Supplied by Thomas Hardie Commercials, the Manchester-based operator’s new addition has become the flagship of the 120-strong fleet and was chosen after trialling a number of demonstrators.
“We trialled several demonstrator vehicles from a number of different truck manufacturers, before deciding on a Volvo FH tractor unit in 6x2 tag axle chassis format,” says Stephen Jackson, head of plant and transport.
The FH was ordered with a Globetrotter XL Cab, Volvo’s D13K engine rated at 533bhp and an I-Shift Crawler automated manual transmission system.
O’Connor Utilities also specified a SAF Holland 80-tonne fifth wheel on the twin tyre tag, 3,000mm wheelbase prime mover.
The flagship vehicle also has Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels, factory-fitted roof bars with LED beacons and air horns, together with custom-made chassis side skirts and toolboxes by Burrows Fabrications of Milnthorpe.
The Volvo FH540 will haul a variety of trailers including low loaders, flats and special types fitted with directional drilling equipment.
“The new FH will be used right across the UK, so we opted for Volvo’s biggest cab and a high specification interior that includes a rotating passenger seat, microwave oven, fridge and television,” says Jackson.
He adds: “The chassis tag axle is also proving ideal for manoeuvring in restricted spaces and when running empty it’s being raised to improve fuel economy.”