Ready-mixed concrete supplier, Hardcrete Ltd, has put its first Renault truck, a 32-tonne Range C430 8×4 Tridem, into operation. Positive experiences with Renault Trucks approved dealer, Border Trucks, and the Range C Tridem’s flexibility, manoeuvrability and drivability on all types of terrain, prompted Hardcrete’s vehicle purchase decision.

Although originally in the market for a traditional 8×4 vehicle, the opportunity to purchase the McPhee-bodied Range C430 Tridem from Stephen Whitehead at Border Trucks, Carlisle, proved timely. As Hardcrete’s Managing Director James Harding explains: “The vehicle was in stock, ready to go, it was to our spec and even the colour was right! The more I talked to Stephen, the more convinced I became that this might be the perfect truck for us. The rear steering axle ensures it won’t have any problems getting into the sorts of tight spots you’d think of sending a six-wheeler. In fact, its turning circle lead us to think it would be better than a 6×4 configuration and when I took it out for a test drive I was mightily impressed. I don’t really drive trucks these days, but this was as easy as driving a car with its amazing manoeuvrability.”

Spending most of its time running as a 6 cubic metre mixer, the lifting and steering rear axle of the Tridem configuration means the Range C can go all the way up to 8 cubic metres if required.

“Even when it is operating at higher weights, there’s the benefit of extra traction and reduced tyre wear when running empty,” explains James.

As the vehicle operates in and around London taking it into close proximity with vulnerable road users, the Range C Tridem’s tighter turning circle will keep the truck closer to the kerb when turning left compared to traditional 8x4s, helping reduce the high-risk gap for cyclists.

Renault Trucks’ construction range comes packed with a host of useful features for the driver including the off-road mode, which comes as standard on the Optidriver automated transmission. Perfectly regulating the vehicle’s speed despite the terrain, Hardcrete’s driver can select off-road mode when pouring concrete into long kerbside trenches at walking pace.

James was also impressed by the service from Border Trucks and now has two further Renault Trucks Range D 4x2s on order for delivery early next year, both of which will come with McPhee mixers, automated gearboxes and rear air suspension.

“Stephen Whitehead has been very responsive – he knows my requirements and spec so going forwards it should be pretty simple. MTHL Fleet Services at Heathrow will look after the Range C and the new Range Ds when they arrive. Also, having seen our driver’s reaction to the sleeper cab, it is definitely a feature that we will be sticking with as it makes the working day more comfortable and during breaks, encourages the driver away from the driving seat and into a more relaxed rest period,” concludes James.

Kings Langley-based Hardcrete’s Range C Tridem is well-appointed, equipped with a long list of features including air conditioning, 24-litre fridge, auto headlights and wipers, leather steering wheel with cruise and telephone control, plus the OPTIBRAKE retarder working in conjunction with the six cylinder DTI 11 430 engine.