The UK’s leading temporary traffic and event management specialist is now running the first of a new generation of dropside vehicles built by Bevan Specialist Products.
Twelve are already in service with West Midlands-based Traffix, while the fast-growing operator has a further 32, including a couple with crew cabs, on order. All are based on 3.5-tonne Vauxhall Movano chassis.
The Bevan Group’s commitment to ongoing product development and innovation is evident in the specification of the new vehicles, which it designed in close partnership with Traffix Operations Director Derek Vinning, and with Vauxhall Fleet Manager Amy Parker.
Significantly, they are the first Traffix dropsiders to be fitted with tail-lifts – 500 kg column units by DEL, with maximum-width platforms fabricated from mesh to reduce drag while on the move.
Traffix had been using trailers to transport its portable traffic light systems. However, by utilising the more efficient V-groove side raves introduced in place of the previous floor-fixed lashing rings, Bevan has developed a bespoke, stainless steel racking system in which, having been locked into place, the light posts can be carried vertically on the vehicle bed.
The addition of the tail-lift meant there was no longer room for arrow boards and light bars, a challenge which Bevan overcame by fitting two pairs of strobe lights in recesses at the tops of the specially designed tail-lift pillars. The result: even more illumination than before.
Other features – also deployed on previous vehicles – include Bevan’s patented Safe-T-Drop system, which is designed to eliminate any risk of a fall from height by operatives working on the vehicle bed. The impact-resistant Safe-T-Drop rails can be easily folded away for loading and unloading. Raising the dropsides is also quick and simple; they can only be closed with the Safe-T-Drop rails in place, ensuring correct use of the rails at all times.
Traffix operates from a head office in Solihull, a depot in the Nottinghamshire village of Newton, and another, recently opened, in Telford. It supplies equipment for pedestrian walkways, contraflow systems, and road works. Pledged always to “go the extra mile” for its customers, Traffix offers a comprehensive service, ranging from design and consultancy, through to implementation and maintenance.
Derek Vinning is responsible for a fleet of 110 trucks and vans, the vast majority of which are 3.5-tonne dropsiders. Traffix had been relying on the former Stag Bodies, in Stone, Staffordshire, to build its vehicles, prior to that company’s acquisition by the Bevan Group in 2015. Re-launched as Bevan Specialist Products, the business relocated recently to Wednesbury, West Midlands, a stone’s throw from the Bevan Group’s new headquarters.
Traffix has been buying Vauxhalls since it switched from its previous brand of chassis in 2013 – the 130 hp Movano has been a big success, thanks to its combination of light weight and reliability. The operator chooses the longest, L4 variant, with optional extendable/long arm door mirrors.
Derek Vinning comments: “I’ve worked with a few traffic management vehicle bodybuilders over the years and there’s no doubt in my mind that when it comes to product quality and workmanship Bevan is far superior to any of them.
“We work closely together to evolve the design and specification of our dropsiders. It’s very much a two-way process – we don’t pretend to know everything but will make suggestions and observations based on our experience of doing the job, and Bevan then tell us what will and won’t work, and make their own recommendations.
“We’ve gradually been able to shed weight, moved from traditional bulbs and halogen lighting to more effective flashing LEDs, and now fit Safe-T-Drop as standard – it’s a fantastic system and very reassuring, because unlike conventional, removable side rail bars, it’s impossible for an operative to forget to use it.”