They are working out of various quarries in Cumbria and delivering a range of aggregates into the firm’s customer base across the north of England.
Supplied by Thomas Hardie Commercials, the three trucks are powered by Volvo’s D13K Euro VI engine, producing up to 493bhp and a peak torque figure of 2,500Nm.
Rowland Saunders, co-owner of the family-run firm, says: “We’ve had a long tradition of running Volvos and chose them again this time because we have always found the Volvos to be more reliable and robust than the other manufacturers we’ve had in the fleet. We did look at some other options, but the FM came out on top because we know they won’t let us down – you can’t afford to have vehicles off the road in this line of work.”
M E Saunders & Sons has also specified the three new 44-tonne FMs with multiple options packs, adding desirable features including full electronic air-conditioning, adjustable steering wheel with neck tilt, DAB radio, 28-litre upper wall mounted fridge, and a bunk bed set-up.
Built on a 4,100 mm wheelbase, the three FMs are driven through Volvo’s I-Shift 12-speed automated gearbox and are expected to clock up between 130,000 - 150,000km per year. All three trucks have been supplied on hire-purchase agreements via Volvo Financial Services.
The new trucks will be paired with Fruehauf and Wilcox bulk tipper trailers – delivering a variety of aggregates including sand, stone, coal and salt. “We’re working mainly across the north of England, but we do get further afield occasionally,” adds Saunders.
“These new FMs are a big step up on the trucks we are replacing. It’s early days, but we’re expecting good fuel figures and the payload matches anything else we have run before.”
M E Saunders & Sons recently marked its 100th anniversary. The bulk transport firm operates out of its base in Ulverston and is now run by the third generation of the Saunders family.