Supplied by Pete Atkinson, Transport Solutions Executive at Crossroads Truck & Bus Ltd, Hull, the latest arrival carries an identical specification to a previous Volvo FH 6x4 tractor unit, which entered service 12 months ago. That truck was equipped with Volvo's I-Shift with Crawler Gears transmission and Tandem Axle Lift, in addition to a Globetrotter cab and D13K engine rated at 540hp.
"Volvo's Tandem Axle Lift is ideal for a business like ours that regularly mixes heavy haulage operations with more mainstream road transport work. The Tandem Axle Lift copes easily with both disciplines," reports Richard Pickering, founder and owner of Pickering Transport.
Richard ordered his first Volvo FH, equipped with Tandem Axle Lift and an I-Shift with Crawler Gears transmission, unseen. "Volvo took a group of customers including myself, on a trip to Sweden where we had a chance to drive and inspect both systems. As a former vehicle technician, I saw the benefits of Tandem Axle Lift immediately and literally placed an order on the plane home."
Increased fuel efficiency, better traction and a tighter turning radius are all key features of Tandem Axle Lift. The system lets a driver disengage and raise one of the driving axles, giving the traction and load capacity of a four-wheel drive, with the driveability and efficiency of a two-wheel drive.
Pickering Transport's new Volvo FH-540 was also specified with alloy wheels, chassis side skirts and a leather interior.
SB Components, Wisbech, fitted a heavy-duty fifth wheel and its surrounding chassis infills.
Pickering Transport was founded in 1996 and its first Volvo truck - an FL6 18-tonner - arrived soon afterwards. Nowadays the seven strong fleet consists entirely of Volvo tractor units and mixes some Classic FH models with the latest FH4 range.
"I like the Volvo product and know it well. The service received from Crossroads Truck and Bus in Hull when I operated just one truck was exceptional and that effective working partnership continues to this day. There's nothing else except Volvo in our yard," Richard reports.