The tipper truck that is ready for running

Published:  03 February, 2012

Small tippers lead a hard life, being the subject of both operator abuse and the tough environment in which they work. As a result any shortcuts in the quality of materials or manufacture of the tipper body are quickly found out.This, however, has not stopped customers trying to “save” money by specifying the cheapest tipper body option – with predictable and costly results.

When Citroën, some years ago, first examined offering tipper bodies as part of its then fledgling “Ready to Run” programme, it decided that only a premium quality product would do. In examining the market Citroën quickly discovered Tipmaster, a UK's supplier of small tipper bodies. Then as now Tipmaster was not only the UK's largest manufacturer in this sector but also had a reputation for quality together with the useful capability of being able to build durable but lightweight products.

These attributes have seen Citroën and Tipmaster, through the “Ready to Run” programme, enjoy a long and continuing relationship. This has seen Citroën Relay chassis with Tipmaster bodies become a popular choice with local authorities throughout the UK.

The “Ready to Run” Tipmaster bodied Citroën Relay offers a combination of high payload, low operating costs and durability. The payload is a combination of the Relay chassis cab's low kerb weight and the Tipmaster body's lightweight/high strength construction. Dependent on specification the 3.5 tonne gvw Relay tipper offers payloads of nearly 1,300kg.

When the tipper body specification for the tipper was decided, Citroën laid down the parameters that it should be a well-equipped body including all the most popular options specified by customers.

Thus, the “Ready to Run body” includes an all-steel subframe and headboard, a cab-height ladder rack with mesh infill, alloy dropsides and tailboard with easy-action flush-fit fasteners that allow the tailboard to swing open from the top or hinge down from the bottom. Safety aspects include remote wander lead controls, an integral step on either side of the body for access onto the load bed and a body prop. There are also plenty of rope hooks and, where appropriate, load restraint eyes.

Fast tipper action

At the heart of the Tipmaster tipper is its single ram electro-hydraulic power pack which has been refined and proven in thousands of applications as providing fast tipper action in both directions and a reliable long service.

This specification meets the bulk of tipper operator requirements. Matthew Terry, Tipmaster's Managing Director, explains: “We have built our business on providing tipper bodies which combine both strength and lightweight and selling them at competitive prices. We have also been proactive in ensuring that we can adapt the standard tipper body to meet individual requirements.

“The product we supply Citroën for its “Ready to Run”programme is particularly well specified as standard. As a result the high payload Tipmaster Relay “Ready to Run” tipper, which is very competitively priced, has proved to be a big hit with local authorities.”

The Citroën Tipmaster Relay “Ready to Run” tipper can be custom engineered to suit individual local authority operator requirements with a wide range of options including:

- cage sides for arbouricultural and tree pruning operations

- cage sides for dry waste collection

- toolboxes (underbody/chassis mounted)

- tail/side lifts

- roof beacons

- towbars

- steel dropsides

- all-alloy underframe/headboard (to add 100kg to payload)

Improved security

In addition, Tipmaster can carry out individual engineering modifications to the product to meet particular local authority operator requirements – the cage-sided vehicle photographed is a perfect example. It has been built to the specification of West London based housing authority Pinnacle Regeneration and combines a caged-and-drop-sided-tipping body with a chassismounted storage cabinet (with roller shutters either side) and a tail lift. To improve security of any tools or goods in the storage cabinet, the roller shutters have an additional locking bolt mechanism as well as the usual hasp for a padlock.

The tail lift is fitted with two controls: one to the rear nearside of the vehicle to be operated from ground level and another inside the body which can be used by a person standing on the platform itself. Other additions include a roof-mounted flashing beacon, a towing hitch and quickly removable mesh guards to protect the tail lamps.

Another benefit for local authorities opting for this tipper includes a single point of contact for both specifying the vehicle and in the event of any warranty claims – regardless of whether these concern the chassis or the body. And with its dealer network across the UK, Citroën aims to have service and support close at hand, and vehicles may even be in stock to cut lead times. In addition, all “Ready to Run” vehicles qualify for Citroën's contract hire finance scheme.

As the Citroën Relay has been built to produce low emissions and excellent fuel economy, local authorities specifying the tipper can both cut running costs and help improve air quality. In addition, the Relay can be run on 30% bio-diesel without modification or invalidating the manufacturer's warranty. This enables local authorities to carry out necessary work in city centres without compromising environmental commitments.

So instead of needing to buy a chassis and then specify a bespoke body – and maybe requiring to compromise quality on the grounds of costs – Citroën's Ready to Run range covers most variants a local authority is likely to need. Alterations and modifications can be accommodated and the quality of both the body and chassis are assured by Citroën – a factor which is set to become increasingly important with whole-vehicle type approval on the horizon.

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