Havering fleet manager Simon Blake explains that the borough's vehicles are required to work as gritters during the winter so several of its new trucks at 7.5 and 10 tonnes gvw have been configured with demountable tipper bodies.
Charlton made that work by building its tippers on demountable tipping frames, with drop-down legs, designed specifically for Havering's preferred DAF LF chassis.
With steel floors and aluminium dropsides, these bodies provide payload capacities of 3 and 4m3.
Also at 7.5 tonnes is a one-off Charlton tipper with an electrically operated DEL nearside side-lift, making lifting of heavy or awkward items easy and safe. Complete with special-fit sideguards and toolbox, this vehicle also required a bespoke shaped fuel tank.
Two further trucks were also specified with front-mounted cranes. One, at 10 tonnes gvw, features a Charlton 5.6m long dropside platform body. The other –a 15 tonner – has been built with an insulated tipping body complete with a large, forward mounted toolbox and space-saving underfloor tipping gear.
"Key to all our vehicles is to get the maximum possible use out of them - so we have built in higher specifications and extra versatility from the outset," explains Blake.
"Similarly, by choosing demountable bodies we also save money by not having single-use gritter trucks sitting in the garage for nine months of the year," he continues.
"The extra investment in our new trucks is more than repaid by not having other vehicles standing idle, or other trucks that cannot handle a particular job."
But Blake says his team has also gone further with the bodies themselves.
"By closely looking at all our tipper operating requirements, we've tried to cover the maximum number of tasks across the minimum number of vehicles," he states.
"Now we've got tippers with cranes and grabs, another with a side-lift, others with insulated bodies, tarmac chutes and a whole range of ancillary equipment," says Blake.
And he adds: "The ability of Charlton to professionally address all these detail requirements, plus the quality of their finished products tells us we made exactly the right choice of bodybuilder for our new tippers."