Tottenham-based O’Donovan Waste Disposal is conducting a ‘how low can we go’ trial on tipper side-skirts.

MD Jacqueline O’Donovan said a side-skirt is normally fitted 550mm from ground level, however, the company is successfully operating an eight-wheel tipper with side-skirt ground clearance of only 375mm, working across a rutted landfill site.

A Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (Clocs) champion, the firm  has also invested around £5,000 per vehicle on its 85-strong fleet to fit additional safety equipment to help protect vulnerable road users, such as front-facing cameras, side sensors and alarms - displayed earlier this year at a Clocs progress event.

O’Donovan stressed it was vital to ensure drivers were fully trained in how to operate the equipment, and ensure they included it in their daily walk-around checks to flag up any concerns.

She added: “The Clocs scheme has helped set a clear objective to both the client and drivers that we operate safely. It has also lowered accident rates and lowered our insurance rates already, as well as created a safer workplace for our drivers and a safer London. It has enormously enhanced our reputation. Has given us increased business and improved our profitability.”

She added that it is now starting to level the playing field against operators not adhering to Clocs standards, as clients are increasingly specifying it on contracts.

O'Donovan Waste Disposal is also a Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (Fors) gold member and belongs to the scheme's newly formed governance board.

  • The trial was announced during the FTA's Managing Freight in London event earlier this week in London. A full conference report will appear in Motor Transport magazine 15 June.