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Firow sets the pace as Boughton returns to market

Some of the first hook loader vehicles to be completed by the now renamed Boughton Engineering company have entered service with Firow Ltd., one of the country’s largest specialist vehicle, hire fleet providers. The new units are fitted with Boughton’s latest 8/32C hook loader and Kwikcova auto sheeting package.

The former Reynolds Boughton companies were acquired by Skan Group Holdings in May, since when, order intake has been described as ‘brisk and healthy’. The company is already running at increased production levels.

Firow Director, Gary Unsworth says, "We have over twenty years worth of operating experience with Boughton equipment and we closely monitor the whole life costs of every unit in our fleet. That has helped us to provide consistent reliability and serviceability for our customers and we are confident that, under its new owners, the company will continue to deliver market leading products we can depend upon.

"We have three of our own workshops and we undertake all our own MOT testing – so we have a very close knowledge of our fleet, our equipment – and its service performance. All our Boughton hook loader units are fitted with Kwikcova auto sheeting systems – which is the best we can do to ensure that our end customer
contract fleets are legally compliant in operation", says Gary Unsworth.

Firow is now the UK’s market leading contract hire operator serving the waste industry. It is also the only hire operator to offer fully specified hook loader and tri-axle close coupled trailer combinations (wagon and drag outfits), complete with Boughton Kwikcova auto-sheeting systems on both units. A large proportion of its long-term contract vehicles operate in customer liveries.

Firow operates a mixed fleet of over 200 vehicles and trailers, including predominantly DAF rigid chassis, plus MAN, Scania and Volvo. The latest vehicles to enter service are based on the 3205 wheelbase MAN TGS 35.360 8×4 rigid chassis, with the M series day cab. Power comes from MAN’s D 2066LF38 360 PS version of its 10.5 litre six-cylinder turbo-intercooled engine driving through a ZF 16-speed gearbox with PTO.

The hook loader equipment specification includes the Boughton ‘C’ type universal container locking system, which enables the unit to safely handle variable rail width containers – and not just containers manufactured to the CHEM specification. Firow vehicles also feature stabiliser jacks on the rear and Boughton’s automatic hook safety pin system. Electric/air-over-hydraulic, hook loader operating controls are located in the cab, with an external four-lever valve chest to operate the Kwikcova auto sheeting system. Boughton’s patented retractable operating arm width extender arrangement is incorporated, to facilitate full width container handling within legally permitted dimensions. All Firow’s vehicles are first life and stay in service for up to five years.

Boughton Group Managing Director, Richard Skan says, "When we bought the Boughton businesses we had every confidence and expectation that its loyal customer base and market reputation would survive intact. The whole team, including those former employees which we have been able to take on again, have worked tirelessly to get engineering, production, service and parts support back on track – and their efforts are testament to the buoyant order book we have already for customer build requirements for the rest of this year".

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