"We trialled several demonstrator vehicles from a number of different truck manufacturers, before deciding on a Volvo FH tractor unit in 6x2 tag axle chassis format," notes Stephen Jackson, Head of Plant and Transport at O'Connor Utilities Limited. Supplied by Pete Schofield, Customer Solutions Manager at Thomas Hardie Commercials Ltd in Trafford Park, the new FH was ordered with a range topping Globetrotter XL Cab, Volvo's D13K engine rated at 540hp and an I-Shift Crawler automated manual transmission system.
O'Connor Utilities Limited also opted for a SAF Holland 80-tonne fifth wheel on the twin tyre tag, 3000mm wheelbase prime mover. The Volvo's flagship status is enhanced further by the fitting of Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels, factory fitted roof bars with LED beacons and Air horns, together with custom made chassis side skirts and toolboxes by Burrows Fabrications of Milnthorpe.
The Volvo FH540 will be used exclusively for own account operation and will haul a variety of trailers including low loaders, flats and special types fitted with directional drilling equipment.
"The new FH will be used right across the UK, so we opted for Volvo's biggest cab and a high specification interior that includes a rotating passenger seat, microwave oven, fridge and television. Our driver came off another truck marque and after three weeks is already happy with the Volvo," reports Stephen Jackson.
Stephen adds, "The chassis tag axle is also proving ideal for manoeuvring in restricted spaces and when running empty it's being raised to improve fuel economy."