With the purchase of the first Mercedes-Benz Econic tippers with crane and clamshell bucket, UK-based FM Conway Ltd. is putting even more focus on safety, as 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 increased 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 8x4 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 tons and low overall height, better visibility, and low point of entry. Compared with conventional trucks, they provide far greater safety in London's congested inner-city traffic, according to Mercedes-Benz.
The drive power comes from a fuel-efficient BlueTec 6 engine with a displacement of 7.7L and an output of 260 kW (354 hp) in combination with an Allison six-speed automatic transmission with converter, according to Mercedes-Benz.
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, according to Mercedes-Benz.
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 just a single image, depending on the driving situation. By way of 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 manoeuvers, stopping at traffic lights or working at the roadside, according to the automaker.
FM Conway likewise gives top priority to the safety of its drivers: the new Mercedes-Benz Econic also features a low point of entry, which requires 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, according to Mercedes-Benz.