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

MJ Church kicks off 2022/23 tipper fleet update with ten new Charlton Superlites

Monday, 6th June 2022


Now firmly established as one of the leading tipper operators in south west England, MJ Church Ltd has recently taken delivery of ten new tippers fitted with Charlton’s SuperLight all – steel tipper body. All are mounted on 410hp Scania XT 8×4 P cab chassis, with a further five tippers coming on MAN chassis later this year.

Company director Tom Church says:

“The SuperLite really is the ideal body for our operation. Being built in steel, SuperLite combines the strength to handle almost any type job from moving soil to carrying aggregates, yet is light enough to give us a really good payload. Whatever chassis we choose to put it on, we still get an easy 19 tonnes plus carrying capacity. We also really like SuperLite’s curved floor that makes load ejection clean and easy, as well as the body’s smooth, modern and generally uncluttered design.”

Built to MJ Church’s individual specification, these particular SuperLites offer a 14cu.m internal capacity and come complete with a raked rear end with a high hung tailgate incorporating air operated locking. Additionally each body includes electric sheeting with a yellow mesh tarp, LED side marker lamps, a Hyva front end cylinder and VWS on – board electronic weighing.

Church’s Tipper Transport Manager Dan Forder says:

“we like the fact that whilst SuperLite is essentially a standard product Charlton can still detail it and build it to our exact requirements. Similarly, their shotblast and paint facility produces a really excellent quality finish. Being part of the wider Thompsons organisation also means that we have access to the best tipper aftersales and support service in the industry.

With our trucks available to work around the clock, that’s a vital advantage.”

Founded in 1974 at Marshfield near Chippenham, today’s MJ Church is active across a whole range of business activities including heavy civil engineering, earthworks, infrastructure, highways, waste handling / recycling and quarrying. The company has established separate vehicle fleets for their Plant and Transport activities, which together total over 200 units.

After the 15 new tippers have been delivered for this year, another ten have already been confirmed for 2023. Charlton’s Sales Director Andrew Gunn says:

“We are always pleased when our products meet the exact needs of our customers. Charlton has worked with MJ Church for almost 20 years, and supplying SuperLites for most of that time. We are naturally delighted that our relationship with them continues to prosper.”

Thompsons or Charlton? “We want both” says Michael O’Donnell, owner of MC International Haulage

Monday, 22nd November 2021


Decisions, decisions. ‘This body, or that body?’ Which is best?

When finalising the bodywork details of his latest batch of top – spec tippers, Michael O’Donnell quickly came to realise it wasn’t a case of choosing a Charlton over a Thompsons, or vice – versa, but actually having both. A decision made that much easier because both these model ranges are products of the larger Thompsons Group.

Michael O’Donnell said:

“Each of the two bodytypes is absolutely ideal for a particular type of work. Charlton’s SuperLite is exactly that – built in steel yet providing the maximum payload in its class. The ideal general purpose tipper body. And then Thompsons’ Loadmaster Lite – easily the most proven heavy duty tipper there has ever been. On really tough jobs, there’s nothing to beat it.

So when you look at these two bodies together, you see that they complement each other perfectly. Having both simply adds to our performance and productivity. Whichever body we choose at a particular point in time, it’s going to come from the Thompsons Group.”

Based at Ashford, Heathrow, MC International Haulage started off ten years ago doing conventional tractor / trailer work into Europe, but soon changed course into developing a wide range of domestic UK tipper services. These now include bulk excavation, land restoration, recycling, road planing, grab work and muckaway.

Immediately notable is that this 22 – strong tipper fleet is built around unusually high vehicle specifications, and with equivalent standards visual presentation to match.

Michael added:

“For chassis, we’re 100% Scania, whilst for bodies it’s now Charlton and Thompsons together. The fact that Charlton is owned by Thompsons is an obvious bonus, as well as a guarantee of their product quality. We’ve run bodies built by Thompsons in Croydon from the very outset, so can vouch for their superb performance, reliability and durability.

