Charlton demonstrates its core strengths with Independent Builders Merchant Group

Monday, 8th November 2021

 

Long established as one of the UK’s leading suppliers of specialist truck bodies to the building supply industry, Charlton is now the preferred bodywork supplier to the rapidly growing Independent Builders Merchant Group (IBMG).

To date in 2021, Charlton has supplied IBMG with the bodywork for twelve new 26t chassis, plus five at 18t and one 16t vehicle.

Richard Beal, IBMG’s Senior Transport Manager says:

“We choose Charlton for our truck bodies for two main reasons. First is their exceptional build quality, with everything being supplied, fitted and finished by Charlton themselves. This means that when we get our trucks they are immediately ready to work.

The second is that Charlton makes enormous efforts to ensure that their products are always exactly what we want, and are therefore ready and willing to sit down with us to develop specifications that are precise to the finest detail. Our new trucks are very much the result of a real team effort to get them exactly right.”

Supplied to IBMG through Woking – based Translease Services, all the 18 vehicles delivered in 2021 are based on DAF CF and LF chassis.

The bodies of the 26t vehicles, as running with Parker Building Supplies, have 6300mm hardwood floors, triple planked aluminium dropsides and a steel framed tailboard. A full length subframe then supports rear mounted extendable stability legs, a short safety staircase and a rear – mounted Fassi F155 crane. As well as providing the best and easiest solution of driver access to the body, these cranes can be operated either by full remote control or via conventional levers.

By being mounted at the back of the truck the long – reach cranes also offer significantly increased versatility in being able to deliver loads at almost any point off the sides or rear of the vehicle.

Underneath the bodywork the rear – steer DAF 370hp CF 6×2 chassis provides an optimum blend of manoeuvrability and performance. Weighing in at just over 13t unladen, these new six wheelers offer a highly competitive payload allowance that is more than adequate for the generally mixed loads the trucks carry.

At 18 and 16 tonnes, the 4×2 DAF LF is IBMG’s truck of choice with the latest examples going to Group member Fairalls of Godstone. The bodywork of these trucks follows the core design and layout of the six wheelers, but on a reduced scale. These smaller trucks are therefore ideal for deliveries to more congested sites such as individual building plots and driveways.

In the last few years the Independent Builders Merchant Group has risen to become the largest independent supplier to the building trade across Southern England. As well as Parker and Fairalls, its members include Chandlers, Grant & Stone, Stamco, CRS, Perrys and RGB Building Supplies with the combined Group now operating from over 140 locations ranging from Kent to Cornwall.

Commenting further on his most recent new trucks, Richard Beal notes:

“the vehicles we need have to combine the highest possible levels of practicality, versatility and safety. They also have to be reliable and cost effective, right from the start. Getting the best possible specification is the key to achieving all those virtues, along with the very real expertise and support we get from Charlton and Translease.

This is a real team effort, and it works particularly well.”

Based in Dover, Charlton is a key part of the Croydon – based Thompsons Group.

Charlton and Translease will be supplying another 13 new vehicles to IBMG in 2022, with an as yet unspecified further quantity in 2023.

 

 

 

A SuperLite supertruck! Charlton rocks on the back of Steve Wills’ superb Volvo 8×4 FH 540

Thursday, 26th November 2020

 

The SuperLite

 

Still a stronghold of family-owned transport businesses, England’s far south west boasts some of the most individual and highly specified trucks to be found anywhere in the UK. And no company demonstrates this pride of ownership better than Cornwall’s Steve Wills Haulage and its brand new Charlton – bodied 540hp sleeper cab 8×4 Volvo FH.

Owner Steve Wills says:

“This truck is another step forward. We’ve long been big fans of Swedish trucks including Volvo’s FMX, but this is our first FH. For this truck – as with all our recent tippers – we’ve gone for an all-steel Charlton SuperLite body with a cab-operated tailgate that’s the perfect complement to the top-level spec of the chassis. Together, they are an ideal pairing.”

