If you want to see how the underside of a bridge is looking and you don’t want to put up scaffolding etc, then a clever German machine attached to a truck can make this a lot more straightforward.

The truck that accommodates the access platform system has to have a heavyweight front axle, a 5.6m wheelbase and air suspension all round.  This will enable a viewing platform to be lowered over the side of the bridge for operators to inspect or carry out repairs.

Height for Hire has taken delivery of a new Volvo FM rigid equipped with an underbridge access unit, for working beneath bridges, removing the need for scaffolding.

Height for Hire has worked out the benefits of its new Volvo FM 4×2 rigid truck, equipped with a Moog MBI 110-1,2/S underbridge unit to allow survey and construction teams to work beneath bridges without the need for scaffolding.

The access machinery rental business 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 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. Martin Keenan from McDonnell Commercials helped advise us on different models, and the Volvo FM proved the perfect choice.

Fergus McArdle, Managing Director at Height for Hire

Underbridge Access

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. Height for Hire 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.

“The unit required more than an off-the-shelf solution,” says McArdle “Height for Hire, Moog and McDonnell Commercials all worked closely together to spec the truck to meet the exact requirements. It’s already working well and has sparked a lot of interest.”

The Truck

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,” he adds.

The Volvo FM cab is equipped with additional side and rear windows to aid visibility, allowing the driver to park and manoeuvre with utmost accuracy. Its sleeper cab, with steel safety cage design, comes with a single bed living package.

“We’re very pleased with the truck. The Moog MBI 110-1,2/S underbridge unit is a sophisticated piece of equipment, and the Volvo FM is the ideal chassis to compliment it”, says McArdle.

Height for Hire is a family run access machinery rental business. Established in Ireland more than 40 years ago, the company also operates depots in the UK, Slovakia and Hungary.