Although smaller, the B20E has the same power-to-weight ratio as the Bell B30E – 5.11 kW/tonne – and is fitted with wet brakes to offer sealed protection against deep mud. Customers can alternate between standard 20.5R25 earthmoving tyres or low profile, extra wide 800/45 R30.5 tyres; designed to offer reduced ground pressure (down to 95kPa) and good flotation on soft ground.
As with all E-series machines, the B20E has Bell Fleetmatic on-board data technologies.
“The 20-tonne market is renowned for being niche in the UK,” said Bell Equipment sales manager Richard Higgott. “Therefore customers have comparatively little choice when it comes to purchasing a smaller, yet highly powerful vehicle. However, that’s not to say there isn’t the demand for manoeuvrable, capable 6x6 machines that come into their own in low ground pressure applications.”
One of the machines brought to the UK has already been put to work preparing foundations for a turbine at a Scottish windfarm, where the peaty ground conditions are too soft for larger machines to manoeuvre effectively.
He also expects to see the new machine being used in house-building. “To date, there’s been a limited number of vehicles available to house-builders in the UK, capable of offering the specification of the B20E. It’s an agile machine that brings in a rated payload of 18 tonnes. It also measures less than three metres, which is a significant feature, enabling it to be transported using a low loader or road driver without the need for a movement order.
“The B20Es ‘accessible’ dimensions make it a more appropriate vehicle than a 25-ton or 30-ton truck in close working environments.
“Medium scale housing developments can always benefit from using smaller, agile ADTs, designed to cope better with softer ground conditions, while also being easier to transport, manoeuvre and operate.”