Ten New Volvo trucks take the high road to D R Macleod

Highlands and Islands distribution specialists, D R Macleod has put ten new Volvo FH tractor units into operation to replace a similar group of FH tractor units, which were operated on three-year contract hire.

Supplied by Kevin Fraser, Transport Solutions Executive at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre North & Scotland Inverness, the ten FH 6x2 mid-lift tractor units are also on a 36-month contract hire agreement.

All of the group feature Volvo's D13K engines rated at 500hp, which are coupled to I-Shift automated gearboxes. The Globetrotter cabs were specified with full leather interiors, in addition to Volvo Drive+ and Living Packages.

Seven of the new Volvo FHs will be based at D R Macleod's Inverness depot and the remaining three will be kept at the firm's Glasgow hub. To be utilised on a combination of long distance haulage and inter depot trunks, the Volvos are equipped with 490 litre fuel tanks and 100 litre Adblue reservoirs.

D R Macleod's instantly recognisable yellow and blue livery includes graphics by Signright Highland Ltd, Inverness and each FH is fitted with a top Kelsa bar complete with spotlights and strobe beacons. Six of the new arrivals also comply with ADR specifications.

"The contract hire deal includes a Volvo Gold Service contract, as the new Volvo FHs will be averaging around 180,000 kilometres per year,"reports D R Macleod, Managing Director, known to everyone as ‘DR.'

"Our inter-depot trunks run supplying the Highlands and Islands often require multiple drivers to cover seven days per week operations," he adds.

The Stornoway-based company deploys a wide and varied trailer fleet to accommodate every type of cargo either delivered to or collected from some of Scotland's most remote areas.

"The latest Volvo FHs will haul a mixture of fridge vans, curtainsiders and flat trailers and occasionally our tanker, bulk and walking floor trailers," notes DR adding, "our drivers are advocates of Swedish made vehicles and I reckon Volvo to be as good a brand as is out there."

Volvo's Fleet Management System, Dynafleet, is used by D R Macleod to keep track of its trucks, which cover a vast swathe of the United Kingdom. "We regularly operate across the UK, but the main percentage of our work involves transport to and from Scotland's central belt into the Highlands and Islands.

Dynafleet permits us to get ‘real time' vehicle locations updates in addition to a host of other performance data. Vehicle position and progress are extremely important to our customers and traffic office staff, particularly when many journeys involve ferry crossings," DR explains.

For additional safety and compliance levels, the company has also fitted Smart Witness cameras to the ten new Volvos.

A loyal Volvo Trucks customer for over 30 years, DR Macleod operated the first Volvo FH 6x2 tractor unit in northern Scotland to be equipped with full air suspension.

 "After the performance of our F7, F10 and F12 Volvo trucks, I was keen to try the then new FH model. Delivered in early January 1994, our first FH12 was a real flagship and the 420hp motor came with a top spec CD Globetrotter Cab.

Since then we've operated every version of the FH, including Volvo's special 70th and 80th anniversary editions. I'm naturally keen to see the latest Volvo FH 25 year Special Edition.

Despite our headquarters in Stornoway being a 57-mile road journey and a two and a half hour ferry trip from our nearest Volvo trucks dealerpoint in Inverness, their sales staff have always been regular visitors here," concludes DR.