CRH Plant has added two new Andover Trailers plant bodies to its commercial vehicle fleet, continuing a long-standing relationship between the two companies that has included more than 25 bespoke builds.
CRH has been supplying specialist plant equipment to the construction and civil engineering sectors for more than 50 years. The new plant bodies, both mounted on 32-tonne Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3240L 8×2 rear-steer rigid chassis, will operate out of CRH’s busy Plymouth and Sheffield depots, delivering a wide range of heavy plant and specialist equipment across the South West and North East of the country.
Neville Thomas, CRH Plant’s Managing Director, explains why the company keeps returning to Andover: “The team are always extremely accommodating – we tell them what we need, they tell us how it can be done. In all the years we have been working together they have never let us down; this is what our relationship is built on, so why would we go to anyone else?”
As with each of CRH’s previous Andover Trailers builds, the new plant bodies are bespoke designs, made to incorporate the company’s exacting specifications, particularly on safety – both feature Andover’s removable working at height barriers, which have become a requirement on many of the sites CRH visits. When not in use, the system can be easily stowed away.
The plant bodies also feature Andover’s pioneering fold forward ramps – which Thomas insists are fitted to all CRH trailers and rigid trucks due to the impressive fuel savings they provide. The ramps have also been designed with a shallow loading angle to accommodate the 13-tonne self-propelled rollers that form the core of CRH’s business.
In addition, each build features a drawbar coupling, six pairs of lashing points, and a remote-controlled Ramsey H800 hydraulic winch. The winch forms part of an interesting element of the design that Andover developed in order to accommodate the Euro VI truck’s exhaust, which runs above the chassis over the second axle. Andover added a raised section accessible via a small slope behind the headboard, this in turn allowed the winch to be placed much lower to the floor as well as providing a location for recessed chain trays.
The two 32-tonne rigid trucks mark a step up in size for CRH, having previously operated 26-tonne rigids from a range of chassis manufacturers. “We opted for 32-tonne plant bodies out of necessity, mainly due to the fact that new emission regulations mean the self-propelled rollers we supply are getting heavier. Though we are phasing out some of our older trucks, the Andover bodies are holding up so well most are still part of the fleet,” says Thomas.
All Andover Trailers plant bodies are precision built to suit each individual truck chassis. The company’s reputation for sturdiness ensures that CRH Plant’s two new deliveries will be up to the task of their expected five days per week workload over the next 10 years, clocking up in the region of 700,000km in that time.
CRH Plant has also placed an order for a pair of the latest generation of tri-axle semi-sloping step frame trailers, which are ideal for moving road surfacing equipment, especially rollers. They will be built to a similar specification to the plant bodies, featuring fold-forward ramps, Andover’s working at height system and chapter eight marking on the rear. Delivery is expected early 2017.