Designed for urban and on-road operation, these new trucks are a significant departure from the ‘industry standard’ UK eight wheeler. Immediately visible is that to achieve their lower height the truck cabs are mounted in a more forward position than for a regular 8x4 and, with these particular examples, the second steer axle is now located behind the double drive bogie.
“For on-road and city applications, these new trucks offer a wide range of advantages,” says Stephen Bremner, fleet and health and safety director for Lynch. “Most immediately, the driver now has a clearer view of not only the road ahead but also of the wider operating environment around the truck. The driver is now in closer proximity to other road users and pedestrians, increasing driver awareness and safety considerations. The low cab height makes exit and entry safer for our drivers as well.
“With the cab now more forward of the engine, in-cab noise levels are reduced which, when combined with front and rear air suspension, makes for a particularly comfortable ride. As a working environment, these cabs are now better than ever. Some of our drivers were a bit hesitant about the new trucks at first, but even after a couple of days they are more than happy with them.”
A second key advantage of these trucks is that despite their extra length over conventional off-road tippers, they are no more difficult to drive or manoeuvre in congested urban environments. With the tridem axle configuration, they have a smaller turning circle than a standard 8x4 and are able to navigate left- or right-hand turns in narrow streets.
There’s one other big operating advantage too. With three axles now located under their all-steel Thompsons bodies, the risk of overloading individual axles is much reduced. Bremner adds that “the body carries the weight of the load, so you really want as many axles directly under the body as possible.”