Econic maximises safety, manoeuvrability

Safety is a top priority at FM Conway, one of Britain’s leading infrastructure service companies for communities and industry.

The company has been using Mercedes-Benz utility vehicles in its core areas of transport, structural and civil engineering, road construction, and building material recycling for many years.

Now the company has purchased Mercedes-Benz Econic tippers, with crane and clamshell bucket. The equipment includes pioneering safety features such as all-round cameras which, in combination with the proven benefits of the low-entry concept, offer cyclists and pedestrians an exceptionally high level of protection.

The two new vehicles purchased by FM Conway are the first Mercedes-Benz Econic models to be equipped with a Fruehauf tipper made of high-strength, corrosion-resistant Hardox steel and a remote-controlled mobile Palfinger body-mounted crane with clamshell bucket behind the cab.

The four-axle Econic 3235 8×4 vehicles with steered trailing axle will help with development and maintenance of the public road network. They will be used primarily for transporting building materials such as sand, concrete and gravel to the road construction sites and for the removal of building rubble from these sites.

The vehicles have a permissible GVW of 32-tonnes. Features highlighted by Mercedes-Benz include low overall height, outstanding visibility and low entry. Compared with conventional trucks, they are reported to provide far greater safety in London’s inner-city congestion.

The drive power comes from a BlueTec 6 engine with a displacement of 7,7 l and an output of 260 kW (354 hp) in combination with an Allison six-speed automatic transmission with converter.

The deep-drawn panoramic windscreen, large windows on the driver’s side and fully glazed folding door on the co-driver’s side give the driver an ideal view of other road users. The increased field of view and the low sitting position allow the driver to have direct eye contact with other road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

An optionally available blind-spot camera system comprising an in-cab monitor and four cameras mounted on the vehicle allows the driver to see the non-directly visible areas to the front, side and rear of the vehicle.

The screen can show multiple images simultaneously or a single image, depending on the driving situation. For example, the driver can see images from all available cameras when the vehicle is stationary with the brakes applied or images of the area in front of the vehicle when driving forward at up to 10 km/h. These are the default settings.

The driver also has the option of controlling the cameras manually or automatically. In automatic mode, the images displayed for the driver depend on activation of the turn signal indicators, steering angle, selected gear or vehicle speed.

In combination with the mirror system, the blind-spot camera system enhances safety, particularly when performing turning manoeuvres, stopping at traffic lights or working at the roadside.

The Econic features low entry, requiring two steps rather than the four steps that are standard on conventional trucks. This design substantially reduces the risk of injury when exiting the cab.