Spreading the transport load across Europe

A British trailer manufacturer has come up with a way to ensure road construction companies can save huge amounts of money transporting road surfacing equipment across Europe.

Andover Trailers, a Hampshire-based plant transport specialist, was tasked with creating a trailer that is capable of moving asphalt chip spreaders used by civil engineering company FM Conway Ltd.

Built by Tex Engineering, the chip spreaders are vital to FM Conway’s highway surfacing and maintenance operations and were previously supplied with their own purpose-built trailers which, due to a lack of powered braking, could not be used on EU roads.

Instead, the chip spreader and trailer had to be mounted on a separate stepframe trailer for transportation on public highways.

Andover Trailers’ design team were given the measurements for two different sized chip spreaders and access to one of the existing trailers to assist with the design process. From there, they developed a road-legal, nine-tonne tandem-axle drawbar trailer capable of carrying either of the two chip spreader variants.

The finished product is equipped with Gigant axles on steel-spring suspension. It features a full air braking system, LED lighting and aluminium loading ramps that allow loading and unloading from either side.

The new trailer means either size of chip spreader can be towed to site using the company’s Volvo FE320 4×2 rigid. This improvement in operational efficiency translates into significant cost savings for FM Conway and its customers, as the trailer will be in regular use on projects across London and the south east.

John Tobin, Asset Manager at FM Conway, said, “Moving our chip spreaders in the past has always been an arduous procedure that took up time, money and manpower. We’re always looking for new ways to improve the way we work and deliver efficiencies for customers so we asked the team at Andover Trailers to help us design a more suitable solution.”

“We’ve worked with Andover for the past 27 years so we knew that if we sent them the machine specs and challenged them to devise a more efficient means of transfer we wouldn’t be disappointed. As expected, they produced the goods and we now have a safe, fast way of transporting the spreaders to site, helping us to continue delivering great projects for our clients.”

Based in Sevenoaks, Kent, FM Conway has more than 50 years’ experience working on road and infrastructure projects across the South-East.