Foodservice supplier Reynolds has commissioned two new state-of-the-art ‘urban prototype’ lorries with panoramic vision to protect cyclists and reduced noise.
The new temperature-controlled trucks have deep, panoramic windscreens and a full-length folding side door, allowing the driver, who sits much lower than in a conventional vehicle, to make direct eye contact with cyclists and pedestrians at junctions or in queues.
Sentinel camera systems give the driver a 360-degree view and also sound an audible warning when a cyclist is alongside, and strobe lighting helps crews who are unloading at night. Other features include two steps to the driver’s cab, rather than four, which reduces the risk of access and injuries for the driver.
The two Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks are under a contract hire agreement with Gulliver’s Truck Hire and are now making multi-drop deliveries throughout London.
Reynolds said it is already accredited to bronze standard by FORS (the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme), and its latest additions reflects the company’s determination to go for gold.
Leon Daniels, managing director of surface transport at Transport for London (TfL), said: “I’m pleased that Reynolds is at the vanguard of forward-thinking companies by using safer lorries with higher levels of driver direct vision.”
As deliveries are made during the night, the new vehicles’ have full air suspension to reduce the noise they make, and the UT-800 fridges are described as “whisper-quiet”. The lorries also have sound-deadening Marothaan floor coatings.
Reynolds’ head of fleet support Steve White said: “Having also worked in the waste industry I was already very familiar with the Econic, and particularly the attributes of its low-entry, high-visibility cab. Given the focus on cyclist and pedestrian safety in London I’ve come to realise that it could be ideally suited to our operation too.”