Travis Perkins Group will be supporting Freight in the City Spring Summit next month in Manchester by bringing along its latest safety truck to show visitors.

The builders’ merchant group, itself a Fors gold member and Clocs champion, has recently demonstrated its commitment to safer haulage with the purchase of four 6x2 Mercedes-Benz Econics.

While the low-entry, improved visibility Econics have already been used for tipper and municipal operations, the Travis Perkins trucks are the first to be used for urban distribution duties.

As well as the low cab, the trucks' specification includes a full complement of external mirrors, a five-camera CCTV system (one each end and each side, and one inside the body), a side-scan proximity detector and an audible left-turn warning.

The first two are already in service with the group's CCF subsidiary, which specialises in interior building products, and are fitted with curtainside bodywork (pictured) and carry a Moffett Mounty.

A further two are due for delivery shortly: one in subsidiary Keyline’s blue livery, which will be on display at Freight in the City in Manchester; and one in the parent company’s livery. Both will have drop-side bodywork and Hiab cranes fitted.

All four, and any future examples, will be reserved solely for operations within London.

Although the initially estimated cost premium over a comparable traditional truck was £35,000 each, this eventually settled at £21,000, funded from the regular transport budget.

Ron Searle, Travis Perkins head of group transport risk and compliance, reckons it's a price worth paying to make the roads safer, and expects the premium to fall as volumes increase.

  • Make sure to book your free place at next month’s Freight in the City Spring Summit on 3 March at Manchester Central to find out the latest advancements in clean, safe city distribution equipment.