Astra gets attached to Isuzu for the first time

Astra Attachment Solutions, the UK’s largest suppliers of hydraulic excavator attachments, have recently taken delivery of 16 new Isuzu rigid trucks as part of a major fleet replacement programme at the national company. As a division of long-term Isuzu user, A Plant, Astra has now taken its first Isuzus in a deal comprising of five Isuzu Grafter N35.125S SWB chassis, with bespoke flatbed bodies, and eleven Isuzu N75.190 SWB Easyshift chassis, also with bespoke flatbed bodies. The highly specified 3.5 tonne Grafters and the 7.5 tonne Isuzus are broadly similar in terms of options chosen, however the 7.5 tonners also include corner scan and nearside camera system safety options.

Supplied by local Isuzu Truck dealer Warrington Vehicle Centre, all 16 Isuzus are sporting the striking, newly designed Astra livery and are now in service working from Astra’s locations in Scotland, Birmingham, Bristol and London, and replacing the company’s incumbent Nissan Cabstars. According to Charlotte Evans, sales & marketing manager at Astra Attachment Solutions, “Finding a vehicle that could offer a substantial payload, a performance that complies with FORS Gold standards and be adapted to store and carry a bespoke set of tools and spare parts was not an easy task. Our operations team liaised with Isuzu Truck and Warrington Vehicle Centre, devising a build specification that met Astra’s strict criteria.

We are really pleased with the end result, with the Grafter, in particular, meeting our strict requirement for a payload of 1.2 tonnes.” One key feature for Astra is the added safety features the Isuzu trucks offer, including safe and visible storage for all tools that can be accessed from ground level, allowing the Astra team of engineers and delivery drivers to carry out on site repairs to equipment, as well as the standard fitting of ‘attachments to the excavator’ service offered by the company. Charlotte continues, “On any given day a driver can find himself delivering an auger to fit a 3 tonne excavator in Leeds, followed by a set of pallet forks to a site in Manchester, as well as fitting a breaker to a 1 tonne mini digger in Blackburn, then collecting a pile hammer on their way back to the depot.

Not only can the Isuzu Grafter 3.5 tonne trucks carry all these items to different sites in one safe and secure load, but they also arrive on site fully equipped to fit these attachments to any machine. If needs be, the operatives and their Isuzus can also attend nearby sites to assist with any on-site breakdowns, such as snapped chisels or burst hoses.” Astra Attachment Solutions are the UK’s largest suppliers of hydraulic excavator attachments, with a fleet of 4,500 attachments and over 20 vehicles carrying out an average of 60+ deliveries and collections each day from sites across the country.

“Parent company A Plant has been a long-term user of Isuzu chassis and the decision by Astra to also switch over to the Isuzu marque, for both its 3.5 tonne and 7.5 tonne truck replacements, is testament to the proven reliability, payload and operating performance of Isuzu trucks within the company over many years,” said Richard Waterworth, head of sales, Isuzu Truck UK.

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