COVENTRY: Jewson says that Bevan's decision to fit HMF cranes and sub-frames rather than use crane suppliers to mount hydraulic loaders on customers' vehicles has improved flexibility and efficiency.

Jewson's latest order was for 55 MAN chassis at 18 and 26-tonnes. Bevan is fitting these vehicles with split dropside bodies and, immediately behind their cabs, radio-controlled HMF 1420-K2 14-tonne/metre cranes with Kinshofer brick and block grabs.

This is Jewson's first experience of operating HMF cranes in the UK. Bevan recently became an authorised dealer for Danish-owned HMF, and Jewson has specified the company's latest EVS (electronic vehicle stability) system.

This calculates the extent to which the load on the back of a truck can serve as a counterweight, so allowing the operator to maximise the loader's capacity while preventing any risk of the vehicle toppling.

In another move that has shaved an additional week or so from the build timetable, Bevan is employing dropside panels and other extrusions that have been pre-powder-coated in Jewson's blue - eliminating the paint shop process.

Ian Berrill, fleet director at Jewson said: "By taking on the additional task of fitting the cranes to our latest trucks, Bevan Group has smoothed the production process and introduced a much greater degree of flexibility.

"So, for example, in the event that a particular component is unavailable, Bevan can still be working on other aspects of the build. This increased control all but eliminates delay and means that our new vehicles are being completed and made available for service significantly sooner than we might previously have expected."

Jewson has also ordered dropside and Luton bodies with column or tail lifts for more than 100 Ford Transit 3.5-tonners, all of which will have entered service by the end of the year.