Now the Charlton SuperLite adds further appeal – being some 200kgs lighter makes it obviously attractive not just as a straight front end tipper but also when helping to offset the extra weight of a crane on a grab truck.”

Individual features of the Charlton bodies also find widespread favour not just with MC but with tipper operators generally. The completely smooth, flat, one piece sides are ideal for carrying modern liveries whilst also making cleaning quick and easy. SuperLite’s curved floor makes the ejection of wet and sticky loads that much easier too, whilst the very similar GrabLite comes with a flat floor to help scooping up material with a clamshell bucket.

Charlton also offers full range of tipping gears, tailgate designs and supplementary equipment such as onboard weighing, sheeting systems, cameras, pedestrian warning devices and toolboxes – all of which are supplied and fitted in-house.

MC’s duality in bodytypes also carries through into variations in their chassis. Whilst all are Scania, the company also finds ample reason to choose both the standard 8×4 model as well as the more off-road focused XT, all with various engine outputs covering 410, 450 and 500hp.

Finished off with a striking red livery and detailing, taking pride in a fleet like this comes easy – though obviously a lot of hard work goes in to keeping the trucks looking and performing at their best.

Michael says:

“It’s worth all the effort, because we want people to see that we have high standards and fight hard to be at the top of our game. When we come to sell the trucks, if their spec is right and their condition is right then we easily get a top value for them.

Having Thompsons Group bodies on our chassis can make a big difference – they are what used truck buyers are really looking for. And in the meantime, we keep our drivers happy by giving them the best tippers we can.”

Based in Dover, Charlton Bodies Ltd will be delivering a further batch of tippers to MC International in 2022.

Charlton demonstrates its core strengths with Independent Builders Merchant Group

Monday, 8th November 2021


Long established as one of the UK’s leading suppliers of specialist truck bodies to the building supply industry, Charlton is now the preferred bodywork supplier to the rapidly growing Independent Builders Merchant Group (IBMG).

To date in 2021, Charlton has supplied IBMG with the bodywork for twelve new 26t chassis, plus five at 18t and one 16t vehicle.

Richard Beal, IBMG’s Senior Transport Manager says:

“We choose Charlton for our truck bodies for two main reasons. First is their exceptional build quality, with everything being supplied, fitted and finished by Charlton themselves. This means that when we get our trucks they are immediately ready to work.

The second is that Charlton makes enormous efforts to ensure that their products are always exactly what we want, and are therefore ready and willing to sit down with us to develop specifications that are precise to the finest detail. Our new trucks are very much the result of a real team effort to get them exactly right.”

Supplied to IBMG through Woking – based Translease Services, all the 18 vehicles delivered in 2021 are based on DAF CF and LF chassis.

The bodies of the 26t vehicles, as running with Parker Building Supplies, have 6300mm hardwood floors, triple planked aluminium dropsides and a steel framed tailboard. A full length subframe then supports rear mounted extendable stability legs, a short safety staircase and a rear – mounted Fassi F155 crane. As well as providing the best and easiest solution of driver access to the body, these cranes can be operated either by full remote control or via conventional levers.

By being mounted at the back of the truck the long – reach cranes also offer significantly increased versatility in being able to deliver loads at almost any point off the sides or rear of the vehicle.

Underneath the bodywork the rear – steer DAF 370hp CF 6×2 chassis provides an optimum blend of manoeuvrability and performance. Weighing in at just over 13t unladen, these new six wheelers offer a highly competitive payload allowance that is more than adequate for the generally mixed loads the trucks carry.

At 18 and 16 tonnes, the 4×2 DAF LF is IBMG’s truck of choice with the latest examples going to Group member Fairalls of Godstone. The bodywork of these trucks follows the core design and layout of the six wheelers, but on a reduced scale. These smaller trucks are therefore ideal for deliveries to more congested sites such as individual building plots and driveways.

