John Somerscales flexes with new Volvo FH-540 tractors18 May 2018

Heavy transport operator John Somerscales has taken delivery of two new Volvo FH-540 6x4 tractors, both featuring I-Shift Crawler gearboxes and Tandem Axle Lift systems.

Supplied by Crossroads Truck and Bus, the Lincolnshire-based operator’s new additions have Globetrotter XL cabs and D13K 13-litre engines, producing 533bhp and delivering 2600Nm of torque.

Auxiliary braking is provided by a combination of Volvo Engine Brake (VEB) and a gearbox retarder. The inclusion of Tandem Axle Lift enables the drive to the rearmost axle to be disengaged and lifted, reducing both fuel consumption and tyre wear.

Both vehicles are plated for operation at up to 150 tonnes gross combination weight under Special Types Regulations.

Company boss John Somerscales, great-grandson of the founder, says the vehicles deliver real flexibility: “Often as not, we might have a number of heavy loads to move, followed by some lighter work. It is rarely either practical or economic to use our heaviest vehicles at lower weights.

“As a result, we were looking for vehicles that have the capability of working up to 150 tonnes if required, but are still capable of operating at lighter weights with reasonable operating costs.”

He adds: “The combination of the I-Shift Crawler transmission and rear air suspension with Tandem Axle Lift meets this requirement. The truck has the power, gearing and traction for heavier work, and the ability to turn the truck into a 6x2 when running empty helps to reduce fuel consumption and other running costs.”

Laura Cork

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