Bunkabin, the UK specialist in hiring on-site sleeping accommodation, has just taken delivery of four specialist vehicles with innovative features from Cartwright which has taken the product to the next level.
The Oldham based company, well known for its Site Sleeper product, has over 30 years experience in the sector. It has had a long association with Cartwright and has worked closely with the company's engineers to replace the Rigid Prime mover and drawbar trailer that Cartwright supplied ten years ago.
Basically the complete vehicle involves a Cartwright chassis, Volvo tractor and Hiab crane... All three organisations worked together with Bunkabin to create the specialist vehicle which transports and lifts the portable cabins onto major construction sites and sites in the London area such as Crossrail – plus muddy music festivals.
The end product is a very bespoke, well designed, high specification vehicle and Cartwright's Specialist Build Sales Manager Clive Dingle commented that the completed vehicle had (been)? 'taken to a new level compared to the first vehicle we supplied ten years ago'.
"From the outset we have established exactly what the customer wants to achieve, how the business and indeed industry has changed over the past ten years and how we can work together to create a product that will create even greater efficiencies. We believe the customer now has a much better vehicle for the job and the product has moved forward particularly in safety terms," he said.
The new vehicle has a number of key features including:-
- Bespoke storage systems for chains, slings, square and round chain pads, as well as lifting positions on the drawbar trailer so that the Prime Mover can lift the trailer up and load it for the empty return trip.
- ISO positions have been put in to suit varying cabins and equipment ie toilets.
- Cartwright has introduced an increased level of lighting to enhance safety, particularly when cabins hang over at the rear of the vehicle.
- The design has ergonomically positioned (Suzie's) couplings for disconnecting on site and in tight places.
- The precision of load security has been increased in order to cater for any load/site situation beyond the requirements of the Code of Practice and meet the EN1264XL requirement.
- Each vehicle has a 20 foot flat bed with an extendable rear bearer to enable it to pull out to cater for any load overhang.
- The four Rigid Prime movers and the four Drawbar trailers have extendable features.
Luke Rothwell, Director of Bunkabin commented: "We had been very happy with our previous vehicles but the main driver for us to change was the cost of going into London where we deliver to major construction sites including Crossrail – where they have to be Crossrail compliant.
"With new regulations coming in all the time, we decided that we wanted to invest in equipment that would not only future proof us for the next six years but for up to 10 years. With that objective in mind we were aware that our vehicles would need to carry more equipment including nylon load pads, spill kits, fire extinguishers, ladders etc even through there was less space on the vehicle due to Euro 6 legislation.
"That was the challenge and we sat down with Cartwright and decided to go to the next level. Our cabins are getting heavier and, we have always been on the limit with the front axle, so we decided to go for an eight wheeler. We do a lot of festivals such as Glastonbury and we needed as much drive as possible, to get through the famous mud so we went for twin drive axles.
"Cartwright came up with a fantastic design and the thing that has really impressed me is how robust the chassis is. We couldn't be happier with it. It is absolutely fantastic," he said.
"Because we have worked with Cartwright in the past, they completely understood what we needed and what had worked previously.
"We had some real challenges. For example we had the difficulty of finding a place to stow the chains. It was a real conundrum but Cartwright came up with an ingenious solution to store the chassis in a bespoke container curved around the mudguard. We are always conscious of driver safety and because our cabins are wider than the vehicle bed we cannot put a rail on the outside for (edge?) protection. So we ensured that everything worked so that the driver has no reason to go on the wagon bed. We also wanted to eliminate drivers having to crawl under the trailer/wagon to couple up. The location of all the controls and cable management is great.
"We have been very pleased about how everybody involved has worked together to create a quality product. I am sure that elements of the design will become common practice in the future," he added.