Product feature: Thwaites off-road dumpers

Thwaites' advanced design and investment provides customers with strength and reliability

Thwaites machines are built to last

When ATJ International’s Guy Marshall arrived in New Zealand a few years back, it wasn’t long before he noticed a piece of UK kit was missing from Kiwi construction sites. "We needed to shift a whole lot of soil on this particular job, and I said ‘I’ll just go and get a nine-tonne site dumper’," Guy says.

Guy Marshall

"The guy looked at me confused and said that you can’t hire those here. He was right; they didn’t exist in local hire fleets." Having used Thwaites site dumpers all his working life, Guy bought five machines to hire locally.

The family-run, Northland-based company is now New Zealand’s sole agent for Thwaites, one of the most well-known brands of dumpers in the world. "The company makes more than 4000 dumpers a year, supplying more than 50% of the world market.

"More than 130,000 Thwaites dumpers have been built over the last 65 years," Guy says. "In my opinion, Thwaites dumpers are the best. This is because it is all the company makes.

Their whole R&D effort into the dumpers, and the machines are not an offshoot of a bigger manufacturer. "It’s their only product, so Thwaites work on the machines solely. It counts for a lot.

They are basic machines, but when you have the support of a good brand like Thwaites, people naturally trust the equipment to do what they need." Guy says, as distribution goes, there are some large competitors, but the Thwaites name goes a long way.

"They’re simple machines, although, the blueprint has evolved over time. Thwaites dumpers are low maintenance, with oil-immersed brakes and torque converter transmissions.

The best components are used, such as Perkins or Yanmar engines and Spicer axles. "Thwaites machines are built to last and rarely need any major work done to them, providing users keep on top of the easy maintenance schedule.

The 1.5T machines are generally the most popular in the UK

In the UK, it’s normal to see 30-year-old dumpers running around," says Guy. ATJ International carries 1.5-, six-, and nine-tonne machines in stock. "The 1.5-tonne machines are generally the most popular in the UK, whereas New Zealanders like the larger machines with power swivel bins.

ATJ International carries 1.5-, six-, and nine-tonne machines in stock

"The power swivel allows the dumper to slew and unload to the left or right, allowing dumped material to be placed alongside the driving path. "This sort of feature becomes useful when backfilling trenches on the side of roads and traffic management becomes more straightforward," says Guy.

The power swivel allows the dumper to slew and unload to the left or right

High tip and high swivel configurations are also available and can provide solutions for specific access problems. A site dumper isn’t a particularly clever machine, but when used in a clever way, it will pay dividends to the end job cost. "More operators are recognising the benefits of Thwaites dumpers and the local market is continuing to grow as more people use them."

For more information, contact 09 401 7570 or visit

Find new and used heavy machinery for sale in NZ

Keep up to date in the industry by signing up to Deals on Wheels' free newsletter or liking us on Facebook