Collaborative challenge leads to greener truck 

Innovation has always been central in our approach to delivering the City of Port Phillip civil infrastructure maintenance services.  

Working in partnership with Council under the stewardship of Nick Canton, Southern Region Specialty Products Manager, Fulton Hogan recently applied RoadBotics A.I. technology and machine learning to complete a pavement condition assessment of the network, assisting City of Port Phillip to prioritise their available road funding. 

The latest addition to this list of innovations is the introduction of a new electric road sign and maintenance vehicle that produces no emissions, aligned with both City of Port Phillip’s and Fulton Hogan’s commitment to reducing their collective carbon footprint in the delivery of maintenance services. 

After challenging SEA Electric to develop a truck powered by electricity, and capable of generating its own sustainable electricity to power ancillary tools, our Infrastructure Services team in Melbourne have taken delivery of this four-wheeled innovation. Working with ORIX Australia, discussions with SEA Electric began in mid-2017. The primary considerations were battery life, travel range and the ability to power all tools without the need for a fossil fuel-powered generator. 

It was the first time SEA had been asked to develop an electric truck with an inverter to power electric tools. “The SEA Electric team had some fun bringing this idea to reality,” says Glen Walker SEA Electric’s Regional Director of Oceania. “We joked we have just built the world’s most versatile zero emissions power board.” Battery recharging is via a 3-phase plug, and fast charging is available using the installed type 2 plug, and the battery life is estimated to be between seven and 10 years. 

The body was designed in consultation with the truck operators for ideal placement of tool boxes and to incorporate an electric lift tailgate to reduce manual handling.This whisper quiet green machine replaces an ageing diesel truck that had a petrol generator that had been averaging 90km per day installing street signage and public bin surrounds.  

When the City of Port Phillip and Fulton Hogan teams were brainstorming more environmentally sustainable practices back in 2016, the benefits of zero carbon emissions and less noise pollution in the local community were very appealing. 

“This sustainable initiative has been a long time coming, but well worth the wait,” says Nick Canton. “It is truly awesome to see this eventuate, a great example of how committed and passionate we are about the environment and helping ensure we leave it in the best possible condition for future generations.  

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