GLW Feeds’ tridems deliver efficiencies and savings 01 November 2011

Thanks to their manoeuvrability and payload, two new Volvo FM tridem eight-wheelers that recently joined GLW Feeds' 30-strong fleet are improving the efficiency of delivering bulk feed to farmers.

The Shepshed, Leicestershire-based company's transport manager Neale Jones explains that with their wall-to-wall turning circle of 12.5 metres, compared to a, conventional eight-wheeler's 21.0 metres, the tridems are able to access farm delivery points that would defeat even a six-wheel rigid.

Further, at a full 18,600kg payload, the new tridems mean farms that might have had a delivery of 15 tonnes every three weeks now get 18 tonnes every four – with one invoice per month.

Says Jones, who, with Priden Engineering and Volvo Trucks, was responsible for developing these Tridem's technical specification: "We don't have to worry about where these trucks go; their manoeuvrability is second-to-none."

And he continues: "Despite having four axles, they actually have a turning circle that is better than a six-wheel rigid. Also, with the double-drive, we still have the traction of a six-wheeler."

Fuel economy is also good, he says: "They're averaging 9mpg at the moment and that is getting better all the time. The lifting rear-steer axle certainly helps. Taking into account the extra payload, they're very productive vehicles. We're actually getting more out of the mill as a result of operating these two new trucks."

Interestingly, while the 9-tonne rated front steer axle is fitted with 385/65 R22.5 tyres, the drive axles and the rearmost lifting steer axle are shod with 315/80 R22.5s. Wheelbase, measured from the centre of the front steer axle to the centre of the first drive axle, is 3,700mm. Body length is 6,705mm and overall length is 9,320mm.

Supplied by the Bardon dealerpoint of Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia, the FM Tridems are equipped with the fuel efficient 11-litre engine, rated at 410bhp, the latest generation I-Shift automated transmission and Globetrotter sleeper cabs.

Unladen weight, which has been reduced by the fitment of aluminium wheels, is a competitive 13,400kg. Bodywork is by Priden Engineering with an Edbro CX13 tipping cylinder and Dawbarn sheeting system.

The Tridems are maintained under a service contract at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia, Bardon.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Jost UK
Priden Engineering Ltd
Volvo Group UK Ltd
Volvo Truck & Bus Centre

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