Picture of a Mick George truck driving through the streets of Cambridge

Mick George orders Mercedes Econics for Cambridge

Published:  11 October, 2016

Tipper Haulier of the Year Mick George ordered the first Mercedes-Benz Econic construction vehicles for operation outside of London.

The new trucks will spend much of their time working in and around Cambridge, which has been described as the UK’s city of cycling.

The vehicles feature a panoramic windscreen and full-height glazed passenger door, with a low seating position that allows the driver to make direct eye contact with cyclists and pedestrians at junctions and in traffic.

This means the low-entry chassis offers significant safety advantages in a university city where, it has been estimated, one in five journeys is made by bike, many of them by students.

The order comprises five 18-tonne Econic 1830s with Hyva skip-loader bodies and five 32-tonne Econic 3235 ENAs with alloy tipping bodies by Wilcox.

The eight-wheelers, which offer a highly competitive payload of 20,450 kg, have single front steer axles, double-drive bogies and rear-steer axles. This configuration gives the vehicle an impressively tight turning circle and makes it significantly more manoeuvrable than a standard 8x4 construction truck, a major advantage for operation in tight streets.

Like all of Mick George’s trucks, its new vehicles are fitted with an additional safety armoury comprising five cameras, nearside proximity scan systems, left and right turn audible alarms and additional warning markings.

A leading supplier to the construction industry in East Anglia and the East Midlands, Huntingdon-based Mick George operates quarries, landfill sites and waste transfer stations and provides bulk excavation and earthmoving, aggregate supply and waste management services.

The company’s success in winning the Tipper Haulier of the Year title at the 2016 Tip-ex/Tank-ex awards came shortly after it secured coveted Gold accreditation from the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS). Mick George is also a CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety) Champion.

Explaining the company’s decision to purchase its first Mercedes-Benz trucks, transport manager Joe Gossage said: ‘The safety of our staff, communities, clients, contractors and the people we work alongside is of utmost importance to Mick George. The introduction of these Econic chassis further underlines our determination to minimise the risk to vulnerable road users.

‘The enhanced field of vision which this vehicle offers will be a real advantage to our drivers when navigating through cities or in complex situations, while its two-step, low entry minimises the possibility of injury when accessing the cab.

‘The Econic is one of only two bona fide low-entry urban safety vehicles currently available and by far the more industry-proven.

‘That said, the procurement decision also came down to which manufacturer and dealer we believe can offer us the best service and breakdown provision.’

Mick George has a number of partnerships in Cambridgeshire, including a high-profile, five-year waste collection and disposal agreement signed recently with the University of Cambridge. In addition to the provision of a sustainable and fully auditable zero-to-landfill waste management programme, the company’s commitment to the safety of local communities was key to its success in winning this contract.

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