Supplied by dealer Crossroads Truck and Bus, the Harrogate-based operator’s new additions are all FH 6x2 Lite pusher axle tractor units, powered by the D13K engine rated at 454bhp. Secondary braking is provided by Volvo’s Engine Brake (VEB).
Globetrotter cabs were also specified, along with Volvo’s I-See predictive cruise control. As well as the lightweight drive axle, all six FHs are equipped with alloy air tanks and alloy wheels to reduce weight and boost payload.
Volvo trucks dominate the 76-strong fleet, and the new additions are hauling tipping trailers and carrying bulk aggregates and agricultural products across the UK.
The company has its own workshops, but these are the first vehicles to be specified with five-year Volvo Gold R&M contracts. Robert Hymas, director, explains: “Heavy trucks are becoming more and more electronically complex and we also need something to benchmark our current maintenance set up with.
“It’s far too early to comment yet on whether the mix of contract hire and service contract packages will be advantageous to our business, but we’ll have a clearer picture by the end of year one.”
The FORS Silver company fits a range of aftermarket equipment to its vehicles, including hydraulic kits, inclinometers and 360-degree camera systems. As well as extra warning, strobe and working lights, the six tractors are also equipped with radar detection systems, corner alert audible warnings and full tracking capabilities.
“These extra systems do add on some weight, but the Volvo Lite pusher axle package is the main trade-off. We’ve used these small-wheeled axles since the days when Estepe did the conversions. Now of course, it’s a factory fitment and financially a better option,” says fellow director Stewart Hymas.