The UAE has recently taken some major steps in its progress towards its net zero target of 2050, not least pledging $163 billion to invest in renewable energy. Be under no illusions, this is a serious undertaking on a national scale driven in part by its desire to meet its commitments within the international community but also diversify its economy.
At the forefront of this drive are the many waste management firms that serve its cities and communities. Changes to how the country deals are already having a bearing on their businesses. Dubai, for instance, increased the cost of disposing waste into landfill ten-fold from 10 AED to 100 AED per tonne of non-recyclable waste. Intended to deter needless waste in the Emirate, it immediately asks waste management firms to bear the cost. With those costs expected to filter through the sector, fleets must look for ways to balance being green with being profitable.
Enter, Renault Trucks Middle East and bodybuilder Gorica. Both promising reliability and robustness, the two companies recently and confidently took to the EcoWaste exhibition in Abu Dhabi to showcase the new generation Renault Trucks C380 P6x4 E5 Evolution Garbage Compactor 25 CBM.
As Grégoire Blaise explains to T&MFE, the C-range is one part of Renault Trucks’ new generation, the TCK Evolution, which has been designed to offer more efficient transport now while also bridging the gap to the greener fleets of the very near-future. He says that the launch in July, 2021 was the biggest digital launch yet with the impact felt by Renault globally.
“We recorded a strong attendance and interest from our partners and customers all over the world,” he says. “In the greater Middle East, we have also done a virtual launch within our network and our local partners are now having local live events in their respective countries. The new range has been very well received by our customers and partners, and comes with 3 years standard warranty, better fuel saving, and more comfort for the driver,” he says, emphasising that: “The C range is the perfect solution for different waste management applications.”
The showcase at the EcoWaste event was an opportune moment to demonstrate the changes specific to the waste management sector. He believes that the French manufacturer now has a compelling offering for a huge variety of roles for fleets in the region.
“We supply D, C and K ranges for different waste management applications. The D Range 18t is the perfect vehicle for 16cm garbage compactor or for a single skip loader. The C Range 34T is the perfect vehicle to be fitted with 23-25cm3 garbage compactor, but also for double skip loader. While, our K range is more adapted for heavy haulage and mining, we also supply the K6x4 tractor head with 68m3 trailer for waste transport. Our K Range can also be supplied for 23-25cm3 garbage compactor if the vehicle is mainly operating off-road on tough road condition.”
Renault Trucks is well-established as one of Europe’s leading suppliers of truck solutions for the waste management sector and has been forging a formidable presence in the region, explains Blaise.
“Although we are not limiting ourselves to this segment only, we have a very strong image in the waste management sector with a lot of customers trusting us in UAE and the region,” he says.
Maintaining that trust is no easy task in a highly competitive segment but Blaise feels that Renault Trucks uniquely understands the demands place on fleets here:“Many companies have ambitious sustainability plans in the region with the challenge faced by many players in the waste management being able to target greater sustainability and prove they are taking it seriously to their customers,” he remarks.
“Renault Trucks provides them with excellent products and transport solutions. Sustainability must first mean that we provide long running products. Many contracts are going for six to seven years in duration; therefore, our products must be robust and durable. On top of that, our product range offers the best total cost of ownership on a 5-year basis, and the gap with a cheaper-to-buy product increase further on a longer term.
Asked to elaborate how far the lifespan of its vehicles used in the sector can go, he adds: “The usual practice in the sector is to use the vehicles for up to 7 years. Our vehicles can last almost 15 years if they are well maintained which is the ultimate proof of our commitment for a sustainable consumption.”
Over such an extended lifespan it has proven vital that Renault Trucks and its local distributors work closely with local authorities and waste management services companies to optimise the use of the vehicles.
“Our importers are working very close to the municipalities and the different waste management companies providing them transport solutions, advice and full support when it comes to aftermarket solutions and driver training to secure safe usage of our trucks in the city,” he says.
It also must work closely with its partners and in Gorica Group the company can rely on a partnership stretching back over two decades.
“Gorica Group and Renault Trucks, have a 20-plus years, long-lasting strategic cooperation and partnership both on a corporate and local level in markets throughout the Middle East and Africa,” notes Domen Bockor, general manager – Sales and Marketing, GORICA Group.
