Mercedes-Benz launches ‘direct vision’ Econic truck

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a prototype urban truck based on its low-entry Econic chassis that helps protect vulnerable road users. The development follows orders for rigid versions of the Econic from safety-conscious construction and refrigerated vehicle operators. The truck has a deep, panoramic windscreen, full-height glazed passenger door, and a low seating position which allows the driver to make direct eye contact with cyclists and pedestrians at junctions and in traffic. The 4×2 Econic 1835L truck will operate at up to 36 tonnes and has a 354hp enigine driving via a six-speed Allison automatic gearbox. Mercedes-Benz plans to offer its Mercedes PowerShift transmission in Econic models powered by the same engine before the end of 2017. The truck incorporates refinements made recently to the Econic cab, to enhance its appeal for drivers and crew. These include a driver’s door which is higher and opens more widely, and a re-profiled floor that makes cross-cab access easier. A number of Econic-based construction vehicles including builders’ merchant dropsiders with cranes, tippers, tipper-grabs and skip-loaders are now operating in London and Cambridge, while a pair of fridge-bodied 18-tonners also entered service in the capital late last year.

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