A purpose-designed, low-entry cab and the promise of top-quality dealer back-up tempted ASH Waste Services to invest in its first Mercedes-Benz truck.
The 6×4 Econic 2629LL was supplied to the Wrexham-based recycling specialist, which covers the North of England and North Wales, by Deeside dealer Road Range Commercials. It is powered by a 290hp, 7.2-litre Euro 5 engine which, as with all Econics, drives through an Allison six-speed automatic gearbox with cruise control function.
The chassis rides on air suspension all round, while the Mercedes-Benz Axle Load Indicator system connected to each individual airbag monitors the vehicle’s load and helps the operator stay safe and legal at all times.
Together, ASH Waste Services and sister operation Alan’s Skip Hire run a fleet of 65 trucks.
"Historically we’ve sourced our vehicles from another manufacturer, so this represents a bold step for us," said Neil Hassall, a Director of both firms. "But we’re confident it’s the right move."
Key to the Econic’s appeal was its comfortable and user-friendly low-entry cab. "We’ve held discussions with our staff and feel the easily accessed cab will prove safer, more efficient and easier to use. It’s a very ergonomic layout, with deep windscreen, low floor and high ceiling, and a bus-style bi-fold door on the passenger side.
"However," he continued, "while we were impressed with the Econic’s design, we also had to be confident that the truck would be reliable and cost-effective to operate, and that the after sales support from the dealer would be up to scratch.
"The team at Road Range have worked very hard to win us over, and have given us all the assurances we needed. So we’re looking forward to building an excellent working relationship with the dealer."
The Econic chassis is fitted with a rear-end loader body by Heil and is working on ASH’s trade and commercial waste contracts, collecting wheeled bins from business premises across the North-West of England and North Wales.
Although the truck is not currently being used on landfill sites, its 6×4 configuration and under-chassis protection, coupled with the fact that the air suspension allows the driver to raise its ride height, mean it is perfectly equipped for off-tarmac work should the need arise.
Mr Hassall added: "The Mercedes-Benz brand is synonymous with quality, while the Econic is also very quiet in operation and impressively clean in terms of its emissions – minimising the impact of our operations on the environment is something that we take very seriously, and our customers demand."
The truck will be maintained by Road Range Commercials’ Deeside service team under a five-year Mercedes-Benz repair & maintenance contract.