Supplied by Hanbury Riverside, part of the Asset Alliance Group, the new Andover bodies are each mounted to 32-tonne 8×2 rear steer Volvo FMX420 rigid trucks. The vehicles represent a mixture of new additions to Ardent Hire’s fleet and like-for-like replacements for older assets, which also feature Andover bodies.
Gareth Clements, Operations Director at Ardent Hire, says: “We’ve been specifying Andover builds since the early 2000s and have more than 30 of their plant bodies in our current fleet, which just goes to show how much we trust them. Their build quality has been tried and tested by us for years, so when it came to this latest order there was never any question as to which manufacturer we wanted.”
The new bodies each feature Andover’s trademark low-profile deck, which sees the cross members transect the body runners, instead of simply sitting on top. Combining this low height with the truck’s rear steer capability makes it possible for Ardent Hire to access both tight country lanes and tricky urban sites that would otherwise prove difficult with vehicles of this size.
Also incorporated into the design is a double crank beavertail connected to a pair of 3.3m long hydraulic power toe ramps, with a six-tonne electric winch to aid loading and unloading. The deck features eight pairs of lashing points to offer maximum load security and flexibility.
Hanbury Riverside specified the new vehicles with a slide-out working at height system with removable walkways that can be easily stowed away when not in use, a first for Ardent Hire. This extra safety feature has become a requirement on more of the sites the company delivers to, so it was a priority for the new bodies.
Lee Smith, Sales Director at Hanbury Riverside says: “When Ardent Hire told us they wanted to stick with what they knew with these vehicles, we were happy to oblige – we’ve been specifying Andover builds since we entered the plant body market in 2015, so we know how good they are.
“Ardent Hire is committed to operating a very young commercial vehicle fleet, so we consistently renew our assets. As part of this latest deal, we bought the older 2013 vehicles that were being replaced. Because they are also fitted with Andover bodies they’ll have many years of service left in them, so we should be able to move them on quickly and easily. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Ardent Hire operates a 53-strong HGV fleet from 12 depots across the UK. Its fleet is used to help move more than 5,000 items of plant to jobs nationwide. The new rigid trucks will be on the road six days a week and could each cover up to 150,000 km a year.