Latest News | 13th Nov

Now hard at work, the very first Thompsons-bodied DAF XDC tipper has recently been delivered to the Cumbria-based Thomas Armstrong Group, one of northern England’s major construction companies and a leading manufacturer of high-quality building materials.

“We’re delighted to have been able to take delivery of this very first vehicle,” says Armstrong Transport Director Ian Morrison, adding “We’ve been big fans of both Thompsons and DAF products for many years now. Whilst this has been a vehicle combination that has worked really well for us in the past, we nonetheless expect the new truck to deliver a step change in performance, economy and overall productivity.”

Aside from the new XDC chassis, the seemingly evergreen all-steel Loadmaster tipper body has also undergone significant updates in recent years, with Armstrong’s new vehicle extolling many of those improvements perfectly. Chief among these is the fact that the traditional heavy-duty, double-skinned Loadmaster that the company used to purchase has now been succeeded by the single-skinned ‘Lite’ version that offers similar strength and durability but with the added advantage of up to 1 tonne of extra payload.

“The original Loadmaster was almost indestructible, and there was nothing it couldn’t carry” continues Ian, “but today we find that the latest Lite version offers all the strength and durability we need for the loads we carry, yet also being much more productive by offering a significantly higher carrying capacity.”

New technologies, ongoing advances in material quality and improved production techniques all help to deliver ever-better products for both truck chassis and bodywork alike. But whereas a new truck cab clearly shouts ‘NEW’, it’s much harder to see ongoing advances in bodywork.

James Sanderson, Thompsons’ Blackburn – based Sales Development Manager explains how continuous product improvements have resulted in an optimum, totally modern bodywork specification for Thomas Armstrong: “The full Loadmaster specification, which Thomas Armstrong previously operated, features double skinned side panels to provide ultimate strength and durability when carrying things such as rock armour boulders and materials from site work and demolition. Today though, thanks largely to ever greater material quality in the steel we use, the Lite version with single skin side panels provides more than enough strength for everyday tipper work such as carrying stone, aggregates and building products.

Yet whereas Loadmaster Lite’s steel bodysides might usually be built in 4mm thick Hardox panels, in this instance we went for the very latest and even more abrasion-resistant Hardox 500tuf material which allowed us to reduce side panel thickness to 3.5mm, thereby offering a further weight saving. As these panels don’t actually carry the weight of the load, there’s no real issue here about panel strength. In a tipper body it’s the floor that takes the real punishment, and here we have used industry-standard Hardox 450 in a 5mm thickness to provide years of trouble-free service.”

Other features of Thomas Armstrong’s new body include a lightweight Binotto front-end tipping gear, a fast – action front to rear cantilever sheeting system, PM On-board 4 – point weighing, lightweight galvanised steel wings, side and rear under-run protection and strobe lighting to both the front of the cab and rear of the chassis (with an enclosed end-plate).

As Thompsons also has its own in-house paint and shot blast facility in Blackburn, the body was also finished painted in the same bright orange Armstrong fleet colour as the vehicle cab.

Ready for work, the truck has an unladen weight of 12,500kgs thereby offering 19,500kgs of payload.

Based at the company’s HQ at Flimby, just south of Maryport, Thomas Armstrong’s new XDC tipper joins an all – DAF truck fleet of some 48 vehicles. The tipper is certainly a head-turner, and likely to remain so for some time to come until more examples of this latest truck start to appear on our roads.

In a final verdict, Ian Morrison says “The latest DAF chassis and its Thompsons body complement each other perfectly. Both are totally modern, up-to-the-minute designs. Together, they make our XDC the best tipper out there.”