Mid and East Antrim goes for Econics
Mid and East Antrim Council has chosen nine Mercedes-Benz Econics to accompany it into the local authority’s first foray into RCV ownership as one entity.
Supplied by MBNI Truck & Van, the 6x2 Econics are all 2630 Ls with 299hp engines and six-speed Allison transmissions. Rear-steer axles have been specified to maximise manoeuvrability, and Dennis compactor bodies with Terberg bin lifts have been fitted.
The council is modernising its fleet following its establishment in 2015. Born out of three separate authorities, Mid and East Antrim inherited a mixture of vehicles of different ages and sizes.
Operations manager Neil Patrick said: “We’re delighted with them [the Econics]. As well as being reliable and safe, the fact that they have replaced older vehicles which did not meet the latest emissions standards means they are contributing to our efforts to minimise the effect of our operations on the local environment.”
The local authority ticked the Sideguard Assist box, which uses two short-range radar sensors mounted on the passenger side, supporting drivers when they make left turns via optical and acoustic warning signals.
Patrick added that this system “is absolutely essential when operating in narrow streets lined with parked cars”.
Mid and East Antrim Council was very complimentary of Mercedes’ customer service too.
“Mercedes-Benz has been extremely attentive and helpful, and worked closely with RD Mechanical to deliver the vehicles which are perfectly specified for our needs,” Patrick said.
RD Mechanical delivered the vehicles on behalf of Mercedes.
MAN opens new dealership in Gateshead
MAN has opened a dealership in Gateshead as part of a £20m investment into the marque’s UK dealer network.
Located on the Team Valley Trading Estate, 2 miles from the A1/A194 junction, the 24,524sq ft dealership houses 12 workshops, one MoT ATF test lane, and four double vehicle EV charging points, making it the manufacturer’s first eMobility workshop.
Staffed by 20 technicians, MAN says the facilities should ensure downtime is kept to a minimum. The workshops are open 24-hours a day too excluding weekends, while the parts bin at the new Gateshead facility equates to £350,000, and is accessible 24/7.
A tachograph calibration rolling road, two new brake testers, compressors, steam clean ramps and a 3-tonne overhead crane can all be found inside, alongside 28m long inspection pits, jacking rails, lighting and airlines. Six 7.5-tonne Stertil Koni wireless mobile column lifts capable of raising 45 tonnes have also been installed.
The complex’s steel frame was UK-manufactured, as were the structure’s main beams. MAN hopes to keep the building’s carbon footprint low by maximising the use of natural light and high levels of thermal insulation added in the construction process. These energy saving measures, MAN predicts, could save 6.72 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Thomas Hemmerich, MD of MAN truck & Bus UK, said: “This considerable investment in a new purpose built state-of-the-art facility clearly demonstrates our long-term commitment to the North East and to our strong customer base in the area. The new facility will allow us to continue to grow further across the region and we’re all excited to have this opportunity.”