14 August 2023


Resplendent in its all-red livery, P.H. Winterton & Son’s latest truck is something really special, a one-off hookloader that’s been ideally specified for its intended application of shifting sawdust and wood shavings.

“Because the product we’re carrying isn’t heavy, we don’t need an eight wheeler” says Adam Moores, Winterton’s Operations Manager. “Yet because our job is all about payload volume, we still want to carry the biggest boxes on the truck we can. Therefore, the ideal chassis for this is a long wheelbase 6×2 which is both lighter, less expensive and more manoeuvrable than an 8×4. After much consideration, we’ve created a truck that’s ideally suited to our needs.”

A long-time Volvo customer, for the first time Winterton has chosen a HARSH hookloader body for the new FM chassis joining their fleet. “The HARSH hookloader is robust, well made and easy to operate” says Adam, “whilst also offering superb detailing, paint quality and overall finish. It complements the new chassis perfectly.”

As a complete truck, this new HARSH / Volvo truck has many interesting features. First, the hookloader unit offers a big 26 tonnes lift capacity, making light work of loading any weight or type of container. Second, the chassis has full air suspension complete with a raise / lower capability which is particularly valuable when the truck is working in rural applications such as along farm tracks. Third, the rearmost axle has both a lifting and steering capability, greatly aiding manoeuvrability in confined spaces. Fourth, the truck also features a 500hp engine that makes for good progress when working with its ‘more often than not’ tri-axle drawbar trailer. Lastly, an uprated front axle with wide single tyres guards against any overload, whilst the truck’s lightweight FM day cab and a full set of alloy wheels combine to keep unladen weight to the minimum.

Complete with a full-size container, fuel and driver, the truck’s resulting 16 tonnes unladen weight therefore offers a 10 tonnes payload – more than enough when carrying a full bin of sawdust and wood shavings. Employed mainly on ‘drop and swap’ work with sawmills over a wide geographical area across Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Cheshire and Greater Manchester, the emphasis really is on the truck delivering the highest possible standard of performance.

“Whether working solo or with its trailer, this truck offers us greater than ever versatility” concludes Adam. “As a company, we tend to over-specify the trucks we buy just to ensure that they are working well within their overall capability. In turn, this gives us higher standards of reliability and service to our customers. We’re delighted that the quality and specification of the HARSH unit is fully up to the standard of the chassis, as together they make an ideal combination. Equally though, we’re impressed by the level of HARSH’s responsiveness, parts availability, back-up and support which is in another league to those of previous suppliers. As a particular example, HARSH recently fitted a batch of our new tractors with wet kits on a quick turn-around of one week per truck, whereas our usual supplier couldn’t do anything for six to eight weeks. In today’s world, service like this really counts.”

Based at Cauldon Lowe (near Stoke on Trent) in Staffordshire, P.H. Winterton & Son is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of sawdust and wood shavings to the agricultural industry, providing bulk or baled  bedding for the poultry, livestock and equine sectors. Whilst the company’s operations are mainly centred around a fleet of premium tractor units working with walking floor trailers for full load collections and deliveries, the new HARSH hookloader offers additional capabilities for smaller payloads and customers with more restricted access.