Fleet boosts recycling drive with Mercedes-Benz Econic 07 September 2011

HW Martin Waste is reporting "spectacular increases" in recycling rates since drafting its first five Mercedes-Benz Econic refuse trucks into service for local authorities in Derbyshire.

"We have been delighted by the way that recycling material tonnage has shot up," states Phil Darwin, northern area operations manager for HW Martin Waste, which now provides a managed service for waste collection, sorting and recycling.

"In the first few weeks of operation we saw a 170% increase on one particularly challenging round, while the average across the whole project shows a 90% jump in recyclable tonnage. We are now moving 70% more material with fewer vehicles," he adds.

Supplied by East Midlands dealer Mertrux, the trucks are 6x2 Econic 2629LL 26-tonners, with mid-steer axles for optimum load distribution and ride quality.

Darwin explains that power comes from 290hp Euro 5 and EEV compliant engines, matched to Allison six-speed automatic transmissions, while air suspension front and rear makes for quiet operations in urban areas.

He also points to the trucks' 70:30 split Heil Twintrack compactor bodies, which offer 22m3 capacity, to reflect the fact that much of the waste carried is light but bulky. They are also fitted with triple Terberg Omnidel bin lifts.

"The axle weighing system was key to [the Econic's] appeal, while we were also impressed with the safety benefits offered by the bus-style door and low-entry cab," comments Darwin.

"The deep, panoramic screen allows the driver and crew to see more of what's going on around them, whether on the road, or on the pavement," he adds.

In a little detail, Mercedes' axle load indicator employs load sensors, linked to the vehicle's individual airbags, to monitor weight via the CANbus. This can be viewed on the dashboard display as: individual axle, all axles showing all weights, or all axles plus total vehicle weight.

As for the Econic's door, it is wide-opening, air-assisted and forward-folding, which Darwin says is ideal in tight situations, where obstructions, such as street furniture, can make conventional doors a problem.

Occupant safety is also a benefit: for example, the door can only be opened while the vehicle is stationary, thus removing the temptation for crews to jump into or out of the cab.

Brian Tinham

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