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No-Waste Disposal.

Efficient and quiet, ergonomic and safe: the new Euro VI Econic quickly proved its worth for refuse collectors in Karlsruhe.

Even in the narrow streets of Karlsruhe the dustbins has to be emptied. Here is the Econic Euro VI a benefit for the public waste management. The maneuverability and safety technology of the Econic makes the difference.

Gutenberg Square in Karlsruhe is a centre of “neighbourhood culture”: small restaurants, wine shops, and market stands that are set up three times a week under the lime trees. The square and the streets surrounding it, with their over 100-year-old buildings, are a listed historic area and one of the most sought after areas living areas in the city of 300000. The narrow streets are also one of the places in which the local Department of Waste Management’s newest acquisitions can show off all of their advantages: five Euro VI Econic refuse collection trucks. “It’s amazing how quiet they are,” says the department’s fleet manager Dirk Schmid. That’s as much to the residents’ advantage as are the low emissions levels. Thanks to its Euro VI engine, the new Econic emits 50% less particulate matter and up to 90% less NOx than the previous model. In addition, the standard 220 kW (299 hp) in-line six-cylinder engine uses up to 4% less fuel.

Karlsruhe’s refuse collection fleet includes about 50 refuse collection vehicles. The five new Econics are used primarily for recyclable materials. Every week each of the new trucks covers a distance of about 300 kilometres and collects more than 50 tonnes of refuse.

Stefan Kaufmann is the head of the Department of Waste Management. “Karlsruhe is an up-and-coming city. The brand-new quarter near the city centre is a good example. That’s why we need innovative and efficient waste management technology that also makes our refuse collectors’ strenuous job easier.”

Dirk Schmid goes on: “A low entry threshold is especially important for our employees – and the Econic offers that.” The truck has all-round air suspension, and the chassis can be raised and lowered at each axle. On the passenger side there are only two steps into the cab, which has an interior height of 1910 millimetres. Even the tallest binman has plenty of headroom. Each member of the team has his own seat, and the driver can reach his spot without climbing over any obstacles. “The ergonomics of the new truck are excellent,” says Schmid. They include the multifunctional steering wheel, which the drivers are familiar with from the Actros. The arrangement of the operating controls in the cockpit has also been optimised.

Thanks to the low floor, the driver sits at nearly the same height as pedestrians and cyclists in front of or next to the truck. In many situations he is on an eye-to-eye level with them. The panoramic windows make for excellent visibility. “The folding door on the passenger side is a real bonus,” says Dirk Schmid. It opens into the cab, so that it doesn’t take up any more traffic space. That’s especially important on Gutenberg Square, where the Econic just barely fits through the rows of parked cars.

Refuse collection trucks have to be manoeuvrable. A short wheelbase is standard on the new Econic. The vehicles for the Karlsruhe refuse collection additionally have a single-wheel electro-hydraulically controlled trailing axle. It reduces the turning radius even further – and ensures that the trip runs smoothly and that no garbage bin remains unemptied longer than necessary.

Text: Florian Oertel
Photos: Henrik Morlock, Daimler
Source: Transport Magazine 2014-04

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