One of the UK’s first 8×2 Mercedes-Benz Arocs has taken to the road in the striking orange livery of East Midlands resource management and recycling specialist Wastecycle.
The Arocs 3236L hook-loader has been quick to impress with its manoeuvrability, and holds out the promise of valuable fuel savings as well as reduced tyre wear.
Based at the operator’s Nottingham recovery facility, the new 32-tonner arrived via the local branch of Dealer Mertrux. It has a lifting and steering air-suspended rear axle, while its state-of-the-art 10.7-litre straight-six engine produces 265 kW (360 hp) and drives through a standard-fit Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission.
The 8×2 model is a recent addition to the Arocs range and is significantly more fuel-efficient than a traditional 8×4 set-up – Wastecycle is hoping for an improvement of approximately half a mile per gallon which, at current prices, would equate to some £27,000 over five years.
The fact that the rear axle can be lifted when the vehicle is running light also allows the operator to save on tyre wear; even when deployed the axle’s turning function reduces scrub as well as enhancing manoeuvrability.
“We don’t run to landfill so we don’t need double-drive,” explained Wastecycle Transport Manager Andy Sharp. “Instead, we wanted a vehicle that was agile and economical to operate, and that meant an 8×2. This fuel-efficient Mercedes-Benz will enhance our company’s carbon reduction credentials and has been well received by the drivers – access to some of our sites is quite tight so the rear-steer axle is proving very useful.”
Part of the Environmental Division of the DCC Group, Wastecycle is committed to working with its customers to increase recycling rates and cut emissions. The fast-growing company, which also has facilities in Leicester, processes more than 450,000 tonnes of waste and other material each year, more than 90% of which is recovered and recycled.
Wastecycle’s latest eight-wheeler is fitted with Multilift’s easily operated XR 24S.55 hook-loading equipment with multicover sheeting system, and works with bins with capacities of up to 50 cubic yards. In line with the company’s aim of achieving the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme Silver and Gold standards (it currently holds FORS Bronze accreditation), the vehicle is equipped with a comprehensive armoury of safety systems to protect cyclists and other road-users, including forward- and rear-facing cameras, and proximity sensors.
Wastecycle runs a fleet of over 40 trucks which range from 7.5-tonne skip loaders to 44-tonne tractor units, and six trailers. Mertrux has also just supplied the company with a new 6×2 Econic with low-entry cab and Heil refuse body, and is currently processing orders for two more Arocs hook-loaders – a second, identical 8×2 model, and an 8×4 – as well as three drawbar chassis, a 6×2 Actros roll-on roll-off and a pair of 18-tonne Arocs skip-loaders. Once they have all entered service the majority of Wastecycle’s trucks will wear three-pointed stars.
Andy Sharp continued: “I test drove the Arocs at the Commercial Motor Live event held at Millbrook about 18 months ago and was impressed from the outset – it’s a very solid, well-built product and the new automated transmission is a big improvement, for our operation, over a traditional manual gearbox.
“Factor in the reliability that we’ve come to expect from Mercedes-Benz, and the excellent sales service and back-up that we receive from the team at Mertrux, Nottingham, and it all adds up to a great package.”