Thompsons range – leading Loadmaster gets a major update, with Cappagh taking the first 40!

Monday, 23rd November 2020

 

Thompsons has introduced a major upgrade to its range – leading heavy duty Loadmaster tipper body. From now on, this super – tough, double – skinned design is being built without front cornerposts. And the first 40 such examples are going to London – based Cappagh.

Thompsons Joint Managing Director Scott Burton says

“Loadmaster was first introduced 25 years ago, and its reputation for reliability and durability in the most arduous conditions is simply unequalled. The original double – skinned design featured cornerposts front and rear to provide the maximum possible strength and rigidity. Today though, thanks to ever higher material quality and our more advanced production processes, we are introducing a revised design offering exactly the same performance, but without the front cornerposts.

Aside from saving a valuable 100kgs in weight this new, simpler, design is also easier and faster to build, thereby boosting our factory productivity. So this latest Loadmaster benefits everyone.”

Significantly, Wimbledon – based Cappagh is now taking the first 40 examples of this latest Loadmaster, 25 being standard front – end tippers with the remaining 15 specified as tipper grabs. Notable too is that Cappagh was also one of the very first customers of the original Loadmaster when it was launched in the mid 1990’s.

Incorporated in 1973, family – owned Cappagh is one of the tipper industry’s major success stories, the company now working across 14 sites located not just within London but also in a triangle between Oxford in the west, Portsmouth in the south and Maidstone in the East.

Principally engaged in utilities, highways, demolition, aggregates, recycling, muckaway and land restoration, Cappagh needs its tippers to be fully on top of every job that comes along. In meeting this demand, Thompsons tipper bodies have played a key role in the company’s development as Conor Ferncombe, grandson of the founder, explains:

“Since its inception, Thompsons’ Loadmaster has been the ‘go – to’ tipper body, the reference point for everything a tipper body should be. Cappagh has been a Loadmaster user right from when it was launched, and by occasionally trying other makes of body, we inevitably come back to Loadmaster simply because it’s the best tipper there is. There are no jobs it cannot handle, and for a highly varied work portfolio such as ours we absolutely need the everyday versatility that Loadmaster provides.

With tippers, you have to remember that it’s the body that does the really hard work, taking the thumps and knocks when loading and all the abrasion when tipping. So reliability is the key. And when we finally sell the truck on, having a Loadmaster body really does guarantee we achieve the best possible residual value. This latest Loadmaster simply takes the story another stage forward.”

As befits the company’s highly valued FORS Gold accreditation, Cappagh’s new Loadmasters introduce further advances too, particularly in regard to safety. For their drivers, all vehicles are now fitted with cab-operated tailgates as well as in-cab, on-screen viewing of the exterior camera images that cover the full 360 degrees around the truck. In addition to nearside and offside warning panels and ‘Sidescan’ audible proximity alerts, Thompsons has also fitted front and rear strobe lights as well as flashing indicator lights that run down the length of the bodies.

Scott added:

“Thompsons and Cappagh have a shared interest in producing the safest tippers we can, these latest 40 examples being clear evidence of our joint commitment.”

Thompsons super-versatile, custom-spec Loadmaster Lites exactly right for Hazell & Jefferies

Thursday, 20th August 2020

 

Five new Thompsons bodied Renault tippers have now entered service with Berkshire – based Hazell & Jefferies Ltd, the tipper operator saying Thompsons won the business because “Thompsons has an unrivalled ability to understand each and every tipper operation and then respond by producing precisely the bodies that it needs.”

Key to Hazell & Jefferies’ operation is that its tippers have to work over a wide range of duties. One job might see them moving aggregates and crushed recycled products, the next engaged on road planing or hot tar surface dressing. H&J’s Operations Manager Neil Tomlinson says:

“Work can change even in a single day. So what we want is one truck that can be equally successful at everything. With these latest tippers Thompsons gives us exactly this degree of versatility and productivity.”

A notable feature of these latest tippers are that their steel Loadmaster Lite bodies have a longer rear overhang to enable them to easily tip into a hopper or road surfacing machine. To prevent the possibility of rear axle overloads (especially as the trucks have sleeper cabs), their tailgates have then been angled forwards, thereby maintaining the optimal open body dimensions for loading.

