The Andover plant body, which features a 53tm crane from Palfinger, has been fitted to a new Scania R580 8x2 rear-steer truck and is accompanied by an Andover-built 24-tonne tri-axle drawbar trailer. This combination allows 3b Construction to cost-effectively transport more plant equipment to its sites, helping to expand the reach of the business.
One of the major requirements of the build was the ability to through-load plant from the trailer onto the truck body, without the need to uncouple the two, a design which speeds up both loading and unloading.
Iain Barr, managing director of 3b Construction, says: “This truck and trailer combination represents a new approach for us. We were very particular in what we needed it to do, and that’s why we opted for Andover. They are the one bodybuilder we can rely on to meet the specifications we requested.”
The Barr family, owners of 3b Construction, has been working with Andover Trailers for more than 30 years, and testament to that is an additional bespoke low-loader that is also currently in build.
Despite this, it hasn’t always been an exclusive relationship: “This new truck will replace a smaller 6x2 DAF that we had fitted with a competitor’s body – a decision based mostly on costs. Though that vehicle has served us well, in hindsight moving away from Andover was a mistake. The added strength and quality you get from Andover means the vehicles simply last longer, which in turn makes them much more cost-effective,” Barr admits.
The rigid truck features Andover’s fold-flat ramps with a hydraulic beavertail, designed to offer a flat load bed when the truck is used without the trailer, as well as maximising deck space when coupled. 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 – reducing fuel consumption.
A removable fixed-width working-at-height system on both truck and trailer – which is stowed in the truck body headboard when not in use – allows access to the increasing number of sites that insist on its use.
Over and above the standard load securing package, the build also features 16 additional lashing points on the truck body, with an additional six on the trailer, allowing for a versatile range of loads to be safely secured. The truck and trailer are also equipped with removable twistlocks, offering an ability to carry containers and cabins.
The new additions are expected to have a working life of at least nine years. Both truck and trailer will be moving an assortment of construction plant payloads to jobs across the UK, as well as providing support for 3b Construction’s sister company, 3b Crane Hire, which operates out of its Ayr facility.