Heil Environmental, Chattanooga, Tennessee, has announced the release of the Heil Autonomous Lift Option (H.A.L.O.) for its refuse trucks. According to the company, H.A.L.O. is a technological advancement that assists drivers by leveling, dumping and replacing front load containers with the push of a button. Heil says that this feature allows drivers to focus on operating their vehicle and focus on maintaining a safe work environment. In addition, the H.A.L.O. joystick also incorporates standard front load body packing functions, so that operators don’t have to take their eyes off the road.
In the current job market, finding and retaining capable equipment operators has proven to be a challenging task for waste companies. While commercial front load vehicles are the mainstay of waste hauling companies, the operator shortage is compounded by the complexity and learning curve of operating traditional front loaders.
“With H.A.L.O., we’ve incorporated smart machine learning into Heil’s … Odyssey hydraulic control-equipped half/pack commercial front loader, making it much easier for drivers, both new and seasoned, to operate more safely and more productively,” Pat Carroll, president of Environmental Solutions Group, says. Heil is one of brands operating under the banner of the Environmental Solutions Group. “H.A.L.O. assists the driver by automatically emptying ANSI-compliant 2- through 8-yard containers and replacing them back into their original positions, all with the push of a single button. New drivers operating H.A.L.O.-equipped half/pack front loaders are productive on day one, as H.A.L.O. allows them to focus on driving the vehicle instead of concentrating on lifting, leveling, dumping and packing.”
“H.A.L.O. [virtually] eliminates the costly effects of cab shield damage or broken windshields associated with improperly dumping a can—a problem we see much more frequently with newer drivers,” Carroll continues. “Further, it reduces driver frustration and fatigue as they no longer have to focus on dumping the container while straining to watch for people, overhead wires or other obstacles. With H.A.L.O.’s one-button controls, the operator can focus on safely maneuvering these large vehicles without having to figure out complicated levers and buttons. The integration of the packer controls onto the joystick, which allows the driver to concentrate on their surroundings without having to look at the control panel for the correct button, has received very positive operator feedback. Importantly, H.A.L.O.-equipped Heil front loaders deliver a much lower total cost of collection (TCC) than front loaders without it.”
TCC is a performance metric that calculates the overall cost of the asset (i.e., vehicle cost, fuel, maintenance, tags, depreciation, labor etc.) divided by the number of customers serviced each day. Fleet owners are increasingly using TCC as a key metric in purchasing decisions.
“It’s really a numbers game,” Carroll concludes. “The less time it takes a driver per stop, and the more you can decrease equipment damage and other associated operating costs, the better the TCC. Given the high employee turnover that garbage companies face, customers equipping their fleets with H.A.L.O. can instantly improve their TCC and gain an immediate advantage over those running a competitor’s product, something we call the H.A.L.O. Effect."