McPhee Haulage of Oban, which operates a fleet of 16 tippers in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, has recently welcomed two new Scania P410 XTs. Focusing on weight efficiency, the 32-tonne tippers were specified with weight saving polished alloy wheels, PPG insulated alloy bodies with split tailgates, lightweight Harsh FE combined ram and tank tipping gear and Harsh ‘Slide & Cover’ front to rear electric sheeting systems.
MD Alasdair McPhee, said: “For the first time, we’ve gone for PPG insulated alloy bodies. They are very well built and notably light - a 20 tonnes payload is no problem at all. The tipping gears are Harsh FE front ends, which because they are light and 100% problem-free we’ve been buying for seven years now. The sheeting system is also Harsh – their sliding front-to-rear ‘Slide & Cover’ model which we particularly like because when the sheet is retracted up to the front headboard a shovel driver gets a clear view of the body and can load it equally easily from either side, and without risk of damaging the sheet. A lot of the time we have to work in restricted spaces, so that’s a real bonus. Operationally, ‘Slide & Cover’ is a very practical system too, and easy to maintain. Along with the body insulation, we can hold the heat in the load for nine hours, which is exactly what we need when we are sending trucks on the ferries to the islands.”
These tippers will be put to work moving hot asphalt out of the local Breedon tar plants to service roads on the Argyll and Bute mainland and the surrounding islands. Jobs on Barra, Mull, Colonsay and Islay sometimes require waiting periods of up to four hours for a return ferry. The tippers have to do a round trip in the same day so optimised insulation is key.
McPhee continued: “We still do all our own maintenance and carry a comprehensive range of parts. It’s rare that we can’t get a truck back on the road in just a few hours or less. Product reliability and first class backup are really important when you are in a distant location such as this, and for these reasons Scania chassis and Harsh ancillaries have come together as our standard tipper specification. Undoubtedly, we are very lucky to be doing what we do but we still have to face most of the issues that every other tipper business has. Having top spec trucks certainly helps the business progress. We’re never complacent, and nothing ever stands still.”