As well as having a bigger cab, at 1250mm high the all – steel SuperLite’s bodysides are that bit taller too, making the new FH equally adept at carrying almost every type of payload from sand and aggregates to rocks and recyclables. And working in a county with plenty of steep inclines but no motorways, it made clear sense to specify the truck with Volvo’s mighty 540hp 13 litre diesel engine, which also pushes out a massive 2600Nm of torque. Fuel economy for the FH is great too, as that big engine not only reduces gearchanging but has also enabled the truck to be fitted with a higher differential ratio than is usual on Volvo tippers.

And the lucky driver of this new super – tipper? None other than Steve Wills’ 19-year old son Anthony, who has been driving for the company since the day he passed his test.

Anthony says:

“I still can’t quite believe it. When you see it in the yard before dawn it kind of takes your breath away. We’ve always gone for top level tippers, and this one is the best yet. It’s an absolute joy to spend the day in, and attracts highly positive comments from everyone who sees it. In turn, it’s a great advert for our company which, in addition to its huge capacity for work, is a key reason for having it.”

Surprisingly perhaps, the new FH is still very competitive on the weighbridge. This is partly because spec for spec, Charlton’s curved floor, ultra – durable SuperLite is the lightest steel tipper body on the UK market, so therefore an ideal choice for this particular chassis.

Anthony Wills also notes that “whilst the larger cab has obvious advantages – better forward visibility, extra room and reduced noise levels – it’s really just a bigger box of fresh air. The twelve alloy wheels also save around 240kgs or so over a standard tipper. As a result, the FH tips the scales at a very reasonable 12,900kgs to give a clear 19 tonnes plus payload which, given the performance and versatility on offer, we are more than happy with.”

Set up by Steve Wills almost 40 years ago, his haulage business remains a true family affair, with his younger sons Matthew and Daniel also keen to play their part. The company philosophy has always been to operate on a highly personal level, to keep things manageable and aim to be the very best at everything it does. The new FH bears clear testimony to that – as indeed do another two Volvos already on order for delivery in 2021.

Speaking for Charlton, Sales Director Andrew Gunn comments:

“Having supplied Steve Wills with tipper bodies for some years, we are delighted to have been chosen once again for their latest FH fleet flagship. Thanks to customers like Steve, Charlton has now established itself as the leading tipper bodybuilder for operators in the South West, our products having secured a premium reputation for quality, reliability and performance.”

Steve Wills’ new truck was supplied by Kevin Wills (no relation) of Stuarts Truck & Bus, Volvo main dealer for south west England. Providing local service and support in Cornwall, Stuarts has a branch just off the A30 at Roche, outside St. Austell.

Top-spec FH tipper

Anthony Wills

 

 

The Wills family

 

Thompsons Group scores 2-0 with Luton’s top tipper team

Tuesday, 11th February 2020

 

Given the wide range of tasks they have to handle, choosing exactly the right tipper body spec is rarely easy. For Thomas Bros. Excavations (Luton) Ltd, the choice had to be from either Thompsons or its sister company Charlton. With so many benefits accruing to each, the ultimate decision was easy – they wanted both.

Thomas Bros. Managing Director Andrew Burton, says:

“We’ve bought Thompsons bodies for years, so we know we can put them on any job whatsoever. That said, the Charlton product is similarly versatile, and with the added bonus of being around 200kgs lighter. So for the heavier duty tasks such as muckaway and site work, the Loadmaster has that extra bit of reserve strength and capability, whereas for carrying stone and our crushed recycled materials Charlton’s SuperLite has a worthwhile extra payload. For a multi-purpose tipper operation such as ours, they are a terrific combination!”

Fitted to MAN, Volvo and Scania chassis, both Thompsons’ Loadmaster Lite and Charlton’s SuperLite bodies are single skin designs built entirely in steel. This gives both types an optimal blend of strength, durability and carrying capacity. The Charlton body also has a curved floor, which makes the clean ejection of wet and sticky loads that much easier. Befitting its intended application, the SuperLite also has a lower side panel height than the Loadmaster, thereby helping to reduce overall weight.

