O’Donovan in CLOCS trial of ‘unconventional’ Mercedes skip lorry14 August 2015

London-based operator O’Donovan Waste Disposal is trialling a Mercedes-Benz Econic skip lorry as part of the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) programme.

The Econic was designed for municipal waste work and, says managing director Jacqueline O'Donovan, its unconventional design prompted some driver resistance at first.

"The Econic, with its dust cart cab and skiploader body, is an alien concept to us. But the whole purpose of CLOCS is about bold steps and cultural change, so we are rising to the challenge of the unknown," she says.

The vehicle gives the driver full visibility of other road users, with its deep panoramic windscreen, fully glazed floor to ceiling nearside door and lowered driving position, which puts the driver at eye level with cyclists and pedestrians.

The operator is trialling the vehicle for its visibility, and to test whether this reduces pressure on the driver, who is otherwise required to monitor multiple mirrors and additional safety technology.

As a CLOCS Champion, O'Donovan Waste Disposal has already made several changes to its operation and says it expects drivers to embrace forward-thinking ideas.

The company has three other safety-enhanced skip lorries: a Volvo FL818 and DAF FA LF220, both with the driving position lowered and glazed nearside lower door glazed; and a MAN TGM BB with revised suspension to lower the cab.

"Our drivers like the features of these more traditionally-styled vehicles, with the conventional cab design," adds O'Donovan.

"But, as a progressive company known for brave decisions, we are keen to ensure we are also making the best decisions to help further protect vulnerable road users – hence trials of multiple vehicles.

"Longer term we will look to replace our fleet with the most successful models."

Laura Cork

Related Companies
Mercedes Benz Uk Limited

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