Read the CPL ATAT review from Essential Arb

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Read the CPL ATAT review from Essential Arb

Getting the right arb truck can transform a business, and for Cutting Edge Mechanics, CPL’s ATAT chipper tipper has done just that. 

They may say clothes maketh the man, but it’s the truck that maketh the arb business.

CPL ATAT review Plenty of tree care professionals can attest to the positive impact the right vehicle can make, both in terms of improving services and presenting a better image.

A case in point is Cutting Edge Mechanics in Wales, which has seen tremendous benefits following the purchase of a new chipper tipper truck from CPL. 

Based in Carmarthen on the River Towy, Cutting Edge Mechanics is an independent supplier and repairer of arb-related equipment including chainsaws, mowers, strimmers, PPE and more.

Owner Alun James is a mechanic by trade, so a significant proportion of the business is the service and repair of chainsaws and other machinery like chippers and compact tractors.

Along with climber Kevin Knight, he also offers a range of arb services to domestic customers in the local area, including general tree care and removal.

Since launching the business in 2016, Alun relied on a Land Rover Discovery and a white Transit van for most of his jobs. But in early 2020 he started looking for something else – and CPL’s ATAT (all-terrain arb truck) caught his eye. Read the full CPL ATAT review:

Alun said: “When I started off I was practically a one-man band going around doing small arb jobs, garden clearance, that sort of stuff.

“The Land Rover Discovery was just for towing. I would use one vehicle to tow the chipper and the second to tow a trailer and tip the chip into the trailer. So I had to use two vehicles to do one job.

“It was time to get a replacement, so I took a gamble on the tipper truck – and it’s completely transformed the business.”

Fully type approved, the design of the ATAT design sees a tipping body and chipping box fitted to an Isuzu D-Max pickup (a Toyota Hilux version is also available).

Designed to carry all types of materials up to a weight of 1,300 kg, with a capacity of three cubic metres, unloading is stress free thanks to a hydraulic cylinder that can tilt the body at 50 degrees.

It can pull a load of up to 3.5 tonnes and can still be driven on a standard licence thanks to the suspension being upgraded from 3 to 3.5 tonnes.

It also boasts a 180 kg capacity secure aluminium locker at the rear of the cab as standard and can be fitted with a variety of bespoke extras such as ladder rack, rear beacons and tow bar.

It was an ad on Facebook that drew Simon’s attention to the ATAT’s capabilities. He contacted CPL to learn more, but it wasn’t a quick sale. This was back in the early days of the COVID pandemic, when no-one could be sure how drastically their lives and businesses were about to be changed.

“Nobody knew what was going to happen to the world, so it was a big gamble for me,” said Alun. “I had the van and the Land Rover and I was getting by. It did mean I’d have to get a second body or having to do multiple trips to bring in the chipper, then go and get the trailer, which didn’t tip. Or it was a case of chipping into the back of my van.

“Even so, it was tempting to keep things the way they were. Then one evening I had to ask my partner to help me unload the van by hand and she told me, ‘Just buy the bloody truck!’. At the same time, the Land Rover developed problems with its back brakes. It was like the stars aligned.”

Despite issues around COVID causing delays and complications throughout the country, it wasn’t long before all the paperwork was sorted and the truck was on its way.

Alun said: “It wasn’t a long wait at all. It was quite a smooth process, including the financing side. I’d never financed anything before. I didn’t believe in doing that. I just muddled along. But CPL put me in touch with a finance company and that got sorted out very easily.

“One thing which really impressed me was the insurance side of things. It comes from CPL as an arb tipper truck. That’s on the logbook, so when you come to insure the vehicle there’s no question of it having been modified. It’s all type approved and the logbook states what it is, so getting insurance sorted out is a lot easier than it would be otherwise.”

Alun opted for a few extras including flashing beacons, chevrons on the back and a ladder kit.

As he didn’t want to start using it before it was painted, CPL delivered it straight to his local paint shop, where it received its striking black and green livery.

And since then, said Alun, he hasn’t looked back.

“Swapping over to the tipper truck meant I could tow a tipper and collect the chip all in one with no mess and no agro,” he said. “It’s so much easier and more fluid. No more shovelling out at the end of the day. You just press a button. And although it’s a small tip box compared to some you can get, most of my work is local. So if I fill the tip box a couple of times on a job, then it’s just a quick run down the road, tip and back to site. For the work I’m undertaking, it’s ideal.”

Not only is the CPL Isuzu Dmax arb truck a great work horse, it is also a professional and smart-looking conversion to give great first impressions when visiting new customers – as Alun can confirm.

“It really looks the part,” he said. “I was quite anonymous in my white transit van, but everyone sees and notices the truck. I’ve had lots of new customers phone up and ask, ‘Are you the guy with the big, black truck?’. It really does stand out from the crowd.

“The main thing is, when I pull up on site, I look very professional. The customers recognise it when they see it around town. And I get taken more seriously.”

But it’s not all about work. Alun has also found the ATAT’s off-roading abilities make it a great recreational vehicle.

“That has really surprised me,” he said. “Recently my partner and I have got into green laning. Where we live, there’s so much on our doorstep we’ve never explored, so we found a local chap who does guided tours. I described the truck to him and he already knew it from seeing it around town.

“He said it would do fine. We’ve done some serious off-road trips now and it has blown my mind what it’s capable of.”

For Cutting Edge Mechanics, the addition of the CPL ATAT has proved a game changer. Since its purchase, the business has grown and grown, building its reputation and taking on bigger jobs.

Alun said: “We’re not just looking at small, domestic jobs now. We’re looking at larger contracts, bigger customers. We’re capable of tackling a lot more work now and I’ve just invested in a new tracked chipper. There’s no question the truck has enabled the business to grow.”

From March, CPL will be building stock units of the ATAT. To secure your order, Contact Us today.

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