Specialist haulier Tomato Plant has taken delivery of four new bespoke-built plant bodies from Andover Trailers, renewing its rigid truck fleet in a move designed to future-proof it against the new ULEZ regulations.
The new 32-tonne 8×2 Volvo FM500 rigid trucks – which were purchased through commercial vehicle dealer MC Truck and Bus – join Tomato Plant’s other Andover build, a 2011 8×2 Volvo plant body and drawbar combination, which was the company’s very first vehicle.
Keith Williams, Owner of Tomato Plant, says: “When we were purchasing our first drawbar combination it was MC Truck and Bus that recommended Andover Trailers – and we were suitably impressed. Since then we’ve also taken some vehicles with competitor bodies and they simply haven’t stood the test of time. Our original Andover build is still going strong, so when it came time to implement our fleet renewal plan, we had to go back to the best.”
The new trucks each feature Andover Trailers’ trademark low-profile deck, which sees the cross members transect the body runners, rather than simply sitting on top. Each body includes a double crank beavertail that is connected to a pair of 3.3m long hydraulic power toe, knife-edged ramps, built with Andover’s pioneering fold-forward design to deliver impressive fuel savings by reducing drag.
Elsewhere, each truck benefits from a full working at height system – an extra safety feature that has become a requirement for many of the sites Tomato Plant delivers to. The bodies also include a hydraulic winch to aid loading and unloading and eight pairs of lashing points on the deck for maximum load security and flexibility.
As a long-standing Volvo user, Tomato Plant was impressed at how Andover Trailers designs, and precision engineers, each body to the individual truck chassis, finishing each in the company’s bold red livery.
“We take great pride in the way our fleet looks – we want all of our vehicles to stand out on the road and look good for our drivers. What we love about our original Andover is that the paintwork still looks fantastic, even after eight years in operation. Combine that with the impeccable build quality and you’ve got a truck the drivers really enjoy driving,” adds Williams
The vehicles will predominantly be working in central London, but they will also be called to jobs across the UK. Each of the trucks will be on the road five days a week and clock up between 60,000 and 70,000 km per year.
Tomato Plant began operations in 2010 as a plant haulage firm and has since expanded to include a tanker fleet, plus a drainage and CCTV division.