With increased emphasis being placed on environmental matters generally, reflected in the domestic world by separate green, brown and black bin collections, the role of the refuse collection truck is cast into sharp focus. Indeed, few have paid as much attention to this expanding market than Mercedes-Benz whose Econic-class trucks can be found wending their way through housing estates in increasing numbers.

Now comes the announcement that a new-generation Euro VI-compliant Econic is on its way and will be available here from the end of this year. Cleaner, stronger, more efficient and easier to operate than its predecessor, the new multi-use Econic is kitted with low opening cab doors to facilitate collection and delivery applications in which driver and crew must enter and exit the cab frequently.

Not confined to waste collection and road sweeping, typical Econic applications can be found in a wide number of local authority and private sector environments such as food and drink deliveries, fire services, catering supplies and airport tarmac uses.

Incorporating many components from the new Actros - including chassis, electronics and certain control elements - the new Econic is more economical than before, delivering a four percent reduction in fuel consumption and lower repair and maintenance costs, despite an unchanged payload. It will be available in several two and three-axle variants.

Other Euro VI vehicles coming down the line from the Stuttgart stable is a new all-terrain Unimog and Unimog implement carrier. Once referred to as ‘the John Wayne of commercial vehicles’ – Unimog is a vehicle used in Ireland by ESB and other utility companies whose need is for a unit capable of servicing mountainous terrain and extreme off-road installations.

The new ten-model Unimog line-up comes with four and six-cylinder engines ranging in output from 115 kW (156 hp) to 260 kW (354 hp). Combining low fuel consumption with extremely clean exhausts, the all-terrain version has a revamped mid-engine layout while the implement carrying version has a new synergistic drive arrangement, updated cab with all-round visibility and new hydraulics.

Commenting, Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles sales manager, Fergus Conheady, said ‘with the launch of these new models, Mercedes-Benz becomes the only manufacturer in Europe to offer Euro VI-compliant products in all segments of the light, medium, and heavy-duty commercial vehicles market.’

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