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Lifting the bar

Scania has delivered the first front-lift waste example of the New Truck Generation to Grasshopper Environmental in Sydney.

A Sydney family-owned business that has been providing professional, tailored and responsive waste management and recycling services for more than 40 years, across building and demolition, and commercial and industrial, Grasshopper Environmental is on the move.

“Grasshopper Environmental’s commitment and operations in relation to environmental sustainability is second to none,” says Ryan Noble, the company’s Fleet and Asset Manager.

The business operates six Scania trucks at present; three older P 440 hooklifts, and two new NTG P 450 hooks, as 8x4 combinations. The older PGR trucks use Hyva hooklifts, but the newer ones are fitted with West-Trans hooks, as the business is keen to support Australian technology.

“We have just added a new P 450 Euro 6 front-lift to our fleet. This is the first front lift NTG, and we have already seen dramatic running cost improvements over the older non-Scania truck it replaced,” Ryan says.

“Partly this is because the new truck is running the Scania automated Opticruise transmission which is more frugal than the fully automatic unit we had in the previous truck. The Scania engine does not need to rev as high, and the low rev, high torque characteristics have already shown fuel savings. We’re covering around 350 km a day in these trucks, where the operating environment is arduous,” Ryan says. “Reliability and durability are critical factors.

“The front-lift truck weighs 17-tonnes empty and 27.5-tonnes fully loaded. The torque of the engine and the gearbox is proving to be a very good combination.

“Scania’s offer of a five-year service agreement is a big deal to us,” Ryan says. “It gives us cost predictability across the lifecycle of the vehicles. We like to replace them after five years when they still have life left in them and we are pleased they hold their value. Buyers (of our trucks) know they are getting a vehicle that has been properly maintained by service people who know what they are doing.”

Grasshopper Environmental likes to assign one driver per vehicle, except for the vehicles that work around the clock. The one-driver, one-truck concept prompts accountability for the vehicle’s welfare, as well as ensuring the drivers know the vehicle’s limitations.

“Both our older, more experienced drivers and our younger drivers have taken to the Scanias well,” Ryan says. “They’re reporting that the NTG vehicles are massively improved over the older ones, in terms of technology, looks, comfort, quietness and quality. The P 450 is certainly a big step-up. The drivers love the adaptive cruise control and are getting used to the lane departure warning. Ease of use is highly praised by our Scania drivers,” he says.

“Some of the drivers began their working lives with Road-Rangers, so they’re loving the Scania Opticruise automated gear-changing. And they all love the fridge.”

The vehicles are serviced by Scania Prestons, with whose staff the Grasshopper Environmental team has forged a positive relationship.

“We have a great relationship with the staff at Prestons, from the people on reception to the technicians. The team there knows how to look after our trucks and we can turn up at the end of the day with a truck which might have a problem, and they will know what to do and get it fixed and get us back on the road quickly. I have no complaints about the quality of service from the team at Prestons,” Ryan says.

“We get Prestons to manage the build-up of the truck for us, with the hooks or lifts, so that we get one bill when we take delivery.”

According to Michael Farrell, Account Manager for New Truck Sales at Scania Prestons, the Grasshopper Environmental fleet of Scanias is being well looked after and maintained in peak condition since the company adopted the Scania Repair and Maintenance contract concept.

“We’re keeping their vehicles running smoothly and in great condition through the contract and the operator knows exactly how much it costs to keep his vehicle on the road every month, throughout the life of the contract,” Michael says.

“The operator is very conscious of its environmental footprint, and so we have supplied Euro 6 compliant engines in all its latest vehicles.

“Grasshopper Environmental was also insistent on having all the latest safety features fitted to the new vehicles, including Scania’s advanced emergency braking, as well as reversing and side cameras feeding vision to the large screens in front of the drivers,” he says.

“For the front lift, this was the first we had done in Australia on the NTG, so we enlisted the help of Bucher in Melbourne who studied the truck and were able to come up with a suitable plan for installing their ‘FORCE’ lift chassis.

“Obviously, now that the hard work is done on the first Grasshopper Environmental vehicle, we’ll be able to apply the same solution to their further purchases down the track,” Michael says.

“We look forward to continuing the relationship with Grasshopper Environmental across all of its fleet needs, adding a solution to their Marrell (skip) bins’ needs in due course,” he says.

The Grasshopper Story

Grasshopper Environmental employs around 50 staff, and is committed to servicing Tier 1 construction, government, hospitality, retail, manufacturing, medical and industrial clients. It has been involved with the establishment of Sydney Light Rail, the Central Station upgrade, Sydenham Station, Hornsby Hospital, Western Sydney Airport Visitor Centre, Sydney Zoo and the Westconnex M4/M5 link among many others.

Resource recovery, ethical waste management and 100% environmental compliance underpins its commitment to environmental sustainability and drives business growth.

Focusing on environmental sustainability, the company’s aim is to ‘better contribute to a circular economy and a brighter waste-free future for Australia’. The company is Green Star and ISO 9001, 14001 & AS/NZS 4801 certified, true markers of quality for sustainability excellence and a proud member of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA).