Construction and engineering contractor J Murphy & Sons has added 20 Fuso Canter hybrids to its fleet, in response to London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ).
The new tippers feature hybrid diesel-electric engines and are exempt from the £100 per day charge that is now levied against not Euro VI trucks.
Murphy believes that as well as being significantly cleaner, the new vehicles will deliver running cost savings, while also providing “exemplary” levels of productivity, reliability and safety.
Richard Burnham, Murphy plant compliance manager, said: “We’ve had Canters before so we know they’re solid, reliable trucks. We ordered the Eco Hybrids because we wanted to future-proof ourselves not only against the ULEZ, but also against other emissions-based restrictions that might be coming further down the line.”
The Eco Hybrids were supplied by Mercedes-Benz Dealer Bell Truck and Van.
Fitted with tipping bodies by Penman Engineering, of Dumfries, they are being operated by Murphy Plant, a subsidiary of the Murphy parent company, which provides plant and commercial vehicles to the group’s various contracting divisions.
“The Canter’s low seating position, compared to a more conventional truck, puts drivers in a better place to make eye contact with cyclists and pedestrians, while the hybrid driveline and automated transmission allow them to focus all their attention on the road ahead, and foster a more relaxed driving style,” added Burnham.
The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid is powered by a 150hp diesel engine, which works in parallel with a 54hp electric motor.
From stationary it uses electric power only, then switches to a combination of diesel and electric operation once a speed of around 6mph has been reached.
Depending on the power demand, the electric motor also supports the diesel at higher speeds. Mode switching is seamless, requiring no input from the driver. An Idle Start-Stop system is also fitted as standard and contributes to fuel savings of up to 23% compared to its standard, diesel-engined stablemate.