Andrew Burton adds:

“We’ve already got a great track record with both these bodies, and in reality there’s no other product out there to touch either of them. Our chassis choice may vary from time to time, but for tipper bodies we always go for Thompsons. Today, our trucks are working harder and longer hours than ever, so we really need that extra margin of performance and reliability. It’s as simple as that.”

With many in the company being big fans of Luton Town Football Club, Andrew has had two of the latest Loadmasters painted up in the club’s distinctive and highly visible orange colour.

He says:

“They make great adverts, both for the club and ourselves. After all, football is almost as hard a game today as being a tipper operator!”

Speaking for Thompsons, Joint Managing Director Scott Burton says:

“We’re delighted to have secured another 10 bodies for Thomas Bros.’ latest tippers, and in particular that Andrew clearly recognises the key benefits of each of our brands. Whereas the Loadmaster continues as the UK’s top selling tipper body, our Charlton product nonetheless finds increasing favour as a truly versatile, maximum payload alternative for customers who mainly carry stone, aggregates and recycled materials.”

Based at Beadlow in Bedfordshire, Thomas Bros. provides a wide range of services to the construction industry with over 40 heavy trucks that also include artic and grab tippers, hookloaders, skiploaders and road sweepers.

Thompsons gets a rock solid ’10 out of 10′ from the Gallagher Group

Tuesday, 9th April 2019

 

Having operated Thompsons tipper bodies for many years, Kent – based Gallagher Group had little difficulty in once again choosing all – steel Loadmaster Lite bodies for its latest batch of 10 Volvo FMX tippers.

Gallagher’s Transport Manager Maxine Buckby said:

“Loadmaster Lite really does deliver the goods. It’s extremely strong, completely reliable and inherently durable. Whatever we use it for, whatever we carry, there’s never a problem. In turn, maintenance and operating costs are virtually zero, so Loadmaster Lite really does provide an optimum solution for the whole range of our tipping needs.”

Based just outside Aylesford in Kent, over the last 45 years the Gallagher Group has built up an impressive reputation as one of the South East’s premier quarrying, civil engineering, building and property development businesses. With aggregates at the heart of the business, the company’s two quarries near the M20 motorway supply over 70 different products from primary and recycled aggregates through to block stone and topsoil. Of particular interest, Gallagher is the last remaining company still quarrying Kentish Ragstone, a hard, grey, sandy limestone that gives many buildings in Kent their own unique character.

To move all their quarry products, the Gallagher tipper fleet’s standard 8×4 specification is built on Volvo FMX chassis, Thompsons Loadmaster Lite steel bodies and Binotto front end tipping cylinders. To demonstrate the everyday versatility of their tipper operation, Gallagher’s trucks can work out of the quarries carrying fine sand or aggregates, then return with various types of inert waste for landfill.

Being able to successfully work across many varied applications has made Loadmaster Lite not just a winner for Gallagher but for a whole host of tipper operators right across the UK.

A lightweight, single skinned design, Loadmaster Lite typically affords a highly competitive 19 tonnes payload when fitted to the majority of today’s premium spec 8×4 tipper chassis. Such is its popularity across the tipping industry that Loadmaster Lite has now been the UK’s top selling tipper body for over a decade.

Acquiring their first Loadmaster bodies back in the 1990’s, Gallagher also appreciates that their smooth modern design also offers a general ease of use and upkeep.

Maxine Buckby added:

“Specifically, their smooth bodysides are ideal both for carrying our livery and for keeping the trucks clean and looking smart. In our industry, standards of image and presentation are particularly important, and we make great effort to present ourselves to our clients and local communities in the most professional and attractive ways as possible.

We were also pleased that Thompsons and its sister company Charlton were also able to undertake the complete painting of our new tippers, not just for their bodies but the chassis and cabs as well.

Whichever way you look at it, whether for their design, performance or whole life economy, Thompsons bodies really do get a rock solid 10 out of 10.”

Speaking for Thompsons, Joint Managing Director Scott Burton notes:

“The Gallagher Group is one of our longest – standing customers, and we are naturally delighted to have been able deliver another 10 new tippers to them. A hugely impressive business, few companies better illustrate the benefits of running highly efficient, supremely versatile tippers built around our Loadmaster Lite bodywork.”

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