Underbridge investment at Height for Hire
By Euan Youdale24 July 2020
Height for Hire is using its new Volvo FM 4x2 rigid truck, equipped with a versatile underbridge unit to allow survey and construction teams to work beneath bridges without the need for scaffolding.
The Ireland-based access equipment rental company put the truck into operation after working closely with its local Volvo dealer, McDonnell Commercials in Co. Monaghan, to identify a truck with a suitable chassis to accommodate the unique nature of the bodywork.
The FM is Volvo’s most versatile model, with an eight-tonne front axle, full air suspension and a 5,600mm wheelbase. “The majority of our delivery vehicles and larger truck mounted cherry pickers are built on a Volvo chassis, so we felt confident approaching McDonnell Commercials to work with us on this order,” said Fergus McArdle, managing director at Height for Hire.
The specialist Moog MBI 110-1,2/S platform is manufactured in Germany, and allows Height for Hire to access under and down the sides of structures such as bridges, viaducts or highway overpasses.
The underbridge unit is quicker to set up than more traditional methods of access, such as scaffolding, and also allows for more efficient operation of the bridge work, minimising the disruption to local people in terms of road/lane closures, said Height for Hire. The company recently carried out a job in Co. Fermanagh where the customer was able to complete a six-week job in one week.The unit also avoids the need to disturb the riverbed with scaffolding posts, so a positive environmental result for the wildlife too. Height for Hire, Moog and McDonnell Commercials all worked closely together to spec the truck to meet the exact requirements.
The left hand drive FM is powered by Volvo’s D11K engine, generating 330 hp and 1,600 Nm of torque. It benefits from Volvo’s automated I-Shift 12-speed gearbox, making driving easier, safer and more comfortable as well as helping to optimise fuel efficiency.
“The Volvo also allows us to safely move the unit along the length of the bridge, while our customer carries out any inspections. And, even with the weight of the unit on the back, it drives really well – perfect to get between locations when more than one bridge inspection is scheduled for the same day,” McArdle added.
The Volvo FM cab is equipped with additional side and rear windows to aid visibility, allowing the driver to park and manoeuvre with accuracy. Its sleeper cab, with steel safety cage design, comes with a single bed living package.