Fox Group on a charge: The UK’s first electric tipper trucks enter operation in the North West

The two trucks feature a day cab, full air suspension and a hydraulically-steered rear axle for exceptional manoeuvrability – perfect when operating in urban areas or accessing building sites with restricted access. They offer a range of around 150 km on a full charge from their four battery packs, taking into account PTO usage – making them ideal for Fox Group’s local work. The FE Electric powertrain consists of two electric motors and a two-speed gearbox, with power being generated by an electric motor with an output of 400 kW.

The trucks can use different drive modes to help set the desired performance, comfort and energy usage levels. Thomas Hardie Commercials delivered them into service backed by a comprehensive five- year Volvo Gold Contract, which includes preventative maintenance and repairs, and the monitoring of key systems including batteries and other critical components. This will see all scheduled maintenance take place at its Preston dealership, which is equipped to maintain electric vehicles on a six-weekly maintenance schedule.

To support their delivery into operation, Thomas Hardie Commercials has also provided Fox Group with specific driver training to help the transition for its drivers from diesel to electric. Both Volvo FEs also carry a striking new livery, highlighting their green credentials. Fox Group currently operates from 20 locations nationally, specialising in the supply and haulage of aggregates, recycled materials, muck-shift, earthworks and civil engineering projects.

It has a fleet of more than 270 vehicles, consisting of six- and eight-wheel tippers, artics, low loaders and road sweepers to work alongside its impressive 2,500 pieces of plant and machinery, and team of more than 700 people.

In 2020, Fox Brothers acquired Hurt Plant Hire and since then the group has expanded further with the acquisitions of Bacup Clay Company Ltd, JJ O’Grady Ltd, Blackledge Plant Hire Ltd, Cotswold Roller Hire (CRH) Ltd and Woods Waste Ltd, making it one of the largest providers of haulage and plant hire services in the country.