CommercialFleet

Walsall Council expands Mercedes-Benz Econic fleet

Walsall Council has invested in eight new Mercedes-Benz Econic refuse trucks, which join existing models on its fleet.

The authority has an existing fleet of Titan-bodied Econics, but more recently had acquired refuse collection vehicles by another manufacturer.

It opted to return to Mercedes-Benz for its new vehicles following feedback from crews and after analysing wholelife costs.

Den Edwards, Walsall Council’s procurement manager for Clean & Green Services, said: “After studying whole-life costs of the fleet, downtime figures and feedback from the drivers and crews, we decided to return to the tried and trusted combination of Mercedes-Benz Econic chassis, CPD Titan body and Terberg hoist.

“We are still running vehicles of this combination which are near eight years old. Not only have they proved to be both durable and reliable, but they are also well-liked by the colleagues who use them, day-in, day-out.”

The low-entry trucks were sourced from primary contractor CPD, of Chorley, Lancashire, and feature the manufacturer’s Active Brake Assist 5 emergency braking system.

All are 26-tonne Econic 2627L models with rear-steer axles that assist drivers by reducing turning circles.

The new trucks work Walsall Council’s Environmental Depot in Brownhills and are fully interchangeable in being used to make fortnightly collections of general and green waste, and recyclables, from domestic properties, as well as trade waste.

The authority maintains the fleet in its own workshop but receives warranty support and parts deliveries from the Wolverhampton branch of Mercedes-Benz Dealer Midlands Truck & Van, which also supplied four of the chassis; the other four arrived via S & B Commercials.

Features specified by Walsall Council include an optional sliding window integrated into the glass panel on the nearside of the cab, which makes it easier for drivers and crew members inside the vehicle to communicate with those outside.

The Econics are also equipped with Sideguard Assist and Rearguard Assist, both of which provide additional support to drivers.

Edwards added: “Safety is another factor that weighs heavily in favour of Mercedes-Benz, and in this respect the latest enhancements to its standard specification and additions to the Mercedes-Benz options list have elevated the Econic to another level.”

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