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Smiths (Bletchington) invests £400,000 in fleet refresh


Oxfordshire-based tipper operator Smiths (Bletchington) has spent more than £400,000 updating its fleet with four new trucks fitted with safety equipment, and two tipper trailers.

New vehicles include three MAN TGS vehicles; a 6×2 tractor, 6×4 and 8×4 tippers fitted with Charlton SuperLite steel bodies from Thompsons Group, as well as a Scania R400 6×2, and two Wilcox triaxle alloy tipper trailers.

Paul Needle, transport manager, said the trucks have been fitted with safety equipment recommended by Mineral Products Association. This includes reversing alarms, rear-mounted cameras, side-sensors and sideguards, and audible warnings for pedestrians and cyclists when a vehicle is turning left.

The safety specification, initially set up as a requirement for hauliers applying for Crossrail contracts in London, is being adopted by companies setting out construction contracts in other parts of the country.

Locally to Smiths, there are two significant contracts in the offing. “There is the Bicester to Milton Keynes railway line that has to be completed by 2015, which is likely to start after Christmas, and the prospect of the High-Speed 2 link between Birmingham and London,” he says.

Smiths (Bletchington), who run 29 trucks and four tipper trailers, is considering retrofitting its fleet with safety equipment and has already fitted its 11-plate trucks with Brigade Electronics Sidescan sensor system on the nearside of the truck to identify pedestrians and cyclists.

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