The new trucks, which join the council’s fleet of 42 RCVs, are all 2630 L variants with 7.7-litre in-line six-cylinder engines that transmit their 220 kW (299 hp) outputs to the road via six-speed Allison automatic gearboxes purpose-designed for stop-start applications.

The rear-steer axles provide enhanced manoeuvrability by reducing turning circles – a significant advantage when working on residential streets.

The vehicles’ safety armoury also includes the latest Active Brake Assist 5 emergency braking technology, with pedestrian recognition capability, and Electronic Parking Brakes that are applied automatically when the engine is switched off.

Most of the low-entry Econics they have replaced were 2012 models, although four had been providing reliable, cost-effective service since 2009.

Supplied by local dealer Ciceley Commercials, the new, Euro VI-compliant trucks offer a 90% reduction in particulate and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions compared to their Euro V predecessors, while also consuming less fuel and up to 40% less AdBlue.

Eight of the new trucks are fitted with 22m3 versions of FAUN Zoeller’s Variopress body and work with split Delta high-level bin lifts. The Variopress system employs a conventional packer plate to compress the waste and was already being operated successfully by Bolton Council on the six Mercedes-Benz Econics it purchased in 2017.

The remaining 11 vehicles have been specified with cylindrical Rotopress bodies, which represent a new departure for the authority. Built around a rotating drum, this radical design offers a number of benefits, including higher payloads, reduced rear overhangs, a tight seal resulting in less dust and odour during collection operations, and fewer moving parts, which translate into lower maintenance and repair costs.

Bolton Council’s 20m3 capacity Rotopress units are also fitted with Delta lifts and offer 11.5-tonne maximum payload capacities, up by about a tonne on their Variopress stablemates. They have been assigned to food and green garden waste collections. Although this type of body is capable of compacting all types of waste and recyclables, it is particularly well suited to organic material as the rotating body ‘kick starts’ the composting process.

Image: Ciceley Commercials.


Jason Molyneux, senior team leader in the council’s waste department, commented: ‘Ciceley Commercials’ truck sales executive Matt Riley provides a great service, while we also have a very good relationship with the dealer’s aftersales team, who provide first-class back-up. If ever we have a technical issue we know we can just give them a call and they’ll sort it out for us quickly.

‘In truth, though, and this explains why we have remained loyal to Mercedes-Benz, our Econics have given us very few problems. The drivelines are exceptionally reliable and the cabs are comfortable and well-liked by the drivers and crews who use them.

‘FAUN Zoeller is also a trusted supplier, and experience has shown that its products offer the performance we need. By specifying the two different types of body, we’ve ensured that we have the flexibility to manage every kind of waste stream efficiently and cost-effectively.’

Bolton Council’s executive cabinet member for environmental services, Cllr Nadim Muslim, said: ‘Our waste collection teams have done a great job working through the challenges of the pandemic, during which there has been a significant increase in demand for our household waste and recycling service. These new vehicles will make a real improvement to that service.’

Executive cabinet member for regeneration & development, Cllr Adele Warren, added: ‘This is a great step forward in our commitment to be a cleaner, greener, environmentally sustainable borough. These new vehicles will reduce carbon emissions and support our efforts to reduce pollution and deliver improved air quality in Bolton.’