Lewisham Council adds 39 new Mercedes-Benz Econic refuse trucks to its fleet

Lewisham Council has expanded its fleet of Mercedes-Benz trucks with a new order for 24 refuse vehicles, to join its existing 15, supplied by Orwell Truck & Van.

All are 6x2 Econic 2630L models with 7.7-litre in-line six-cylinder engines that transmit their 299hp outputs to the road via six-speed Allison automatic gearboxes.

Painted by the Mercedes-Benz factory in Lewisham Council’s ultramarine blue shade, the trucks are fitted with Geesinknorba’s single-compartment GPM IV compactor bodies, which offer 20 cubic metre capacities and are paired with its combi split bin lifts.

Rear-steer axles enhance manoeuvrability – the reduced turning circle makes the job easier for drivers negotiating tight streets in this bustling part of the capital. So, too, do the deep, panoramic windscreen and low seating position that aid visibility.

The vehicles are fitted with Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ Blind Spot Camera System, which comprises a seven-inch monitor, two cameras on the exterior mirrors, and others facing front and rear.

The latest are also equipped with Active Brake Assist 4 emergency braking technology, which is programmed to recognise other vehicles at higher speeds, as well as pedestrians when moving more slowly, and is capable of bringing the truck to a complete stop.

In addition to the refuse vehicles, Orwell Truck & Van will be supplying the authority shortly with a Thompsons-bodied tipper grab based on the same 26-tonne Econic chassis. This will be assigned to clean-up duties after incidents of fly tipping.

Noel Everest, Lewisham Council’s service group manager for Passenger & Fleet Services, said: “We’d fallen behind at one stage with our replacement programme, and took on some short-term rentals to tide us over. In the last couple of years, though, we’ve upgraded the entire fleet, and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to do so with more Econics.

“As well as being superbly reliable and offering whole-life operating costs that blow its main competitor out of the water, the low-entry Mercedes-Benz is very popular with our crews, who appreciate its comfortable, air-conditioned cab, and ease of access. It’s just a great all-round product.”

As with its previous set of acquisitions, Lewisham Council conducted a rigorous tender process before placing its latest order with Orwell Truck & Van – as the prime contractor, the Dealer liaised extensively with the bodybuilder and kept its customer up to date on progress.

Lewisham Council maintains the fleet in its own workshop but receives warranty support and parts deliveries from the local Mercedes-Benz Dealer.

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