CCTV/Drainage Vehicle Buyers Guide ... pg4

The basics to consider

These are some of the basics to look out for when buying or specifying a vehicle:-

1. Vehicle Selection

Pay careful attention to gross vehicle weight and payload weight limits as specified by the vehicle manufacturer.

Example
Long wheel base Mercedes 311 Sprinter – Payload 1300 Kg. Medium wheel base Mercedes 311 Sprinter – Payload 1500Kg.

The bigger the van, the lower the payload.

Select Hi-roof, if you need to stand inside the vehicle. You cannot stand up in standard roof vehicles.

2. Overloading The Vehicle

Always check the weight of the vehicle over a weighbridge. Use a local authority weighbridge with computer print out tickets. This will satisfy the police if you are stopped for a weight check.

Weigh the vehicle before you start adding cones, road signs, loose tools etc. Then weigh after all these items are added. If the payload is close to the limit keep control of additional items that accumulate.

3. Inadequate Electrical Safety

Inadequate wiring. 230-volt mains power in a vehicle can be dangerous, use only flexible multi strand cables and not standard flat twin and earth domestic cable, which is not flexible.

Remember – a vehicle does not have an earth, an RCD and neutral earth wiring is essential, as any fault without this protection would make the whole vehicle ‘live’.

Ensure that all electrical work complies with and passes Wiring Regulations Seventeenth Edition and BS7671:2008

4. Poor Storage & Racking

A quick glance will show any obvious spaces where tools or equipment should be stored. Leaving tools and equipment on site can be expensive both in terms of replacement or wasted man-hours.

A place for everything and everything in its place!

5. Fire Risk From Petrol Cans

Higher risk from loose petrol tanks - Carrying fuel in quantity carries a risk, therefore where this can be minimised under DSEAR Regulations, then the risk is reduced. It therefore makes sense to use an on-board generator with integral fuel tank which gives a full days operation.

An inverter system removes the need for petrol and is totally silent in operation which is ideal for night work or work in sensitive areas such as Hospitals.

6. Health & Safety Regulations Compliance

Full compliance with Health and Safety Regulations. The vehicle should be fitted with hot water hand wash facilities, comply with Highway Safety Regulations and minimise lifting requirements for individual operators.

7. Incorrect Use Of Materials

All surfaces in dirty area to be wipe clean. Plywood finish is not considered wipe clean as accumulation of noxious substances can be a risk to health and restrict efficient operation of the vehicle.

8. Poor Insulation

Un-insulated vans allow accumulation of condensation and videos, DVD recorders, PC’s left over night, become damp and may have to be dried out before work can commence. This can lose an hour or so of the working day and reduce the life of the equipment.

9. Portable Generators

Onboard generator vs. portable. It has been shown that a 10% productivity improvement is obtained by using an onboard generator instead of loading and unloading a portable unit and plugging it into the vehicle. It is wholly inadvisable to keep an air-cooled generator running for extended periods in the vehicle without forced ventilation.

Make sure the generator selected will control voltage output via an automatic voltage regulator. Cheap generators with capacitor excitation are not suitable for CCTV, PC and video equipment

10. Poor Design

Ensure the design of the vehicle allows for servicing of items like the generator. Make sure that critical pieces of equipment like PC’s and power supplies can be easily swapped out to reduce downtime. It should take minutes to exchange a PC (rack mounted) not hours!

Avoid at all costs bulkheads built around equipment. All key pieces of equipment should be rack mounted for safety and longevity of life.

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