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EXECUTIVE REPORT


Altrad Belle put the DX 1000HT through its paces at Plantworx.


Dumpers in the DNA


Alan Guthrie finds out about Altrad Belle’s major launch at Plantworx, which is aimed at the compact plant market.


As EHN revealed exclusively in the Plantworx Preview in our June issue, Altrad Belle has unveiled a new 1-tonne high-tip dumper, designated the DX 1000HT. Its launch takes the company into an additional product area - although not entirely a new one, since Belle (before it became part of the Altrad Group) made a foray into mainstream compact plant in the early 2000s with a line-up of highly- specified skid steer loaders. The new machine also complements the BMD 300 mini dumper that is firmly established in the company’s range.


“We always ask hirers what other products they would like us to offer,” MD Ray Neilson told EHN. “That’s what led us to introduce our generator range in 2017 and pressure washers in 2018. Many have also been asking us for a 1-tonne dumper, and said that was often the only machine they bought from a plant supplier that they would otherwise not need to deal with. So if we could make one it would simplify their supply chain.


“A few years ago, we considered the idea of partnering with a manufacturer as a UK distributor, but we believed none of the machines we saw were of as good quality as they should be. So we decided to design and manufacture our own, drawing on experience we gained from making skid steers - which similarly had four drive motors and a hydrostatic pump. Many people in our R&D and fabrication teams still remember developing them. The technology is in our DNA.”


Dumper manufacture has a particular resonance with Ray Neilson, who spent 18 years working at Benford (eventually taken over by Terex). He rose to Operations Director and is not exaggerating when he says he knows such machines inside out and backwards. “I joined Benford at 16 and I was soon helping design and build machines, and testing them on a special facility in Chobham, Surrey,


for weeks at a time. There were no laser cutters then: components were cut using gas torches and welded by hand. I loved it.”


Back in the here and now, the design of the new DX 1000HT centres around four main criteria of safety, operator comfort, productivity and strength. Powered by a 21.4hp Yanmar 3TNV76 diesel engine, it offers an uncluttered driving position with ample legroom. The 1000kg-capacity skip has fully returned edges to prevent material retention and a steel belly pan protects the hydraulic circuit. A 35-litre diesel tank is incorporated and the fuel level can be seen from the driver’s seat. Warning lights illuminate when refuelling is required and when the hydraulic fluid is low.


Access points and anti-slip footplates have a high-viz finish for safety, and hazard warning chevrons are placed on the rear panel. A safety steering valve gives priority to the steering function in the event of low hydraulic fluid pressure or flow, and a folding ROPS frame is fitted. The DX 1000HT can work on slopes of up to 25%, and a USB phone charging socket is provided.


The company believes that, while the machine is aimed at its traditional tool and equipment hirer database, it could also appeal to larger plant hirers and contractors seeking a 1-tonne model. UK & Eire Sales Manager, Bob Williams, says, “Several hirers have had an input into the design and feedback has been excellent. And we have taken orders here at Plantworx.”


Altrad Belle has also added the RPX 59 model to its range of reversible plate compactors. Extension plates are available to give a base width of 650mm or 750mm and a low-HAV handle is incorporated.


• 01298 84606 www.Altrad-Belle.com


During the show, orders for the machine were received from, left to right, EPS Hire, Luscombe Plant Hire and MFL Plant Machinery. 21


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