The first truck leaves Camfaud’s yards in Epping, north-east of London, at around 4 o’clock in the morning. The thermometer only shows 12° C. But the temperatures continue to rise inexorably and the race against time begins. Because once it becomes too warm the concrete begins to thicken or even solidifies. Everything is going fine: after an hour-ride the workers reach the four story building site across town. This is when men and material need to be on site so the work can start immediately because with a time ‘window’ of only two hours before concrete starts to set, reliable vehicles are essential to Camfaud.
A big 60 tonnes truck is on the way to the site. The six-axle Mercedes-Benz Actros 6560 is the fleet’s flagship. It is carrying a giant high performance pump capable of placing 160 cubic metres of concrete an hour through its 66 metre boom. If anything goes wrong with this, hundreds of tons of concrete would have to be disposed of – a real financial loss. In addition to the big Actros, Camfaud also uses a total of 60 mobile pumps, all mounted on Mercedes-Benz trucks. The smallest pump is fitted on a Mercedes-Benz Atego 1523.
As well as the 60 tonner Camfaud’s five service vans are all Mercedes-Benz Vitos. On the inside they are all outfitted with the necessary equipment to keep pumps and trucks on the road and on time. The outside is specified with additional rear lighting, the back doors are finished with high visibility marking strips. In addition they are also fitted with a vehicle tracking system that allows the company to keep its customers updated on arrival times.
When asked why Camfaud had choosen Mercedes the Director Peter Faud said: “Ours is a time-critical business so we need equipment that won’t let us down. We choose Mercedes-Benz truck chassis because they have proved over time to be man enough for the job, and the same is true of our vans.”
In the meantime the Mercedes Actros with its German made ‘Putzmeister’ pump has arrived at the site and truck after truck is unloaded, shuttering walls raised by the site’s three cranes move gracefully through the air, men direct the pump into the reinforced forms, the site is a hive of activity. At 2 pm the work is finished: the entire fourth floor is complete. Today everything went smoothly. However, the job never gets boring for the concrete experts from Camfaud: the company is currently involved in multiple major projects. One of them is a tunnel which runs underneath the Thames and is designed to assist London’s sewer system in the event of floods – 3,400 m³ concrete have to be pumped down to a depth of 85 metres. A job for heavy workers.