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Hanson hails the era of the low-entry Mercedes Econic truck

First publishedin World Highways
June 2018
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High-rolling Hanson with the low-entry Mercedes Econic trucks
UK materials supplier Hanson has taken delivery of the first of 40 low-entry Mercedes Econic cabbed ready-mixed concrete trucks.

Hanson said that the low-entry vehicles reflects the company’s ongoing commitment to road safety. The Euro 6-engined trucks have a panoramic glass cab and are fitted with 360° cameras. This, coupled with the lower driving position, says Hanson, significantly improves the driver’s visibility of cyclists and pedestrians, particularly on the near side, according to Hanson.

The highly manoeuvrable front and rear steer trucks are also fitted with a lightweight drum, improving efficiency and saving fuel by increasing the load size from 7.5-8m³.

The vehicles are initially being used in London, where they form part of Hanson’s service to the Thames Tideway Tunnel project.

Hanson also said that the vehicles “are helping to meet Transport for London’s direct vision standard while reducing vehicle movements in the capital”.

The mayor of London launched Direct Vision Standard in 2016. It uses a star system to rate heavy goods vehicles from 0 (the lowest) to 5 (the highest) based on how much a driver can see directly through their cab windows, as opposed to indirectly through cameras or mirrors.

Mercedes-Benz says that the Econic comes in high and low roof versions. Both versions are constructed as a lightweight aluminium space frame and meet European Crash test standard ECE R29/2. Both versions allow low entry with a flat floor and seating for up to four crew. The Econic offers a central axle-load measuring system to provide a continuous indication of the current load status and the gross weight of the individual axles.

The high roof version offers four overhead lockers as storage for clothes and tools. The low roof version offers the advantage of a 450mm lower overall height, ideal where limited headroom is part of the job. The cabs both feature an electrically operated sunblind, preventing glare and excessive heating as well as air conditioning as standard for driver comfort. The cab also features large panoramic windows providing excellent visibility and both hinged and air operated folding doors available for easy access.

Hanson, part of the HeidelbergCement Group, supplies heavy building materials to the construction industry. It employs 3,500 people and produces aggregates, ready-mixed concrete, asphalt, cement and cement-related materials.

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