The new trucks will operate in and around the historic city of Cambridge, where it’s estimated that one in five journeys is made on a bicycle.
The Mercedes-Benz Econic combines a panoramic windscreen and full-height glazed passenger door, with a low seating position that allows the driver to make direct eye contact with cyclists and pedestrians at junctions and in traffic.
Supplied by dealer Orwell Truck & Van, the order is for five 18-tonne Econic 1830s with Hyva skiploader bodies, and five 32-tonne Econic 3235 ENAs with Wilcox alloy tipping bodies.
The eight-wheelers, which offer a competitive payload of 20,450 kg, have single front-steer axles, double-drive bogies and rear-steer axles, making them more man manoeuvrable than standard 8x4 construction trucks.
Orwell has also supplied Mick George with a pair of 18-tonne Mercedes-Benz Arocs 1824s with Multilift skip-loading equipment, and is processing orders for three more Econics with Heil refuse bodies, an 18-tonne 1830 and two 26-tonne 6x2 2630s.
Like all of Mick George’s trucks, the new Econics and Arocs are fitted with safety features, including five cameras, nearside proximity scan systems, left and right turn audible alarms and additional warning markings.
Joe Gossage, Mick George’s transport manager, says: “The Econic is one of only two bona fide low-entry urban safety vehicles currently available, and by far the more industry proven. That said, the procurement decision also came down to which manufacturer and dealer we believe can offer us the best service and breakdown provision.”
He adds: “The introduction of these Econic chassis further underlines our determination to minimise the risk to vulnerable road users. The enhanced field of vision which this vehicle offers will be a real advantage to our drivers when navigating through cities or in complex situations, while its two-step, low entry minimises the possibility of injury when accessing the cab.”
Mick George delivers comprehensive safety training to its drivers, including giving them a cyclist’s perspective by getting them on bikes.
Gossage predicts vehicles such as the Econic “will play an important part of our road transport operations future.
“Having made such a significant investment in these vehicles, we hope they will prove viable for future procurement decisions and can be rolled out to some of the other areas in which we operate.”