The I-Shift Dual Clutch equipped Volvo FH-540 tractor unit was ordered alongside a standard I-Shift FH-500. Both new trucks are 6x2 pusher axle chassis with Globetrotter cabs.
"In just a few weeks, Volvo's I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission has far exceeded my expectations. It is the best gearbox I've ever used in a truck,"reports David Wilkie, operations manager at J.L. Wilkie & Co.
Supplied by Richard Cochrane, Transport Solutions Executive at the Aberdeen dealerpoint of Volvo Trucks and Bus Centre North & Scotland, the two FHs are the first new Volvo trucks to enter this Tayside operation and their specifications include Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels, Xenon headlights and Hyva tipping gear. The interiors also feature twin bunks, leather seats, fridge/freezers and microwave ovens.
Delivered on a four-year contract hire deal that includes Volvo Gold Plus Service Contracts, the FHs will be used across Scotland and the UK, on general haulage predominately linked to the agricultural industry.
"The FH-500 is a replacement vehicle and the FH-540 with I-Shift Dual Clutch is an additional truck to cope with increasing workloads," notes David Wilkie, "We are using Volvo's Perth dealerpoint for repairs and maintenance and, although its early days, my initial opinion is that its staff team seem very helpful."
In addition to a much improved driver experience, the company's FH-540 I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission is at present delivering constantly better fuel consumption figures than its standard I-Shift stable mate.
"Our operation sees trucks regularly go off-road onto farm access tracks and the public roads to reach these locations are also challenging. That environment brings its own mpg challenges and includes a fair share of soft surfaces. I-Shift Dual Clutch never requires any manual intervention and it never gets stuck in the mud, as there's no interruption to power delivery," David Wilkie explains.
He concludes, "We are using Volvo's fleet management system, Dynafleet, to monitor the two new FHs. I suspect the standard I-Shift's fuel consumption figures will increase as the truck beds in, but the current returns from I-Shift Dual Clutch are remarkable. That transmission is undoubtedly the future and it literally has to be specified with every new truck we order from now on."