Additionally, the air – operated tailgates have also been built with tar chutes, with some of the chassis also featuring automatic couplings for pulling drawbar trailers carrying road planing machines. Completing their tipper specification, the trucks have also been fitted with lightweight Binotto separate ram and tank tipping gears.

Neil Adds:

“The Thompsons / Renault combination is one that really works for us”. These are rugged, hi-spec tippers built for reliability and durability. And a payload of 18,500kgs is fine, given their heavy duty, multi-purpose specification. We’ve dealt with Thompsons for a long time now, and know that their products really do stand up to years of hard work.”

Based in Pangbourne and with a large scale recycling facility at Benson in Oxfordshire, Hazell & Jefferies is a major supplier of road planing and resurfacing work, as well as offering comprehensive services in recycling, skip hire, general highways activities and delivering concrete.

With its new trucks now hard at work, Hazell & Jefferies is already discussing taking a further batch of new Loadmaster Lites before the end of the year.

Scott Burton, Joint Managing Director at Thompsons says

“It’s really important that we give customers tippers that are built and fully finished to their exact requirements. This is the surest way to secure repeat business, and I’d like to thank Hazell & Jefferies for their continuing confidence in both our products and our ability to deliver the tippers that they need.”

“We’re back. After all, Thompsons is still the best” says Dave Roberts. Customers now seeing the benefits of Thompsons automation

Monday, 1st July 2019

 

Having recently spent over £4m upgrading its factories, Thompsons is now starting to realise the significant benefits of investing in high technology automated production systems. Particularly notable is that these advances are also being quickly recognised by long – standing customers such as D&E Roberts Ltd of Leatherhead in Surrey.

Director Dave Roberts says:

“We’ve long preferred Thompsons bodies, but in the recent past such was the demand for them that we found their delivery times just getting longer and longer, so regrettably we had to look elsewhere. However, we’ve been impressed by the way Thompsons has really tackled the issue head on by committing to such a large investment programme to boost production capacity in their factories.

As a result, we’ve just taken four new Loadmasters into our fleet, three being standard front end tippers, the fourth a tipper grab. And we can see that the new factory systems are bringing other benefits too, because our new vehicles show that Thompsons product quality is now actually better than ever.”

Key areas of Thompsons’ factory improvements are a new Trumpf 3030 laser cutter installed in the Croydon factory that combines not only higher production levels of many individual body parts, but also delivering these to an even higher standard of quality and accuracy. Of perhaps even greater significance, Thompsons’ northern operation in Blackburn has grown still further with the acquisition of a fourth factory, this site now home to a new, automated robot welding system that can reduce the welding time required for bodysides and tailgates by over 80%.

Also just installed at Site 4 is a brand new Trumpf 8600 brake press to ramp up production of full length bodysides. Additionally, state of the art multi-bay paintshops have also been installed in both Croydon and Blackburn.

Reflecting on the biggest investment programme in Thompsons history, Joint Managing Director Scott Burton says:

“last year, every penny of our profits was put back into the business, plus a lot more money as well. Let no-one be in any doubt that we are fully committed to the long term, and to lead the industry in everything that we do. D&E Roberts has been buying our tipper bodies since the early ’90’s, so we are delighted that customers are now recognising the on-going efforts that we are making to boost production capacity and extend even further our product quality. I thank Dave for his renewed confidence in us.”

The latest four Thompsons tippers in the 20 – strong D&E Roberts fleet are now all hard at work providing additional capacity to meet the ever – rising demand for the company’s tipper services.

All the four trucks are based on high power 450hp DAF CF chassis, the three standard tippers each being fitted with a single – skinned steel Loadmaster Lite body and a front end cylinder to give a highly competitive unladen weight of 12,400kgs. In contrast, the grab truck has the full – spec, heavy duty double – skinned Loadmaster body working in conjunction with a Palfinger Epsilon crane. Each vehicle also features a Thompsons air – operated tailgate.

Dave Roberts sums things up by saying:

“Loadmasters have always been the best tipper bodies out there, and now they’re better than ever. In particular, it’s the final fit and finish that really impresses, not least the outstanding quality of the paint. I’m delighted that Thompsons is once again at the forefront of our fleet.”

