R. Collard’s new Volvo heavy haulier is in a league of its own

R. Collard of Eversley near Hook, Hampshire has recently put a new flagship Volvo FH16-750 8x4 Pusher Tag axle Tridem heavy haulage tractor unit into service.

The prime mover was supplied by Chris Donnelly, Sales Director at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre London's Croydon dealerpoint and comes with a ‘Globetrotter' Sleeper Cab, High chassis height and a hydraulically-steered, pusher axle with single wheels.

The 3,900mm wheelbase tractor unit is powered by Volvo's range-topping D16K Euro-6 engine, which produces 750hp and 3,550Nm of torque. Behind this straight six power plant is an I-Shift Crawler automated transmission system with two extra gears - one Crawler and one ultra-low Crawler.

Rounding off the powertrain are twin rear hub reduction tandem axles with a ratio of 4,55:1. A Jost 150-tonne fifth wheel sits behind two fuel tanks and some additional lockers, the latter group being mounted behind the cab.

R. Collard opted for a high specification FH16 interior that includes Volvo's Driving++ and 1 Bed Resting packages. An FH Construction Visibility Package includes wiper rains sensors, Bi-Xenon headlamps, high-pressure headlamp cleaners and automatic headlamp switching between day running lights and low beam. Further safety levels are delivered by a four camera digital video system, left turn alarm and Side Scan system to detect vulnerable road users.

To work with the new Volvo FH16-750, R. Collard has also bought a five-axle Nooteboom extendable step frame trailer.

In addition to this new combination, the company also runs 15-tonne Volvo FL 4x2 plant rigids, some FL 4x2 skip trucks, 35 FMX 8x4s and a couple of 80-tonne FH12s.

"The FH16-750 is the prime mover for all our heavy work," reports Robert Collard, Managing Director at R. Collard. "I have a Volvo 750 digger as well and we have spec'd up our trailer to move that. The other tractor units work on either waste haulage, aggregates or double up as low loaders with step frame trailers, depending on workloads.

We have some other marques in the fleet and buy second-hand as well as new. We have looked at alternative manufacturers when there's been a shortage of supply, but we have an 80% Volvo fleet."

"I think Volvo are very solid trucks with a good resale value. Volvo Truck and Bus Centre London's dealerpoint in Reading has been there whenever we needed them and they're very supportive of us as a company, which has helped us grow,"
 adds Robert, noting, "There's also the fact that it's easier to get a new driver employed if they know they'll get a Volvo! Seriously, it's a good way to recruit and retain drivers."

There's one more reason the company likes Volvo, and that's the ability to raise the rear axle, with the innovative Tandem Axle Lift feature.

"It's absolutely sensational and one of the best inventions in the truck market," 
Robert says, "You've got a double drive tractor unit on landfill and building sites, but then you can lift the axle.

It can carry more weight and also has the ability to go off-road without getting stuck. The fuel returns are a lot higher too. Volvo was one of the first to do this and it's brilliant."

R. Collard built its success by taking chances, spotting opportunities and constantly striving to stay ahead of the competition. "I believe in any form of competition, success comes from people who are born with a belief that they can achieve,"Robert says concluding, "It's the same in any art, sport, music or business. And as you grow you really do start to believe that you can achieve."