JB Riney buys Mercedes-Benz Econic tipper-grab for London

Civil engineering firm JB Riney & Co has paid a £35,000 premium to put a new, vulnerable-road-user-friendly 8x4 tipper-grab on the road.

The Charlton-bodied Mercedes-Benz Econic features the model’s classic deep windscreen and fully-glazed nearside door, which, coupled with its low seating position, provides the driver with a better view of pedestrians and cyclists from the cab.

The vehicle entered service last month and is fitted with cameras all round.

With a single front steer axle, a double-drive bogie and a rear-steer axle, the vehicle has a much tighter turning circle than a conventional 8-wheel tipper.

Barry Parker, transport and vehicle purchase manager at JB Riney, told CM his attention was first drawn to the potential for an Econic-based 8-wheeler by the City of London Corporation, for whom the vehicle is engaged on spoil removal from a major development project at the Aldgate gyratory.

“It said ‘Mercedes is doing this – do you want to jump on it?’ – and because they suggested it might be a good idea, we went down that road,” said Parker.

Despite paying more than £163,000 for the vehicle – comprising £25,000 more for the truck than a regular 8-wheel tipper and £10,000 more than its normal choice of crane for the Palfinger Epsilon M135L, which was needed as a result of the Econic’s chassis design – Parker said the firm was pleased with the results.

Lower ground clearance had not proved an issue, and the truck’s regular driver was unfazed by the unconventional driving position.
The extra cost of the vehicle – acquired on a two-year hire purchase – was massive, admitted Parker, “but it’s all about safety”.