Waste management specialist Suez Recycling and Recovery UK has invested in a fleet of Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks to provide a more streamlined domestic and trade refuse collection service for Doncaster Council. Suez has been serving the local authority since 2010, and won its latest contract with a package that offers even greater efficiency. Recycling collections are now ‘co-mingled’, with all materials except glass being compacted together. This arrangement has replaced the previous, more labour-intensive process of sorting into stillages at the kerbside.
The 38 Econics, together with eight more specialised vehicles, have replaced the 71 trucks – most of which were also by Mercedes-Benz – which Suez previously operated in the South Yorkshire town. As well as delivering cost savings for the council, the contract promises higher service levels for residents and a decrease in traffic volumes on the borough’s streets.
The Econics are all 2630LL models, and powered by advanced straight-six engines which transmit their 220kW (299hp) outputs to the road via six-speed fully automatic Allison gearboxes. They were supplied by Dealer S & B Commercials and prepared at Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ Wentworth Park complex near Barnsley, prior to handover. Like all new Econics supplied through the manufacturer’s UK Dealer Network, the vehicles are covered by three-year/160,000 km warranties.
Suez Technical Manager, Fleet, James Griffin, recalled: “This was the first time we had used Wentworth Park for pre-delivery inspections and I was really impressed with the responsiveness and speed of turnaround. It is a true ‘one-stop-shop’ and the team there were efficient and helpful throughout.”
Most of the trucks have Faun Variopress VP22 bodies with Zoeller Rotary 3 lifters, and are being allocated to domestic, green and trade waste collection rounds. “This combination offers excellent reliability, quick and safe bin-lifting operations, and a competitive payload,” said Mr Griffin.
The remaining 12 are specified for recycling collections, and fitted with Faun Selectapress SP20 bodies and Zoeller Rotary 3 Triple lifts. The bodies are split – 70% of the load volume carries co-mingled materials, and 30% is for glass which is deposited by the householder in a separate box within their recycling bin.
Mr Griffin continued: “The Mercedes-Benz Econic is one of two low-entry chassis that Suez R&R UK, and indeed the European Suez Group, purchases on a regular basis. It is definitely more of a ‘driver’s truck’ than the other. The Econic’s cab is equipped to a higher standard, while it’s also fully air-suspended so more comfortable, and quieter. The bi-fold glass passenger door contributes to the vehicle’s excellent visibility, as well as offering easy access.”
Mr Griffin added: “The Econic is also well known to our preferred bodybuilder, Faun, and the interface between chassis and body makes the package a good ‘fit’ for our collection operation. It is highly economical, too, and this applies to AdBlue usage as well as fuel.”
The Mercedes-Benz Econic is well established as the refuse truck of choice for many of the UK’s local authorities, and waste and recycling specialists. The significantly enhanced visibility it offers drivers, thanks to its low-entry cab, panoramic windscreen and fully glazed folding passenger door, coupled with an impressive armoury of standard-fit safety systems, mean the Econic is also proving increasingly attractive to companies working across other sectors, most notably construction and distribution.
Suez Recycling and Recovery UK – formerly Sita UK – was established in 1988 as a provider of local authority services. It now serves more than 12 million people nationwide, and handles over nine million tonnes of domestic, commercial and industrial waste annually.