AFTER 160 EXAMPLES, JOHN OWEN RATES HARSH UNDERFLOORS ‘AN EXCEPTIONAL PIECE OF KIT’
WITH OVER 160 EXAMPLES IN 30 YEARS, JOHN OWEN PRAISES HARSH UNDERFLOORS AS ‘AN EXCEPTIONAL PIECE OF KIT’
In over 30 years, John Owen Aggregates of Dinnington, South Yorkshire has purchased more than 160 tippers, and every one has been fitted with a HARSH underfloor tipping gear.
During this time, the company has run various makes of chassis and bodies but is now firmly committed to a standard vehicle spec of Scania XTs fitted with Aliweld aluminium bulk bodies and HARSH K110 underfloor stabilised tipping gears.
“We choose HARSH underfloors purely for their safety” says company owner Leon Gull. “It’s the only gear out there with a built – in stabiliser, and we owe it to everyone to operate the safest trucks we can. We’ve had HARSH underfloors since HARSH began, so in those 30 – plus years we must have had over 160 HARSH – fitted tippers. Aside from routine maintenance, we’ve never had any issues with them at all – the underfloors are just an exceptional piece of kit.”
The John Owen trucks are also somewhat unusual by being fitted with high capacity bulker bodies. Leon explains “whilst 80% of what we do is carrying aggregates, the other 20% is almost as important – here we are acting as a specialist haulier carrying products such as biomass and ash, and for these we need the versatility of a bigger body. If we didn’t have the extra volume, we wouldn’t have the extra business – it’s that simple. And the fact is that there’s no weight penalty here either. Aliweld do a super job for us with a product that’s both light and strong – an 8mm floor thickness can easily handle any aggregates work whilst also giving us a truck that’s still in very good shape when we sell it on to a new owner.”
As well as their HARSH gears, all the tipper bodies are also fitted with HARSH front to rear electric sliding sheets, offering full weather protection as well as a smooth, aerodynamic covering for their 5ft high sides.
Aluminium wheels are standard spec too, principally to reduce weight which for an 8×4 provides a saving of approximately 240kgs. “And when we put the complete truck on the weighbridge, the figure is not what you expect” says Leon, “not at all – because the unladen weight is bang on 12 tonnes, giving us the seemingly impossible 20 tonnes payload. Are we happy with that? – yes we are!”
Moving over 500,000 tonnes of product a year, John Owen continues to focus hard on its efficiency and productivity. The company has less than 25 employees, which includes 16 drivers for its 15 trucks. “We’ve done the hard work, and ironed out all the tricky bits” says Leon, adding “it’s the quality of our overall service that sells the material. We have to offer a totally professional package that takes full account of our reliability, our personal standards and courtesies, and our uncompromising approach to operating safety.
And in delivering this service, our vehicles and how we spec them are of fundamental importance.”
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