Why drivers at S. Walsh wouldn’t want to do without the Econic.
As many construction sites as there are landmarks and tourist attractions – and often those places are construction sites too. Since it was founded by the Romans, the city of London has never stood still. Development has been continuous and the construction companies in and around the city have profited greatly from it. This has also been the case for the company S. Walsh & Sons which recently bought an Econic 3235 8x4/4 ENA for transporting construction waste in response to an ever-increasing number of orders.
Agile operation at a city landmark.
One of the new Econic’s first operations was at Battersea power station where construction work to maintain the building’s substance was required. This London landmark that began operation in 1933 is an old coal-fired power plant on the south bank of the Thames and the largest brick building in Europe. At this construction site that is soaked in history, the Econic was responsible for the removal of construction waste that was mainly plaster.
This brand new Special Truck which is the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle in the fleet at S. Walsh & Sons is perfectly equipped for jobs like this: thanks to the high payload of the Econic, up to 19 t of material can be transported in the steel tip box so that each journey is as economically efficient as possible. However the Econic doesn’t just score points at the actual construction site but also when entering and exiting the location. The steered trailing axle reduces the turning circle of the Econic 3235 to a minimum. As a result it is much easier to manoeuvre than conventional construction vehicles with a permissible gross mass of 32 t and 4 axles.
For Nathan Hopgood, Senior Transport Manager at S. Walsh & Sons, the Econic is the ideal complete package that meets every requirement: "It makes work very efficient. And what was of even greater importance to us were the numerous safety benefits of the Econic."
A new driving experience.
Once a driver himself, Nathan Hopgood tested the Econic personally. "My first thought was: ‘What on earth is this?’, as the drive position was extremely unusual. I had never sat so low and initially I wasn’t sure whether that was good or bad," he says with a laugh.
However there was no need for a long test drive: "It took only 30 minutes on the road to convince me. You can see so much more! And because you’re sitting in a lower position, you are literally at eye level with cyclists and pedestrians. That is unbelievably helpful in road traffic."
A shift in the Econic is considerably less stressful than it would be in a conventional commercial vehicle in this category.
Nathan Hopgood, Senior Transport Manager, S. Walsh & Sons
As someone who has spent many hours at the wheel of construction vehicles, Nathan Hopgood is well aware of the challenges faced by his staff every day. "Of course drivers try to avoid accidents at all costs, but particularly in London this is very difficult. But as the person at the wheel, you simply feel safer in the Econic. A shift in the Econic is considerably less stressful than it would be in a conventional commercial vehicle in this category."
Maintaining an overview is easy.
A greater feeling of safety thanks to an improved view – this is made possible by a particularly low seat position in the cab and a panoramic windscreen as well as a fully glazed co-driver’s door which all provide for optimum all-around visibility. And the cameras take care of anything the eye might miss. The new Econic at S. Walsh is equipped with a blind-spot camera system that shows anything that occurs in the poorly visible areas around the vehicle on a monitor in the cab interior.
The health and safety of staff have always been a priority of S. Walsh & Sons which has its headquarters in Brentwood. But the company doesn’t just want to protect those sitting at the wheel of its vehicles. The firm has been presented with the "CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety)" award and was given gold accreditation by the FORS (Freight Operator Recognition Scheme) – important proof of the company’s successful efforts to provide greater safety for staff and other road users.
The new addition to the fleet of 67 vehicles at S. Walsh & Sons is maintained by the workshop team at S & B Commercials. "This is a new co-operation for us and we are completely satisfied with it," says Nathan Hopgood. Thanks to the support of the Econic specialists at S & B Commercials, the Econic has a good many operations ahead of it. No matter what, over the next few decades there will still be as many construction sites in and around London as there are tourist attractions.