New Iveco impact protection vehicle ‘Stubby’ the ticket for Priority TM

Traffic management specialist Priority TM’s latest impact protection vehicle has earned the nickname ‘Stubby’ – as it is more than two metres shorter than conventional vehicles.

The 18-tonne Iveco Eurocargo has a body just 4.5 metres long – 2.2 metres shorter than a conventional impact protection vehicle, meaning it is more agile and manoeuvrable than longer vehicles.

Built by Wednesbury-based Bevan Group, and fitted with a crash cushion and high-visibility light arrow board by Highway Care, the new truck is purpose-designed for operation in and around the City of London.

The chassis is powered by a 250hp six-cylinder Euro VI engine, which is compliant with London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone regulations. Bevan Group fitted beacon bars and 4G recordable and downloadable safety cameras, including two to assist the driver when reversing – one is activated when the crash cushion is raised, the other when deployed.

In addition, the truck’s body incorporates wells from which Priority TM’s operatives can drop traffic cones safely and rapidly when implementing a closure. Bevan Group also added some two tonnes of steel ballast beneath the bed, to ensure the truck achieved the minimum 10-tonne gross weight required for an impact protection vehicle.

Meanwhile, Highway Care’s heavy-duty Safe Stop 90 crash cushion absorbs rear-end impacts at speeds of up to 68 mph, and can be deployed at a travelling speed of up to 55 mph. Potentially reusable, it boasts a galvanised external safety frame that offers protection against the low-speed ‘nuisance’ impacts – incurred, for example, when a vehicle is manoeuvring in a yard – which are a common cause of damage to crash cushions.

Chelmsford-based Priority TM provides a range of traffic management services, from basic temporary traffic light systems, minor road closures and diversions, to multi-head, multi-phased temporary traffic light systems and major lane closures.

The new truck operates primarily from its depot in Greenwich. Early assignments have entailed night-time closures to traffic so routine maintenance can be carried out on Tower Bridge.

Priority TM invested in the new truck because for certain assignments it previously used two vehicles to undertake the same work – one, usually a 7.2-tonner, but sometimes a van-based 3.5-tonner, carried the cones, while a ballasted truck with crash cushion travelled behind to ensure the safety of the operator’s crew.

Priority TM’s managing director, Duncan Crome, explains: “Dual working remains the best practice in some circumstances. But its flexibility means the new vehicle can be used to undertake other jobs on a solo basis, without the need for a second. So of course, it has the potential to save us money.”

Crome added that the truck’s main role is as back-up for utilities work. “We don’t need a full-sized wagon that’s 10 metres long and capable of carrying upwards of 200 cones. So it made sense to restrict its length, because if you try and drive a truck like that through central London you’re going to run into difficulties pretty quickly.

“At eight metres, the truck is still long enough to give us a decent-sized bed and cone wells from which to work. But it also makes it a lot easier to negotiate the traffic and narrow lanes within which we have to work.”

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Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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