Ingimex has spotted a gap in the market for a compact 1-tonne tipper or dropside, says Dan Gilkes.
SECTOR Tipper/dropside PAYLOAD 800-1,200kg GVW 3,000-3,200kg LOAD AREA 5.4-5.6m2
The 3.5-tonne tipper and dropside are among the most popular vehicle conversions in the light commercial vehicle market, along with Luton vans. Almost every manufacturer offers at least one dropside and tipper on their 3.5-tonne van chassis, often with a further choice of single or double cab and varying body lengths.
They are fairly large vehicles, though for the most part they boast payloads of little more than 1-tonne. If you like the body style but want something a bit more compact however, with no loss of carrying capacity, the choices are fairly slim.
Ingimex is known for its dropside and tipper bodies, supplying both on a wide variety of chassis through manufacturer single source agreements, as well as direct to dealers and end users. Now the company is adding to that line-up, with the introduction of tipper and dropside models based on Volkswagen’s T6 Transporter chassis cab.
Volkswagen is one of the few manufacturers to offer a chassis cab on its mid-weight van, in both single and double cab layouts. The dropside can be had with the single or the double cab, while the tipper is single cab only.
But it is the recent availability of a 3.2-tonne T32 gross weight model, above the standard T30 3.0-tonne chassis, that really makes the vehicle such an appealing base for conversion. Now available from Volkswagen’s Van Centres, or direct from Ingimex, the Tip-Up tipper offers payloads of 1,000kg on the T32 and 800kg on the lighter T30 chassis, while the Pick-Up dropside promises payloads of 1,200kg and 1,000kg respectively.
Both models follow the firm’s proven design and construction philosophy, using a sturdy steel base with extruded aluminium sides and a steel tailgate. The bodies also have a hefty steel bulkhead to protect the back of the cab and to carry longer loads. However, unlike the gantry on the larger 3.5-tonne trucks, the sides of the bulkhead have been shaped to match the contours of the Transporter cab, making the body feel far more integrated with the overall design.
To be fair, a Transporter dropside is not new, having been built in Germany for many years. What Ingimex has done is take the Transporter chassis cab and produced a far more desirable dropside or tipper to better meet the needs of UK customers.
The tipper uses Ingimex’s proven scissor tipping link, that allows the single hydraulic ram to lie flat beneath the body. A wander lead by the driver’s seat allows the operator to stand outside the truck while tipping and the system is powered by a battery beneath the driver’s seat.
To drive, unsurprisingly, the Transporter is little different to VW’s mainstream van, with extended mirror arms helping to see around the slightly wider bulkhead. You can of course pick your engine power from the T6 line-up and the Transporter is also available with manual or DSG gearboxes. 4Motion all-wheel drive is also on the options list, making the tipper in particular a very versatile vehicle for local authorities, parks and landscaping contractors, small builders and forestry workers.
What we think
The Transporter Tip-Up and Pick-Up provide as much carrying capacity as some much larger trucks, but in a compact overall package, which will appeal to many buyers.