Supplied by dealer Stuarts Truck and Bus, the Saltash-based operator’s latest addition is an FM-500 6x2 Lite pusher axle unit, with D13K Euro VI engine delivering up to 494bhp.
The vehicle has a Globetrotter cab and twin fuel tanks, with a total capacity of 645 litres. The 4,000mm wheelbase chassis is also fitted with an air-activated sliding fifth wheel.
“We operate an existing Volvo FH fitted with I-Shift dual clutch and know it shortens journey times with the many gear changes required, crossing the hills of Cornwall and Devon on night trunks,” says Stuart Wilkie, transport manager at Burcombe Haulage.
He asked the dealer if the same gearbox could be fitted to the FM: “Volvo responded positively and the truck was built specially.”
The vehicle is double-shifted, hauling a double-deck curtainsided trailer overnight from Saltash to the West Midlands. During the day, it is coupled to an urban trailer on multi-drop operations around Cornwall.
The FM cab’s dimensions are ideal for the daytime deliveries in the county, explains Wilkie: “Operating on narrower roads, the FM has little in the way of blind spots and its narrower size means less damage from overhanging trees. The driver is also in and out the cab frequently, so the lower floor with easier access is a benefit.”
After three years, the FM will be moved to local tipper work. “That explains our decision to opt for Volvo’s factory-fitted Lite axle and we also have power take off preparation to make installation of a hydraulic kit more straightforward,” adds Wilkie.