In the last few years the Independent Builders Merchant Group has risen to become the largest independent supplier to the building trade across Southern England. As well as Parker and Fairalls, its members include Chandlers, Grant & Stone, Stamco, CRS, Perrys and RGB Building Supplies with the combined Group now operating from over 140 locations ranging from Kent to Cornwall.

Commenting further on his most recent new trucks, Richard Beal notes:

“the vehicles we need have to combine the highest possible levels of practicality, versatility and safety. They also have to be reliable and cost effective, right from the start. Getting the best possible specification is the key to achieving all those virtues, along with the very real expertise and support we get from Charlton and Translease.

This is a real team effort, and it works particularly well.”

Based in Dover, Charlton is a key part of the Croydon – based Thompsons Group.

Charlton and Translease will be supplying another 13 new vehicles to IBMG in 2022, with an as yet unspecified further quantity in 2023.




COVID: Our ‘Thank You”

Tuesday, 8th December 2020


For everyone, whether as individuals or in business, 2020 has been a year of unprecedented difficulty; we’ve all had to face challenges and disruptions on a scale unknown in our lifetimes. At Thompsons, we continue to do everything we can to protect and support our employees, our suppliers and our customers in whatever way possible.

Equally, we have witnessed returning levels of loyalty, forbearance and understanding quite outside anything we have experienced before. In particular, our customers have been magnificent in helping us through the obstacles. Put simply, our wider business concept of ‘Team Thompsons’, where everyone is part of our extended Thompsons family, has been fully proven by its ultimate test.

With Christmas now upon us, we can only express our thanks and gratitude to each and every individual and company who has given us such unstinting support. Of course, there is still some distance yet to go, and 2021 will bring its own special set of difficulties as well. Against all that we have real confidence, simply because our team is the strongest in our industry.

To everyone – we thank you.

Scott Burton, Joint Managing Director

A SuperLite supertruck! Charlton rocks on the back of Steve Wills’ superb Volvo 8×4 FH 540

Thursday, 26th November 2020


The SuperLite


Still a stronghold of family-owned transport businesses, England’s far south west boasts some of the most individual and highly specified trucks to be found anywhere in the UK. And no company demonstrates this pride of ownership better than Cornwall’s Steve Wills Haulage and its brand new Charlton – bodied 540hp sleeper cab 8×4 Volvo FH.

Owner Steve Wills says:

“This truck is another step forward. We’ve long been big fans of Swedish trucks including Volvo’s FMX, but this is our first FH. For this truck – as with all our recent tippers – we’ve gone for an all-steel Charlton SuperLite body with a cab-operated tailgate that’s the perfect complement to the top-level spec of the chassis. Together, they are an ideal pairing.”

As well as having a bigger cab, at 1250mm high the all – steel SuperLite’s bodysides are that bit taller too, making the new FH equally adept at carrying almost every type of payload from sand and aggregates to rocks and recyclables. And working in a county with plenty of steep inclines but no motorways, it made clear sense to specify the truck with Volvo’s mighty 540hp 13 litre diesel engine, which also pushes out a massive 2600Nm of torque. Fuel economy for the FH is great too, as that big engine not only reduces gearchanging but has also enabled the truck to be fitted with a higher differential ratio than is usual on Volvo tippers.

And the lucky driver of this new super – tipper? None other than Steve Wills’ 19-year old son Anthony, who has been driving for the company since the day he passed his test.

Anthony says:

“I still can’t quite believe it. When you see it in the yard before dawn it kind of takes your breath away. We’ve always gone for top level tippers, and this one is the best yet. It’s an absolute joy to spend the day in, and attracts highly positive comments from everyone who sees it. In turn, it’s a great advert for our company which, in addition to its huge capacity for work, is a key reason for having it.”

Surprisingly perhaps, the new FH is still very competitive on the weighbridge. This is partly because spec for spec, Charlton’s curved floor, ultra – durable SuperLite is the lightest steel tipper body on the UK market, so therefore an ideal choice for this particular chassis.