As well as combining their operations to work with fleets to understand individual firm’s requirements and specifications, Gorica and Renault also frequently collaborate on strategic projects for institutional clients. Bocker says their relationship ensures that every detail is taken into account whatever the requirement of the customer.
“Such a partnership is relevant right from the start,” he says. “We commonly specify the chassis specification requirements that are suitable for every particular body, to offer the end-user the right combination in terms of application, load distribution and safety.”
The partnership also extends to the business development and sales effort on different projects across the Middle East and Africa and Bocker says the two companies are natural combination when working in tandem with one another.
“One of the key advantages we emphasise as a body builder is definitely the ease of mounting the superstructures, high chassis front ground clearance, excellent chassis adaptation for waste management type bodies and overall reliability as such trucks work long hours on various shifts,” he says adding that feedback from clients using Renault chassis for waste management applications always “emphasise superior uptime and very low total cost of ownership.”
The EcoWaste event gave it an opportunity to presented solutions from Italy’s preeminent refuse and recycling collection vehicle specialist Farid Zoeller Group – including the GORICA-FARID ALL in 1 garbage compactor mounted on a specially designed Renault Trucks 6×4 chassis – as well as waste management handling equipment from loading and handling experts Palfinger.
Having the Renault Trucks C380 Evo compactor on display at the EcoWaste event was also an opportunity to test that feedback beyond normal sales calls and workshop visits in the field.
“The EcoWaste exhibition of waste management equipment is a very focused and niche type of trade show where we had visitors from major waste management companies in waste collection, government officials from waste management sector and professionals, specialists from the sector,” says Bocker.
“The complete application was extremely well received as properly designed giving the necessary features to end user both from technical and commercial standpoint. Giving them that required aged focus on end user profitability with our equipment.”
Trends in the market
As waste management takes on the burden of creating cleaner cities and communities, it is also becoming more sophisticated. Even in the tightly choreographed and strictly routed sector, there are efficiencies to be made if fleets choose the right technology.
“The trend is going definitely towards more connected trucks, where you can follow the truck performance live and plan the maintenance in advance to increase uptime,” says Blaise. “We also see increasing demand for quality in the used trucks segment, and this is where Renault Trucks has developed a unique offer not only by offering a long standard warranty but also service contracts and remanufactured trucks.”
Many of the net zero targets touted by governments globally take into account the steady deployment of electric vehicles into the ranks of fleets. Renault Trucks is developing its own range of vehicles to adapt to the wide variety of urban distribution activities and meet the needs of its customers who have opted for electric vehicles. A 19-ton D Wide Z.E. has been added to the 16- and 26-ton Renault Trucks D Z.E. and D Wide Z.E. models, which have been in production since 2020. The manufacturer is also offering a wider range of wheelbases and special connectivity for garbage compactors and refrigerated bodies.
Renault Trucks is also enhancing its all-electric range in order to meet the wide variety of urban distribution requirements and has already started series production of a 19-ton Renault Trucks D Wide Z.E. at its Blainville-sur-Orne plant (Calvados), where the 16-ton D Z.E. and the 26-ton D Wide Z.E. are manufactured. Equipped with a two-axle chassis for improved manoeuvrability, the 19-ton Renault Trucks D Wide Z.E. is the ideal vehicle for temperature-controlled distribution, with an optimised payload.
In addition, Renault Trucks has designed a new system to increase the energy efficiency of all-electric trucks equipped with a refrigerated body. Renault Trucks D and D Wide Z.E. 16, 19 and 26 ton trucks are now available with a fridge-connection option, which supplies the energy required for the refrigeration system directly from the vehicle’s 600 V traction batteries. The company has also extended the range of wheelbases available for its D and D Wide Z.E. from 3900 mm to 6800 mm, enabling it to cover more applications and related needs, notably by optimising load distribution.
Blaise concludes that there is an appetite for cleaner trucks with cutting edge drivelines, including electric trucks in the region: “Demand is increasing and while we may miss infrastructure for some applications, we believe that waste management is a sector where electric vehicles make sense here. We are fully engaged and supported by our factory to get the first full electric vehicle in the GCC this year. We want to start conducting tests with a demo-vehicle as soon as possible in this very tough and specific climate.”