EAST Anglian Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle dealer Orwell Truck & Van has supplied 14 new units for St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s fleet of refuse trucks.

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The order from Orwell, which has bases in Ipswich, Newmarket, Colchester and Norwich, included 13 6x2 Econic 2629LL models with rear-steer axles, fitted with single 24 cubic metre compactor bodies and bin lifts.

In addition, the council has also acquired one 8x4 Econic 3233LL model, equipped with a 31 cubic metre body capable of lifting and emptying skips.

Although commissioned by St Edmundsbury’s fleet and technical manager, Phil Clifford, the new vehicles will also serve the neighbouring Forest Heath District Council area, with the two authorities operating shared waste and street scene services fleet under the West Suffolk brand name.

St Edmundsbury council was one of the first UK customers for the Mercedes-Benz Econic following its UK launch in 1999. Since then, the purpose-designed municipal chassis has been an ever-present on the authority’s fleet, with one unit originally purchased in 2000 only now having to be replaced.

Mr Clifford, who manages the combined West Suffolk fleet, said: “There’s still a boundary between our two local government areas, but from a routing and scheduling point of view we ignore it and do whatever’s logistically sensible, thereby ensuring best value for our Council Tax payers.”

He added: “Our crews appreciate the Econic’s brand image and high build quality, as well as its day-to-day functionality – we particularly like the easily accessed low-entry cab with its air-operated folding door, and all-round air suspension with on-board weighing.

“Our Mercedes-Benz trucks have proved exceptionally reliable over the years. We usually write-down our vehicles over eight years but inevitably get longer than this – and in some cases a lot longer – from our Econics.

“The 13-year-old vehicle we’ve just sold at auction was a great advertisement for the brand, because it just kept on going.”

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