• This prototype vehicle has been constructed from a honeycomb plastic construction replacing the original rear pick up body. Constructed out of a lightweight material and offering up to a 40% weight saving, this unit was designed to provide a completely standalone facility for demonstrating Thales• most recent chemical testing equipment.

    The initial project was to build a prototype on a standard 4×4 vehicle with sufficient capacity to house both the equipment and necessary personnel. WH Bence removed the existing Nissan pick-up construction of the vehicle, and constructed out of the lightweight honeycomb plastic structure a new bespoke equipment storage facility. Not only does this unit house all of the latest equipment but it also has its own power generator system with a 4.8kw diesel generator running from the on-board fuel tank. This provides sufficient power to run all of the on-board equipment and also any additional ancillary equipment required.

    Throughout the design the weight distribution and the carrying capacity of the vehicle was critical as the requirement of the customer to be able to carry up to 3 personnel when the vehicle is in use did restrict the weight available for construction. By choosing the Nissan with the highest possible payload once removing the rear pick up section of the vehicle, it allowed us to be able to create this prototype which is currently on tour around the UK and Europe, demonstrating all of the latest equipment.

Avon Dive Team

  • W H Bence convert Avon & Somerset Constabulary Dive Team Command Unit

    This year, WH Bence were successful in obtaining the contract for the conversion of an existing Avon & Somerset Constabulary vehicle, converting it into the new Dive Team Welfare/Command unit.

    WH Bence have a long history in the design and alteration of existing vehicles to help increase the longevity of the vehicle•s purchase.

    The Avon Dive Team had particular requirements with the specialist nature of their operations to provide sufficient space for not only their equipment, but also providing welfare for the staff during their on-site search and rescue incidents.

    Richard Fearn, the Design Director at WH Bence worked alongside key members of the Avon Dive Team including Sgt Mac McGregor to provide a layout that would suit all their current requirements.

    Sgt McGregor said “The old truck leaked whenever it rained, and there was no water heater. Facing the prospect of having to go in and dive during cold weather when you were already bitterly cold was not a pleasing thought •but thanks to our ‘new’ vehicle, it is a thing of the past!”

    The vehicle went through an extensive overhaul, including lowering the overall height and length of the vehicle to produce a more usable operation-friendly facility for the Avon Dive Team to use.

    WH Bence provided all the necessary facilities including storage for wet and dry equipment, additional air cylinders and breathing apparatus and on-board basic catering and toilet facilities.

    The completed project will be in operation with the Avon Dive Team as of next month.

    Paul Richards, Chief Inspector of Avon & Somerset Police said, •It has been an absolute pleasure to work with W H Bence. They provided a swift and professional service enabling us to re-role a vehicle they had originally built, offering us a considerable saving over the price of a new vehicle. This has facilitated the provision of a vehicle where no compromises needed to be made on operational effectiveness to deliver a truly first class service to the communities of Avon and Somerset.

    The specialist nature of WH Bence’s design and development work allows them to be able to provide each customer with their necessary requirements, whether it is on a new build or helping to refurbish existing vehicles.