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Depending on the size and structure of their networks, companies operating in the gas and water supply industry may have very different needs as regards the size and equipment features of their service and leak detection vehicles. Economic considerations are also an important factor when it comes to choosing a particular vehicle class. After all, any vehicle ties up a significant amount of capital in terms of purchase and maintenance costs for quite some time.
SEWERIN SERVICE GmbH has been working with its customers in the public utilities sector since the mid-1990s to develop tailor-made vehicle concepts. These customers can currently choose from three vehicle classes, which differ in terms of size and equipment features: City measuring vehicles, based on the VW Caddy or T5, medium-sized vans based on a VW Crafter, and the new 7.5 t class, which is built on a Mercedes Benz Sprinter chassis. Further customisation options are also available.
The "City" measuring vehicle was developed for efficient water loss analysis in an inner-city environment. Based on a VW T5, this fully-fledged measuring vehicle is big enough to hold all necessary measuring and charging equipment, includes an office area behind the swivelling driver's seat and has plenty of drawers for equipment.
The cable-free charging system is just one of its many ingenious features: To avoid the risk of broken cables, the drawers in this model contain contacts, so equipment can simply be placed inside the drawers to charge. Other ergonomic features include flush roof lights, a central electrical distribution board above the office area, easily accessible fuses and an auxiliary heater.
One example of the medium-sized measuring vehicle based on a VW Crafter is a measuring vehicle for water loss analysis which was recently delivered to RWW GmbH in Bottrop.
In this high-roofed vehicle with a long wheelbase, the walls and roof of the office area are fitted with extreme insulation. This retains the heat of the auxiliary heater, which is also built into the vehicle, in winter and protects against the heat in summer.
A lithium-ion system with a battery capacity of 100 Ah provides a secondary power supply. A battery management system ensures that the battery can also be charged with a charging current of up to 70 A by the vehicle’s own alternator. A combined inverter/charger specially tailored to this system provides a 230 volt power supply with up to 1300 watts. The charging area is equipped with the latest generation of instruments for flow measurement, which considerably reduces the size of the built-in parts and thus the overall weight. Easily accessible hose racks ensure that components can be fitted easily.
Four roof spotlights, two in the back and one on each side of the vehicle, ensure adequate lighting for working during the night. This vehicle also offers another big advantage: thanks to the special installation design, it can be registered as a self-propelled work machine and is therefore tax-exempt.
The Mercedes Benz Vario, with a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 7.49 t, was withdrawn from production at the start of 2014, leaving a noticeable gap in the large service vehicles sector. The new 7.5 t generation is based on the chassis of the Mercedes Sprinter 519 CDI, with a 190 hp diesel engine. The 4325 mm wheelbase has enabled the frame to be extended by 1000 mm, while adding a third axle has increased the gross vehicle weight rating from 5000 to 7490 kg. This model can be fitted with a box body as a fully kitted-out equipment carrier for service and measuring vehicles.
A complete overview of the vehicle concepts available from SEWERIN SERVICE GmbH has recently been published on a dedicated website at www.sewerin-fahrzeugausbau.de.