SM UK, a Leeds-based £5m-turnover auto engineering firm, has won a £250,000 contract to install its high-tech HALO cyclist safety system across an entire fleet of 75 trucks for waste management business LSS Waste.
The north’s largest privately owned waste management company, LSS Waste, also based in Leeds, provides skip hire and waste services predominantly in Yorkshire and now UK wide. The firm recycles 95 per cent of the waste it recovers, generating energy via an on-site biomass boiler, while the remainder is used for refuse derived fuel.
After winning an initial project to install the system across 25 of its vehicles in 2017, the new contract will see SM UK’s HALO package, which incorporates live recorded CCTV, rolled out across the whole 75-strong LSS Waste fleet.
The firm’s HGVs travel mainly on urban routes where there is a higher risk of potentially serious accidents between trucks and cyclists at road junctions. SM UK’s HALO system is designed to correct the blindspot that can cause collisions between cyclists and HGVs, particularly when a large vehicle makes a left turn. The equipment is also an effective measure against false insurance claims.
“We put the safety and wellbeing of our drivers at the forefront of everything we do at LSS and it was a very straightforward decision to install SM UK’s high-tech new system across the entire fleet,” said Nigel Woolford, managing director of LSS Waste.
“It’s a stressful and difficult job being an HGV driver so anything we can do to remove that stress, and of course to help make the roads safer, is beneficial. The feedback we have had from the team as we have rolled HALO out across the fleet has been brilliant.
“They have all said that they feel more secure on the roads because they can see everything that’s going on around them, with no blindspots. Since we installed the system we have had no insurance claims against our vehicles and no accidents, and if there are any incidents in future we know we can rely on the recorded CCTV footage from HALO.”
SM UK’s HALO system includes sensors fitted to the near side of the truck, activated when a cyclist or vehicle enters its detection zone. Audio and visual warnings are also triggered when the vehicle signals to turn left, and an in-cab monitor provides the driver with 360 degree vision.
SM UK managing director Steve MacDonald, who started the business from his garden shed in 2000, said: “We have been developing the HALO system for two years now and, as more and more firms like LSS see the benefits of equipping their fleets with the technology, the roads are gradually becoming safer for cyclists, as well as delivering increased peace of mind for HGV drivers.”
SM UK employs 55 people across its Leeds headquarters and nationwide fleet of mobile engineers. Its HALO cyclist awareness system was shortlisted for the 2018 Brake Fleet Safety Awards.