The new Tarmaster Hotbox body will suit both 4×2 and 6×2/4 truck chassis. The body features one-piece side panels which are angled inwards at the floor to assist clean and easy discharge of the hot tarmac. Inside, the body is split into two full length compartments in 60% / 40% proportions, enabling two different tarmac specifications to be carried. An ‘easy – flow’ floor surface finish assists minimal residue being left in the body when tipping. For shovel work, two tar chutes are provided in the rear body panel for the larger compartment, and one for the smaller.

On top of the body, a pair of full length in-line roof panels keep the payload protected against heat loss. Opening and closing of the panels – actuated by hydraulic cylinders –  can be done either from a dashboard rocker switch inside the cab or by switches located on a nearside exterior control panel.

Heat for the Hotbox is provided by two 23kgs LPG gas bottles mounted in a storage box located on the outside of the body’s vertical front panel. Mounting the gas bottles on the headboard reduces the length of vulnerable gas pipework running along full length of the body. Setting the payload temperature is done via an electronic control box mounted on a rear gantry located behind the truck cab.

The gantry also includes a storage box for work – related equipment such as shovels and road signs. Access is via a foldaway step on each side of the vehicle, with an electrically operated crane also being provided to lift heavier items into the storage area.

Tarmaster’s stabilised underfloor tipping gear will also provide maximum vehicle stability and safety when the body is raised which, in Hotbox work, can often be for considerable periods of time.

Built in Scotland, Tarmaster is available through any of the Thompsons Group locations at Croydon, Blackburn, Edinburgh and Dover.

“This is a big market, and one that for us has largely gone untapped” says Thompsons Joint Managing Director Simon Shields. “What became quickly apparent was that if we were to be a major player in this market we wouldn’t do it with a ‘copycat’ product similar to other models currently available. Rather, we’d want to design and build our own product from scratch using all our in-house skills, experience and technologies. Our aim was to take the whole Hotbox concept a whole step forward. The result is Tarmaster, which is what we are launching today.”