Ultimate spec, ultimate performance. Thompsons super-strength bodies the only choice for Jim Jamieson’s amazing tippers!

Latest News | 11th May

Only occasionally do you come across a road transport operation that does things entirely its own way, completely at odds from the norm of accepted practice. Yet in the often less than glamorous world of tippers, one Scottish quarry operator can rightly be judged as doing exactly this – whilst also establishing itself as a beacon to the whole industry.

Ten new eight wheelers have joined the fleet over the last 18 months, with another five currently in build with Thompsons in Blackburn. But whereas many 8x4s today have fairly routine specifications, Jamieson’s tippers are anything but.

First, there’s power. Jamieson’s ‘standard’ chassis is a full sleeper G cab Scania, supplied with the Swedish company’s highest output 12.7 litre engine. Is 490hp excessive for a 32 tonnes gvw truck? Jamieson doesn’t think so. Then there’s the body – a full spec, double skinned all – steel Thompsons Loadmaster, complete with front and rear cornerposts, a 5mm Hardox floor and raked rear end complete with a hydraulic ‘AutoLift’ tailgate.

Other tippers in the fleet include a pair of latest Euro 6 DAF CFs. Specified principally for lighter aggregates and tarmac work, these trucks are fitted with Thompsons insulated alloy bodies built to Jamieson’s particular requirements that include extra durable 8mm thick hardened aluminium floors. And these DAFs also have 510hp engines too!

Few tipper operators today will specify their trucks to such a high level. Transport Manager Brian Clark explains:

“It all comes down to productivity. Our tippers are not light, and compared to an average specification eight wheeler we might be losing half a tonne every trip. So if we do 5 trips a day, then we are 2.5 tonnes down – which at first sounds a lot. On the other hand, we get greatly superior road performance. Even on short haul trips, they can shave 10 minutes off a journey time.

And this level of superior performance continues when we arrive on site. The driver has no need to get out of his cab at all. Put simply, we can be tipped and gone by the time the driver of a conventional tipper is walking back to his cab having just manually released the tailgate locking bar. Because of the extra performance of the vehicles, our productivity is raised.

Over a typical week, the overall performance bonus might translate into three extra trips. So that’s an extra 54 tonnes of product out of the door. Take away 5 days of losing 2.5 tonnes per day I mentioned earlier, that still gives me an additional 41 tonnes of material delivered per truck, per week. Over 50 weeks, that’s 2,050 tonnes per year. Over 10 trucks, that’s an extra 20,000 tonnes going out to our customers every year. This is our proof that high performance trucks really can pay!”

And there are other bonuses from running premium spec trucks too. With tippers, it’s always the bodies that do the really hard work, so having the strongest, toughest and most reliable bodies made anywhere keeps vehicle up-time to its very maximum.

For Brian, Thompsons bodies really do deliver the goods.

“The Loadmaster is undoubtedly today’s premium tipper body – it’s super-strong and able to handle any job whatsoever. With Loadmaster, we have no failures. But perhaps best of all is Thompsons Service. A while back, we needed Thompsons to come up to Ellon and address a minor installation issue. Their people were up here and fixed the problem within 24 hours by working through the night to make sure the whole fleet was ready for work the following morning.

Coming all the way from Blackburn, that’s truly impressive.”