Customer story

Greener, more profitable transports with Bennes Vincent’s tipper bodies made of Hardox® 500 Tuf steel

In July 2020, Bennes Vincent became the first tipper body maker in France to launch a new product line entirely made of Hardox® 500 Tuf steel. A year into the launch, and Bennes Vincent’s new “Multi-Blocs” rear tippers are taking the market by storm, offering end-users reduced tare weight, increased payload, and thereby improved profitability. But perhaps more importantly, a much greener mode of transport.

Deep in the heartlands of France’s Alsace region, amid sprawling green fields and thriving vineyards, lies Cernay, the beating heart of Bennes Vincent’s tipper body operations. From 7am until 4pm, you can hear the constant sound of hammers banging, circular saws screeching, and welding bars sizzling as the company’s 45-man-strong workshop team installs tipper bodies on various truck chassis.

Outside, rows of shiny, carefully painted and almost intricate tipper bodies line the parking lot, ready for delivery.

“We’re the first in France to use Hardox 500 Tuf for our tipper bodies. We switched from Hardox 450 for our Multi-Blocs tippers a year ago, and the customer feedback has been amazing,” Christophe Thal, Bennes Vincent’s sales director, explains proudly.

“They say it’s an excellent product that helps them optimize their truckload,” he says, estimating a tare weight reduction and payload increase of between 280 kg (617 lbs.) and 320 kg (705 lbs.) for each tipper body.

“The biggest benefit when upgrading from Hardox 450 to Hardox 500 Tuf is that you get a more high-end product, using less material and without changing any tools in the workshop.”

Christophe Thal, sales director at Bennes Vincent

Slashed costs, lower emissions

For Bennes Vincent’s customers, the lighter weight tipper bodies make a big difference. With reduced tare weight, not only can they load their tippers more than previously, but they can also travel lighter when the tipper is empty or not fully loaded, resulting in drastically slashed fuel costs and less wear and tear on the trucks themselves.

“In just five years, the tipper body has already paid for itself and the following years translate into pure profit. The tipper body will last as long as the truck itself, if not longer,” Thal explains.

But the main advantage, Thal says, is the reduced environmental impact.

“By moving less unnecessary weight, you pollute less, and this is essentially what our customers are all aiming for.”

This is also in line with the European Union’s new and tougher CO2 emissions standards, which aim to reduce heavy-duty vehicle emissions by 15% from 2025 compared with 2019/2020 levels, and by 30% from 2030.

Thal says the secret to the weight saving is the steel itself, Hardox® 500 Tuf.

“It’s super resistant and has higher elasticity so we can use thinner gauges than before. Our Multi-Blocs tipper body, for example, was using 8 mm (0.315 inches) thick floor plate and 6 mm (0.236 inches) side panels compared to 7 mm (0.276 inches) and 5 mm (0.197 inches) today with Hardox 500 Tuf.”

 

Savings on tools and materials

Bennes Vincent, also a member of the Hardox® In My Body customer program, currently produces an average of 650 tipper bodies a year. Today, they make 80% of their tipper bodies with steel from SSAB’s Hardox® wear plate product range, out of which Hardox® 500 Tuf accounts for 10%. This is about to increase even further, as Bennes Vincent also has started to work Hardox® 500 Tuf into its 2-way tipper bodies, and there are plans for more.

“The Brinell hardness is higher, the elasticity is increased, and the abrasion resistance is improved,” Thal says.

But the lighter product line has not only received a warm welcome by customers, it is also benefitting Bennes Vincent.

“The biggest benefit when upgrading from Hardox 450 to Hardox 500 Tuf is that you get a more high-end product, using less material and without changing any tools in the workshop.”


Working together for three decades

Cooperation with SSAB is close and strong, and dates back almost three decades – long before the Vincent industrial group even thought about adding the Cernay plant and other tipper body companies into its fold as it expanded its operations in the mid-2000s.

“We’ve always had a great relationship,” says Philippe Mengel, Bennes Vincent’s technical director, who has worked with SSAB since the late 1990s.

“Over the years, we’ve evolved our products alongside SSAB’s steel evolutions, which has allowed us to constantly keep improving our tipper bodies,” he says, noting that cooperation has grown into so much more than just a commercial transaction. He continues:

“They are always there to support us technically, even in our own product designs and help us with calculations and solutions. Personally, I’m on the phone with them pretty much every week.”

About Bennes Vincent

  • A subsidiary of the Vincent industrial group, with its main operations located in Cernay, Alsace in eastern France. The company also has two tipper body manufacturing plants in Redzikowo and Wlynkowko in Poland.
  • Currently produces an average of 650 tipper bodies a year, with an estimated annual growth of around 5%.
  • The first tipper body maker in France to launch a product line entirely made of Hardox® 500 Tuf steel.

 

www.groupe-vincent.fr

 

SSAB steel used by Bennes Vincent

  • Hardox® 450 and Hardox® 500 Tuf in 80% of its tipper bodies, of which Hardox® 500 Tuf accounts for 10%
  • Currently uses Hardox® 500 Tuf for its “Multi-Blocs” tipper bodies, and has begun to incorporate it also into its 2-way tipper bodies
  • A member of the Hardox® In My Body program

 

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