Heavy-duty fleet additions; and MOT lane opens15 February 2010

Having taken delivery of the UK's first two FH16-700 8x4 heavy haulage tractor units from Volvo, Plantspeed is now operating 50% of the fleet with vehicles from the Swedish manufacturer.

Its latest additions will cover 500,000km in their five years in service, and have been fitted with Volvo's Dynafleet transport information system to maximise efficiency. Dubbed the world's strongest trucks, FH16-700s deliver more torque at lower revs, further helping overall fuel economy.

Paul Lomas, director of Bristol-based heavy haulage specialists Plantspeed, admires the robust technology as well as the fuel economy.

"If 3 or 4mpg at 120 tonnes is the industry norm, we're more than pleased with the FH16-700's 5 to 6mpg," he says, adding that the company now has an all-Euro 5 fleet.

Lomas also says that, because the 700's second axle is air over hydraulic and lifts as it steers, it adds useful flexibility to the truck, particularly when manoeuvring heavy loads in relatively tight spaces.

Meanwhile, in other Volvo news, operators in Teesside and beyond have been the beneficiaries of a new MOT test lane opened by Volvo Truck and Bus Centre North and Scotland at its Stockton-on-Tees dealership.

All LGVs and PSVs above 7.5 tonnes gvw can be tested at the site, and a loaded curtainsider test trailer is also available to carry out smoke tests in compliance with London low emission zone (LEZ) requirements.

The lane and adjoining workshop are fully Pet Reg and ADR-compliant for testing vehicles carrying hazardous goods, and are also Zone 2 compliant – enabling gas tankers to be accommodated.

The facility will soon be open two days a week, increasing to three days by the end of the year.

John Challen

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Volvo Group UK Ltd

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