Power at the front, power at the back. Thompsons hydraulic tailgates offer extra performance on John Stacey’s latest tippers

Tuesday, 18th June 2019

 

Now running over 50 heavy trucks, Hampshire – based John Stacey & Sons is part – way through an eight vehicle fleet upgrade programme, all of their latest tippers being specified with Thompsons Loadmaster bodies fitted with AutoLift hydraulic ‘power up / power down’ tailgates.

Company director Steve Stacey said:

“We place maximum emphasis on a truck’s versatility, performance and productivity, which for tipper bodies means we inevitably choose Thompsons. Over the years, the heavy duty double skinned Loadmaster has proved to be a remarkable piece of equipment, able to carry anything and everything with next to zero maintenance issues or downtime.

Quite simply, we buy the best tipper bodies we possibly can, so we now specify our Loadmasters with Thompsons’ AutoLift hydraulic tailgate as well. Why? Because they significantly increase the overall performance of the vehicle.”

As the Stacey tippers demonstrate, AutoLift is the ideal complement for the super – tough double skinned Loadmaster. Given that this is a tipper body designed to carry loads such as over-sized rocks, rubble or demolition materials, ejecting such irregular payloads runs the risk of damaging a conventional tailgate with its fixed height hinge and toprail. In contrast, the hydraulic cylinders located in AutoLift’s rear cornerposts not only raise the whole tailgate assembly to create a 25% larger rear body aperture, but also hold the tailgate panel in an open horizontal position. As a result, the whole tailgate assembly is now positioned well clear of the exiting payload.

With the load successfully ejected and the body lowered, AutoLift then ‘powers down’ the tailgate into a fixed closed position secured by lugs on the rearmost side of the corner posts. Operated up and down by a single switch inside the cab, AutoLift therefore makes the whole tipping process easier, faster and safer as well as significantly reducing the possibility of incidental damage to the vehicle.

Steve Stacey added:

“Over the life of the truck AutoLift more than pays for itself. A conventional fixed height tailgate is much more prone to damage which in turn means incurring additional costs for repairs and vehicle downtime. AutoLift also adds to the residual value of the truck when we sell it. In essence, AutoLift makes a modern tipper complete.”

Complete with their 450hp engines, Stacey’s new DAF tippers with their Loadmaster AutoLift bodies deliver a really powerful performance from the front of the truck to the rear. Four of the eight new tippers are now on the road, with another two CFs and two Volvo FMXs to follow. The new trucks also confirm that all the tippers in Stacey’s extensive fleet are now bodied by Thompsons.

Speaking at Thompsons HQ in Croydon, Joint Managing Director Scott Burton notes:

“We’re delighted that John Stacey & Sons is realising the full benefit of using our AutoLift tailgate, and has once again chosen it for their latest eight tippers. With their trucks often having to carry irregular payloads, this is the ideal application for a tipper tailgate that can be raised higher and out of harm’s way when ejecting the load.

Making tipping speedier and safer is really what AutoLift is all about.”

30 new Thompsons Tippers are “a rock solid investment” says Brocklebank Demolition

Tuesday, 21st May 2019

 

Today, not many privately owned tipper companies will place a single order for 30 new trucks, but for Sheffield – based Brocklebank Demolition Ltd their long – proven experience of running Thompsons tipper bodies gives them every faith in their latest investment.

Company owner Nick Brocklebank says:

“Business is good and we are very busy, but we still have to keep the fleet right up to date. With a tipper, the two things that really matter for us are its total, overall performance and then its residual value after 3 or 5 years of very hard work.

Whatever chassis we go for, the addition of a Thompsons body really makes our tippers winners on both those counts. As such, we know that choosing Thompsons is always a rock solid investment.”

Of Brocklebank’s 30 new trucks, 27 have been fitted with Thompsons all – steel single skinned Loadmaster Lite, followed by two with aluminium bodies. The final vehicle is a tipper grab complete with a full – spec double skinned Loadmaster and an Epsilon crane.

