FM Conway strengthen transport fleet with four new bespoke -built, heavy-duty step frames
ANDOVER Trailers have delivered four new bespoke-built, step-frame trailers to FM Conway, continuing a relationship between the two businesses that dates back more than two decades.
The new builds feature a similar specification to FM Conway’s previous 73-tonne, 15.1m long, four-axle Andover builds, of which four are still in service. For this latest order, however, the business requested that two of the new step frames be 1.2m shorter, allowing for easier access to urban sites and more inaccessible infrastructure projects.
Steve James, senior transport manager at FM Conway, said: ‘We started with two Andover four-axle step frames around 10 years ago and now we have eight – which is testament to their build quality and longevity.
‘What makes Andover stand out is the bespoke nature of the work; they do all they can to accommodate any specific requests. On this occasion, that involved shortening two of the trailers. We still receive the same strength and specs, but with the added bonus of a little more manoeuvrability.’
The four new step frames have all been constructed with a durable, four-member design featuring slide-out side extensions to ensure ultimate load stability. The 1m wide power toe ramps, with sliding width adjustment and knife-edge toes, help with the loading and unloading of FM Conway’s 40-tonne road planers.
To aid with transporting a full range of plant, including heavy rollers, pavers, and excavators, the trailer design also includes hydraulic steady legs at the rear, with steel underplating on the outer bays of the main deck, the beavertail, and ramps. The deck also features 20 pairs of D-rings and eight screw-in lashing points to guarantee load security, as well as in-built chain storage and a powerful six-tonne electric winch.
To ensure safe operation, the trailers include a full working at height system with removable walkway, alongside a suite of LED strobe lights, work lights and additional flashing beacons. The SAF axles – fitted with 285/70 R 19.5 tyres – feature disc brakes and rear-steer capability that can be operated from either the tractor unit or on the trailer itself.
‘Eventually, these trailers will replace some of the older Andover builds in our fleet – however they are still performing so well they’re staying on the road for now. When it comes to our trailers, we never feel a need to look further than Andover,’ added Mr James.
On the road day and night, Monday to Friday, the step frames will deliver plant to highway and infrastructure projects across southern England, clocking up around 180,000km per year. They join the company’s 800-strong mixed commercial vehicle fleet.