On Thursday, September 5,  2019, GeesinkNorba Nordic hosted the Sopbilscupen Waste Collection Vehicle Safety Day at its facility in Kalmar-Sweden. Twenty-two waste collection truck drivers from across Sweden participated in the event. GeesinkNorba Nordic advertises the event to all of Sweden’s public and private sector waste management operators whose drivers voluntarily apply to be entered into the competition.

One vehicle used for the event was a Volvo FE 6×2 rear steer 26-ton chassis powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) complete with the Allison 3000 Series automatic transmission. Its chassis was fitted with a 20m3 Norba MF300 split fraction compaction unit with Norba’s L200 bin lift and had been built as a joint Volvo Trucks Sweden and GeesinkNorba Nordic demonstration unit.

The second vehicle used was a Volvo FE Sleeper cabbed 4×2 18 tonne chassis also complete with the Allison 3000 Series automatic transmission. Its chassis was fitted with a 15m3 Norba N2 series unit complete with Norba’s L200 bin lift. The vehicle was being supplied to Clean Mat Trucks Nordic AB to add to its national waste collection vehicle hire fleet for use by both public and private waste management operators across Sweden.

The drivers were split into two groups for the competition. The first group was judged on their driving and operational safety skills in driving through an assault course of cones with tennis balls on top of them. They had numerous 190-liter two-wheeled and 660-liter four-wheeled containers – all provided by Sulo Nordic – to empty along the assault course. Points were added for the overall time that each driver took to complete the assault course and points were added to the overall score if cones were knocked over or tennis balls were knocked off. In addition, if the 190 and 660-liter containers were not returned to their positions, points would also be added to the overall score.

The second assault course was also laid out using cones with tennis balls on top. The drivers had to show their forward and reversing skills in this exercise, which included emptying a 660-liter container and then reversing up to a steel bull-bar to show the safe lifting of the tailgate, packer clearance cycle and the safe ejection of the load. Points were added if cones and tennis balls were knocked over and if the 660-liter container was replaced incorrectly. Finally, points were also added if the safe discharge and ejection of the vehicle’s load was not demonstrated.

There was a short break with refreshments after each group had completed one of the exercises. The groups then swapped around so that they could participate in both exercises. At midday, lunch was provided together with the complete Norba team before the afternoon’s events commenced. This consisted of a barbecue with beef burgers and soft drinks.

The afternoon’s assault courses were harder than those in the morning’s event. The first consisted of the same assault course with cones and tennis balls. Each driver had to drive a waste collection vehicle carrying a bucket of water on the rave rail hopper flap. Points were added to each driver’s score when they spilled any water and if they knocked over any cones or tennis balls.

The second assault course of the afternoon was known as, ‘knowing all four points of your vehicle’. This exercise involved drivers having to drive forwards to a pole on the vehicle’s offside and then repeat this exercise driving forwards to a pole on the vehicle’s nearside. Next, the exercise involved reversing through a series of cones with tennis balls on top to a marker pole at the rear of the vehicle’s tailgate on the near side. The exercise was repeated by reversing up to a pole on the vehicle’s offside. Points were added if any cones, tennis balls and marker poles were knocked over during the forward and reverse driving exercises.

There was a short break after both teams had completed one of the exercises with cake and light refreshments provided. The teams swapped over so that they could complete both of the afternoon’s exercises. I also had the chance to drive the waste collection vehicle on the ‘knowing all four points of your vehicle’ exercise. This gave me a good understanding of the intensity of the course and what the drivers had to face.

A written exam was completed by all drivers, answering questions on the safe operation and handling of a waste collection vehicle, with focus on the CE regulations and why GeesinkNorba have taking the lead within CE for waste collection vehicles. This completed the day’s event at Norba Kalmar. A dinner and presentation for the winners of the Sopbilscupen Swedish Waste Collection Vehicle Safety Day for 2019 was held in the evening in a restaurant in Kalmar.

The individual winners were: in first place – receiving the trophy and a Sopbilscup baseball cap was Besfort Fetahu from Kristianstads Renhållning. In second place, also with a nice Sopbilscup baseball cap, came Timmy Klint from Kristinehamns Kommun, and in third place was  Morgan Vikström Teknik i Väst AB (Arvika). All three also received medals and diplomas.

The team race was also very tight and here the winning team as Kristianstads Renhållning with Besfort Fetahu and his teammate Anders Olsen. A great day was had by all and it was good to see the friendly and family atmosphere at the event. It was also interesting to see so many women drivers participating in the event.

In conclusion, GeesinkNorba Nordic hosted a successful Sopbulscupen 2019 Waste Collection Vehicle Safety Event. Next year will mark the event’s tenth birthday which is testament to its sustainability. There is good support from the public and private waste management companies across Sweden who see the added value in sending their drivers to this event.

For more information, contact Timothy Byrne B.Sc., (Wastes Management), MCIWM, ISWA IWM, at 0044 1384 211001 or 0044 7545 616110 or via e-mail at garbage32@hotmail.co.uk.