Anthony Wills also notes that “whilst the larger cab has obvious advantages – better forward visibility, extra room and reduced noise levels – it’s really just a bigger box of fresh air. The twelve alloy wheels also save around 240kgs or so over a standard tipper. As a result, the FH tips the scales at a very reasonable 12,900kgs to give a clear 19 tonnes plus payload which, given the performance and versatility on offer, we are more than happy with.”

Set up by Steve Wills almost 40 years ago, his haulage business remains a true family affair, with his younger sons Matthew and Daniel also keen to play their part. The company philosophy has always been to operate on a highly personal level, to keep things manageable and aim to be the very best at everything it does. The new FH bears clear testimony to that – as indeed do another two Volvos already on order for delivery in 2021.

Speaking for Charlton, Sales Director Andrew Gunn comments:

“Having supplied Steve Wills with tipper bodies for some years, we are delighted to have been chosen once again for their latest FH fleet flagship. Thanks to customers like Steve, Charlton has now established itself as the leading tipper bodybuilder for operators in the South West, our products having secured a premium reputation for quality, reliability and performance.”

Steve Wills’ new truck was supplied by Kevin Wills (no relation) of Stuarts Truck & Bus, Volvo main dealer for south west England. Providing local service and support in Cornwall, Stuarts has a branch just off the A30 at Roche, outside St. Austell.

Top-spec FH tipper

Anthony Wills



The Wills family


“We needed eight, so it had to be Charlton” says leading brick and block carrier Steward Transport

Wednesday, 30th January 2019


Having previously built many of its own truck bodies, leading brick and block carrier Steward Transport turned to Charlton to deliver all the bodies for its eight truck fleet update programme.

The order, to provide bodies and cranes for five Volvo FH 6×2 drawbar rigids and three FM 8x2s, is the first time Steward has opted for the Charlton product.

Director Jamie Steward comments:

“Last year we decided to make a big investment in new vehicles, ordering eight new trucks in one go. As a result, it became obvious that we would need to work with a bodybuilder having proven expertise in our field. Charlton has an excellent reputation for providing top quality bodies for brick and block work, so you might say our choice was almost automatic.”

Based at a 5 acre site in Paddock Wood, Kent, Steward Transport currently runs 22 drawbar rigids, 10 eight wheelers and 8 artics, almost all being Volvos supplied by MC Truck & Bus of Maidstone. Splitting the fleet between these three vehicle types gives Steward the maximum possible versatility in delivering their products, with the artics generally doing full load drops, the shorter eight wheelers doing inner city work in London and the drawbars, with or without their trailers, offering the option of both.

Looking at the 6×2 FHs, their 6.25m long Charlton platform bodies feature fully aluminium construction including crossmembers, headboard and a 6mm heavy duty floor. Each truck also features a remote control, rear mounted HMF crane giving full reach over both truck and trailer. Running at 44t gross weight, these top spec trucks provide an easy 28 tonnes payload.

Jamie Steward, adds:

“What we really appreciate from Charlton is that as well as building a top quality body they also have the complete range of engineering skills to deliver a finished truck that’s immediately ready for work. Drawbar vehicles with cranes are highly specialist both in terms of hydraulics and electrics, in addition to their requirements for subframes, crane plates and all the necessary couplings to the trailers.”

Founded in 1968 by John Steward, the eight new trucks might also be seen as a celebration of the company’s recent 50th anniversary. Right from the start, Steward Transport has always opted for top specification trucks as they not only create a superb image for the business but also deliver real economic benefits too.

Jamie says:

“Our drivers tend to stay a long time, and they really look after their motors. Equally we like to run our trucks for as long as we can too. This whole business is all about investing in the long term whilst also doing the best job we can day to day. That formula seems to work, as we’re proud to have achieved the top level FORS Gold standard with Earned Recognition.”

Speaking for Charlton, Sales Director Andrew Gunn notes:

“We are delighted that Steward Transport has come to Charlton to body their latest eight trucks. As one of the leading transport companies in their field, we greatly appreciate their trust in us being able to deliver the full package of their requirements. Steward Transport offers us an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the full range of Charlton’s engineering skills and customer service.”

