Hiab has teamed up with five firms across the UK to develop the next generation of drawbar vehicles for crane offload of building products, with two prototype construction vehicles now in operation at H&H Celcon Borough Green site.
Led by national transport provider, RT Keedwell Group and its long-term client H & H Celcon, together they identified a need to reduce environmental impact of their vehicles operating inside the M25 specifically. Working with specialist vehicle manufacturer, Massey Truck Engineering, who oversaw the entire build, the firm enlisted specialist help in each area, including international truck manufacturer, Renault Trucks and local dealer Renault Truck Commercials, and world leading provider of on-road handling equipment, Hiab.
The first-of-a-kind trucks, known as the ‘Borough GREEN machines’, use a Renault Trucks C380 6×2 lift axle rigid drawbar combination equipped with lighter-weight day cab for this payload-sensitive sector. Additional weight reduction modifications undertaken at the bodybuilders, including the removal of the passenger seat, successfully achieved a 28t payload for the first time in a construction brick truck using a 26t drawbar combination.
Director of RT Keedwell Group, Stuart Keedwell, commented: “At the start of 2019 we set out on our ambition to create the next generation of drawbar vehicles using the best minds in the business. After three years of research, development and collaborative innovation we are delighted everyone’s efforts have come to fruition with two exclusive trucks now operational on the roads around London.
“What sets these vehicles apart from others is the lightweight chassis and innovative design of the whole build, which means the customer can carry more product and therefore be more efficient and profitable. We’re delighted with the outcome so far and look forward to monitoring the performance over the coming months.”
Hiab’s remote-controlled X-Hiduo 158B-2 loader cranes were selected thanks to their speedy operation and innovative Hiab HiConnect technology, which provides real-time insights into equipment utilisation, operation, and condition.
HiConnect provides data that can be used to actively optimise performance and safety and avoid unnecessary downtime, while web-based dashboards with clear and simple overviews provide status monitoring, service planning, and help improve the operation of each unit and operator.
John Abbott from Hiab commented: “At Hiab we meticulously develop and future-proof our products to ensure they meet our clients’ current needs but also their future needs so to be involved in such a forward-thinking project has been truly exciting and real privilege.”
Managing the project and vehicle build, Massey’s identified ways to make the vehicle as low emission as possible including the use of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as fuel for the vehicles, powered by Renault Trucks efficient 13 litre DTi Euro VI engine, thus reducing its carbon emissions by more than 90%.
Managing director of Massey Truck Engineering, Ian Roberts, commented: “It’s been a fantastic journey to get to where we are today with the Borough GREEN machines – Hiab and Renault Trucks are great partners to work with due to both companies having a desire for innovation.”
RT Keedwell has also worked with Traffic Angel to design a unique drawbar camera system allowing the driver an all-round view whilst manoeuvring forwards and backwards. Cameras on both sides of the wagon and main unit allow a split-screen view left and right when needed. The system only strengthens Keedwell’s continual emphasis on pedestrian and on-site safety.
Stuart concluded: “These vehicles are truly one of a kind- with a 28t payload using a 26t drawbar combination – there is nothing quite like them currently in the UK.
“The weight reduction of the vehicle when taking into account all of the unique enhancements gives a significant additional load carrying capacity over the current standard and a consequential reduction in delivery cost which has been used to offset the additional HVO cost.
“We’re very proud of what’s been created and on behalf of RT Keedwell Group and H & H, we would like to thank Massey Truck Engineering, Renault Trucks and Renault Truck Commercial, Hiab and Traffic Angel for their invaluable efforts and innovations which have made the Borough GREEN Machines a reality.”