Andover Trailers’ bespoke approach to plant body builds keeps Rentool coming back for more
If you’re in the business of loading and unloading heavy equipment then the trailers you use will need to achieve a combination of low weight and low height, together with maximum ease of operation. Of course it also helps if the unit has been specifically built for a hirer’s individual needs and that’s exactly what Andover Trailers can provide. In fact, every plant body or trailer that leaves its factory is truly better by design.
Plant-hire specialist, Rentool, is one company that has gone back to the Hampshire-based outfit again and again, and recently took delivery of its latest bespoke-built plant body, having ordered its first Andover build more than 15 years ago.
The new body is mounted to a 32-tonne 8×2 rear-steer Scania P370 which replaces a 10-year old Volvo, also mounted with an Andover body purchased second hand in 2011. It joins a commercial vehicle fleet comprised of five rigid trucks – four mounted with Andover bodies – that range from five to 32-tonnes. The company also operates a single tractor unit and tri-axle Andover step frame trailer.
Bill Collings, Director at Rentool, says: “We buy all of our vehicles with the intention to keep them in operation for around 10 years. We took delivery of our first Andover plant body in 2003 and it was actually 13 years before it was replaced. The quality of their construction and the materials they use generally means that Andover’s bodies outlive the trucks they’re mounted to.”
The new bespoke-build boasts Andover’s trademark low-profile deck, which is achieved by transecting the cross members of the body through the chassis itself, rather than simply mounting them on top. It also features a double crank beavertail connected to a pair of 2.5m long hydraulic power toe ramps, an electric winch on the headboard to aid loading and unloading, and nine pairs of lashing points along the deck for maximum load security and flexibility.
“One of the reasons we keep coming back to Andover is that with each new body we are able to incorporate little design changes that make the latest build even better suited to our operation. We work closely with our drivers to discover what’s required and Andover bends over backwards to facilitate our requests,” adds Collings.
To illustrate the point, when compared to the older Volvo the new plant body replaces, the combination of the double crank beavertail and longer ramp length means a shallower load angle, helping to improve safety when loading and unloading.
Andover also developed a new method of recessing the winch cable into the centre of the bed without compromising on strength or rigidity. Plus, additional steel checker plate was added to the deck to protect it from the buckets and knuckles of Rentool’s excavators and diggers, helping to prevent the specific type of damage they can cause.
The new truck was specified to carry any size of plant offered by Rentool, which extends to telescopic handlers, on-site dump trucks and 14-tonne excavators. The vehicle is on the road five days a week and will clock up around 50,000km per year.
Rentool began trading in Eastleigh, Hampshire, in 1982. Originally a tool hire firm, it rapidly expanded into non-operated plant hire and subsequently opened a second location in Poole, Dorset, enabling it to supply a comprehensive range of plant to sites across southern England.