Low rider Volvo FH tridem: first for UK and first for Blackmores15 February 2017

Yeovil-based Blackmores Machinery Haulage has acquired its first new truck in 30 years of business, selecting a Volvo FH-500 8x2 Tridem rear-steer, 44-tonne gtw drawbar.

Supplied by Truck and Bus Wales & West, the FH tridem is the first in the UK to have a low chassis height of 1100mm from the ground to the top of the chassis frame – essential for achieving the 4m height Blackmores needs for continental work. A low chassis height and the tridem rear-steer configuration were equally crucial for access to some of the UK sites where the company operates.

The body superstructure, by Dutch company CCH, is a ‘cartridge system’, so it takes just 30 minutes to remove the demountable curtain assembly.

The curtains, which were made by NetCap, are mounted on a roller system that sits on a rave rail that has been reduced from the standard 180mm to 100mm. The internal height of the curtainside body is 2.8m, allowing most machines to be carried in under 4m overall height.

The headboard is demountable and lower profile 385/55R 22.5 single tyres on all axles help save vital centimetres.

The bodywork is mounted on a chassis length superstructure that extends from the back of the cab and which provides a rigid base for the whole body and crane. Lashing eyes are placed every metre. The crane is a 60-tonne metre, rear-mounted HMF 6020 model.

The HMF crane’s electronic control system allows the stabilisers to be deployed safely, without fully extending them, so the truck can be used in busy streets without disrupting traffic.

As Blackmores’ Wayne Scott explains: “The centre of gravity is very low and we can achieve full stability at 100% lift with less than a 50% extension of the legs.”

He adds: “We intend to keep the Volvo tridem for at least 10 years. That’s why everything on it is stainless steel, custom-built and engineered for durability and longevity.”

Laura Cork

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Volvo Group UK Ltd

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