Volvo FH16-750 6x4 tractors get heavy for Smiths of Gloucester 09 June 2016

Smiths of Gloucester has added two Volvo FH16-750 6x4 double-drive tractor units from Truck and Bus Wales & West, Avonmouth, to its 140-srong truck fleet – these for its heavy haulage business.

The new tractors are plated for operation under STGO CAT 3 at up to 125 tonnes gcw, and are now being used to transport both Smiths’ own and its customers’ heavy plant.

“We operate over 500 items of heavy plant, including excavators, articulated dump trucks, crushers and bulldozers, a number of which tip the scales at around 50-tonnes,” states Paul Smith, son of managing director Alan.

“Over and above this, we also transport heavy loads for customers independently, so the FH16-750s tick all the right boxes.”

Smiths went for top specification Globetrotter XL cabs with both Volvo Drive Plus+ and Living packages.

They have two beds, sleeper control panels covering the parking heater/cooler, folding and height adjustable tables on the lower bunk, audio systems, televisions, fridge/freezers and microwaves.

“These trucks have been tailored to offer a really comfortable environment for our drivers,” explains Smith. “They took a lot of work in terms of getting the specifications right.”

Smith specifically cites Ernest McGregor, at Truck and Bus Wales & West. “He did a fantastic job and, with these two FH16-750s taking pride of place in the yard, I think he’s helped us set a new benchmark.”

Talking of the drivers’ reaction, he says: “They have already commented on the torque of the 16-litre engine, which has really impressed them, especially low down in the rev band. I guess that’s what having 3,550Nm available at just 950rpm will do.”

He also says the 375kW of retardation from the Volvo engine brake keeps use of the brakes down, even on steep downhill gradients.

“I am really pleased with the fuel economy too,” he says. “We’re expecting each of these trucks to cover in the order of 140,000 km/annum all over the UK so the mpg returns are most welcome.”

Looking forwards he expects the heavy side of the company to carry on moving over to Volvo.

“For example, on scrap bulkers I really don’t believe you can do better than a Volvo FH-500 with a Rothdean trailer.

“And these two new FH16-750s ... are good enough to convert one driver, who was previously not a fan of Volvo, into being one of its most ardent supporters.”

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Volvo Group UK Ltd

This material is protected by MA Business copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.