Thompsons or Charlton? “We want both” says Michael O’Donnell, owner of MC International Haulage

Monday, 22nd November 2021

 

Decisions, decisions. ‘This body, or that body?’ Which is best?

When finalising the bodywork details of his latest batch of top – spec tippers, Michael O’Donnell quickly came to realise it wasn’t a case of choosing a Charlton over a Thompsons, or vice – versa, but actually having both. A decision made that much easier because both these model ranges are products of the larger Thompsons Group.

Michael O’Donnell said:

“Each of the two bodytypes is absolutely ideal for a particular type of work. Charlton’s SuperLite is exactly that – built in steel yet providing the maximum payload in its class. The ideal general purpose tipper body. And then Thompsons’ Loadmaster Lite – easily the most proven heavy duty tipper there has ever been. On really tough jobs, there’s nothing to beat it.

So when you look at these two bodies together, you see that they complement each other perfectly. Having both simply adds to our performance and productivity. Whichever body we choose at a particular point in time, it’s going to come from the Thompsons Group.”

Based at Ashford, Heathrow, MC International Haulage started off ten years ago doing conventional tractor / trailer work into Europe, but soon changed course into developing a wide range of domestic UK tipper services. These now include bulk excavation, land restoration, recycling, road planing, grab work and muckaway.

Immediately notable is that this 22 – strong tipper fleet is built around unusually high vehicle specifications, and with equivalent standards visual presentation to match.

Michael added:

“For chassis, we’re 100% Scania, whilst for bodies it’s now Charlton and Thompsons together. The fact that Charlton is owned by Thompsons is an obvious bonus, as well as a guarantee of their product quality. We’ve run bodies built by Thompsons in Croydon from the very outset, so can vouch for their superb performance, reliability and durability.

Now the Charlton SuperLite adds further appeal – being some 200kgs lighter makes it obviously attractive not just as a straight front end tipper but also when helping to offset the extra weight of a crane on a grab truck.”

Individual features of the Charlton bodies also find widespread favour not just with MC but with tipper operators generally. The completely smooth, flat, one piece sides are ideal for carrying modern liveries whilst also making cleaning quick and easy. SuperLite’s curved floor makes the ejection of wet and sticky loads that much easier too, whilst the very similar GrabLite comes with a flat floor to help scooping up material with a clamshell bucket.

Charlton also offers full range of tipping gears, tailgate designs and supplementary equipment such as onboard weighing, sheeting systems, cameras, pedestrian warning devices and toolboxes – all of which are supplied and fitted in-house.

MC’s duality in bodytypes also carries through into variations in their chassis. Whilst all are Scania, the company also finds ample reason to choose both the standard 8×4 model as well as the more off-road focused XT, all with various engine outputs covering 410, 450 and 500hp.

Finished off with a striking red livery and detailing, taking pride in a fleet like this comes easy – though obviously a lot of hard work goes in to keeping the trucks looking and performing at their best.

Michael says:

“It’s worth all the effort, because we want people to see that we have high standards and fight hard to be at the top of our game. When we come to sell the trucks, if their spec is right and their condition is right then we easily get a top value for them.

Having Thompsons Group bodies on our chassis can make a big difference – they are what used truck buyers are really looking for. And in the meantime, we keep our drivers happy by giving them the best tippers we can.”

Based in Dover, Charlton Bodies Ltd will be delivering a further batch of tippers to MC International in 2022.

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