Barry’s Skip Hire
Barry’s Skip Hire has a new Mercedes-Benz eight-wheeled hookloader with a point to prove.
The Liverpool-based operator was founded in 1974 and has relied on skip-loaders bearing the three-pointed star for much of its life. Today, 16 Arocs, Atego and Axor models form the backbone of its fleet.
Until now, however, none of its Mercedes-Benz vehicles has had a gross weight of more than 18 tonnes. That’s because when it came to 32-tonne chassis, Barry’s always favoured another truck brand.
Brothers Barry and Gerard Flanagan took delivery of their new 8x4 Arocs 3240 from the city branch of Dealer Roanza Truck & Van, and they have high expectations.
“Mercedes-Benz trucks have served us very well over the years,” said Barry Flanagan. “They’ve been tough, reliable, and cost-effective to operate, while we also enjoy a great relationship with Roanza’s sales executive Richie Rainford.
“Despite this, we’ve steered clear of Mercedes-Benz eight-wheelers in the past because we didn’t feel they were particularly well suited to our kind of work – payload is critical in this business, and the fact that they were relatively heavy always counted against them.”
Mr Flanagan said that since the launch of the Euro VI Arocs – a muscular range of chassis purpose-designed for construction-related applications – this was no longer the case.
“The Arocs is light enough to allow us to maximise payload capacities, while also offering the strength and durability that we’ve come to expect from Mercedes-Benz,” he enthused. “There’s plenty of ground clearance too, and visibility from the driver’s seat is excellent. All in all, this vehicle offers a great combination of attributes.”
Barry’s Skip Hire ordered its new truck after suffering reliability issues with a pair of 32-tonners by its established supplier, one of which has since been stood down to make way for the new arrival. “They were giving us all sorts of trouble, and the AdBlue consumption was sky-high,” recalled Mr Flanagan. “It was time for a change and the Arocs looks like a marked improvement.”
Smartly finished in the operator’s distinctive green livery, the new truck is powered by an advanced, 10.7-litre straight-six engine which generates 290 kW (394 hp) and drives through a smooth and efficient PowerShift 3 automated transmission. It is fitted with hook-loading gear and carries a range of roll on-roll off steel skips with 20-40 cubic yard capacities, for commercial customers.
The Arocs’ performance and reliability, as well as Roanza’s back-up, will be closely monitored over the coming months, and compared with the remaining eight-wheeler. “These are still early days but our latest Mercedes-Benz has certainly been quick to impress, with driver feedback very positive,” continued Mr Flanagan.
The Arocs has a ClassicSpace M-cab with the 320mm engine tunnel introduced last year. As a result, it sits six inches lower than its stablemate with 170mm tunnel, the only alternative previously to a fully flat floor. This makes life easier for the driver to maintain three points of contact when climbing up into or down from the cab.
The fact that the lower cab’s three steps are more closely spaced together contributes to reduced fatigue, while a 14% improvement in direct vision increases safety. For some customers, such as those needing to access batching plants, the lower roof height also offers operational advantages.
Barry’s Skip Hire supplies skips to domestic and trade waste customers across Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens and Halton. Committed for many years to a policy of minimising its environmental impact, the company is proud of the fact that it now recycles 100% of the waste it collects.