Civil and ground engineering firm Forkers has taken delivery of an expertly engineered plant body and drawbar combination from Andover Trailers, helping to improve the efficiency of its heavy-duty drilling operations.
Forkers went to market looking for a manufacturer that could provide a workable solution for transporting various plant and equipment within legal length limits. After an extensive search, Andover Trailers was the only company able to design and build a product to fit the bill.
Dean Hudson, Plant Director at Forkers, says: “We wanted a truck and trailer combination that was capable of carrying a variety of plant, as well as the 20ft water containers we require for our drilling operations.
“We thought it was a tall order, but Andover tabled a design compact enough to fit within the length regulations, yet tough enough to carry the weight – something their competitors just could not match.”
The bespoke plant body, mounted to a new Scania R450 8×2 chassis, works alongside the Andover-built, tri-axle drawbar trailer which offers a payload of up to 18.6 tonnes. For optimum versatility, both the body and trailer can carry the water container, which can be unloaded from either using the in-built Fassi 36 tm crane.
For Forkers, it was Andover’s clever ramp technology that set the drawbar combination apart from the competition. The truck features a hydraulic beavertail with the company’s pioneering fold-forward ramps. These offer a flat load bed when the truck is in use without the trailer, while allowing for maximum deck space when coupled.
Andover’s specialist ramp design also means that the plant body can either be through-loaded via the trailer or, by positioning the drawbar at 90 degrees, can be loaded or unloaded without having to uncouple the two – an ingenious design feature unique to Andover Trailers that helps to dramatically reduce loading and unloading times.
Behind the truck, the trailer’s flip toe ramps provide a shallow loading angle for low ground clearance machines whilst keeping height to a minimum and reducing fuel consumption.
“The drawbar combination’s versatility is what really impressed us, particularly the variety of ways we can load and unload to both truck and trailer. It has saved us so much time and means the equipment we bring to site can just get to work, which obviously helps improve our operational efficiency,” adds Hudson.
Other features of the build include a removable fixed width working at height system on the truck and trailer – which is stowed on the truck body headboard when not in use; a six-tonne electric winch; a comprehensive load securing system, with removable twistlocks and a range of lashing points to accommodate Forker’s versatile load requirements.
The truck and drawbar combination represents the first time Forkers has specified a build from Andover Trailers and joins a seven-strong commercial vehicle fleet made up of a variety of different plant bodies. On the road five days a week, the company is looking to keep both truck and trailer in service for at least 10 years.
Based in West Bromwich, Forkers has more than 40 years’ experience in civil and ground engineering services, both within the public and private sectors.