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The Growth of the Single-Resolution Drainage Vehicle

100 Rio Coms twitter

The RioCom, Rioned’s 7.5t jetvac combination tanker, was launched in 2019 and in three years has become a common sight on British roads, with more than 100 units now operating nationwide. The compact and versatile combi unit is at the spearhead of operational changes across the industry.

Congestion and traffic restrictions are a fact of life across the UK, with commercial operations more adversely affected than most. This, coupled with changes in emissions regulations, has forced drainage contractors to rethink working practices in an attempt to combat productivity issues caused by these restrictions.

‘Single-resolution’ has become a byword for this change, with contractors aiming to diagnose and resolve sewer and drainage issues in a single visit. To facilitate this, multi-purpose vehicles are increasingly seen as the best way to realise efficiencies.

Marl and karl

With this in mind, Rioned’s UK Sales Director Mark Cox began talking to customers about what additional features they wanted to see in a single-resolution combi vehicle.

“Rioned first introduced a 7.5t unit to the UK in 2009,” he explains. “While this model evolved and proved popular with customers such as United Utilities, there was an obvious gap in the market for a fully-featured, lower-cost combination unit.”

In 2017, Mark began working with the development team in the Netherlands: “I sketched out what I wanted, with feedback from UK customers at the heart of the new design.”

“New Stage V and LEZ regulations also prompted the shift away from using a separate engine to drive the pumps to a PTO drive,” Cox explains. “The benefits of this in terms of overall fuel economy and reduced weight are obvious, but it also enabled the use of more powerful pumps, meaning the RioCom has a suction performance similar to larger 13-tonne tankers.”

Built on a facelifted Mitsubishi Fuso Canter chassis, the RioCom utilises PTO (Power Take-off) from the vehicle’s Euro-6 turbo-charged, direct-injection engine to drive a Jurop PNR82 pump with a suction capacity of 1800gpm and a high-pressure jetting pump with standard pressure of 2200psi @22gpm.

KD Drainage

The first RioCom was delivered to Kent-based KD Drainage in 2019, with a fleet of four units transported to the Scottish Highlands in early 2020 for use by Scottish Water’s regional Sewer Response Team.

Tammy Jones, Team Leader for the Highland region, explains how the addition of the RioCom’s to their fleet has proved a success. “We cover a large geographical area and the units allow us to work more efficiently.”

“Whereas before we needed to rely on the availability of a 25t tanker to perform suction work, the unit can carry out both jetting and suction work with a single visit. It’s a really good bit of kit and enables the team to do more and provide better customer service.”

Scottish Water

Since its launch, Rioned has also developed a configuration of the RioCom specifically for the growing cable duct desilting sector. As the UK ramps up its programme to update the UK’s telecoms infrastructure, old cable ducts are being cleared and repurposed to house new fibre optic cabling.

The removal of hardened silt over long runs of this type of cable duct requires jetting with a higher PSI than standard and the use of a pulsator unit to help propel the nozzle quicker and further along the duct.

Mdl 01

Telecommunications contractor MDL Plant Ltd was the first company to take delivery of a modified RioCom. Director Paul Snow says that using the compact tanker means engineers can complete both jetting and suction tasks in a single visit:

“As tanker units handle more water, it means that rather than having to hire in tankers, we can use the powerful suction pump of the RioCom to clear out heavily silted manholes before jetting. The combination unit can do both jobs, making it more economical for the client.”

“On one occasion we cleared silt from a 350m line in a single run. We obviously had to keep adding hose to accomplish it, but the unit will handle 250m runs all day.”

Tw drainage 01

The RioCom really comes into its own when used as a single-resolution vehicle for work in congested inner-city streets and restricted access areas such as underground car parks. London-based TW Drainage was an early adopter of the compact combi, and Director Tommy Ward says that whilst new emission regulations in the capital played a part in the purchase decision, the additional features added to the vehicle were a key selling point.

“The tanker works well for both external and internal jobs,” he explains. “The secure storage space on the unit means we can carry all the drain cleaning equipment the engineers need for carrying out work indoors. For instance, if we have a team working during the morning pumping a drain in West London, they can also carry out smaller, internal jobs nearby. On the strength of that, we haven’t had to buy an additional van-pack jetter.”

EDS 01

Mark Cox says the RioCom is constantly evolving as requirements change or come to light: “We recently developed an in-house lighting system that includes LED warning beacons, lightbars and directional work lights to be fitted as standard to each unit to help operators illuminate work areas and stay safe. The addition of a reverse camera should also help engineers avoid accidents when manoeuvering the unit in tight spaces.”

“It’s been hugely satisfying to be part of the success of the RioCom in the UK and across Europe. Rioned doesn’t offer a product range as broad as some competitors but what we do, we do very well. This includes fast turnaround times, some of the shortest lead times in the industry and, perhaps most importantly, listening to our customers.”

Rioned has several RioCom jet/vacs available for immediate delivery. Visit www.rioned.co.uk or contact Mark Cox on 07595 275870 to find out more.

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