Five years after setting its first examples of the acclaimed, low-entry Mercedes-Benz Econic on the road, Inverclyde Council has completed its transition to a fleet in which every one of its refuse collection vehicles wears a three-pointed star.
The authority, which covers an area on the south shore of the Firth of Clyde, to the west of Glasgow, is running another 11 vehicles from Central Belt Dealer Western Commercial’s Bellshill branch, which is dedicated to the sale of Mercedes-Benz and FUSO Canter trucks.
All are 6×2 Econic 2630 models with state-of-the-art, high-torque straight-six engines that transmit their 220 kW (299 hp) outputs via standard-fit Allison automatic gearboxes. Eight have Faun compactor bodies and Terberg bin lifts, the remaining three being fitted with Titan bodies and lifters by CP Davidson.
Operating from a base on the same site as the council’s new workshop in Greenock, they are now picking up domestic refuse, dry recyclable and garden waste in wheeled bins, as well as making traditional ‘black bag’ collections from tenement properties.
Jim Bradley, Inverclyde Council’s Transport & Waste Collection Team Leader, said: “It was our experience of running the four Econics which we purchased five years ago that convinced us to switch the entire line-up to Mercedes-Benz.
“Those vehicles proved extremely reliable and well-built, with highly competitive running costs. The Econic is also very popular with our crews, who like the spacious, low-height and easy-to-access air-conditioned cab. The Econic is definitely their chassis of choice.”
He continued: “The support we receive from Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Western Commercial has been first-class. The Dealer’s sales executive Robert Snodgrass is a municipal specialist so he really understands our requirements and the tendering process.
“The manufacturer’s Key Account Manager Philip Chance has been a regular visitor too – he comes up here to see us once every three months, to make sure everything is running smoothly. This level of service is priceless.”
Inverclyde Council maintains its trucks in-house but is supported by regular parts deliveries from Western Commercial, while its workshop technicians have benefited from product training sessions delivered by the Dealer’s Service team.
As well as its Econics the authority operates 10 FUSO Canter 7.5-tonners, which were also supplied by Western Commercial – Mercedes-Benz Trucks Dealers are additionally responsible for sales and support of the popular Japanese light truck range. Nine are dedicated recycling vehicles assigned to kerbside collections of glass and food waste, while the tenth is a road sweeper.
“Our Mercedes-Benz and FUSO Canter vehicles are playing a significant role in helping us to provide both value for money and a high-quality service to local residents,” added Mr Bradley. “The superb visibility offered by the Econic’s deep, panoramic windscreen also helps to increase safety for others who use our streets.”
Launched in 1999, the Mercedes-Benz Econic is well established as the UK’s most popular refuse truck. Over the last 12-18 months, however, the heightened focus on cyclist and pedestrian safety in busy urban areas has opened the eyes of construction operators and those from other sectors, to its benefits of enhanced visibility. As a result, Mercedes-Benz has also won a string of high-profile orders for Econic-based tippers, tipper-grabs, skip-loaders, and mixers, while Econics with refrigerated bodies for temperature-controlled food distribution are also now in service.
Source: Uk Haulier