Covering a wide range of tasks from moving demolition spoil and recyclables through to stone and aggregate transport, Brocklebank’s trucks operate throughout the South Yorkshire area and often load and tip more than 5 times per day. When being loaded, the constant, everyday battering of the body’s 5mm Hardox steel floor accrues to an enormous amount of punishment, especially when subjected to repeated impact from irregular items such as crushed reinforced concrete, bricks and random stonework.

Similarly, Brocklebank’s Loadmaster Lites have proved to be exceptionally resistant to abrasion and wear when such loads are tipped out.

All Brocklebank’s new tippers are Scania XT models, and each has also been fitted with a Binotto tipping cylinder – 29 examples being combined front end ram and tank models plus a single underfloor ‘pot ram’ for the tipper grab. A typical specification for this type of tipper, this crane truck features a double skinned full Loadmaster specification for maximum versatility and durability.

Nick Brocklebank comments that:

“This is our biggest single investment in new vehicles ever. Loadmaster bodies are just terrific, and the Lite model especially so. Whatever the job, they can carry anything. They don’t crack, they don’t fail and if ever an issue arises Thompsons is always onto it like a shot. We give our Loadmasters the ultimate test, and they deliver. I’m a total believer – our work really shows what these bodies are built for.”

Speaking for Thompsons at the company’s Blackburn factory, Sales Manager Ian Chaplin notes:

“If ever there was an example of a typical Thompsons customer, it must be Nick. He’s built his business up to be at the very top of its field, and we’re obviously delighted to have played a significant part in that success.

Loadmaster Lite has been the UK’s top selling tipper body for over a decade, and there’s no better advert for it than Brocklebank.”

Thompsons Scotland’s first Loadmaster X – Lite adds lots more payload to make a tipper that’s ‘just about perfect’

Tuesday, 14th May 2019

 

Perhaps more so than with any other type of truck, tipper operators really do know precisely what they want from their vehicles and, in turn, choose their specifications very carefully.

For its latest tipper grab truck, Glasgow operator About Grab Hire UK Ltd has gone out – and – out to acquire a vehicle that delivers an optimum combination of performance and payload. As a result, his new vehicle has been fitted with the first Thompsons X – Lite Loadmaster body to be built in Scotland.

Company boss John Martin says:

“My other three vehicles all have Loadmaster bodies, so there’s no question about Thompsons quality and reliability. With the latest X – Lite, they’ve gone another stage further with a weight saving of around 260kgs over their current Loadmaster Lite, and almost half a tonne over the heavy duty, double – skinned Loadmaster. Yet thanks to X – Lite’s construction from Hardox 500 steel, there’s no loss in strength or durability. In fact, there’s even more.

In our job, where trucks are inevitably on the heavy side, the new X – Lite is a game – changer.”

Taking the standard Loadmaster Lite design, the higher strength of Hardox 500 means that the tipper body’s floor and sides can now be reduced in thickness by 1mm to 4mm and 3mm respectively, thereby producing a weight saving of the main bodywork panels in the order of 20%.

Principally providing services to the building and landscaping industries, About Grab Hire’s tippers rarely have two working days the same. This means that the trucks have to able to handle any job that comes along, with equal standards of performance and reliability. For the chassis, John Martin chose a 450hp R cab Scania, the final spec being completed with an Epsilon crane and HARSH’s high stability underfloor tipping gear. The truck’s lucky driver also gets cab air conditioning and full leather trim too.

Despite its particularly high specification, the unladen weight of the new truck is 16,800kgs – with all other tippers in the company being over 17,100 kgs.

Starting his business in 2006 with a single skiploader, ever – increasing landfill taxes and a heavy recession made John realise that there was much greater potential in operating tippers, and particularly with the additional opportunities offered by grab hire work. That sound and practical business approach has brought About Grab Hire to where it is today, working both throughout the Central Belt and further afield.

Speaking for Thompsons Tippers Scotland, Sales Manager David Craig says:

“We’re very proud to have built our first X – Lite body for John. Like him, we think X – Lite will be one of the key products in our range. John is also representative of many of our customers who appreciate that Thompsons is now a fully native Scottish tipper manufacturer, and are therefore pleased to support us and work with us. And besides selling new bodies, we can also offer Scotland’s tipper operators unmatched after – sales parts and service support as well.”

John Martin’s final verdict on his new Thompsons tipper?

“Just About Perfect!”

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