The new Dennis Eagle eCollect electric refuse collection vehicle was the focal point of a presentation for the IRTE Ireland North centre at Transport Training Services in Crumlin.

Attended by more than 50 members and non-members, the technical lecture also featured fuel saving telemetry solutions provider CMS Supatrak.

From starting out from more modest beginnings as a manufacturer of cars and lawnmowers in 1902, Dennis Eagle is now an international exporter with a turnover of more than £250m. The speaker, Product Marketing Manager Andy Graves, told the audience of the many challenges the manufacturer faced when building the low-entry cabs.

For a vehicle that weighs 27 tonnes, the battery alone weighs 3.5 tonnes, so compatibility of components has proved to be a test for manufacturers, as has the cost. Although the batteries have a seven to ten-year life cycle, there is a growing demand for investment in charging infrastructure.

Full production of the eCollect electric refuse collection vehicle is expected to begin in six to nine months, Andy told the audience.

Stephen Strange from connected fleet specialists CMS Supatrak then gave an overview of the organisation’s integrated software and products, its promotion of safe driver behaviour and emission reductions.

The partnership with Dennis Eagle on OEM fitment allowed for additions such as tyre monitoring and weight control as well as vehicle faults and battery condition, Stephen said.

Chairman Basil Barnes concluded the meeting with a special thanks to Alan Haire from Manvick for the dedicated work put into the event and sponsorship of the evening meal. He also thanked Jeff Shaw and Michael Hutchinson for their contribution.