A landmark year for team Thompsons

Tuesday, 21st November 2017


As we approach Christmas we can reflect that 2017 has been yet another huge year for the Thompsons Group.

2017’s centrepiece event must be the establishment of our factory in Scotland, now up and running with fully trained staff, new shopfloor machine tools and an order book already stretching right through to next springtime. A highly individual market in its own right, Scotland will undoubtedly play a key role in the company’s long term development.

At the other end of the UK, Charlton in Dover is also busier than ever, not just with tippers but also in producing their own innovative and highly technical bodywork solutions. By building specialist and often highly bespoke truck bodies to address individual customer requirements, Charlton really does bring a significant extra dimension to our Group portfolio.

Also this year we completely revamped our Service Department, giving it the new, more open – ended identity of ServiceTech. Why? Because today we do much more than just repair tippers. Today’s marketplace demands that we offer a full range of vehicle services, including both fitting out new trucks ready for work as well as comprehensive maintenance throughout their working lives. As well as tippers, Thompsons is now a leading supplier of skiploaders and hookloaders too.

Also in the aftermarket, our unique internet – based Thompsons eParts operation continues to break its own sales records, and now offers operators over 6,000 individual line items from a pair of work gloves to a complete crane.

Back in June, we went to the annual TIP-Ex Show in Harrogate with over 30 vehicles – our strongest number of exhibits ever.

Are we now sitting back and resting? Certainly not, because we’ve already got a number of major new product innovations to launch at TIP-Ex ’18.

The below eBrochure gives you the real flavour of the Thompsons Group today. Read on!

Webster Miller chooses Charlton (again) for one of the UK’s very first ‘New Generation’ specialist Scania Rigids

Monday, 25th September 2017


One of the very first ‘New Generation’ Scania rigids has just gone on the road with Essex – based Webster Miller Ltd. And complementing the truck’s particularly high specification 6×2 lift axle chassis is a bespoke, custom – built platform body designed and installed by Charlton Bodies of Dover.

Now one of the UK’s leading providers of crane based self – loading transport services, Webster Miller’s 28 – strong truck fleet is centered around a core Scania / Charlton vehicle specification. Whilst the new truck is perhaps impressive enough with its 450hp engine, auto transmission and full-spec R sleeper cab, it’s also the completeness of Charlton’s bodywork package that makes this truck so ideally suited to its task.

At 7.5m long in its ‘closed up’ standard operating configuration, the body is built around pressed steel construction in conjunction with a hardwood floor. Then, to provide all the lifting capability this truck would ever needs is a remotely controlled 54 tonne/metre FASSI crane mounted in front of the heavy duty steel headboard.

Designed first and foremost to be safe, versatile and easy to use with the widest variety of payloads, this highly individual Charlton body also features multiple lashing points and twistlocks, an underfloor storage locker for chains, a nylon fall-arrest system, lightweight aluminium waterproof toolboxes, a lift-up rear under-run bar, a drawbar coupling for trailer towing and flashing LED warning lights. Of particular interest, the body also features a 1525mm rear pull-out to enable it to carry 30ft containers.

With the chassis also featuring 385/65 ‘wide single’ tyres to its uprated front axle and low profile tyres on the drive, the resulting lower deck height makes both loading and access easier whilst also improving on-road stability by reducing the truck’s centre of gravity.

Webster Miller director Simon Steptoe says;

“this new truck certainly pushes our business another step forward. We’re great believers in having the best possible kit for what we do. The Scanias are superb – the drivers love them, they’re reliable, economical to operate and ultmately give us the best possible residual value. Self-evidently therefore, we’re also going to fit them with top quality bodywork. Charlton is supreme in this respect, not just for the finished product but equally for the fact that we can sit down with Charlton and put together a specification that’s ideal for any particular truck or operating requirement.

In short, Charlton makes the whole package complete.”

Based in West Thurrock just by the northern side of the Dartford Crossing, Webster Miller’s trucks operate throughout the UK carrying everything from mobile power packs to plant and construction equipment, portakabins and containers.

Speaking for Charlton, Sales Director Andrew Gunn comments;

“We’ve done business with Webster Miller for a long time now and are naturally delighted to have been able to work with Simon and John on this latest unique new truck. But the story doesn’t stop here – because there’s we’re also following up with a larger Charlton – bodied 8×4 Scania in the near future!”

Thompsons rocks at Harrogate with a record 30-plus trucks at TIP-Ex!

Wednesday, 14th June 2017

With over 30 trucks on display, the Thompsons Group made its biggest ever splash at the 2017 TIP-Ex Show, confirming the company as by far and away the UK’s top tipper bodybuilder.

But what stood out this year was not just the number of trucks that Thompsons and Charlton brought to Harrogate, but also their variety.

Highlights included a new super – heavy duty body for Scottish operator Yuill & Dodds. Called Rockmaster, this body features upper and lower steel floors sandwiching a 25mm hardwood inner. Built for transporting 10 tonnes rocks on sea defence work, this body is truly an ‘ultimate’!

Also in prominent position was one of the ten new Loadmaster Lite tippers going to Durham – based Hargreaves Services plc. Long – standing Thompsons customer LC Vehicle Hire of Leeds was also highly prominent with a large number of trucks celebrating their 60th birthday.

Charlton bodied trucks were also out in force, most notably with an 8×4 Tridem tipper grab destined for Hart’s Haulage in far away Cornwall, and a 6×2 DAF with a dropside BuildLite builder’s merchant body and rear mounted crane destined for Parker Building Supplies of East Sussex. Also on the Tridem theme was a Renault 8×4 with Hyva hookloader bodywork – quite possibly the first Tridem / hookloader combination in the UK – supplied and fitted by Thompsons in Blackburn.

Products aside, TIP-Ex also saw Thompsons formally launch its new ServiceTech aftersales programme to the industry, with many visitors also being keen to find out more about the forthcoming new factory in Scotland.

All of which continues to make 2017 another really key year for our company!

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