Bigger, lighter and built to a higher standard – the Bevan Group box body fitted to Dowding & Plummer’s new 7.5-tonner is a winner from all angles.
The Birmingham-based company manufactures and supplies commercial floor cleaning machines and the new truck wears the colours of its market-leading Victor range, which includes scrubber driers, vacuums, sweepers, spray extractors and buffers.
The subject of a flexible contract hire agreement with commercial vehicle specialist Fraikin, it is Dowding & Plummer’s first Bevan-bodied truck.
The DAF 45 chassis has a sleeper cab with wind-cheating air management kit by Hatcher Components, of Framlingham, Suffolk. The body, meanwhile, was manufactured from lightweight Eco Font panels at Bevan’s main production facility in Halesowen, West Midlands, where the bodybuilder also fitted the vehicle’s 1500kg Dhollandia cantilever tail-lift and applied its eye-catching livery.
The new truck has lined up alongside Dowding & Plummer’s two other commercial vehicles, a 14-tonne DAF 55 which went on the road last year, and a 3.5-tonne Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van with tail-lift.
Dowding & Plummer Transport Manager Roy Murgatroyd says: "Fraikin recommended Bevan Group and I’m glad they did, because the body on our new vehicle is built and finished to a very high standard.
"At six metres it’s a metre longer than the body on our previous 7.5-tonner, so gives us increased capacity in terms of volume. Yet it’s lighter too, which means we also get a higher payload – after you’ve factored in the driver, a tank of fuel, the big tail-lift, the Hatcher air kit and other ancillaries it will still carry a very respectable 2,400kg."
Based at Dowding & Plummer’s headquarters in Acocks Green, the truck delivers to customers throughout Britain and Ireland, as well as Europe – the company also has a branch in Paris.
Machines with ‘stick-up’ handles are loaded in rows and then stacked in two decks using bars and panels – "We were already using this system but Bevan have refined it so that it works more smoothly and efficiently," continues Mr Murgatroyd.
And he adds: "I was aware of Bevan by reputation and knew they offered a premium product, but assumed it would come with a price to match. In the event, however, they were no more expensive than our previous supplier.
"We’ve had one minor issue since taking delivery of our new truck but Bevan sent a member of their aftercare team over and it was very quickly resolved. So I would certainly envisage commissioning Bevan to build our bodies in the future."