Mercedes-Benz in Europe has developed a solution for all three, with its new Econic concrete agitator truck.
Britain’s largest road- building company, Tarmac, has ordered 25 Econic 3235 L concrete mixers and tippers for use on London construction sites.
The trucks are based on the four-axle, 32-tonne Mercedes- Benz Econic chassis that recently received the Tipper Safety Trophy in the Tip-ex and Tank-ex Awards for the high standard of its tipper safety features.
Cab access on the Econic is hard to fault, with wide opening, floor to ceiling doors — split fold on the passenger’s side — and a floor height that’s just a single step up from the road. No more climbing up three steps over a front wheel arch.
My most recent interview with a concrete truck driver revealed complaints of back strain had forced the manufacturer to install an extra step as the gap between the standard steps was too wide.
Motorists may think that’s a bit fussy but these operators are in and out of their trucks a couple of dozen times a day, often on dodgy ground and fully kitted up with safety boots and hi-vis gear.
The Tarmac Econics are specced to handle the tight delivery situations in London’s congested heart. Instead of the conventional 8x4 configuration here in Australia, each chassis ordered by Tarmac has a single-tyre steer axle.
The tri-axle rear end has two driven axles plus a steered, single-tyre trailing axle. It delivers an impressively small turning circle while maximising payload capacity, and makes the truck more manoeuvrable than a conventional 32-tonne 8x4.
There are acres of glass, and the low sill line and seamless windscreen leave little outside the driver’s vision.
Additionally, the low floor height means the driver is close to eye level with pedestrians and cyclists.
Tarmac’s Econics are powered by the 7.7-litre 354hp Mercedes-Benz Euro VI six-cylinder diesel engine.
Improving safety in road traffic is the declared aim of Tarmac and the Benz tech package helps here. It includes the emergency braking assistant “Active Brake Assist 3” and a combination of mirror and camera-based systems to minimise the blind spot.
5 Gallon Bucket Concrete Mixer
The Econic complies with the Construction Logistics and Community Safety standard for London. It was developed to deal with a disproportionately high level of cyclist and pedestrian fatalities involving construction vehicles in the British capital.
Tarmac played a major role in the development and testing of construction vehicles with concrete mixer bodies based on the Mercedes-Benz Econic, through its 400 locations throughout Britain.
The company has a large proportion of independent contractors on its workforce and is requesting all of those who are assigned to work on London construction sites to change over to the new Econic spec.
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