Jewson, the UK’s leading supplier of sustainable timber and building materials, is enjoying the twin benefits of reduced hassle and super-quick build schedules after returning to Bevan Group with its latest order for crane trucks.

Like other bodybuilders, Bevan has previously relied on crane suppliers to mount their own hydraulic loaders on customers’ vehicles. This time, though, the West Midlands-based company is fitting the HMF cranes and their sub-frames itself, a development that has greatly increased flexibility and efficiency within the build process.

Not only is this ‘one-stop shop’ solution making life easier in administrative terms for Jewson, it also means the new trucks are being delivered significantly earlier than would previously have been the case.

Jewson’s latest order is for 55 MAN chassis, a combination of 18- and 26-tonners, which will operate from the builders’ merchant’s depots nationwide. Bevan is fitting these vehicles with split dropside bodies and, immediately behind their cabs, radio-controlled HMF 1420-K2 14-tonne/metre cranes with Kinshofer brick and block grabs.

It is Jewson’s first experience of operating HMF cranes in the UK. Bevan recently became an authorised dealer for Danish-owned HMF, whose premium brand products are renowned not only for their strength and durability, but also for their advanced safety technology – Jewson has specified its cranes with the latest, dynamic version of HMF’s pioneering EVS (Electronic Vehicle Stability) system, which calculates the extent to which the load on the back of a truck can also serve as a counterweight, thus allowing the operator to maximise the loader’s capacity while eliminating any risk of the vehicle toppling.

In another move that has shaved an additional week or so from the build timetable, Bevan is employing dropside panels and other extrusions which have been pre-powder-coated in Jewson’s familiar shade of blue. This means the vehicles do not have to go through a paintshop process.

Jewson is a long-standing customer of Bevan Group, from which it has also ordered dropside and Luton bodies with column or tail lifts for more than 100 Ford Transit 3.5-tonners, all of which will have entered service by the end of the year.

Ian Berrill, Fleet Director at Jewson, says: “By taking on the additional task of fitting the cranes to our latest trucks, Bevan Group has smoothed the production process and introduced a much greater degree of flexibility.

“So, for example, in the event that a particular component is unavailable, Bevan can still be working on other aspects of the build. This increased control all but eliminates delay and means that our new vehicles are being completed and made available for service significantly sooner than we might previously have expected.”

Mr Berrill continues: “Bevan’s vehicle bodies are always manufactured to a high quality and supplied at competitive prices. We also rely heavily on Bevan’s Aftercare Department, which provides a very responsive and efficient service.

“As for the cranes,” he adds, “I understand this is the first time that HMF has sold to a builder’s merchant in these numbers. But the 1420-K2 looks to be strong and well finished, while its impressive 8.3-metre reach and EVS safety system make it ideally-suited to the job.”

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