FCH Construction Services are experts when it comes to a wide range of pipe laying works and this tough mission requires some seriously rugged vehicles. When a hardy self-sufficient tipper capable of carrying and loading heavy cargo in confined spaces was required it joined forces with IVECO dealer AM Phillip Trucktech and The Thompson Group to design and build what must be one of the most bespoke IVECO X-WAYs in the country.

The IVECO X-WAY 8×4 Tridem (AD350X46ZY/PS OFF) with rear-wheel-steer features a rear mount bucket crane and two-way tipper body and is powered by the Cursor 11 460hp diesel engine mated to a 12-speed HI-TRONIX gearbox with creeping mode. Its rugged tyres, an increased ride height, and the underbody protection offered by the Off-Road Package ensure the IVECO X-WAY can tackle the most arduous terrain.

This multi-purpose truck will be responsible for loading and unloading pipework or gravel in locations with restrictions on space, meaning some extensive engineering from Thompson Group was needed to deliver a bespoke solution. The 12-cubic metre box is capable of tipping on either side of the truck via a set of hydraulic doors that run the full length of the body. The driver can remotely activate the whole tipping operation to ensure total operator safety, and a manual redundancy tipper door feature has also been integrated to ensure this IVECO X-WAY is always operational should the hydraulics fail.

An Epsilon M135L HPLS rear crane, complete with stabilisers and a reach of over nine metres completes the IVECO X-WAY specification. At full extension, the crane can lift 750kg which makes lives easier for the pipeline crew when lifting on-site loads. The tipping mechanism operates within a very confined space, so a modified scissor lift design was employed. Operating at 350bar, safety was a primary concern with the lifting cylinders customised to prevent over tipping.

Achieving these series of capabilities was a serious engineering challenge that took AM Phillip Trucktech and Thompsons around five months to design and build.

This vehicle is highly specialised for its mission, but being an IVECO X-WAY, there’s a strong focus on driver comfort and connectivity. The optional Driving Comfort Pack delivers a touch of luxury with leather upholstery for seating and the steering wheel. Automatic climate control keeps the cab at a perfect temperature, while its air suspension irons out the creases in the road – each contributing to relieving fatigue. This pack also includes IVECO Driver Pal, a smart assistant developed with AWS Professional Services and the Alexa Auto team which also allows the driver to check the vehicle’s health status, set the navigation and even request assistance via voice commands.

FCH Construction Services Managing Director Fraser Hart knows the value of hard-working vehicles having built his business from a solitary van borrowed from his cousin over 13 years ago. Since then, FCH’s client portfolio has grown to include the likes of Scottish Water. Its expertise and vehicles allow it to provide an extensive range of pipe laying, swabbing, pressure testing, data logging, disinfection, sampling, repair and maintenance, irrigation, and pipe repairs.

Mr Hart said: “We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year, highlighting the importance of having a reliable and go-anywhere fleet behind us. Our vehicles have a tough life and work in a challenging environment, and we are confident this new IVECO addition to the fleet will further add to the level of service we provide to our customers.

“The service we get from AM Phillips in Forfar cannot be faulted. We have a longstanding relationship with them, they are a first-class partner.”

FCH Construction currently runs a fleet of over 30 commercial vehicles, of which there are a growing number of IVECOs. A Stralis tractor unit has been a reliable member of the family for some time and has been joined by an IVECO 8×4 X-WAY and a new IVECO Daily 6.5T vacuum tanker that’s proving to be an ideal companion for clearing manholes. More IVECOs have been ordered following positive feedback from drivers including a new X-WAY with IVECO’s premium AS Sleeper cab that will feature even more complex modifications when it goes into service later in 2022.

The IVECO X-WAY offers ultimate flexibility in tailoring the vehicle to an operator’s specific requirements. With its mission-oriented approach it offers the perfect crossing for every mission, guaranteeing high productivity all the way to the ‘last mile’ on jobsites either on or off the highway