WEST Midlands-based manufacturer Bevan Group is working on a second consignment of tipping bodies for 14 FUSO Canter trucks to be operated by Leicester City Council.

The local authority, which recently embarked on a major fleet replacement programme, placed its latest order with prime contractor eStar Truck & Van following a comprehensive tender process.

Key to this decision was the successful implementation by the council’s parks and open spaces team of an initial batch of four Canter 4x4s, also fitted with bodies by Bevan Group, in 2020.

Three of these vehicles are specified for arboreal operations. Each high-sided body features an adjustable chip hood and ladder frame. Bevan has also installed a tool pod behind the cab with lockable roller shutter doors on both sides, and a hitch for towing a woodchipper.

READ MORE: Recently planted hedgerow ripped out in record time

The remaining truck, for which Bevan fabricated a complex sub-frame, has a tipping body with split dropsides and is equipped with a battery-powered Penny Hydraulics PH380 crane with maximum capacity of 2,650 kg. This is used by the council team responsible for maintaining playground equipment and park benches.

Forestry Journal:

The 6.5-tonne Canter 6C18 chassis comes with selectable four-wheel drive, a raised ride height, and a generous body and payload allowance of 3.8 tonnes. Powered by a 3-litre common rail turbo diesel producing 129 kW (175 hp), it offers an exceptional combination of economy and traction for on- and off-road applications.

Leicester City Council fleet services manager Steve Kerry said: “Due to other commitments and the tight financial constraints under which we’ve been operating, some of our vehicles were older than we’d have liked and were becoming costly to maintain. We’ve therefore amended our replacement policy and launched a fleet modernisation initiative, with the Bevan-bodied Canters among the first new trucks to be commissioned.

“The arboreal tippers have replaced 7.5-tonners, while the parks job was previously being done by a 3.5-tonne vehicle that wasn’t really up to it. As well as having the 4x4 driveline that was a key requisite for these applications, the Canter is impressively robust and offers an excellent payload.

“Bevan Group’s bodies, meanwhile, are fit for purpose and clearly built to a very high standard, so much so that I’ve every confidence they will stand up to arduous use over the 12-year service lives we envisage.

“The feedback we’ve had from the crews has been resoundingly positive.”

Forestry Journal remains dedicated to bringing you all the latest news and views from across our industry, plus up-to-date information on the impacts of COVID-19.

Please support us by subscribing to our print edition, delivered direct to your door, from as little at £75 for 1 year – or consider a digital subscription from just £1 for 3 months.

To arrange, follow this link: https://www.forestryjournal.co.uk/subscribe/

Thanks – and stay safe.