Mercedes-Benz has launched its new dual-control Econic model range for the waste sector in Australia in what is becoming an increasingly attractive niche for truck makers. The Melbourne launch was in front of leading waste industry representatives from around the country.

Benz reckons the new Econic models with dual steering wheels and controls were developed in response to local side-loading demands.

Mercedes-Benz was able to demonstrate the design and workmanship of the dual control Econic, which is produced at the company’s world-class Worth plant in Germany, to waste industry leaders at the event.

The company also explained to guests that the new dual control Econic has a has a Euro VI rated engine, Electronic Stability Program and a special low-entry cab design with visibility superior to that of traditional trucks. No other truck in the class has all three features.

“The launch of the dual control Econic represents a win all round for operators, drivers and the public,” Mercedes-Benz Trucks sales manager, Andrew Assimo.

“The Euro VI engine is efficient and produces low emissions, but it is quiet in operation too,” he says.

“High levels of safety are a big plus for everyone, especially the driver who also benefits from great ergonomics. There is also the superior vision of this truck, which is of utmost importance given the mixture of pedestrians, cyclists and cars in the urban environments most Econics will operate,” Mr Assimo says.

The dual control Econic not only has Electronic Stability Program, but an Electronic Braking System and an Anti-Lock Braking System all fitted as standard. Optional safety items include adaptive cruise control, Active Brake Assist and Lane Keeping Assist.

Its cabin complies with the European ECE-R29 crash test regulations and features large panoramic windows for excellent visibility.

The dual control Econic features air suspension for all axles and a suspended driver’s seat on both sides of the cabin.

It uses a 7.7-litre diesel engine with 299hp that meets Euro VI emission standards and delivers a reduction of emissions and particulate matter by up to 90 per cent compared to the Euro V engine. The Econic also runs the industry-preferred six-speed Allison fully automatic transmission.

Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus director, Michael May, says it was great to show the truck to waste industry leaders.

“We’ve been developing this targeted product for the local waste industry for three years, so it was fantastic to show the dual control Econic to our customers,” he says.

“The reaction was extremely positive with customers thrilled to finally see a factory-delivered solution that ticks so many of the boxes when it comes to safety, environment, driver welfare and low operating costs.