Supplied by dealer Euro Commercials, 38 of the vehicles are 6x2 Econic 2630L variants with rear-steer axles and Dennis Eagle compactor bodies.
Of the remainder, three are 18-tonne Econic 1827L skiploaders and two are 32-tonne 3235L ENA hookloaders, with bodywork by Boughton Engineering.
These are Biffa’s first Econic-based skipoaders and hookloaders, and they are on trial in London, where the Econic holds a five-star rating under the Direct Vision standard thanks to its low seating position, panoramic windscreen and fully glazed side door.
All new additions are equipped with 7.7-litre, six-cylinder engines, with the RCVs producing 295bhp, while the skiploaders have 269bhp versions and the hookloaders 350bhp.
The RCVs have fully automatic six-speed Allison gearboxes ideal for stop-start collection; the skiploaders and hookloaders have 12-speed Mercedes PowerShift 3 transmissions.
Colin Bagnall, Biffa fleet project engineer, says: “The Econic is our preferred low-entry RCV chassis… We used to buy 6x4 variants, however to reflect the fact that a much higher proportion of the trade waste we collect is now recycled at our own transfer facilities, rather than being sent to landfill, we switched about three years ago from double-drive to 6x2 rear-steer chassis.”
Biffa undertakes the majority of vehicle inspections and maintenance in its own workshops. “Mercedes-Benz Trucks has a strong dealer network, though, and we also rely on its members to undertake warranty work and, from time to time, other assignments,” adds Bagnall.