Thomas Plant Hire has taken delivery of four new bespoke-built plant bodies from Andover Trailers, extending a relationship between the two companies that stretches back close to 15 years.
Each mounted to a 32-tonne 8×2 Scania chassis, the new plant bodies are additions to a 22-strong commercial vehicle fleet, which already includes seven Andover-built bodies and one tri-axle drawbar trailer. Three of the new deliveries feature a fixed, double cranked beavertail, while the fourth has a hydraulic lifting beavertail to allow it to share duties pulling the drawbar trailer with an identical rigid delivered in 2016.
Wyn Thomas, Managing Director at Thomas Plant Hire, says: “When we got our first Andover body in 2006 we quickly understood why they have such a good reputation in the industry: the build quality is fantastic, you get what you pay for, and you can be confident that it will still be going strong 10 years down the line.”
The three double cranked beavertails come with a pair of 2.7m ramps featuring Andover’s pioneering fold-forward design, which helps to deliver impressive fuel savings by reducing drag. The hydraulic beavertail connects to a slightly shorter, 2.5m pair of power-toe ramps. All four sets are hydraulically operated.
The four new bodies are otherwise largely built to the same specifications. Each features Andover Trailers’ trademark low-profile deck, which sees the cross members transect the body runners, rather than simply sitting on top. They also all include an electric winch to aid loading and unloading, with six pairs of lashing points on the deck for maximum load security and flexibility.
“The engineering that goes into Andover’s designs is what makes them stand out from the crowd. You might be able to get something that on paper does the same job, but it doesn’t take long before you realise that it’s just not up to it; our Andover bodies and drawbar handle anything we throw at them, which makes our fleet much more versatile,” adds Thomas.
The new vehicles will transport heavy plant to sites across the UK. On the road up to six days a week, the company expects them each to clock up around 150,000 km annually and to remain in operation in the fleet for between five to six years.
A family run business, Thomas Plant Hire was established in 2000 and offers a full range of plant hire related services, including site delivery and access to trained, licensed operators.