Supplied by Mercedes dealer Bell Truck and Van, the 20 Eco Hybrid vehicles have gone into service with the operator’s Murphy Plant division. The trucks have tipping bodies by Penman Engineering, of Dumfries.
“We’ve had Canters before so we know they’re solid, reliable trucks. We ordered the Eco Hybrids because we wanted to future-proof ourselves not only against the ULEZ, but also against other emissions-based restrictions that might be coming further down the line,” says Richard Burnham, compliance manager for Murphy Plant.
The Canter’s low seating position for the driver is a plus, he says, as is the truck’s compact dimension for improved manoeuvrability in tight urban streets.
He adds: “Its light yet robust ladder-frame chassis gives the vehicle a highly competitive payload, and we are confident these new trucks will deliver the reductions in fuel consumption, and therefore exhaust emissions, that we’re looking for.”
The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid is powered by a 110kW (148bhp) diesel engine which works in parallel with a 40kW (54bhp) electric motor. It uses electric power to move off, then switches to a combination of diesel and electric operation once a speed of around 6mph has been reached.
Depending on the power demand, the electric motor also supports the diesel at higher speeds. Mode switching is seamless, requiring no input from the driver. An Idle Start-Stop system is also fitted as standard and is said to contribute to fuel savings of up to 23% compared to its standard, diesel-powered stablemate.