James Aiken keeps local authority maintenance fleet moving


Keeping our streets and public spaces clean and tidy is a round the clock operation. It’s the role of the local authority to maintain these spaces and that requires a fleet of vehicles to collect refuse, waste and recycling from our parks, streets and local road network.

It’s essential these vehicles are constantly on the go and that became the challenge for James Aiken when commissioned to modify 39 Renault Master vehicles with lightweight drop-side side gates to complement the tail gate, allowing workers to operate from three sides of the vehicle.

The Challenge

The challenge was not so much the work itself but to ensure a tight production schedule was followed to modify the entire fleet, so vehicles were not kept off the road any longer than necessary. The scope of work involved retrofitting drop-side gates to allow drivers and workers safe access to the vehicle bed. This meant removing the fixed side panels from each vehicle and assembling new posts with fittings to ensure both side gates could be opened and securely closed.


Thanks to the company’s E-Max ERP system, James Aiken was able to maintain a tight work schedule and organise fabrication and welding teams so that gate posts were manufactured and installed on six Renault Master vehicles each week. Ample yard space meant the vehicles could be parked and easily manoeuvred into the large workshop. The large engineering and fabrication plant facilitated the work. Each gate was removed, new posts assembled and fitted with hinges and anti-loose pins to posts and side gates.


All 39 vehicles are now accessible from the sides and tail. This will improve productivity and save time loading and unloading in confined spaces and on busy streets, while keeping workers safe from hazards.

The entire contract took six weeks from start to completion and once again demonstrated that whatever the job – any shape, any size, any thickness – James Aiken has the fabrication and engineering teams, working under one roof, to ensure a streamlined, highly engineered operation to adapt, modify and enhance OEM assets.