"I’ve not had the chance to drive the new truck but just looking at it, they have designed one of the best-looking and well-engineered trucks on the market,” says managing director Eddie Mackay.
The company's plant and transport manager Dean Ross also gives the vehicles the thumbs-up. "There are going to be little niggles as there always is with new kit but the design of the TA 230 seems to give us what we require in terms of build quality. It also gives the operators what they need in a comfortable and easy-to-use truck."
The contractor is involved in a project to upgrade overhead power lines. The haul along forest tracks is a 30-minute round trip and as Eddie Mackay explains: "We are probably at the furthest point of the haul at the moment. It will be a good test of the new trucks to see how they cope with long, laden journeys. The ground underfoot is good so that shouldn’t be an issue, but it will be a test for the operators."
Mackay was appointed to build access roads through the forests to allow contractors access to build a line of new pylons. "Our task is to win material locally and build the haul roads in a particular section," continues Eddie. "Once the construction work is completed, we then have to remove most of the roads back to the borrow pit. We undertake everything from the soil strip through the blasting process to the load, haul, and removal of the material."
On completion of the initial phase of construction, the Liebherrs joined several other trucks to haul material from the roads back to the borrow pit where a Liebherr R 956 stockpiles the incoming material.
All four trucks came with tailgates for the 18.1m3 bodies, allowing them to haul loose material without concerns about losing too much material on steep climbs. The exhaust-heated body is standard, as is an auto greasing system. A full array of LED lights illuminates front, sides and rear and ‘delayed access’ lighting gives the operator safe entry and exit during darker months.
Operating from bases in Brora and Beauly in the Highlands, family-owned and run civil engineering and building business Edward MacKay has its roots in the 1950s when Eddie’s father, Edward, started out as a haulage company with a single tipper lorry. The founder is still involved in the day-to-day running of the business supported by his fellow directors - son Eddie, grandsons Liam and Scott and Ian Moffat – in managing the various divisions.