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New tipper and drawbar combination delivers savings for council fleet

Volvo FMX 6x4 rigid photoSouth Gloucestershire Council has taken delivery of a new Volvo FMX 6×4 rigid with a tipper body and a three axle Andover Trailers lightweight drawbar with beavertail, for transporting a Wirtgen W100F road planer.

The investment represents a completely new operation for the Council, which previously hired in road planning equipment from third party contractors. The move to own, operate and transport its own road planer is expected to deliver savings and added flexibility for the Council, which will also hire the machine to other local authorities to ensure maximum asset utilization.

Finished in golden yellow paintwork, the Andover CDDBCL 25LT drawbar is purpose-built to carry the Wirtgen planer, with three pairs of lashing points and an adjustable conveyer support to hold it securely in place during transit.

The 10.4m long (eye to rear) and 2.5m wide trailer has been constructed with Granning axles, Granning air suspension with Wabco raise/lower control, Knorr-Bremse brakes and a lightweight but hard-wearing Obeche timber floor. Hydraulic loading ramps, 1m wide on the off-side and 0.7m wide on the near-side, ensure the perfect loading angle for the Wirtgen machine – with manually adjustable steady legs guaranteeing a stable platform when loading and unloading.

Colin Shepherd, Fleet Operations Manager at South Gloucestershire Council, says: “We considered our options carefully before taking this operation in-house. Every decision we make has to be about delivering best value and best service to the people of South Gloucestershire.

“We plan to keep these new assets in operation for at least 8-10 years, so we had to specify equipment built to last. We consulted with Wirtgen, and they recommended the Andover Trailers drawbar to us for its robust build quality and projected long life. We’re very pleased with the finished package.”

In operation up to seven days a week, the vehicle combination can operate at up to 40 tones gross train weight (GTW); or up to 26 tones when the tipper is running solo. South Gloucestershire Council has specified a Red Forge loadcell on-board weighing system on the truck chassis, to ensure the vehicle operates legally at all times. A traffic light system provides a visual confirmation to both the driver in the cab and to the operator loading the planer, to confirm if the total payload load is within permitted weight parameters.

Volvo has built the truck chassis with a 9 tone front axle and steel suspension on the rear bogie, for maximum durability. A Thompson tipper body with rollover sheeting completes the package.

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