PERTHSHIRE-BASED CIVIL ENGINEERING SPECIALIST FCH CONSTRUCTION SERVICES HAS A NEW IVECO X-WAY 570 TRIDEM COMPLETE WITH A SUCTION EXCAVATOR. BULK & TIPPER REPORTS ON THE COMPANY’S NEW TRUCKS.
FCH Construction, a family run firm from Perthshire in Scotland, had its X-Way 8×4 Tridem on show at the Transport News Scottish Rewards show in November. This vehicle – and its other new X-Way trucks – represents progress as it builds a fleet capable of responding to anything its customers demand. And when you discover the variety of work, and the remit FCH has, you’ll discover just how impressive it all is.
The company was set up by Fraser Hart, who having left school had a few different jobs before going to work alongside his father Charlie in the pipeline industry for J P Forbes. He made his way up to being a supervisor, working on all sizes of pipes from 15mm up to 1,000mm water mains. He moved around a few different companies until one day the company he was working suddenly closed the doors. “I had worked together with my dad at various places, and at times we’d be each other’s bosses. At that point we both got laid off together and thought ‘well what do we do now’?” recalls Fraser. “I had been talking for years about going and doing it myself, and that was the opportunity right there.”
DAF TRUCKS GAVE THE UK TRANSPORT PRESS THE AVAILABILITY TO GET BEHIND THE WHEEL OF ITS NEW XD RANGE OF DISTRIBUTION TRUCKS AT AN EVENT IN SPAIN NEAR BARCELONA. THE NEW RANGE REPRESENTS THE NEXT STAGE IN THE COMPLETE REPLACEMENT OF THE LONG SERVING CF AND XF RANGES. BULK & TIPPER TRY’S SEVERAL VERSIONS OF THE LATEST VEHICLES.
The larger XF/XG and XG+ models were introduced last year, although deliveries of new trucks only really got underway in the early part of this year and they have been very well received by operators in both the UK and Europe – with orders for over 50,000 vehicles taken in record time. The new XD is aimed at the vocational and distribution sectors and will be offered on all variants of two, three and four axle rigids, plus two and three axle tractors. The heavier-duty XDC and XFC models aimed at construction and other more arduous applications were shown to the public at the recent IAA show at Hannover, with improved ground clearance and other bespoke features. These were not available at this press event, but we anticipate that DAF will hold a similar event to showcase these important variants in the future, meanwhile several the XD models that we were able to examine and drive are directly relevant to the bulk and tipper transport sector.
FOR MORE THAN 50 YEARS FRENCH COMPANY ECOVRAC HAS BEEN DESIGNING AND MANUFACTURING BULK NON-TIPPING TRAILERS, OR RIGIDS FOR THE BULK TRANSPORT OF LIVESTOCK FEED. BULK & TIPPER TALKS TO THE PRESIDENT-DIRECTOR GENERAL OF ITS PARENT COMPANY GROUPE AMES.
The recent cold weather is a reminder of how important the food supply chain is to us all. While for most of the population that is mainly a concern that supermarket shelves will be filled, for bulk haulage operators involved in bulk feed distribution, ensuring that supplies reach farms, further back in the food chain is the big concern. In the UK, there’s an established method of delivering in this sector. Bulk feed is loaded into a bulk feed trailer, which may have one or a number of compartments. The feed is then transported to farms and delivered into a silo using air pressure to blow the feed pellets from the trailer, through piping into the silo.
That is how the job is done in nearly all cases in the UK. Inevitably, it’s not the only possible way of doing the job, but it’s the way that has found favour with both hauliers and customers and the industry is geared up for delivering bulk feed this way.
MIDSOFT PROVIDES BOOKING, TRACKING AND INVOICING SOFTWARE FOR STREAMLINING THE DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS OF COMPANIES IN A RANGE OF INDUSTRIAL SECTORS — INCLUDING SKIP HIRE, PLANT AND TOOL HIRE, TRADE WASTE AND HAULAGE. BULK & TIPPER TALKS TO MIDSOFT’S DIRECTOR ANDY DYBLE.
Software to help manage your vehicle fleet, maintenance and job allocation among other functions has been around for longer than you might imagine, but like every other item of software, what it can do now and how it does it is very different from how it could operate 25 years ago when software was in its infancy. The reason for developing software remains the same, though. Juggling maintenance schedules, routing and scheduling and regular safety inspections already presents an extensive administrative burden. Add in some specialist operations and the workload would only grow further.
Perhaps the biggest advantage is that the software can link functions together. If you need information from one part of your operations to generate an invoice for instance, software can do that automatically and then email the invoice too.
THE NEW GENERATION DAF RANGE REPRESENTS A HUGE CHANGE FOR THE DUTCH MANUFACTURER, AFTER USING THE TWO SAME BASIC CAB DESIGNS FOR DECADES, IT NOW HAS A COMPLETE RANGE OF NEW DESIGNS. BULK & TIPPER TALKS TO ABH OF MANSFIELD WHICH HAS FIGURED HIGHLY DAF TRUCKS IN ITS FLEET FOR A LONG TIME.
