Skelton Plant Hire boosts fleet with two bespoke Andover bodies22 January 2019

Kent-based Skelton Plant Hire has taken delivery of two new bespoke plant bodies from Andover Trailers, citing product durability as key to its longstanding relationship with the manufacturer.

The latest bodies are mounted to 32-tonne 8x2 rear-steer DAF CF rigids and were bought as replacements for two existing vehicles, which also had Andover bodies. However, strong business demand means all four have been kept in operation – and they will work alongside Skelton’s first Andover body, which is mounted to an 18-year-old 24-tonne 6x2 DAF.

Tim Skelton, managing director at Skelton Plant Hire, says: “We’ve stuck with Andover because the product is fantastic – it doesn’t break, it doesn’t bend, it just keeps going.”

The new custom-built bodies feature Andover’s trademark low-profile deck, with its cross members transecting the body runners. This low height, combined with the trucks’ rear steer capability, makes it easy for the 32-tonners to access narrow country lanes and tricky urban sites.

The bodies also feature a double crank beavertail connected to a pair of 2.5m-long hydraulic power toe ramps, alongside a 3.5-tonne hydraulic winch. There are eight pairs of lashing points on the deck for load security and flexibility.

“In a typical day, one of our drivers could be loading or unloading plant 10 to 15 times, so speed and ease of operation are vitally important to make the process as efficient as possible. Andover’s bodies and ramps are loved by our drivers because they make that part of the job so quick and easy,” adds Skelton.

Skelton specified the bodywork with its own diesel tank for refuelling plant in situ.

The new trucks will be on the road six days a week, covering up to 150,000km a year and are expected to be in operation for at least 10 years.

Laura Cork

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