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New Charlton beavertail bodies for H.E. Services

Charlton 'PlantLite' Beavertail truck body

Plant hire firm upgrades equipment fleet with Charlton-bodied 4x2 rigid trucks 

H.E. Service (Plant Hire) Ltd are currently in the process of upgrading their commercial vehicle fleet with a number of 4x2 rigids fitted with Charlton ‘PlantLite’ beavertail bodies.

Offering a 10-tonne payload, each new truck is able to carry small to mid-sized plant hire equipment (eg diggers, telehandlers and rollers etc) across H.E. Service’s 12 nationwide depots. 


Mounted on 18-tonne gvw DAF LF chassis with a 5m wheelbase, the 6.9m Charlton PlantLite body features a galvanized steel sub-frame, a heavy-duty meshed headboard and a hardwood floor complete with recessed lashing points, as well as cut outs for both normal and red diesel fuel tanks. 

The rear ramps (8.2ft x 3.3ft wide) are made in steel and hardwood with raise/lower operation guided by an electric/hydraulic power pack with full radio remote control. The headboard also features an electronic winch, again with full remote control.

To maximize operational safety, the Charlton beavertail bodies feature hydraulically operated stability legs with extra wide feet, an easy-to-use dual height ‘fall arrest’ webbing system and a retractable rear step. For added practicality and convenience, dual high-storage capacity toolboxes, along with a full complement of rope hooks, lashing points and work lamps have been included.

Peter Durey, managing director of H.E. Services, commented: ‘By being able to carry almost every item in our plant hire inventory, these new trucks will give our depots a significantly higher level of operating versatility. In turn, we will be able to deliver enhanced levels of service and increased responsiveness to customer requirements.

‘Another benefit has been the ability for us to sit down with Charlton and jointly produce a bodywork specification that precisely suits our needs. We gave our input into the project and the result is an unqualified success.’

The new trucks have found particular favour with drivers as loads to sites that might previously have had to be delivered by an artic can now be transported by a much easier to manoeuvre 4x2 rigid. As a result, delivery and collection of plant equipment to/from customer premises is quicker, significantly adding to overall vehicle utilization and efficiency.

Andrew Gunn, sales manager for Charlton Bodies, said: ‘Building these new trucks for H.E. Services has been a particularly interesting job, as 18 tonners with beavertail bodies are relatively uncommon. Working closely with both our client and local DAF dealers Channel Commercials of Ashford, the result is a vehicle specification that meets the client’s needs; for example ensuring the body weighs 2,600kg. This is the second fleet order from H.E. Services in recent years and we are delighted with their continued enthusiasm for our products.’ 


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