What the Dickens? A new Reginald Wilfer introduces Thompsons Sandmaster alloy bodies to Moreton C. Cullimore

Monday, 8th Feburary 2016

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Carefully specified to deliver optimum payload and performance, this month sees one of the UK’s best known tipper operators taking its first ever Thompsons alloy body for an 8×4.

One of a trio of new 8×4 tippers in the 50 – plus HGV fleet of Moreton C. Cullimore, Thompsons’ lightweight Sandmaster model is purpose – designed for carrying sand and aggregates. Mounted on a 400hp DAF CF chassis, the unladen weight of the new tipper is exactly 12,000kgs.

Founded in 1927, today’s Cullimore Group operates from three main sites in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, supplying a full range of bulk, bagged and recycled aggregates, as well as readymix concrete and the movement of inert waste. Distinctive in their duo – tone green livery, Cullimore trucks are also famous for each carrying the name of a character from a Charles Dickens novel; in this case the Sandmaster has been christened ‘Reginald Wilfer.’

Unlike the original Reginald Wilfer of 1865, the 2016 version is particularly well kitted out.

Today’s Mr Wilfer is made fully weatherproof with side to side electric sheeting, he moves on super shiny alloy footwear and can discharge his daily duties quickly and easily thanks to a Thompsons AutoLoc air operated tailgate.

Now in its 90th year, the Cullimore Group sees particular advantages in following many of the traditional ways of running trucks as part of their quarrying and aggregates business. As managing director Moreton Cullimore explains:

“We buy our trucks with the intention of running them for as long as we can – and we also own them fully, right from the outset. So a 15 year working life might be typical – we even have one that’s still working at 20! This way, we believe we get the maximum possible value from our vehicles, so getting their specification right at the outset is hugely important.

As ever, it’s all about achieving the optimum balance between payload and long term reliability and durability. We’ve run Thompsons steel bodies for many years, and found their formula exactly right for our needs. In turn, this proof of performance has encouraged us to try our first Thompsons alloy body on an 8×4, saving us some 600kgs over their lightest steel design.”

That super – light steel body is the Stonemaster, two examples of which have also just joined the Cullimore fleet. Ideal for carrying both aggregates and stone, Stonemaster saves weight over other Thompsons steel bodies by having a lighter underframe, no siderails and using higher strength but lighter steels in the headboard and tailgate.

Again mounted on DAF CF chassis, Cullimore’s steel Stonemasters simply dive under the 13 tonnes unladen weight industry yardstick, tipping the scales at just 12,780kgs fully fuelled and ready to run.

By running Sandmaster and Stonemaster together, the Cullimore Group can move all its quarry products with the maximum possible performance and productivity.

With the alloy Sandmaster truck being the most distinctive, the question is bound to arise as to ‘Who was the original Reginald Wilfer?’

Written in 1864/5, he appears in Dickens’ last novel ‘Our Mutual Friend’, a satirical and symbolic tale about the dangers of money. Notably, Mr Wilfer was a shy man, ‘a poor clerk. So poor a clerk, through having a limited salary and an unlimited family, that he had never yet attained the modest object of his ambition: which was to wear a complete new suit of clothes, hat and boots included, at one time.’

In 2016, have Cullimore and Thompsons together realised Reginald’s ambition?

By producing one of the smartest, best turned out and most sophisticated tippers out there, it certainly looks so!

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