Fife Council is hoping to save around 8% on its fuel bills after putting 11 Mercedes-Benz Econic refuse collection vehicles into operation with new Allison transmission software.
Supplied by Western Commercial over the last two and a half months, the 6x2 Econic 2630Ls all have 7.7-litre, 299hp straight-six engines and rear-steer axles for optimum manoeuvrability, with six-speed Allison automatic transmission and compactor bodies from Farid Hillend Engineering. They also feature Merc’s Active Brake Assist 4 emergency braking system.
Last year, the authority trialled a retrofit software update from Allison on two older vehicles that produced significant fuel consumption improvements, said the council’s waste operations service manager, Sandy Anderson. “The trial was conducted in a controlled manner and demonstrated a clear improvement,” he commented. “We were averaging 5.73mpg during the period from January to June 2018. After the software installation this rose to 6.18mpg during the period from January to June 2019.”
Revised ECO programme software is now installed as standard on the Econic and Fife’s trucks are also limited to a top speed of 85kph to boost fuel efficiency still further.
Joining a 40-strong fleet of RCVs and working from depots in Glenrothes and Dunfermline, six of the new trucks will be deployed on domestic rounds while the other five are on commercial duties. Backed by the manufacturer’s three-year/160,000km warranty, they will be maintained in the council’s own workshops.