Supplied by dealer Intercounty Truck & Van, the 17 new additions are all 26-tonne Econic 2630 models with rear-steer axles. Prime contractor Faun Zoeller (UK) is fitting Variopress 2 compactor bodies and bin lifts.
The outgoing leased trucks had split bodies, with a pod at the front used for food waste, and the remaining capacity allocated to general waste or recyclables. However, a new strategy will see the Econics collecting one waste stream at a time, allowing the council to maximise payloads.
The job of picking up food waste will now be undertaken by the five Fuso Canter 7.5-tonners which the council already owns, and four more which it has just acquired.
Transport manager David Clark (pictured) led the case for a wholly-owned fleet, as well as for a larger depot and workshop with Authorised Testing Facility (ATF), on which construction commences this summer.
“We tried and tested products by a number of suppliers, and invited driver feedback,” Clark says.
“The Faun Zoeller demonstrator was on an Econic and was particularly well received. The chassis and body were neatly styled, and looked right together. We liked the robust but lightweight bin lifter, while the air-conditioned Econic cab, with its folding, bus-style passenger door, is easily accessed and contributes to safety by offering excellent visibility.”
The Econic 2630 is powered by an advanced straight-six engine which transmits its 295bhp output through a six-speed, fully automatic Allison gearbox. Most of Aylesbury Vale’s new trucks are being fitted with Rotary XL lifts and will be assigned to residential routes. However, three will have heavy-duty Omega trade lifts, for commercial waste collections.
Drivers are now receiving training from the dealer on how to get the best performance from the Econics. The council will maintain its new trucks in-house, with warranty and technical support, and an imprest parts stock provided by the dealer.
“The promise of improved back-up was an important factor in our decision to switch to Mercedes-Benz,” adds Clark.