In future 80 Econic trucks will be setting standards in terms of safety, comfort and eco friendliness in Hong Kong.

The translation of Hong Kong is "fragrant harbour". Thus cleanliness and sustainability are of central importance to the Asian mega-metropolis with its population of around 7.5 million. This is the case in the waste management industry, for example, where thousands of tonnes of waste must be removed fast and safely on a daily basis. To then also comply with modern demands regarding safety and comfort, state and private waste disposal companies rely increasingly on low-entry trucks. And what was the first choice for the latest fleet expansion? the Econic. 80 units of the waste disposal truck will be on Hong Kong’s roads in future.

Thoroughly tested in practical operations.

Of course a decision of this importance requires thorough testing. That is why Econic trials began in 2017 in Hong Kong. And it quickly became clear that the waste disposal vehicle meets all of the requirements in terms of safety, comfort and eco friendliness. The Econic scores particularly well when driving in urban traffic thanks to the driver’s direct view of the road and the truck’s excellent manoeuvrability. The Econic also proved itself off-road, on the often steep access roads to the waste sites.

Initiative for greater safety.

The top priority of Hong Kong’s administration is to improve safety for all road users in the urban area. In doing so it is modelling its specifications on the strict requirements for trucks in municipal operations which already apply in London. Years ago, the Econic was awarded the full five stars for compliance with all safety criteria there.

Econic impresses with its CLOCS safety initiative

Thanks to a low seat position and a huge field of vision provided by the DirectVision cab, drivers of the Econic are always at eye level with other road users. As a result drivers can not only communicate better, but also react faster so that ideally they can avoid dangerous situations before they arise.

The Econic with DirectVision: driving with foresight at eye level.

There are also numerous innovative safety assistance systems in the Econic: they help drivers to keep a safe distance to vehicles ahead and assist them when turning, issue effective collision warnings and in an emergency can even intervene with autonomous braking manoeuvres thanks to the standard Active Brake Assist.

In Hong Kong, decision-makers quickly accepted the low-entry concept with all of its benefits and in 2019 the city’s administration issued the first invitation to tender requiring waste disposal vehicles with a low-entry cab. A year later these requirements also became mandatory for privately run waste management companies in Hong Kong.

Simply ergonomic and eco friendly.

The Econic is one of the most prominent representatives of vehicles of this kind and with its low-entry design reliably complies with Hong Kong’s requirements for improved safety of crews at work. Because its cab’s design offers a high degree of comfort. All of the controls are easy to reach. And thanks to the low entry, the crew enters the vehicle using two steps instead of climbing into the cab via several steps as is typically the case for other trucks. An advantage that pays off in waste disposal operations where crews exit and enter the vehicle often – and which particularly impressed staff during the Econic’s test phase.

In large cities with greater air pollution in particular, eco friendliness is another decisive criterion: the Econic has a low-emission drive and a modern Euro-VI engine and thus meets the requirements of an exhaust emissions standard which very few commercial vehicles comply with in Asia at present.

Test passed, delivery has started.

Thanks to a huge range of qualities the Econic impressed across the board in Hong Kong. At the end of November 2020, Andreas Buchenthal, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong, handed over the first Econic waste disposal vehicle to Szeto Wing Tak, Executive Director of the Johnson Group. The Johnson Group had won the invitation to tender for private waste disposal companies and initially will use nine Econic trucks for waste collection on Hong Kong’s roads. These will be followed by another 22 Econic 1827 L, 2630 L and 3235 L ENA models.

The successful waste disposal truck is also being added to the city administration’s fleet: eight Econic 2635 L trucks have been operating on a daily basis since March 2021 and the delivery of another 22 vehicles is now underway. Thus by the end of 2021 around 80 Econic vehicles will be responsible for waste disposal in Hong Kong.

All of those involved are happy that compromise in terms of quality and standards is unnecessary. A high level of safety, great comfort and low emissions: a win-win-win situation with the Econic.

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