Charlton delivers the full package for Ovenden’s new super – spec tippers

Monday, 9th July 2018


Kent – based Ovenden Tipper Services has turned to Charlton for its latest batch of tippers, a key reason for this being that Charlton could source and install every part of Ovenden’s particularly high bodywork specification.

Carried by Scania ‘Next Generation’ XT chassis with G cabs and 13 litre 410hp engines, Ovenden chose lightweight all – steel curved floor Charlton SuperLite bodies fitted with air operated automatic tailgates to provide an ideal blend of strength, payload capacity and practicality.

To complete the vehicles, each truck also features an Edbro TS32 underfloor tipping gear, a weather – sealed Shurco front to back sliding sheeting system (with full remote control), a rearward facing ‘traffic light’ load weighing display mounted at the front of the body and a Brigade 360 degree ‘birds eye’ camera system (including a view straight into the tipper body) – with everything being supplied and fitted by Charlton.

Company director Alex Ovenden says:

“As a complete package, our latest tippers are pretty much unbeatable. We’ve gone for a higher spec than ever this time around, with the really big bonus being that Charlton supplies and fits everything we ask for. Andrew (Andrew Gunn, Sales Director) and Edd (Edd Bromley, Production Manager) are just so easy to deal with. I sat down with them and detailed what we wanted, to get everything perfect from tipping angles to finished paint. And everything was delivered on budget, on time.”

Portraying a first class image in the company’s highly distinctive red and yellow colour scheme, Ovenden’s new trucks are some of the first Charlton – bodied Scania XT’s operating in the South East, regularly covering not just the company’s tipper work in Kent but also working in London and around the M25.

Alex adds:

“Our tipper work is changing, with higher demand for both recycled concrete and on-site earthworks projects, and the new trucks have been designed and specified to reflect that. We continue to run some alloy bodies, but what you gain in extra payload you lose in durability.

We need trucks that can handle any job that comes along, and these lightweight steel SuperLites give us exactly that capability.”

With the first of the new trucks now out on the road, driver Paul Bradford is also mightily impressed.

Paul says:

“Of course, who wouldn’t want to drive a new G – cab XT? But the fact is that it’s the whole vehicle that really matters. I much prefer the underfloor tipping gear, both for its extra stability and higher angle of tip. The sheeting system is also great because I can open and close it by full remote control whether I’m inside or outside of the cab.

Overloading is now a thing of the past too because the body – mounted traffic light display system immediately tells the excavator driver when the maximum limit’s been reached. All small things perhaps, but taken together they speed up the job and make the truck that bit more efficient.”

Speaking for Charlton, Andrew Gunn says

“Whilst we’re delighted to have one of our leading local tipper operators come over to Charlton, we’re particularly pleased to have worked with Ovenden to give them a notably higher and more innovative vehicle specification. Charlton prides itself in being able to provide its customers with exactly the vehicles they require, with us doing all the work required to deliver a vehicle fully finished and immediately ready for work.”

Charlton – bodied golden Scania celebrates Graham Churchill Plant’s 50 years
in business

Tuesday, 12th December 2017


Celebrating 50 years of successful operation, Graham Churchill Plant Ltd has just commissioned a special ‘one-off’ golden cab Scania tipper complete with a lightweight all-steel Charlton SuperLite body.

Based in Silverstone next door to the F1 motor racing circuit, the golden Scania brings the Churchill tipper fleet up to 25 and, special paint job aside, now represents the company’s ideal tipper specification.

“The trucks we want have to be strong enough and tough enough to be able to handle any job we put them to” says Director Karen Henson, adding “whilst still delivering a top class payload. For us, Charlton’s exceptionally durable SuperLite body has proven itself to be the ideal complement to the Scania chassis.

As such, this combination is our clear fleet favourite.”

