Reynolds is aiming to lead the foodservice industry from a road safety perspective, by commissioning two of the first temperature-controlled Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks, which we have named the Urban Prototype.
The high-visibility vehicles have a deep, panoramic windscreen and a full-length, folding side door. This allows the driver to make direct eye contact with cyclists and pedestrians at junctions or in traffic queues.
The 18-tonners are also fitted with Sentinel camera systems that give the driver a 360-degree view. An audible warning is sounded when a cyclist is alongside. Strobe lighting is available for use when crews are unloading at night.
The Urban Prototype’s standout low-entry cab has just two steps rather than the traditional four, which reduces the risk of access and egress injuries for the operator’s driver and ‘van assistant’. Easy through-cab access allows both to enter and exit safely on the non-traffic side.
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. Our recently-published Direct Vision Standard will help other companies bring their fleets up to modern safety standards and make London’s roads safer for all.”
The Urban Prototypes leave Reynolds’ National Distribution Centre at Waltham Cross between 2.30 and 3am. They are invariably back at base by mid-day, having typically made 30-35 deliveries.
Reflecting these early hours of operation, Reynolds has also gone to great lengths to ensure the Urban Prototypes are as quiet as possible. Their full air suspension makes a positive contribution to noise reduction, while Thermo King promotes its underslung UT-800 fridge as “whisper-quiet”. The vehicle bodies are also equipped with sound-deadening Marothaan floor coatings.