“We’re comparing Volvo’s standard I-Shift automated transmission system against an I-Shift Dual Clutch system, and our previous drive axle ratio of 2.64:1 against the latest 2.50:1 ratio,” explains Paul Hawkins, the operator’s managing director.
The truck maker’s Dynafleet system will be used to compare data, with the results steering Hawkins’ future truck specifications.
Supplied by dealer Hartshorne Motor Services, the latest arrivals all have Globetrotter XL cabs, 6x2 pusher axle chassis and D13K engines rated at 494bhp. They join a 45-strong fleet, 80% of which is Volvo.
The operator has many long-serving drivers, who are away all week. “To recognise this loyalty we always spec up the interiors with leather trim, fridge/freezers, microwave ovens and televisions. Driver feedback on the FH is also good,” says Hawkins.
The new additions are expected to be in service for four years and are supplied with Volvo Gold R&M contracts, which include a 100% uptime guarantee.