Waste management in London's borough of Barnet relies on the Econic.
The Borough of Barnet in north London has a population of around 400,000, and a smooth-running waste disposal system is of the greatest importance. That requires reliable vehicles which support refuse workers in their daily work as far as possible. At the same time they must comply with the high safety standards for trucks in the metropolitan area. That is why Barnet Council's fleet of 50 refuse collection vehicles is mostly Mercedes-Benz Econic 2630 L.
Ideal for urban traffic.
The refuse vehicles collect household waste and recyclable materials as well as green and commercial waste. They complete the task effortlessly, as all Econic trucks are equipped with a 7.7 litre six-cylinder in-line engine which complies with the Euro VI emissions standard. The fuel-saving diesel drive delivers an output of 220 kW (299 hp) which is conveyed via an Allison six-speed automatic transmission that has been specially developed for stop-and-go traffic. This is ideal for waste collection routes where vehicles pull away repeatedly, putting a heavy strain on the clutch.
The Econic trucks are also equipped with a steered trailing axle so that they are easy to manoeuvre on narrow roads or in streets with many parked cars. As a result the turning circle of the vehicles is greatly reduced, which relieves the strain on the driver when manoeuvring.
For Bob Smith, who has been the Fleet Manager in Barnet since 2016, the reliability of the vehicle played an important role in the decision to choose the Econic: "Unscheduled vehicle downtimes used to be a big problem. My experience at other London councils that use the Econic has been very good and that's why I'm optimistic we can put those problems behind us now."
Once our drivers had tried out the Econic with a steered trailing axle, they didn't want to drive any other vehicle.
Bob Smith, Fleet Manager, Barnet Council
The vehicle interior and its design also greatly impressed Bob Smith: "Mercedes-Benz has put a lot of thought into the truck. It's very robust and therefore ideal for our intensive seven-day week. It's also very popular with the drivers: once they'd tried out the Econic with a steered trailing axle, they didn't want to drive any other vehicle."
The Econic also features equipment that is ideal for refuse collection in urban areas: the panoramic windscreen and the fully glazed co-driver door provide the driver with an excellent direct view of the traffic. The low position of the seat allows the driver eye contact with cyclists and pedestrians at eye-level at junctions or when turning. That is why the Econic was awarded the highest score of five stars from the "Transport for London" initiative in the "Direct Vision" category.
The well-thought-out safety concept of the Econic is rounded off with numerous assistance systems that are all perfectly co-ordinated with one another: Blind Spot Assist, the emergency braking assistance system Active Brake Assist and Sideguard Assist. Using state-of-the-art technology these systems assist the driver in inner-city traffic and increase safety for all road users.
All-round service. Full satisfaction.
Everything functions perfectly with regard to servicing too: the Econic trucks are inspected and maintained as part of the Mercedes-Benz ServiceContracts by the workshop team at S & B Commercials. Support from the consultancy stage right through to delivery and beyond – particularly the provision of a collection and delivery service which relieves the fleet management team – was instrumental in Barnet Council's decision to invest in further Econic trucks in the future.
Around two years ago the city council bought four of the low-entry refuse collection vehicles. At the end of 2020 they put another twelve Econic trucks into operation. The delivery of a further 18 Special Trucks has already started.
Fleet Manager Bob Smith concludes: "We are more than satisfied with the performance of the vehicles and S & B. Our sales contact responds quickly to our questions or requests. Furthermore, the dealer collects our vehicles for inspections and repairs, does the work overnight and then returns them to us so that they are ready for operation the next morning. That is simply an outstanding service."