Safety in operation is paramount for this construction industry operator
1st October 2022
It was 25 years ago that SRC Group – initially known as Sewells Resevoir Construction – began trading. Today, the company remains an independent, family-owned concern with a broad portfolio of interests spanning quarrying, waste management, ready mixed concrete and concrete block manufacture. Additionally, the firm provides a range of specialist services including demolition, site clearance, contract crushing and asbestos removal. Based in Highwood Quarry, near Stansted Airport, Essex, the company has grown substantially during its quarter of a century in business and today provides employment for 280 staff working across multiple locations.
With its principal areas of operation being Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and most of London north of the River Thames, SRC Group covers a wide geographical spread. Today, the company provides transport services at a number of operating locations supplying bulk aggregates, building blocks and ready mixed concrete products, but it was just eight years ago that SRC Group started running its own transport in order to take control and manage the distribution of its products.
It was at this time that the business acquired its first Scania trucks. As time went by, and the firm continued to grow and expand its operations, Scania would come to form the backbone of the SRC Group 8x4 tipper fleet. "The feedback I receive is that Scania is quite simply the best in the eight-wheeler market," comments SRC Group Managing Director Oliver Rees.
That view is borne out by the statistics which show that Scania has been a market leading force in the 8x4 multi-wheeler sector for many years. The company's 32-tonne gross vehicle weight, four-axle rigid chassis is highly regarded by many of the UK's tipper operators for its durability and performance and can be found working both on and off road in every corner of the UK. Scania tippers are especially prevalent in London, where vast swathes of regeneration and construction work – including numerous high-rise developments and major infrastructure projects such as Crossrail – have resulted in the capital's skyline being redefined in no small part by tower cranes in recent times.
"London, of course, is a key area of operation for us," says Oliver. "That's why we spec our Scania tippers today to achieve a three-star rating for Transport for London's Direct Vision Standard. As a Silver Members of FORS (the Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme, a voluntary accreditation scheme which aims to uplift the quality levels of fleets) and CLOCS (the Construction Logistics and Community Safety scheme designed to protect vulnerable road users) we are well aware of the value of operating as safely as possible. The Direct Vision Standard is thus an extremely important factor for us."
The standard specification of SRC Group's tippers today is the Scania P 370 8x4 XT. This model is equipped with Scania's P-series cab, which has been designed to provide the driver with high levels of visibility around the cab. When compared to the previous generation P-series, the cab's visibility-enhancing features include a larger surface area of glass, a lower and reshaped dashboard, and a new design of A-pillar which helps optimise the critical side angle field of vision. Redesigned front and close-up mirrors also improve visibility by providing a greater field of vision.
"In addition to the truck's safety credentials, air quality is another area of concern for us, and here Ultra Low Emissions Zone compliance is high on our priority list – the Scania P 370 ticks that box as well," says Oliver. "Over and above all of this, there's no question that the Scania is a very good product all round. The XT specification gives us the durability and robustness we need and I have to say, the truck looks great; it's a very desirable vehicle. In short, all is good – we wouldn't keep buying them if that wasn't the case!"
SRC Group currently operates a fleet of 140 tippers, 90 percent of which are Scania, with Abba lightweight tipping bodies the company's preferred bodywork choice. In addition to these vehicles, the company also operates a number of Scania P 450 tractor units, which are used to haul the firm's bulk aggregate tipping trailers or, when delivering building blocks, its flat trailers.
"Our rigid tippers are quite high mileage for our industry; on average each covers around 95,000 kilometres a year," says Oliver. "We keep our vehicles for up to five years and replace around 30 every year, so residual value is another major consideration for us. But there is always a strong demand for a used Scania tipper. They have a reputation as an extremely solid workhorse and that's a view which is widely held throughout our industry. Our vehicles are well looked after and well maintained, and as such are offered to the second hand market in excellent condition. Consequently, disposing of them easily, and achieving a good price in the process, is part of the attraction of running the Scania brand."
SRC Group acquires its tippers from Scania Stansted. Located five miles from the Group's Great Dunmow base, the dealership is also responsible for the repair and maintenance of the fleet. Scania construction vehicles are offered with a full two year repair and maintenance package, which SRC Group extends to four years. This means that the company's tippers are maintained by fully trained Scania Technicians with only Scania genuine parts used throughout for the full 48-month duration of the contract. The contracts also enable SRC Group to employ the services of other Scania dealerships in the organisation's nationwide network should the need ever arise.
While the majority of SRC Group's fleet of Scania tippers sport the company's distinctive green and white colours, one truck has been singled out to carry a specially designed livery in support of the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance. This is one of several charities supported by SRC Group, and a charitable contribution is made for every load the truck carries. Other organisations benefiting from the support of SRC Group include the NHS and the mental health charity MIND.