Two new crane equipped Volvo FM rigids provide the right balance at Gatwick Group

South London based, Gatwick Group has put two new high specification Volvo FM rigids to work within its specialist truck mounted crane fleet. The 8×2 rear steer and 8×4 Tridem chassis combine class-leading payload and lifting capacities with increased manoeuvrability levels. Supplied by Mark Reeves, Regional Aftermarket Manager at MC Truck and Bus Ltd, both the FM rigids are equipped with Globetrotter Cabs, D13K engines rated at 460hp and bespoke Webb truck bodies equipped with a fall arrest safety system.

The 8×2 rear tag chassis has a 6.0m wheelbase and uprated nine tonne front axles to accommodate the rear cab mounted Hiab XS558-EP-6 crane. The 8×4 Tridem comes with a 5.2m wheelbase, a nine tonne front axle and a rear bogie capacity of 27 tonnes for its rear mounted Hiab XS548-EP-7 crane. The Tridem also hauls a tandem axle platform drawbar trailer.

“We have a compact but very specialist fleet of crane trucks at Gatwick Group and the two new Volvo FM’s sit about two thirds of the way up in our lifting capacities,” notes Charlie Threapleton, Head of Operations and Special Projects at Gatwick Group. Part of the Swain Group’s Special Projects Division (SPD), Gatwick Group frequently works in specialised transport environments, such as airside and railside. Charlie continues, “We deliberately chose the four axle FM’s to strike the best balance of load capacity, platform stability, access and manoeuvrability levels.

The Volvo pair are like Swiss Army knives; compact but bristling with well-designed equipment. The high roof Globetrotter Cabs will be ideal for our telecomms works, which regularly sees the trucks operate in remote, far flung places for several days on end. Our drivers appreciate the additional living space these offer, in addition to the increased in-cab storage capacities.”

The FM duo were also specified with longevity in mind. “We’re looking to get a full ten years’ front line service out of these Volvos, both of which represent substantial investments. A lot of detail went into the specifications and the Webb platform bodies were a bespoke build to meet exacting requirements. We also have Volvo Service Contracts in place for the pair and we get a good service, in addition to a prompt level of responsiveness from MC Truck and Bus,” Charlie concludes.

Founded in 1979, Gatwick Group was acquired into the Swain Group during 2015.

The company has a long history of operating lorry-mounted cranes and holds a raft of industry accreditations, including FORS Gold and CLOCS.

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