FH with I-Shift dual clutch shifts L&KR Thorpe to Volvo 11 January 2016

A Globetrotter XL-cabbed Volvo FH-500 6x2 tag-axle, 26-tonner has been delivered to Gainsborough, Lincolnshire haulier L&KR Thorpe – its first Volvo truck for 20 years.

The company – which works primarily out of Immingham, transporting Scandinavian groupage for customer DSV-Road – is also among the first in the UJK to go for Volvo’s I-Shift dual clutch transmission, which according to Andrew Thorpe, is expected to help with fuel economy as well as gearbox and clutch life.

“In our view, it should also help reduce the incidence of wear on other components, such as turbos, as they are under a constant load, not spooling up and down as with a conventional driveline, where there is a pause and loss of momentum between gears,” explains Thorpe.

Although the new high-spec curtainside-bodied FH has only recently gone to work, Thorpe, who drives the new Volvo himself, reports that the I-Shift dual clutch is helping the engine deliver constant, stepless torque, even when fully-freighted.

“It’s so smooth that you only know it has changed gear by watching the rev counter,” he says.

“The truck is doing 50 mph at only 900rpm in top gear. At 56 mph it’s turning over at only 1,080 rpm,” he continues.

And he adds: “The high torque of the 13-litre 500bhp engine, with its 2,500Nm of torque, means that the FH powers up most hills without needing to drop down a gear... The FH with I-Shift dual clutch represents a whole new generation of truck.”

Beyond the dual clutch, L&KR Thorpe also specified its new 6.0 metre wheelbase FH-500 rigid with almost every option available from Volvo – including the I-See fuel-saving software, which combines the I-Shift dual clutch system with GPS monitoring and Volvo’s Adaptive Cruise Control.

This system is designed to the topography of roads and store it in a database, sharing data from all so-equipped trucks wherever they are and whoever is driving them.

Other features of the firm’s new Volvo rigid include full leather upholstery, a coffee maker and fridge-freezer, microwave, surround sound audio, TV prep and a reclining bunk.

Thorpe also specified Volvo’s integrated air-conditioning I-Park Cool. With 1,000W of cooling capacity.

The 9.0 metre long curtainside bodywork, including a near-side mounted stainless steel tool box, was designed and built by Martin Williams of Hull.

SD Truck Interiors of Whitburn, West Lothian, created and fitted the blue leather floor covering and custom embroidered curtain set and dash cover.

Three ride height options are available with the air suspended rear axles.

The vehicle was supplied by Crossroads Truck and Bus, Stallingborough.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Crossroads Truck & Bus Ltd
Martin Williams (Hull) Ltd
Volvo Group UK Ltd

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