Biffa boosts its fleet with new body variants


Integrated waste management and recycling leader Biffa has added 43 more Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks – including its first skiploaders and hookloaders based on the low-entry chassis – to the 51 it acquired in 2017-18.
These vehicles were all supplied by South Wales Dealer Euro Commercials. The overwhelming majority are 6x2 Econic 2630L variants with rear-steer axles and Dennis Eagle compactor bodies.
Biffa is now trialling these vehicles in London, where the Econic, having secured a five-star Direct Vision rating, is proving increasingly popular with safety-conscious operators across a range of applications.  
The first Mercedes-Benz Econics hit UK roads 20 years ago, and Biffa has since played a significant role in the model’s development. Today, Econics account for a large proportion of the refuse collection vehicles on its Industrial & Commercial Division’s 1,500-strong truck fleet.
Biffa Fleet Project Engineer Colin Bagnall confirmed: “The Econic is our preferred low-entry RCV chassis. It is reliable and cost-effective in operation, while our crews appreciate its comfortable, air-conditioned, walk-through cab.”
Biffa undertakes the majority of vehicle inspections and maintenance in its own workshops. “Mercedes-Benz Trucks has a strong Dealer Network, though, and we also rely on its members to undertake warranty work and, from time to time, other assignments,” said Mr Bagnall.
Commenting on the introduction of its first Econic-based skiploaders and hookloaders, he continued: “These vehicles represent a new departure for us, and underline our commitment to safe, compliant operation in busy urban areas.
“We’ll be monitoring their performance closely but the initial feedback from drivers has been entirely positive. They particularly appreciate the excellent visibility which the Econic offers.”
Mr Bagnall added: “Although we’ve been running Econics for many years, our relationship with Euro Commercials, from which we also buy other Mercedes-Benz truck models, is still a relatively new one.
“The Dealer provides an excellent service,” he confirmed. “Our tender documents are professionally completed and submitted in good time, while its team are very pleasant to deal with.
“As the prime contractor, Euro Commercials liaises with our other suppliers and oversees the bodybuilding process. It also provides regular updates on our orders – the spreadsheets are both comprehensive and accurate, and backed up by weekly contact calls. If any issues do arise, they are always addressed very promptly.”
Established in 1912, Biffa operates from headquarters in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and no fewer than 195 other sites nationwide. Its Municipal Division services over 2.4 million households and collects 4.1 million bins every week.