Highlighting the diversity of their commercial vehicle range, Mercedes today has taken a moment to showcase two unique Mercedes-Benz Econic semi-trailer equipped with tanker bodies that have just entered service at the London Farnborough Airport. The trucks are based on the 18-ton Econic 1824LL chassis, and both have been fitted with Jost fifth wheel couplings and converted into 4x2 semi-trailer trucks to aid in their duties of transporting hazardous goods (namely, fuel).
But that's merely the tip of the iceberg, ladies and gentlemen. In order to comply with strict ADR regulations, an extensive series of modifications were also necessary. A few highlights include interlocking systems that prevent the trucks from moving during refueling, speed limiters that restrict the vehicles' top speed to 20 mph, and hydraulic fuel pumps that make use of the Econics' PTO's. In the end after all necessary changes, the Econic semi-trailer holds a total of 36,000 liters of jet fuel.
As for who was charged with the task of performing the many modifications needed to make the Mercedes Econics operational, that duty was bestowed upon Flightline Support - a company based in Witney that specializes in airport vehicles. Fortunately, the model was an ideal candidate to perform the job it was called upon to do, with its superior maneuverability, low cab entry and low ride height (allowing it to drive under aircraft wings) just a few of the many benefits the Econic offered in its chosen field.
If you're interested in purchasing your own aircraft refueling truck or just want to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz Econic semi-trailer tanker trucks used at the London Farnborough airport, you can find the complete details in the official press release below.
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Mercedes-Benz Econic in semi-trailer tanker version
- Two Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks deployed at London
- Special modifications to transport hazardous goods
- Semi-trailer with 36,000-litre capacity
Two Mercedes-Benz Econic semi-trailer trucks with a tanker body have just entered service at London Farnborough Airport. The trucks are based on the 18-tonne Econic 1824LL chassis but were fitted with a Jost fifth wheel coupling and converted into 4x2 semi-trailer trucks for transporting hazardous goods at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Molsheim, which specialises in constructing special-purpose vehicles. Extensive modifications were necessary to comply with strict ADR regulations. This work was carried out in the UK by Flightline Support, a company based in Witney near Oxford specialising in airport vehicles. Interlocking systems were installed to prevent the vehicle from moving during refuelling, as well as speed limiters that restrict the top speed to 20 mph (approx. 32 km/h). Hydraulics to pump fuel using the truck’s PTOs were also fitted. The semi-trailer holds 36,000 litres of jet fuel.
The Mercedes-Benz Econic fulfils key requirements for this kind of specialised usage as standard, with features that include a low overall height which makes it possible to drive under aircraft wings, good manoeuvrability courtesy of the hydraulic automatic transmission (Allison) and a low cab concept to facilitate getting in and out frequently. Large windows offer a good all-round view.
Farnborough has been a centre of military and civil aeronautical research for a long time. Since 1948 the airport has also hosted the biennial Farnborough International Airshow, which attracted almost a quarter of a million visitors in 2006. The first powered, sustained flight in Great Britain was made at Farnborough in 1908.
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