Mercedes Econic - Scaffolding Truck
Mercedes Econic – Designed as a Scaffolding Truck

A more common site emptying the dustbins from house to house, the Mercedes Econic is a prolific sight on the UK’s roads on bin day.

However, an adventurous and canny scaffolding company has decided that the low-entry cab with excellent pedestrian visibility is the way forward as a scaffold truck for their operation.

For some time now, Mercedes have been pushing the safety benefits of their Econic for urban operation.  The excellent visibility adds to the safety of cyclists and pedestrians alike.  The low level access has the added benefit for the workers getting to site.

Scaffold Industry First Econic

Sold by Marshall Truck & Van, this is one of the scaffolding industry’s first low-entry Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks in the UK.  To justify the additional cost of the truck, compared to a similar DAF CF, for example, the company has to spend a lit of time in the capital.

The 26-tonne Econic 2627L has a lifting rear axle which can also be steered, making access to tricky sites down London’s narrow streets easier. Making life easier still for the driver, the Econic is fitted with a Mercedes PowerShift automated manual transmission.

The Econic is now working alongside ASA Scaffolding’s five other Mercedes-Benz trucks – a 26-tonne Arocs, and four 18-tonners based on a combination of Arocs and Atego chassis.

Safety First

The Econic has been awarded a five-star Direct Vision rating by Transport for London, thanks to its deep, panoramic windscreen, and full-height, glazed folding side door. A seating position which is much lower than that of a conventional truck, also allows the driver to make direct eye contact with cyclists and pedestrians at junctions or in traffic queues.

In addition, ASA Scaffolding has added the optional Blind Spot Camera System and Sideguard Assist.  The Blind Spot Camera System comprises a seven-inch monitor, two blind spot cameras on the exterior mirrors, a front camera and a reversing camera to provide additional, indirect vision, further reducing the risk of injury to vulnerable road users.

Sideguard Assist, meanwhile, employs two short-range radar sensors mounted on the passenger side of the vehicle, which support the driver when making left turns or changing lines in congested areas, by triggering optical and acoustic warnings to alert them to the presence of cyclists and pedestrians alongside.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has sold plenty of Econic-based mixers, tippers, tipper-grabs and skip-loaders, and for fridge-bodied rigids and tractor units which are now in service with food sector operators.  ASA’s truck, however, is one of the first to be commissioned by a scaffolding firm.

The Econic’s Business Benefits

A scaffolding firm has to care about safety standards – they also have to be seen to care about them.  Specifying the Econic (and with people like us writing about it) means that Managing Director Lee Tolan can justify the extra cost. Mr Tolan said: “Our very strong safety culture extends to the vehicles we run, as well as the scaffolding we erect.

“We’d heard and read a lot of positive reports about the safety benefits which the Econic offers, and these are clearly well founded. Thanks to its wraparound screen and glazed side door, the view is fantastic, which is particularly beneficial in the middle of the city.

“Factor in the optional safety aids we’ve added, and you can see how determined we are to protect other road users while also making the job less stressful for our driver. This applies not only to time spent at the wheel, but also when the truck is at our depot or out on site, as the lower deck height makes the job of loading and unloading that bit easier too.”

Considering the type of customer ASA works for – local Government – it comes as no surprise that the companies with better compliance are more likely to get the work.  A canny ASA operation is definitely taking the opportunity to benefit from additional safety measures.

Good job too.

Mr Tolan continued: “We do a lot of our work for local authorities, so compliance is also very high on our agenda. It isn’t enough to operate in a safe and responsible manner, you have to be seen to be doing so. I’d like to think, therefore, that this new truck is also going to help us win more business from established and prospective customers.”