Thompsons kicks off 2019 by achieving ‘10 out of 10’ with Holystone

Thursday, 3rd January 2019


With the addition of two new Loadmaster – bodied Scania XTs, Holystone Civil Engineering Ltd’s truck fleet has reached double figures, with all the company’s tippers now bodied by Thompsons.

Just like many other UK tipper fleets, Holystone needs tippers that can turn their wheels to almost every type of job that comes along, whether that be muckshifting, delivering aggregates or transporting crushed concrete and recyclables.

As the company’s Transport Manager Graham Skelton says:

“Any idea that specifications don’t much matter with general purpose tippers is completely wrong. In fact, it’s quite the opposite because the truck has to be efficient and productive in every task we put it to. That’s a tough call, and in our operating environment previous experience of various types of chassis and bodies count for a great deal.

So if all our tipper fleet is now bodied by Thompsons, there have to be very good reasons why.”

Why indeed? Primarily because in Graham’s opinion, Thompsons’ all – steel Loadmaster Lite bodies are simply unmatched in their versatility, efficiency and reliability.

Graham says:

“The single skinned Loadmaster Lite offers the perfect balance between strength and weight. We’ve got all the ruggedness we need for the really arduous jobs, yet still with a 19 tonnes payload capacity. That’s an excellent figure for premium spec tippers such as these.”

Not surprisingly, Holystone’s new tippers are also much liked by their drivers. Whilst the Scania XTs are highly regarded, so too do their Loadmaster Lite bodies get solid praise as well, especially for their ease of use and upkeep.

Thanks to cab – operated tailgates and fast acting cantilever sheeting systems, drivers rarely have any need to leave the comfort of their cabs (which, in mucky site conditions, also helps to keep their interiors as clean as possible). Similarly, Loadmaster Lite’s smooth single piece sides and tailgate make vehicle washing quick and easy.

Graham concludes:

“We’ve long believed that running the best possible trucks pays real long term dividends. Their are four things that we really want from our tippers – minimal downtime, good payload capacity, happy drivers and the maximum possible residual value. Having now run Loadmasters for many years, it’s fair to say that these bodies really deliver on all those requirements.”

Established in 1970 and based at Blaydon, Tyne and Wear, Holystone has a range of customers from national housebuilders to private landowners, and offers a full range of civil engineering services including site clearance, pipe laying, demolition, plant hire and inert landfill.

Holystone’s new tipper bodies are just two examples of hundreds of similar examples produced last year at Thompsons’ north England location in Blackburn. A fourth Blackburn factory will be commissioned early in 2019 complete with an all – new robot welding system that will significantly add to the company’s production capacity.

All – new chassis, same Thompsons body. Why? Because ‘you simply can’t get better than a Loadmaster’ says Ferns Group.

Wednesday, 5th December 2018


The Ferns Group of Maidstone has just put into service its first Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks in their latest 8×4 specification that features a steering rear axle behind the double drive bogie. Yet whilst these new chassis mark a radical change for the company, Ferns was adamant in fitting them with Thompsons’ long proven Loadmaster tipper body.

James Gupwell, Transport Director for Ferns, says:

“There’s no reason at all for us to change from the Loadmaster. We’ve run this body for years, on all our tippers working in whatever application, and there’s nothing to touch it for strength, durability and reliability. Yes, it’s a premium product at a premium price, but its long term value and exceptionally low ownership costs more than make up for that front end expense.

As an added bonus, the residual values for a tipper with a Loadmaster are always notably higher. You simply can’t get a better body than this.”

Operated by subsidiary company Ferns Surfacing Ltd from its north London Wembley depot, the two Econics are seen as an ideal solution for urban tipper grab work. Their large cabs provide unrivalled forward visibility and interior space for the crew, whilst the shorter effective wheelbase than for a typical 8×4 makes for greater manoeuvrability and tighter turning.

With Thompsons delivering the entire bodywork package including installation of the Epsilon Palfinger cranes through to finished paint, Ferns’ latest trucks mark a significant advance in both operating versatility and safety.

Firmly established as the UK’s top selling tipper body, Loadmaster is available in three versions – the full spec Loadmaster, the Loadmaster Lite and the recently launched Loadmaster X – Lite. For the Econics, Ferns chose the first of these, which differ from the others by having a heavy duty, double skinned body with cornerposts front and rear. Ferns also specified each body with a toolbox, wacker carrier and rear towing pin. Fuelled and ready for work, the trucks tare off at a competitive 16,500kgs which, spec for spec, is similar to a standard eight wheeler.

Operating in the closely related fields of surfacing, aggregates, recycling and utilities, Ferns Group works throughout London, the South East and East Anglia. With its surfacing business dealing with over 100,000 roadway and pavement reinstatements per year, Ferns places maximum emphasis on the performance, reliability and safety of its vehicle fleet which is backed up by a continuous investment program that requires all its trucks are replaced within five years.

Accredited to FORS Silver standard, Ferns Surfacing Ltd has also achieved the prestigious CLOCS Champions rating as well.

Speaking for Thompsons, director Scott Burton comments:

“We are naturally delighted to have been chosen by Ferns to help produce this latest advance in their tipper fleet. As the UK’s leading tipper bodybuilder, larger companies such as Ferns increasingly recognise our ability to not only produce bodies of the highest quality but also to project manage new tipper solutions from start to finish.

As such, their new Econics provide ideal testimony to our capabilities.”

Photos: Ferns’ new Loadmaster – bodied Econics are ideal for any surfacing job in London – including pavement repairs outside Buckingham Palace.

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