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FM Conway puts safety first with Mercedes-Benz Econic tipper-grabs

Leading infrastructure services company FM Conway has underlined its commitment to the protection of London’s cyclists and pedestrians by investing in two cutting-edge
Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

They are the first tipper-grabs to be based on the manufacturer’s low-entry Econic chassis, which offers major safety advantages compared to a conventional truck.

Most significantly, the Econic has a deep, panoramic windscreen, a fully-glazed kerbside door and a low seating position. This means the driver’s field of vision is significantly improved, making it much easier for them to see and make direct eye contact with other road users, including particularly vulnerable bike riders.

Supplied by Dealer Sparshatts of Kent, FM Conway’s new trucks are both 8×4 Econic 3235 ENA models with single front steer axles, double-drive bogies and rear-steer axles. The result is a tighter turning circle and greatly enhanced manoeuvrability compared to a standard 32-tonne construction eight-wheeler.

The Econics are equipped with a full complement of safety cameras and fitted with Fruehauf Hardox steel tipping bodies and Epsilon M135 radio remote-controlled cranes with clamshell buckets. They are powered by fuel-efficient, 7.7-litre six-cylinder engines which transmit their 260 kW (354 hp) outputs via six-speed Allison automatic gearboxes.

One of the trucks has now joined the FM Conway fleet and is supporting the operator’s many highways and public realm projects across the capital. The other is assigned to CONWAY AECOM, a joint venture responsible for delivering the London Highways Alliance contract (LoHAC) in the north-west of the city on behalf of Transport for London (TfL).

Launched in 1999, the Econic has been specified for operation in many different applications. The heightened focus on cyclist and pedestrian safety in busy urban areas means it is now attracting interest and early orders from the construction sector

The vehicle’s standout low-entry cab has just two steps rather than the traditional four, which also reduces the risk of access and egress injuries, while easy through-cab access allows the driver and any passengers to enter and exit safely on the non-traffic side.

Transport Manager Peter Parle explains: “Road safety is paramount for FM Conway. It is vital that the construction industry does what it can to reduce the risk our vehicles pose to other road users, while also ensuring that our drivers go home safely.

“We were one of the first contractors in the capital to fit our trucks with the latest safety equipment now made mandatory under the terms of Transport for London’s Safer Lorry Scheme. The pioneering design of these new Econic trucks marks the next, significant step towards making London’s roads safer for all.”

Mercedes-Benz works closely with CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety), an industry-led project sponsored by Transport for London (TfL) to reduce injuries and deaths due to work-related road risk.

The manufacturer has developed a 32-tonnne Econic-based High Visibility Safety Vehicle tipper for demonstration purposes, as well as 26-tonne mixer and an 18-tonne skip-loader.

FM Conway is a long-standing operator of Mercedes-Benz trucks – other recent acquisitions from Sparshatts of Kent include five 32-tonne Arocs tippers and a pair of 18-tonne traffic management vehicles with crash cushions.

FM Conway is at the forefront of road safety initiatives in the construction industry. Its transport team continually update the company’s vehicles to ensure they meet the latest safety standards, while drivers attend regular training sessions to help protect themselves and other road users.

www.fmconway.co.uk

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