When it comes to game-changers, Peter Bourne, Managing Director at The Bourne Group of companies of Newenden in Kent believes the company’s new Volvo FM Tridem with a Wilcox 40m3 capacity rigid body and Keith walking floor could just represent the future of tipping.
Supplied by M C Truck & Bus, Aylesford, the new FM-420, tag-axle Tridem, which features the X-High chassis spec, with straight front axles for enhanced ground clearance, 12-speed I-Shift automated transmission and a fully spec’d sleeper cab, spearheads a 25-strong fleet at The Bourne Group.

Peter Bourne says: “This walking floor truck, the body of which does not tip when discharging, virtually eliminates the risks associated with tippers and tipping and in my opinion it could just put us ahead of the curve.”

As with Volvo Trucks, safety is a core value at The Bourne Group and, in addition to the walking floor bodywork, the company has also specified a low-level nearside window and camera and sensor systems to improve visibility and meet CLOCS, FORS and Crossrail requirements.

“Paul Cogger at M C Truck & Bus has been extremely supportive in making this truck a reality,” says Peter. “We have a great relationship with the team in Aylesford, which is ideal as our raison d’être is not haulage. Our trucks are a means to an end, enabling us to conduct our business.”

“Having our own fleet simply gives us the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’re in control,” explains Peter.

Beyond the safety benefits of the new truck, Peter believes the manoeuvrability and versatility of the Volvo FM Tridem with walking floor equipped bodywork, offers significant efficiency gains for the company. “Thanks to the capability of the walking floor to carry loose material, pallets or bags, it opens up possibilities when it comes to return loads,” he says. “Furthermore, it offers the opportunity to carry mixed loads, which is particularly beneficial when it comes to landscaping projects.”

The Bourne Group started out as John Bourne & Co back in 1947 and grew to become the biggest lime merchant in Kent. The 1980’s saw the family-run business diversify its offering so now, over and above lime, it supplies retail products to gardens, landscaping services and sports turf.

“In recent years we have become a major supplier of landscape products to the construction industry in London,” says Peter. “Our work on the London 2012 Games was a real impetus for our growth in this sector and I believe this new truck will further enhance our standing in terms of capability and safety.”

Another business area in which the Volvo FM Tridem is set to stand out is the delivery of biomass for use in boilers. “The drive towards renewables has seen the installation of many new district and private biomass-fed boilers,” says Peter. “With Kent being one of the most wooded counties in England, this presents a great opportunity for us to look after our woodlands while at the same time creating a product – the demand for which is only going to increase over time. And because the biomass obviously needs to be dry, the Volvo FM Tridem with walking floor means we can ‘walk’ the product directly into enclosed hoppers, thus satisfying this requirement.”