Delivering a payload of around 19,300kgs, the new truck will typically be employed on short – haul operations around Northants, Bucks and Oxon tipping multiple loads per day which can often be an ever changing mix of stone and aggregates, muck and soil, as well as recycled concrete and demolition materials.

“It’s the 100% versatility factor that we’re after” adds Karen, “and this is why Charlton bodies work so well for us. They’re strong, reliable and totally practical, so their earning power is high whilst their ownership costs are low. People tend to forget that with tippers it’s the bodies that do the really hard work – we’ve had other makes in the fleet but for day in, day out performance nothing really beats the SuperLite.”

Speaking for Charlton, Sales Director Andrew Gunn notes “With their very wide range of tipping operations, Graham Churchill Plant is perhaps the ideal customer for our SuperLite body by clearly demonstrating its outstanding versatility and cost-effectiveness in every tipping application.

Naturally we are delighted to have been chosen to body their special 50th anniversary truck, and wish Graham, Karen and their team every success for the company’s next half century!”

With additional depots in Milton Keynes and Banbury covering Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire respectively, Graham Churchill Plant offers a full range of services backing up its tipper work with plant and excavator hire, skip hire, land reclamation, waste management and recycling.

Coincidentally, the golden tipper is also the 50th brand new Scania truck bought by Churchill’s.

Webster Miller chooses Charlton (again) for one of the UK’s very first ‘New Generation’ specialist Scania Rigids

Monday, 25th September 2017


One of the very first ‘New Generation’ Scania rigids has just gone on the road with Essex – based Webster Miller Ltd. And complementing the truck’s particularly high specification 6×2 lift axle chassis is a bespoke, custom – built platform body designed and installed by Charlton Bodies of Dover.

Now one of the UK’s leading providers of crane based self – loading transport services, Webster Miller’s 28 – strong truck fleet is centered around a core Scania / Charlton vehicle specification. Whilst the new truck is perhaps impressive enough with its 450hp engine, auto transmission and full-spec R sleeper cab, it’s also the completeness of Charlton’s bodywork package that makes this truck so ideally suited to its task.

At 7.5m long in its ‘closed up’ standard operating configuration, the body is built around pressed steel construction in conjunction with a hardwood floor. Then, to provide all the lifting capability this truck would ever needs is a remotely controlled 54 tonne/metre FASSI crane mounted in front of the heavy duty steel headboard.

Designed first and foremost to be safe, versatile and easy to use with the widest variety of payloads, this highly individual Charlton body also features multiple lashing points and twistlocks, an underfloor storage locker for chains, a nylon fall-arrest system, lightweight aluminium waterproof toolboxes, a lift-up rear under-run bar, a drawbar coupling for trailer towing and flashing LED warning lights. Of particular interest, the body also features a 1525mm rear pull-out to enable it to carry 30ft containers.

With the chassis also featuring 385/65 ‘wide single’ tyres to its uprated front axle and low profile tyres on the drive, the resulting lower deck height makes both loading and access easier whilst also improving on-road stability by reducing the truck’s centre of gravity.

Webster Miller director Simon Steptoe says;

“this new truck certainly pushes our business another step forward. We’re great believers in having the best possible kit for what we do. The Scanias are superb – the drivers love them, they’re reliable, economical to operate and ultmately give us the best possible residual value. Self-evidently therefore, we’re also going to fit them with top quality bodywork. Charlton is supreme in this respect, not just for the finished product but equally for the fact that we can sit down with Charlton and put together a specification that’s ideal for any particular truck or operating requirement.

In short, Charlton makes the whole package complete.”

Based in West Thurrock just by the northern side of the Dartford Crossing, Webster Miller’s trucks operate throughout the UK carrying everything from mobile power packs to plant and construction equipment, portakabins and containers.

Speaking for Charlton, Sales Director Andrew Gunn comments;

“We’ve done business with Webster Miller for a long time now and are naturally delighted to have been able to work with Simon and John on this latest unique new truck. But the story doesn’t stop here – because there’s we’re also following up with a larger Charlton – bodied 8×4 Scania in the near future!”


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