Bristol & Avon introduces the ‘ultimate‘ in 8×4 tippers, Charlton – bodied 660hp V8 Scanias

Tiesday, 14th June 2022


Above: The two new V8 – engined, 660hp Scanias


Operators in our industry have always had a wide choice of tippers, from the everyday models to those of a more premium specification. Now the bar has been raised a whole level higher thanks to the Bristol & Avon Group introducing a completely new class of vehicle entirely – the ’ultimate’ tipper – in the shape of a pair of Charlton – bodied Scania eight wheelers specified with both R sleeper cabs and the Swedish manufacturer’s mighty 16.4 litre 660hp V8 engines.

To fully complement such a unique, top of the range driveline, Charlton’s ultra – tough Quarrymaster tipper body almost chose itself. Carried on a full length subframe and built in Hardox, the 15.5cu.m capacity Quarrymaster features a curved 5mm floor, 4mm single piece sides and a raked rear end complete with a 150mm high hung tailgate and cab operated air locking.

The finished vehicles are truly astonishing, and B&A drivers Ronan Murphy and Dave Graham can hardly believe their luck in being handed the keys to their new 660s. As Ronan says

“there is nothing, absolutely nothing else that can match the performance of this new truck – it will literally do any job, anywhere, with absolute ease and total comfort. When people just see the little R660 and V8 badges on the cab, they just stop and stare for a few seconds to take it all in. That’s the effect this truck has on them!”

Of course, sound commercial reasons had to underpin the decision to invest in these two new super – tippers. B&A Group owner Kevin Berkely explains:

“we wanted to try out a really top spec of vehicle in order to give us the highest possible level of performance in any operating situation. Although they look very glamorous now, the fact is that these trucks will spend a good part of their working lives on arduous muckshifting jobs, which often means simply moving material from one area of a site to another.

This is essentially off-road work, where high power engines can really make a difference. As such, we needed a combined chassis and body spec that could handle that type of continuous heavy duty work as quickly and reliably as possible. Against these benefits, their slightly reduced on – road payload allowance of 17.5 tonnes becomes much less significant.

We have chosen these trucks for their capability to work really hard, each day and every day. A really big, powerful 16 litre engine that’s totally on top of its job should also give us a real productivity bonus by getting jobs done more quickly – as well as maximising reliability and minimising downtime.”

Kevin also points out that such a chassis is of no ultimate benefit if the body it carries is not equally up to the mark.

“Charlton has long been our chosen bodybuilder with their heavy duty all-steel Quarrymaster being the ideal body for these trucks. We’ve fully proven the Quarrymaster over the years on many of our tippers – there’s simply nothing to beat it for long term strength and durability. For muck work, its curved floor helps wet and sticky loads slide out leaving next to no residue, which is important when the trucks are loading and tipping right through the day. Quarrymaster suits our new 660s perfectly.”

Having fully painted both the bodies and cabs at their facility in Dover, Charlton was able to deliver the finished vehicles immediately ready for work. Well aware of the new tippers’ PR and marketing potential for B&A, the two new Scanias have also been registered with the highly distinctive twinned plates of MUK 1 and 1 MUK.

Founded by the late Jimmy Berkely in 1993, family – owned B&A Group continues to grow strongly, not least thanks to the benefits of bringing together the clear synergies of its three main operating divisions of Transport & Recycling, Stone Supplies and Land Regeneration. A major force in the ongoing development of its local Bristol area, B&A’s ever – growing activities now range as far as Birmingham in the north to Swindon in the east and Exeter in the west.

Given that the trucks have only been in service for a couple of weeks, their initial fuel returns of 7.5 to 8mpg are impressive for such big and hugely powerful engines.

Ronan Murphy adds:

“Having a massive 3,300Nm of torque means smoother progress with lower revs and much reduced gear changing. Speaking for Charlton, Sales Director Andrew Gunn comments “Whilst our relationship with B&A Group goes back many years, we were nonetheless absolutely delighted to have our range – leading Quarrymaster body chosen for these two truly exceptional trucks. Combining our bodies with Scania’s 660hp chassis will result in a hitherto unmatched level of overall tipper performance. These trucks really are something special!”

Above: Heavy duty Charlton Quarrymasters are suitable for any type of load

Above: 16.4 litre, 660hp V8 engines deliver an awesome performance


Above: The new trucks make off-road muckshifting so much easier


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