Kelston Sparkes brings tally of Bell B50Es to 10

Published: 27 June 2017

With its firm focus on supplying customers with the most capable plant machinery, recognised earthmoving contractor Kelston Sparkes Group has announced its recent fleet enhancement of four additional Bell Equipment B50D Articulated Dump Trucks (ADTs), bringing the total number of this model to ten.

Established in Bristol in 1952, Kelston Sparkes has grown to operate one of the largest fleets of ADTs in the UK, and has continually strived to increase the capabilities of its fleet, with the addition of larger excavators, crushers, screens, bulldozers and rollers.

The company now operates a taskforce of over 200 plant and earthmoving vehicles, as part of its ever evolving and expanding fleet.  In 2016, the firm decided to bring a model of ADT on board with a greater load volume, to further meet the needs of its clients.

It invested in four Bell B50Ds, which were originally tasked with quarry-based load and haul. These machines demonstrated their versatility and coped well with the long-haul work, proving themselves to have the capacity and fuel efficiency Kelston Sparkes’ clients were looking for, as Director, Rob Stark explains:


“We required articulated dump trucks for their versatility, but we also needed a much larger load capacity than the current 40-ton dump trucks we operate, due to the long-haul distances coupled with the knowledge that our customers are very fuel focused.   We found that Bell’s B50D model could meet both those requirements, delivering a 2:1 heaped capacity of 28 m3, and a rated payload of 45 400 kg; figures that could provide a real pay-off for the customer.

“We initially invested in four machines, each with a Mercedes Benz turbocharged and intercooled engine, a feature that really makes a difference in terms of fuel efficiency. The machines have proved to be reliable and have performed well, both in the quarry and at our contracting sites.”

Rob goes on to explain how his positive experience with the B50Ds then led him to invest in an additional two models towards the end of 2016, and now, a further four vehicles in 2017.

“The B50Ds have been useful machines, with an ideal specification for customers who need a hard-working ADT that offers that extra capacity, without hitting hard on the fuel consumption.

“Furthermore, the B50Ds are great to drive, with our operators reporting that they enjoy the user experience; a factor we feel is extremely important.”

Rob refers to his company’s commitment to actively promote positive working practices and supporting staff with training.

Keen to develop the skill sets and expertise of younger generations of machine operatives, the company launched its own training school back in 2002, a venture which has since grown from strength-to-strength.

“We’ve always been acutely aware of the ramifications skill shortages within the construction industry create. Through a desire to nurture construction industry capabilities for the future, an ethos has evolved within our firm where importance is placed on training for younger team members.

“Our training school launched over 15 years ago, and since then has successfully worked to attract younger drivers to the construction industry, giving them the abilities and confidence they need to achieve a successful career in plant machine operations. We’ve helped enable operatives to achieve Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) qualifications, and extend their reach by teaching them how to achieve the best performance from a wide range of earthmoving machines.”

By bringing the total of Bell B50Ds within Kelston Sparkes’ fleet to 10, and training operatives to use the equipment to its best advantage, Rob believes his clients are better equipped with more machines available to meet demand and perform to capacity.

“Our reputation has been built on a long-standing ability to provide the best and most appropriate range of equipment to clients, alongside the services of skilled, highly-capable operatives, now and into the future.

“We feel that expanding our fleet with these latest Bell B50Ds furthers the services we can provide our clients and we’ve every confidence that the new models will succeed in delivering the results they need.”