All its new RCVs (refuse collection vehicles) also have dual-compartment Heil-Farid compactor bodies, allowing them to collect recyclable waste – glass, paper, plastic, metal etc – and hence enabling operational savings, too.
They were specified with Mercedes-Benz’s 7.7-litre, 299bhp six-cylinder engines driving through six-speed Allison fully automatic gearboxes.
They also ride on full air suspension and have been equipped with axle weight measuring systems.
“We did have reservations about the move to Euro 6 but the drivers underwent training on the operation of the diesel particulate filters and the trucks have given us no problems at all, comments Redbridge Council’s fleet engineer Eddie Cross.
“There were concerns, too, about increased fuel consumption, but these have also proved to be unfounded,” he continues.
“It’s difficult to provide comparative figures for RCVs, because of the nature of the work, but the Euro 6 Econics are certainly doing far better than we expected.”
Redbridge purchased its first 23 Econics in 2008 after conducting an evaluation exercise involving several specialist refuse collection vehicles.
“The drivers loved the Mercedes-Benz for its comfort, ease of operation and manoeuvrability,” recalls Cross.
“Our local Dealer S&B Commercials supported the tendering process and we were pleasantly surprised to find that the Econic was also the most competitively-priced, he continues.
“Since then, we’ve typically gone out to tender for 10 RCVs a year, and the Econic always scores well... This is true not only in terms of capital purchase price but also projected whole-life running costs.”
Cross also praises the Econic’s panoramic, low-entry cab. “I understand a vehicle from the last 2009 batch we disposed of has been converted to a scaffolder’s truck,” he says, pointing to the obvious safety benefits in urban environments.
And he adds that S&B Commercials has now supplied most of the 300 trucks resulting from tendering – including Mercedes-Benz Atego and Axor trucks, as well as 7.5-tonne Fuso Canters.
Supplied by dealer S&B Commercials, the new Econics are being operated on behalf of Redbridge Council by environmental and waste services partner Amey.