The high-visibility Mercedes-Benz Econic has been hailed as a winner by London’s influential cycling community.
The ground-breaking model has already won praise from the capital’s construction industry for its low driving position and unrivalled field of vision from the cab – now Mercedes-Benz Trucks has been singled out by a panel of expert judges at the 2016 London Cycling Awards, where it won the Pro-cycling Business of the Year Award. The trophy was presented at the Spin Festival bike event, held at the Old Truman Brewery media complex in the East End.
Econics in tipper, crane-truck and skip-loader configuration, among others, have been eagerly embraced by safety-conscious urban operators – in many cases they are doing work previously carried out by conventional 8×4 construction chassis. The model’s low ride height and driving position are complemented by a deep windscreen and fully glazed, floor-to-ceiling kerbside door.
Judges singled out the Econic’s revolutionary cab design, which affords drivers a panoramic field of vision, and its seating position which places the driver’s head almost level with that of a cyclist, so that each is in the other’s direct line of sight.
The panel commented: “Mercedes-Benz was the first company to respond to the call from both CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety) and the London Cycling Campaign for a construction vehicle with a low-entry cab and panoramic, or high, vision that greatly reduces blind spots. Since first demonstrating such a vehicle in 2014, an adaptation of the Econic refuse vehicle, more than 130 units have been put into service in London.
“Call them panoramic, high or even direct vision, these trucks have lower cabs and fewer blind spots and Mercedes-Benz got there first by adapting their Econic for construction use and in doing so cyclists and pedestrians are much more visible to their drivers.”
London Cycling Campaign Chief Executive, Ashok Sinha, said: “What better way to celebrate this than to honour some of those whose vim and vigour, innovation and determination, has helped to make this happen.”
“From highway engineers to museum curators, entrepreneurs to community workers, they have all made a sterling contribution to the vitality and zest of London’s cycling culture. We salute their achievements in this year’s London Cycling Awards.”
Vincente Connolly, Director National Sales Mercedes-Benz & FUSO Trucks said: “We’re delighted to have been named London Cycling Awards’ Pro-cycling Business of the Year and having the Econic recognised for making a difference is incredibly important to us.
“With its unique cab design the Econic has truly captured the hearts and minds of safety-conscious operators in busy highly populated environments, where trucks, cyclists and pedestrians are in close proximity. It’s clear to see what a difference it makes.”
Standard Econic equipment includes an arsenal of essential Mercedes-Benz safety assistance systems: the Electro-Pneumatic Braking System (EPB) and Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) improve the vehicle’s stopping performance; Electronic Stability Program (ESP) adds greater security in critical driving situations; and Acceleration Skid Control (ASR) prevents the wheels from spinning.
Econic also comes with automatic transmission and an array of driving aids and ‘creature comforts’, to help drivers stay sharp and concentrate fully on their surrounding environment. A full-width, electrically operated sunblind helps prevent glare and heat build-up, while air conditioning ensures maximum comfort at all times. All seats have three-point seatbelts.
Sold and supported in the UK by the 96-strong, strategically located Mercedes-Benz franchised Dealer Network, the Econic enjoys the same levels of engineering excellence found within other Mercedes-Benz Trucks.