Dennis Eagle Elite 2 refuse vehicle review

By: Greg Bush


The Dennis Eagle Elite 2 joins the stable at Western Star Trucks, which has its sights firmly set on the refuse collection industry. Greg Bush reports from Brisbane.

Dennis Eagle Elite 2 refuse vehicle review
The Dennis Eagle Elite 2 is a superb refuse dump truck. It also suits CNG fuel deliveries or any occupation where the driver is moving in and out of the vehicle multiple times during the day.

 

The decision by Western Star Trucks Australia to import the Dennis Eagle Elite 2 is certain to have repercussions for this country's refuse industry. In particular, its eyes are trained firmly on Iveco's ACCO.

Dennis Eagle, whose origins date back to 1895 in England, is the top-selling refuse collection vehicle in the UK. With Western Star Trucks Australia's parent company Transpacific heavily involved in recycling and waste management both here and in New Zealand, it already has a willing customer base.

Transpacific acquired Cleanaway in 2007 and the majority of first batch of 30 Dennis Eagle Elite 2 units will take their place in the Transpacific Cleanaway fleet.

However, Mark Gobessi, General Manager of Dennis Eagle Commercial Vehicles Australia, says the company will aggressively pursue all opportunities, and believes the Elite 2 will have a much broader appeal to the refuse market in general.

"A number of vehicles throughout the country will be available to demo to councils and other fleet operators," Gobessi says.

"I think the product lends itself to more than just refuse."

Gobessi says the Dennis Eagle Elite 2 could suit CNG fuel deliveries, or any occupation where the driver is moving in and out of the vehicle multiple times during the day. Consequently, its major selling point is its low floor cab as standard with one-step entry.

"That's really its defining characteristic and it's really what makes the product special," he says.

"It has a true stand-up height walk through cab; you can easily move from the left side of the vehicle to the right side of the vehicle without having to exit the vehicle."

The Elite 2 has been built with Cromweld stainless steel construction and is fully compliant with ECE (Economic Commission for Europe) R29 structural standards, with Isri seats, power windows, electrically-adjustable heated rear view mirrors, kerb view mirror as well as a line-view centre mirror.

It also comes with air-conditioning as standard, an AM/FM stereo with four speakers and integral roof beacons. The Elite 2 is powered by the Cummins ISL Euro 5 engine coupled to an Allison 3000 Series transmission. Other features include Dana axles, Knorr-Bremse disc brakes with ABS traction control, a European design severe service Hendrickson HA air bag suspension system, a 24-volt electrical system, and 70-amp alternator.

Currently the Elite 2 is available in Australia in five configurations - 4x2 right-hand steer or dual control, 6x4 right-hand steer or dual control, and 8x4 right-hand steer.

"You can also get a proprietary Dennis Eagle air suspension on the front as an option to truly give the vehicle outstanding ride characteristics," Gobessi states.

He says the Elite 2 is also safer, with best-in-class visibility and best-in-class ergonomics.

"It's greener, with the ISL Euro 5 engine with advanced SCR technology delivering more power and torque than previous generations, but with better fuel economy and reduced emissions; and we believe it has many characteristics that deliver a more productive product."

Gobessi says that apart from the cab, one of the unique characteristics about the Dennis Eagle is that it has a side-by-side charge air cooler radiator. It's designed to eliminate one of the typical difficulties in severe service applications where clogging can occur between a charge air cooler and the radiator. Gobessi says the design has come about because of Dennis Eagle's focus on the refuse industry.

"They understand the needs of that industry extremely well and, for the most part of the business they do in the UK, they end up doing maintenance work as well on those vehicles.

"They fully understand the cost benefits associated with putting more contact into the product versus spending more on maintenance. And this is one of the things they've done to improve productivity of the product."

Gobessi says Transpacific chose the Dennis Eagle product for those reasons, as well as being able to work together with the UK company without the problem of a language barrier.

Dennis Eagle customers in Australia will be able to purchase bodies through another Transpacific company, Superior Pak.

 

Specifications

Make/Model: Dennis Eagle Elite 2

Configuration: 4x2, 6x4 (both RHS or Dual Control) and 8x4

Engine: Cummins ISL Euro V

Power: 280hp standard, 320hp rating standard on 8x4

Transmission: Allison 3000 series

Axles/Brakes: Dana axles and Knorr-Bremse disc brakes with ABS and traction control

Suspension: Hendrickson HA rear air suspension; DE front air suspension available as an option

 

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook