WHALE JETS AHEAD WITH SAFETY FEATURES

Posted by Tim Pile - July 22nd, 2010

Despite the rain, delegates attending this year’s Londonderry Show gave Whale Tankers’ recently upgraded GULLYWhale Plus Medium Volume Combination (MVC) tanker a resounding thumbs-up.

Equipped with an 1800-gallon capacity tank mounted on a DAF FA LF 55.220 4 x 2 day cab chassis, the GULLYWhale Plus MVC has a wide range of new health and safety and performance related features, developed as part of Whale’s ongoing research and development programme. With particular emphasis on high pressures involved when jetting, Whale has specifically concentrated on addressing a number of inherent health and safety issues surrounding what is one of the GULLYWhale’s primary areas of functionality.

The main and secondary reels, for example, now have their own dedicated pressure control switches, located near to each reel for convenient operation. These are now all electronic which, with the addition of a heavy-duty unloader valve, allows for much more responsive jetting control. An electronic interlock also prevents the second reel being operated, if not required. If both reels are needed for a particular application, this function can be overridden by an optional cab controller.

Additionally, when using a jetting nozzle, a ‘safe start’ mode ensures that the jetting pressure reverts to zero after each operation, and then increases as required, rather than starting at a high pressure, which can lead to accidents.

For hand-lance jetting, a ‘soft start’ facility allows for the jetting pressure to start at a more manageable 25 Bar, before automatically ramping up to the desired pressure and thereby significantly reducing the ‘kick’ in the lance that can sometimes occur when pressure increases. Furthermore, a convenient memory function allows the pressure to return to the desired setting after each jetting operation.

Given the importance of these features in relation to improving health and safety performance, Whale Tankers has now made them part of the GULLYWhale’s standard vehicle specification. Additionally, there are a number options that can be added to further improve the performance and useability of the vehicle’s jetting system.

These include ‘Pulse Jetting’ that enhances the jetting performance for certain applications by introducing a pulse into the flow, thereby allowing more stubborn obstructions to be broken down, whilst also allowing for longer hose runs to be used.

The settings of ‘Pulse Jetting’ time, or ramping time of ‘Soft Start’ are preset at Whale, but with the addition of the Cab Controller these and many other parameters can be varied by the operator, to suit the precise needs for each particular job.

Another new option related to jetting is a ‘hose meter’. Operating via sensors located outside the reel housing, tolerant to its working environment, a digital display provides the operator with two read outs; one showing how much hose remains on the reel at any given time, the other an incremental measurement of the length deployed down a drain. Mounted on the reel frame itself, the unit – suitable for retrofitting – is simple and foolproof to operate.

Commenting on the reception the MVC received at the show, Whale Tankers’ Regional Sales Director, Richard Booth said: “The MVC demonstrator that we exhibited at the Londonderry Show received a great deal of attention, with many of the visitors asking very detailed questions about the new jetting safety features.”

Being no newcomer to the UK exhibition circuit, Richard was also keen to heap praise on the show’s organisers. “The Londonderry Show, whilst often being overshadowed by larger rival exhibitions, is certainly worthy of receiving wider acclaim. Whilst we were pleasantly surprised not only by attendance levels, it was who attended this year that was key. Over the two-day period we got the chance to present the MVC’s key features, in particular those relating to the all-important area of health and safety, to a host of the regional operators.”

In addition to parading the GULLYWhale Plus MVC, Whale also had its parts team on hand to field enquiries, show a wide variety of accessories and jetting nozzles, and distribute their new DVD with videos of nozzles in action.

Other features now incorporated as standard on the GULLYWhale include an automatic interconnecting valve, hydrostatic water level sensor, replaceable nozzle inserts in the gully boom jets, and Whale’s recently introduced anti-vibration gully boom control unit – developed in-house as a means of reducing health and safety concerns surrounding hand-arm (HAV) vibration.

Storage has also received additional attention, Whale Tankers now giving the customers the option of incorporating additional space to accommodate solid signs, not to mention heated stainless steel lockers and a nearside, rear lockable dedicated nozzle storage compartment.

Completing the optional extras on offer is a fully hydraulic side shift and self-aligning reel with 100m x ¾” Whale jetting hose, which can be operated by a further optional radio remote control facility.

Commenting on these latest development improvements, Andy Ellis, Whale’s Chief Engineer concluded: “The additional features have significantly improved the operating efficiency of our tankers, but more importantly the design changes have placed an emphasis on safety whilst jetting. The result is a greatly improved standard specification across our range.”

22nd July 2010

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