Based on the 18-tonne low-entry municipal chassis-cab, Econic tractors have been trialled in the UK previously, but this 1835L 4×2 is the first to go into commercial service. Plated at 31 tonnes it pulls an 11m Gray & Adams dual-temperature tandem trailer (also supplied by Ryder) with an undermount Carrier fridge. It replaces a 4×2 DAF tractor. The low-entry, high-visibility cab scores five stars on Transport for London’s Direct Vision Standard.
The truck operates from Reynolds’ Waltham Cross national distribution centre in Hertfordshire, and carries out multi-drop deliveries in London. Specifying a Mercedes-Benz Powershift 3 automated manual transmission in place of the refuse industry’s standard Allison full-automatic means the unit can also be used for trunking to Reynolds’ satellite depots.
Reynolds already had experience of Econic rigids, and needed a trusted partner to source the tractor. Ryder is an established Reynolds supplier, providing fridge trailer and tractor units on a rental basis, and will maintain the Econic tractor at its Rainham depot.
Steve White, head of fleet at Reynolds said: “With more than 250 vehicles operating from 10 locations, we don’t want hassle in our fleet; we run vehicles for up to seven years and we’ve spent a long time getting the supply base right, getting the vehicle spec and safety features correct; the Econic is a tried and tested vehicle in a tough sector like waste, and we see it – whether rigid or tractor – as a key component in our future fleet. We were happy to work with Ryder to bring the tractor into service.
“We’re paying a premium for this tractor, but that premium is nothing in comparison with the safety benefit that the Econic provides. Driver feedback has been excellent: those that have driven it are very happy and have noted the superb visibility.”
Paul Eve, London and south-east area sales manager at Ryder, said: “We spent a lot of time working in partnership with Reynolds and Mercedes-Benz to develop this first Econic tractor and bring it into service. This proves what Ryder can do with new technology. We look forward to helping other urban multi-drop customers in a similar way.”