efficiency including managing driver behaviour. Payload and dynamic bin weighing systems and RFID systems are also integrated with EcoTrak.

A 360o video monitoring system provides both live and historic video footage for both health and safety purposes and also evidence, which can be hugely helpful in the legal scenarios that all RCV operators face.

The JobTrak system has also been developed to provide a special 'Waste Edition' to meet the needs of Geesinknorba's customers. The software records the progress of the vehicle and its work on collection rounds and transmits the fine detail in real time, including location, postcode, the number of bins expected compared with the actual number emptied, weights, distances and times.

The live data from these different components is sent to a back office system which works online with different browsers, including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Mozilla and Opera. It is also sent to Windows-based mobile operating systems. This enables two-way messaging between depot and crew.

The system works by tracking individual vehicles, which transmit data to the back office. It is updated with every event, such as a bin-lift or packing cycle, or every 60 seconds as default so back office teams are constantly updated.

Here, individual vehicles are listed on the restricted access website with a single click bringing up daily rounds data for each, accompanied by satellite maps and street views of its current location. Alternatively, data can be grouped into fleets or viewed for any specific area, such as a new street or a location where road works have been causing delays.

The route itself can be shown on a map or the round can be summarised and displayed with data collected on the round, such as times, locations, fuel used, distance travelled and mpg. To this is added other current data, such as the fuel price, to generate the cost of fuel used on the round. And with the input of further static data, including driver, loader and vehicle costs, the GeesinknorbaEurovim Plus is even able to work out an overall cost for the round or an average for each individual collection if needs be.

The round summary covers all key aspects of the vehicle's activity including how long it was in use for, driving time, idling time, power take-off time, parked time and extensive lifting information. This enables operators to find further efficiencies or identify anomalies before they amplify. It can even evaluate recycling participation in different areas.

The collection round data is also sent to the 'safer driving assistant' SDA II which can be accessed through a terminal in the cab so that the driver can monitor and manage efficiency. Audible alerts can be produced to warn of harsh braking or acceleration, speeding and excessive revving, throttling or idling.

There are further opportunities to improve efficiency by modifying driver behaviour through feedback and training. This is based on another component of Geesinknorba Eurovim Plus, the EcoTrak driver management solution.

Drivers are continuously updated on their performance and the data pertinent to them can be used to produce an energy efficient design index (EEDI). Acceptable levels of speed, acceleration, revving and idling can be set with upper and lower limits to provide a benchmark for performance assessment. From this drivers can be given targets, which can be displayed along with their actual performance in the cab.

In addition to the core elements of Eurovim Plus, there are options available to operators. One of the key factors in efficiency 'as well as cost savings and safety ' is tyre pressure. The new system can monitor tyres constantly and send data on each tyre every 60 seconds to ensure optimum fuel economy and maximum tyre life.

There are also important benefits to be gained by the use of live and extensive CCTV. The VT Live 360 hard drive recording system can be fully integrated with the health and safety alerts, reversing and bin lifting elements of Eurovim Plus. This can provide video evidence of both health and safety and 'grey-lifting' incidents. In doing so, it also protects against fraudulent insurance claims and provides excellent footage for training purposes.

The footage is 'date and time stamped' with a watermark and can be converted into a variety of popular formats. Live video feeds from any vehicle-mounted camera can be played through the Eurovim Plus system and any historic footage accessed and played too.

Bob Billington said: 'The key to all this is that the GeesinknorbaEurovim Plus is not only helping customers to improve the efficiency of their existing operations but also to understand how they can best develop them in future.

'The system is now available across the entire range of Geesinknorba vehicles. It's been tried and tested, it's intuitive to use and it's totally supported by the teams at Geesinknorba and at CMS Supatrak. That's what we consider a fully joined-up approach.'