The Lewisham Council recently added 24 new Mercedes-Benz Econic 2630L refuse trucks to its fleet, which already included 15 Econics purchased two years ago. Each of the new 6x2 vehicles features a 7.7-litre, 295-horsepower (220-kilowatt) engine and an Allison six-speed automatic transmission, as well as GPM IV single-compartment compactor bodies with capacities of 20 cubic metres and combi split bin lifts. The Council has further plans to add a 26-tonne Econic with a Thompsons tipper grab body soon. Other vehicles in the fleet include two 18-t Econics with Geesinknorba plug-in electric bodies.
Lewisham Council’s Econics also feature panoramic windscreens, Blind Spot Camera Systems with several cameras and a 7-inch monitor, and Active Brake Assist 4 emergency braking for enhanced visibility and improved safety. All 39 Mercedes-Benz Econics were supplied by Orwell Truck & Van, which has been working with Lewisham Council since 2018.
“A Great All-Round Product”
“We’d fallen behind at one stage with our replacement programme, and took on some short-term rentals to tide us over,” says Noel Everest, service group manager for passenger and fleet services for the Lewisham Council. “In the last couple of years, though, we’ve upgraded the entire fleet, and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to do so with more Econics. As well as being superbly reliable and offering whole-life operating costs that blow its main competitor out of the water, the low-entry Mercedes-Benz is very popular with our crews, who appreciate its comfortable, air-conditioned cab and ease of access. It’s just a great all-round product.”
More Volvo Econic Details
The versatile Econic platform is highly configurable, with four axle variants ranging from 18 to 32 t in gross weight. It comes in low and high cab versions with wheelbases of 3,450 to 5,700 millimetres. Either the leading or the trailing axles can be steerable, and each axle has a full air suspension that is adjustable for height.
The Econic’s inline six-cylinder diesel engines range from 272 to 354 hp (260 kW). An alternative that runs on natural gas or biogas produces 302 hp (225 kW) and comes with a low 80 dB(A) noise rating. Besides the Allison automatic mentioned above, Mercedes offers the Econic with a semi-automated PowerShift transmission with 12 forward and four reverse gears.