Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has handed over 22 Mercedes-Benz Atego 918/42 trucks to the City of Tshwane. The vehicles will beef up the City’s Electricity Department fleet used in the maintenance of street lights and other facilities.
Clinton Savage, Mercedes-Benz Trucks divisional manager says: “The Mercedes-Benz Atego is the ideal truck for the City of Tshwane’s Electricity Department as the vehicle can manoeuvre in narrow city streets while also coping well with rugged terrain. Additionally, given the economic climate, the Atego is an outstanding match for the City’s mandate that called for a vehicle that is durable, economical and robust.’ Savage elaborates that what sets the Mercedes-Benz Atego apart is its low maintenance cost. “The Atego offers low fuel consumption and its low carbon emissions align well with the global drive to reduce and minimise carbon emissions.’
Optimal total cost of ownership supported by the backing of MBSA’s value chain offerings makes a strong business case for the Mercedes-Benz Atego. “In line with other innovative fleets in our customer base, the City has opted for our CharterWay Service plan , our MBSA commercial vehicles value chain offering for service and maintenance contracts,’ says Savage.
Ndwamato Tom Mutshidza, acting strategic executive director in the Services Infrastructure department at the City of Tshwane says: “This project marks the continuation of our longstanding relationship with Mercedes-Benz South Africa and is a result of consolidated efforts by Mercedes-Benz and their suppliers.’
The Mercedes-Benz Atego trucks are fitted with Scorpion 1490 Smart aerial platforms by Germiston-based specialist, Smith Capital Equipment. The Scorpion 1490 Smart commonly finds application in overhead line works, telecommunications and street lighting maintenance.
Uven Moodley, operations director at Smith Capital Equipment says: “The platform fitted on the Mercedes-Benz Atego is class leading with an ability to be set up and be ready to work faster than most of its competitors. It is very popular in Europe and we import this platform from Oils & Steel SPA in Italy. The City of Tshwane is the second municipality to have the Oil & Steel SPA platform in the country.’
These aerial platforms have a high-quality tubular and sheet steel structure that is bolted onto the chassis. They are equipped with 4 A-type stabilizer feet.
Fuel efficiency is enhanced by remote start-stop functionality that is made possible due to the Mercedes-Benz programmable special modules PSM ® that are fitted to the Atego trucks.
This functionality allows the operator to start and stop the engine from the platform thus improving efficient use of fuel. The PSM modules are also programmed to prevent the vehicle from being driven with the platform deployed, in keeping with Mercedes-Benz emphasis on safety. The platform uses a hydraulic pantograph system with two cylinders in phase to level the platform.
The Scorpion 1490 Smart has a maximum working height of 14 metres, carrying capacity of 250kg (2 operators) and a maximum outreach of 9 metres.
For the crew cabs, TFM Manufacturing was roped in. This East London based body builder manufactured and mounted a flat deck body to meet the specifications of the Tshwane Municipality.
“We achieved this by designing the sub-frame and load body to meet the requirements while adhering strictly to the directives by Mercedes-Benz South Africa. This involved a steel structure complete with an aluminium non-slip floor to allow for safe working conditions when walking on the truck body. Access steps were provided for safe access on to the body,’ says Brian Haviland, managing director at TFM Manufacturing.
To optimise the use of space, the design incorporates a toolbox under a comfortably cushioned seat for the crew and includes two-point seat belts for safety. For increased visibility at night, the vehicles are fitted with external warning lights. Low profile bull bars provide additional protection to the front of the cab.