Versatility, quality, options and detail. Thompsons aluminium bodies now winning major new business

Monday, 14th December 2020

 

The first Thompsons tipper for Tillicoultry Quarries

 

Long acknowledged as the UK’s leading builder of steel tippers, Thompsons is now carving out a similar reputation for its aluminium bodies. In particular, customers are now wanting aluminium bodies to accommodate a much wider range of operating requirements.

David Penman, recently appointed General Manager of Thompsons Tippers Scotland says:

“We need to build bodies that can work on tarmac at the beginning of the week, maybe then do quarry jobs on Wednesdays and Thursdays, possibly ending up carrying recyclables at the end of the week. In a nutshell, customers want a weight – optimised product designed to handle a much broader range of payloads, whilst also being offered with a full range of detail options to suit individual specification preferences.”

To meet the need for extra versatility, a particularly noticeable trend is now for aluminium bodies on 8×4 chassis to be fitted with a steel floor liner to provide extra strength and reduced wear when carrying quarry products.

Typically a single piece 3.2mm Hardox sheet, such a steel liner adds around 300kgs to the body weight – but then savings can start to accrue by having a 25% thinner hardened aluminium base on which the liner sits. Adopting aluminium wheels on an 8×4 also saves some 240kgs. Adding extra internal rubbing plates to the rearmost area of the bodysides also provides greatly improved wear characteristics for minimal extra weight.

Further specification alloy body options include multiple bodyside heights, single or split rear tailgates, hydraulic or air actuated tailgate locking, various designs of tar chutes, recessed bodyside steps, front to rear or side to side sheeting systems and front end or underfloor tipping cylinders.

In addition to an unrivalled range of specifications, Thompsons aluminium bodies also include various design and production methods that further improve their performance, durability and long term reliability.

As a specific example, particular attention has been placed on the body crossmembers which transfer the full weight of the loaded body onto the truck’s chassis rails. These crossmembers are now bolted rather than welded to the outside of the body floor, thereby allowing a small but vital degree of extra flexibility than super-stiff (and therefore crack – prone) welded joints would allow.

David adds:

“We see this as a key feature to reduce the likelihood for repairs and downtime”

Of equal significance, tippers that offer proven fail-free integrity in their bodywork become highly attractive to second owners.

In recent weeks major tipper operators such as Tillicoultry Quarries in Scotland’s Central Belt have taken their first examples of Thompsons alloy bodies into their fleets.

Tillicoultry’s Transport Manager Craig Wilson notes

“we were particularly impressed not just by Thompsons’ superb build quality, but also that they would help us re-design even a small component such as the open/ close mechanism of the tar chutes in the rear tailgate. This level of personal commitment and attention to detail is something quite special.”

Thompsons aluminium body with optional steel floor liner

Product range includes bulkers too

 

 

Bodies built bespoke to individual customer requirements

Attention to detail: a re-designed tar chute mechanism

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