“We needed a quality truck with the payload of an eight wheeler, but the manoeuvrability of a six,” explains Thompsons managing director Rod Thompson.
“The FM Tridem, with its hydraulic-steered tag-axle, simply ticks all the boxes,” he continues.
“It turns on a sixpence while basically doubling the payload of an 18-tonne truck – and it looks fantastic, which is also important as we pride ourselves on the quality of our products and service,” he adds.
This latest tridem was specified with a Day cab and has been mounted with a drop-side tipper body from Webb Truck Equipment, of Sudbury, and a Palfinger PK19.001 crane with radio remote control.
Powered by the Volvo 11-litre 410bhp, 1,950Nm engine driving through the 12-speed I-Shift AMT (automated manual transmission), the new FM Tridem has a 10-tonne front axle and 27-tonne capacity rear bogie running on air suspension.
“The 10-tonne capacity front axle makes a real difference because of the 1.7 tonnes of crane on-board,” explains Thompson.
And he adds that Volvo’s Dynamic Steering is another “phenomenal” innovation.
“The difference over conventional steering is phenomenal. Even fully-loaded you can literally steer with a single finger – it’s amazing.”
But it’s not just about efficiency and drivability: Thompson is also very safety conscious.
“Every aid that we can give to our drivers in terms of safety we do,” he says.
And he also points to the company’s FORS Silver accreditation, and specifically the new FM Tridem’s Brigade four-camera system, nearside sensors and left-turn audible alert, fitted by Munifix of Chelmsford.
Thompsons also went for the Truck Align low-level nearside window installation.
“We’re essentially conducting multi-drop work in central London and the Home Counties, so specifying this truck so that it’s fit for purpose and safe for our drivers and vulnerable road users was a prerequisite,” comments Thompson.