Astra Attachment Solutions, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of hydraulic excavator attachments, have recently taken delivery of 16 new Isuzu rigid trucks as part of a significant fleet replacement programme at the national company. 

As a division of long-term Isuzu user, A Plant, Astra has now taken its first Isuzus in a deal comprising of five Isuzu Grafter N35.125S SWB chassis, with bespoke flatbed bodies, and eleven Isuzu N75.190 SWB Easyshift chassis, also with bespoke flatbed bodies. The 3.5-tonne Grafters and the 7.5-tonne Isuzus are broadly similar in terms of options chosen. However, the 7.5 tonners also include corner scan and a nearside-camera system that offers several safety options.

Supplied by local Isuzu Truck dealer Warrington Vehicle Centre, all 16 Isuzus are sporting the newly designed Astra livery and are now in service working from Astra’s locations in Scotland, Birmingham, Bristol and London, and replacing the company’s current Nissan Cabstars.

 Charlotte, Evans, Sales & Marketing Manager for Astra Attachment Solutions commented: 'Finding a vehicle that could offer a substantial payload, a performance that complies with FORS Gold standards and be adapted to store and carry a bespoke set of tools and spare parts was not an easy task. Our operations team liaised with Isuzu Truck and Warrington Vehicle Centre while devising a build specification that met Astra’s strict criteria. We are pleased with the result. The Grafter, in particular, meets our strict requirement for a payload of 1.2 tonnes.'

Of major significance for Astra are the added safety features the Isuzu trucks offer, including safe and visible storage for all tools that operators can access from ground level. It enables Astra's team of engineers and delivery drivers to carry out on-site repairs to equipment, as well as the standard fitting of ‘attachments to the excavator’ service offered by the company.

Charlotte said: 'On any given day a driver can find himself delivering an auger to fit a 3-tonne excavator in Leeds, followed by a set of pallet forks to a site in Manchester, as well as fitting a breaker to a 1 tonne mini digger in Blackburn, then collecting a pile hammer on their way back to the depot. Not only can the Isuzu Grafter 3.5 tonne trucks carry all these items to different sites in one safe and secure load, but they also arrive on site fully equipped to fit these attachments to any machine. If needs be, the operatives and their Isuzus can also attend nearby sites to assist with any on-site breakdowns, such as snapped chisels or burst hoses.'

'Parent company, A Plant, has been a long-term user of Isuzu chassis and the decision by Astra to also switch over to the Isuzu, for both its 3.5-tonne and 7.5-tonne truck replacements, is testament to the proven reliability, payload and operating performance of Isuzu trucks within the company over many years,' said Richard Waterworth, Head of Sales, Isuzu Truck UK.