At the top of the range the new DAF XG and XG+ models are a step ahead of the competition, the designers and engineers were able to make very clever use of the new EU Masses and Dimensions regulations, which allowed up to 500mm more overall length.
Initially it was thought that all this extra length was for use for frontal impact absorption, in effect a crumble zone to minimise the effects of a truck hitting a smaller vehicle, but DAF realised that this could be achieved by just making use of a 160mm frontal projection, using a sophisticated design of cab pressings that absorbs the energy. This meant that the additional space could be used to lengthen the cab rearwards, giving drivers the extra working, living and sleeping space that many have wanted for years. The new longer DAF cabs certainly stand out on the road, they make almost every other design looked cramped in comparison and it is no secret that several competitors are working hard to come up with their own versions of a longer cab.
THROUGH EIGHT DECADES GLEESON CONCRETE HAS SERVED TIPPERARY, LIMERICK AND NORTH CORK IN IRELAND AND HAS BECOME ONE OF THE LEADING SUPPLIERS OF CONCRETE PRODUCTS IN THE REGION. BULK & TIPPER TALKS TO THE COMPANY’S DRIVER DENIS AHEARNE TO LEARN ABOUT HIS ROLE AT GLEESON.
Commuters in County Tipperary, Ireland, are likely to be quite familiar with Gleeson Concrete. Operating from bases across the county, the business – which also has sister companies in Gleeson Quarries and Gleeson Precast – boasts a striking fleet of blue and yellow livered tippers and mixers that have been a common sight on Ireland’s roads for nearly a century. The trio of Gleeson companies are regular visitors to Volvo Trucks dealer McCarthy Commercials with both its company-owned vehicles and contracted owner-operators consistently turning to the Swedish marquee to fulfil their ongoing vehicle requirements. One such example is Denis Ahearne, who plies his trade working for Gleeson Concrete. Ahearne is certainly no stranger to life at Gleeson. Though, as in his own words, he does not ‘bother with an official job title’ his CV still boasts a successful 17-year stint working on a contract basis for the company’s Gleeson Concrete branch. “I first came into Gleeson just to try out its trucks, blinked, and now almost two decades have flown by,” he jokes.
A C SERVICES BANBURY IS HELMED BY A FATHER AND SON TEAM STEEPED IN THE HAULAGE INDUSTRY, AND ITS IMMACULATELY TURNED-OUT FLEET OF TIPPERS IS THE BASIS FOR A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS. AND, AS A FAMILY-RUN BUSINESS, IT IS KEEN TO ENSURE THAT THERE IS A STRONG TEAM ETHIC AMONG ITS STAFF TOO.
If you drive around the Oxfordshire area, you’ll more than likely come across a wealth of tipper trucks, many of which will be heading to and from the building sites for the HS2 rail project which is under way. With many tipper operators in the area, it is important to ensure that your business stands out, and that is what A C Services Banbury does, with its fleet of immaculately turned-out tippers with its simple yet striking livery.
“Having a tidy fleet stands out and helps us a lot,” says managing director Andrew Coleman. “There are a lot of tippers in the area and ours are a good standard. Word of mouth is important and having tidy and clean trucks stands out and makes you memorable.”
In recent years, A C Services has run Scanias, along with a second-hand Volvo. The choice of Scania was down to a few reasons, according to Richard Coleman, Andrew’s son and a director of AC Services.
BASED IN KIRBY-IN-ASHFIELD, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, CARL WRIGHT HAULAGE AND PLANT HAS BEEN AROUND FOR 26 YEARS NOW, CARL BEING THE THIRD GENERATION OF THE WRIGHT FAMILY TO HAVE TRUCKS. THESE DAYS KEVIN PROSSER, WHO JOINED WRIGHTS 25 YEARS AGO, IS THE MAN WHO LOOKS AFTER ALL THINGS TRUCK-RELATED. HE HAS SEEN A LOT OF CHANGE IN HIS TIME. BULK & TIPPER HAS AN ENTERTAINING CHAT WITH HIM.
Officially, Kevin Prosser runs the garage at Carl Wright Haulage and Plant, but in reality, he does rather more than that. “I buy them, sell them, mend them, drive them, and I look after the plant too,” he tells us. There’s a recycling yard over at Hucknall and a small fleet of skip lorries as well, both run by Carl Wright’s wife Nicola as Georgia Environmental and Pinky Skips. While these are a separate business, it’s Kevin Prosser who looks everything mechanical there, so he most definitely has his hands full. Carl Wright himself, though still MD, has stepped back for health reasons now. Prosser isn’t alone, however. The planning and office admin is done by Jason Elliott, a former driver, and both they, and external transport manager Chris Hackett are overseen by consultant Paul Murray. He comes in principally to look after health and safety, but as Prosser puts it: “He checks over everybody and makes sure everything’s running 100 per cent – any ifs or buts and you’re in trouble!”