Two Econic trucks smooth the way in the London construction business.
How can we contribute proactively to more road safety for all road users? That is what the Ferns Group asked themselves when they needed to acquire two new vehicles with mounted cranes. After comparing a number of low-entry trucks, they made their choice – for two Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks with tipper body and crane. In London and the surrounding area, the 32-tonne vehicles are now in operation for road resurfacing.
Top quality road resurfacing.
Ferns Surfacing is part of the Ferns Group, which has its headquarters near Maidstone, Kent, and operates with a network of ten depots in the south-east of England and East Anglia. The company's main business is as a service provider for gas, water and electrical utilities – and it specialises in tailor-made repair and restoration of roads and walkways when its customers have completed their work.
The work includes filling in dips and other road repairs – filling about 150,000 holes per year, plus thousands of other repair jobs, both on public motorways and private premises. The work is done with short lead times and in tough conditions, and that means: "We need tough, reliable vehicles that can be integrated seamlessly into our short-distance work stream," explains Transport Director James Gupwell.
All good reasons come in threes.
It had to be low-entry – at Ferns Surfacing, that was clear from the start. James Gupwell reports: "In all our fields of business, safety is high priority and our director Ian Fern is actively in favour of purchasing low-entry vehicles."
The second criterion: space. Auxiliary assemblies such as the hydraulic tank, the crane feet and the 60-kg support for the upright tamper all have to be fitted in. In all, a lot of space is needed on the chassis. The Econic provides more usable space between the chassis rails compared with other vehicles – thus providing an excellent complete package for Ferns Surfacing.
Finally, the Mercedes-Benz Aftersales Service won them over too. "We've been really impressed by the support we've been given by the Mercedes-Benz dealership network," says James Gupwell.
Crane and tipper body combined.
Finally, the choice went to two Econic 3235 L 8x4 ENA. Steered leading and trailing axles and tandem axle units ensure super-high manoeuvrability. The economical 7.7-litre six-cylinder engines have an output of 260 kW (354 hp) and are linked to an Allison six-gear automatic transmission.
The steel tipper skips of the tipper grabs are made by body-builder Thompson, and the Epsilon M125L crane has a dual-clamshell grab and maximum reach of 8.2 metres – an optimum basis for shifting loose material.
The two Special Trucks are kept in the depot in Wembley, west London. They are both equipped with acoustic Sideguard Assist on the left and all-round video monitoring systems: maximum support for the drivers, who thus have a clear view of both sides of the vehicle and the rear of the Econic. If the worst should come to the worst, the film material from the blind spot camera system also records the events on an external hard drive.