A recently launched trading company owned by Ealing Council has ordered a new fleet of Mercedes-Benz trucks to collect waste and recyclables in the West London borough.
Greener Ealing, which took over from the authority’s previous contractor in July, has commissioned the new refuse collection vehicles as part of a major investment in new equipment.
Supplied by Dealer S & B Commercials, the 26-tonne 6x2 chassis have rear-steer axles that enhance manoeuvrability and are fitted with FAUN Zoeller Variopress compaction bodies and bin lifts. A further three, which will have dual compartment Selectapress bodies with a 70:30 split by the same manufacturer, are still to be delivered.
As specified by Greener Ealing the Econic attracts the maximum five stars from Transport for London’s Direct Vision scheme, thanks to its deep, panoramic windscreen, and full-height, glazed folding side door. This, coupled with the low seating position, allows the driver to make direct eye contact with cyclists and pedestrians at junctions or in traffic queues.
Safety is further enhanced for vulnerable road users by a 360-degree camera system and by Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ Active Brake Assist 4 emergency braking technology. Programmed to recognise other vehicles at higher speeds, as well as pedestrians when moving more slowly, the system is capable of bringing the truck to a complete stop.
As 2630L models, the new trucks are powered by 7.7-litre in-line six-cylinder engines that produce 299hp. Their six-speed Allison automatic transmissions, meanwhile, are purpose-designed for stop-start applications.
Mick Aherne, senior fleet & compliance manager for Greener Ealing said: “The Econic is very popular with our crews, thanks not least to its roomy, air-conditioned cab, and the full air suspension that contributes to ride comfort. It’s also a product that our technicians already know well, and this can only further enhance its proven reliability.
“Given the urgency with which we wanted to get the vehicles into service, I have been particularly impressed by the quality of the chassis and the bodies as they’ve been delivered. You’ll often have to iron out a few niggles with new trucks but that’s not been the case this time; instead, we’ve been able to deploy them straight away, which has been another big plus.”
Greener Ealing plans to replace its new Econics after five years, a relatively quick turnaround for complex refuse collection vehicles that represent a high capital investment. “We’re very keen to do our bit for air quality in the borough, and to move early to an alternatively fuelled fleet,” explained Aherne. “By 2025 the fully-electric Mercedes-Benz eEconic should be available, and that’s a truck we’ll certainly be looking at.”