Supplied by dealer Truck and Bus Wales & West, the Swindon-based operator’s latest addition has a day cab, a front axle capacity of 5.8 tonnes and two-bag rear air suspension.
The FL is powered by a D5K240 four-cylinder, 5-litre engine producing 240bhp and up to 900Nm of torque at between 1100 and 1600 rpm. Arkell’s Brewery also specified the six-speed overdrive I-Sync automated transmission.
“Generally, the new Volvo FL will cover an area within a 60-mile radius of Swindon,” says transport manager Dave Paginton. “Mileage is therefore pretty minimal, but dray work involves a lot of stop-and-start so different demands are exacted of the truck.
“So good is our experience with Volvo, that when it came to specifying this one, we basically looked at the last one we had delivered in 2012 and asked for the same again.”
This is its first FL, however, to be specified with the I-Sync gearbox – a “pleasant surprise”, according to Paginton. “It is really responsive and although we’ve always gone the manual route previously, I think this is a really good development.”
Curtainside bodywork is by Fred Smith & Sons of West Bromwich. “This is the first time we’ve used them but the quality of the finish, even on the inside of the uprights is spot on,” says Paginton, adding that two older trucks will now be refurbished there later this year.
Arkell’s operates its trucks for at least 20 years, so a mid-life refresh of the bodywork is normal practice. “The Volvo engines and gearboxes go on and on – it’s only the bodywork that suffers and requires a refresher,” he adds.