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Feature Article

Civic duty

For a company that specialises in keeping our city streets clean and embraces innovation, having some of the cleanest, most technically advanced trucks on the job is a perfect fit. Civic Contractors were so impressed with their first Canter Eco Hybrid, they added a second.

Founded in 1987, Civic Contractors has grown into one of the North Island’s leading metropolitan maintenance companies with services ranging from emptying bins and removing graffiti to public toilets and changing room cleaning.

Crews in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington – from a 270-strong staff base – work around the clock, 365 days a year, to keep the heart of these cities clean.

Around 12 months ago, as part of a fleet upgrade, owner-director Bjorn Revfeim opted for a new Canter Eco Hybrid. He saw it both as a neat fit with Civic’s values to “embrace innovation” and “look after the environment” and an opportunity to reduce fuel and maintenance costs.

“It compares very favourably against our other trucks,” says Bjorn. “We added a second hybrid in July; we’re happy with them both and so are our drivers. ”

The first 5,995kg GVM unit, fitted with a tipper to make unloading easier, operates in South Auckland collecting and disposing of illegally dumped rubbish.

Averaging around 100km a day hauling 2.5-tonne loads, it runs at an efficient 5.7L/100km.

The second unit, which has a larger 7,500kg GVM to accommodate a waste compactor on the back, is employed emptying public litter bins around the North Shore.

The vehicle is in constant use, averaging 160km a day with a 2-tonne load.

Driver Sonny Leasuasu has noticed he’s spending less time at the gas station and says it handles so well “it’s just like driving my family van”. 

“It’s great, whatever load is on board,” says Sonny. “It’s very comfortable.”

One notable aspect that sets the Eco Hybrid apart is its Idle Stop/Start mode, which cuts the engine at standstill to maximise fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, and automatically starts it up again when the accelerator is depressed.

“Moving off, it’s steady and smooth – you just go with the flow of the truck,” says Sonny. “I also like how quiet it is; it makes concentrating on driving easier – other vehicles, pedestrians and my own speed. I also think it makes it safer. For all of those reasons, in terms of road sense, I reckon it’s a good truck for young drivers.” 

Acceleration from standstill is handled by the Hybrid’s 40kW motor, which produces 220Nm instant torque for quiet and powerful performance with zero emissions. In normal driving, the motor further reduces fuel consumption by lightening the load on the 110kW / 370Nm diesel engine.

Sonny says the easy-to-use automated DUONIC transmission contributes to the overall smoothness and comfort of the ride.

It’s the kind of smart technology that fits the Civic blueprint.

At Civic, we work for the greater good of the public and the environment through the promotion of cleaner streets, a philosophy of waste minimisation, reuse and recycling and uncompromised service levels. Our Canter Eco Hybrids certainly fit within that vision,” says Bjorn.


Canter Eco Hybrid

GVM / GCM: 7,500kg (5,995kg) / 11,000kg (9,500kg)

Power/Torque: 110kW / 370Nm

Transmission: DUONIC AMT

Service intervals: 30,000km