Cardiff Council improves safety with new Mercedes impact protection vehicles

Cardiff Council has added two Mercedes-Benz Econic impact protection vehicles for use by its highways team.

Based on low-entry 18-tonne Econic chassis, the vehicles are purpose-designed and built to meet Cardiff Council’s requirements.

Fabricated to high quality standards from galvanised steel and aluminium for a long service life, the bodies are fitted with LED light arrows and crash cushions.

Richard Jones, the authority’s procurement and contracts manager – core fleet, said the new impact protection vehicles were much better suited to their role than the rented trucks they had replaced.  

He explained: “We went out to tender for a low-entry vehicle that could be used for a broad range of road traffic management operations, including lane closures, barrier work and general repairs. In terms of its specification and cost-effectiveness the Econic was clearly the best solution.

“With its investment in these highly specified vehicles the Council has resolved the operational issues its Highways team was facing. Like all Mercedes-Benz trucks the Econic is extremely well built, while the ergonomics are first class – not only does it offer excellent visibility, but it’s also easy for crews to step in and out of the cab, something they’ll typically do numerous times during a shift.”

Tested to 70 mph and approved by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), the Scorpion attenuator crash cushion features a unique curved design that redirects side angle impacts away from the rear corner of the truck; it offers full-width protection along the entire length of the cushion and resists damage from nuisance knocks.

The cone-carrying Econics are supplied by Days Fleet and sourced from Euro Commercials. Cardiff Council operates a number of Mercedes-Benz vehicles including 4x4 and 4x2 gritters, vacuum and jetting combinations for drainage work, as well as 7.5-tonne FUSO Canters, which have tipping, refuse collection and traffic management bodies.

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