Fox group first in the UK for Volvo FE electric tippers

Blackpool-based Fox Group has placed an order which is expected to see it become the first tipper operator in the UK to begin the transition from diesel to electric vehicles, following an order placed with Thomas Hardie Commercials for two Volvo FE Electric 6x2 tippers.

Expected to enter service in March 2022, the two zero-tailpipe emission FE Electrics will be mounted with Thompsons tipper bodywork and used for local operations in predominantly urban areas – taking maximum advantage of their ability to operate both quietly and cleanly.

Paul Fox, managing director of family-run Fox Group, says: “Placing this order marks the start of the electrification of our fleet. We understand we are the first company in the UK to invest in electric tippers – and one of the first in Europe. We are strongly committed to playing our part in the UK’s push to reach net zero and we will be making more of our fleet electric in the future. This milestone is just the beginning of the journey, and we believe if the country is serious about substantially reducing carbon emissions, the construction sector needs to join the party – and we are proud to be playing our part and leading from the front.”

Both trucks will be built with a day cab, hydraulically-steered rear axle and plated at 27 tonnes; the additional one-tonne allowance helps to compensate for the additional weight of the vehicle’s batteries. Charging will be carried out on-site overnight, with each full charge offering a projected range of around 150km.

The FE Electric powertrain consists of two electric motors and a two-speed gearbox, with power being generated by an electric motor with an output of 400kW and 850Nm of torque. It’s a solution based on the same technology already deployed by Volvo Group in thousands of electrified buses used worldwide.

Thomas Hardie Commercials is supplying the trucks backed by a comprehensive Volvo Gold Contract. All scheduled maintenance will take place at the firm’s Preston dealership, where it is investing in the equipment necessary to maintain the new vehicles on a six-weekly maintenance schedule.

Fox adds: “We recognise the changes we need to make as a business won’t happen overnight but, along with introducing two electric trucks in the fleet, we are actively looking at other aspects of the business where we can reduce our carbon footprint even further.”

Based in Blackpool and operating from eight locations, Fox specialises in the supply and haulage of aggregates, recycled materials, muck-shift, earthworks and civil engineering projects. Fox has a fleet of more than 90 vehicles, consisting of eight-wheel tippers, artics, low loaders, road sweepers and the new addition of Walking Floor trailers.

In 2020, Fox acquired Clive Hurt (Plant Hire) and in 2021 JJ O’Grady, to create the largest provider of haulage and plant hire services in Lancashire. The group now has a combined fleet of 205 trucks and more than 400 items of plant and machinery.

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