Bowmans turn to Volvo Trucks for a Tridem solution

Based in Duisky, Fort William, waste management and road transport contractors, Bowmans has bought its first Volvo FH in 24 years.

The new arrival is an 8x4 chassis in Tridem rear-steer specification and is powered by Volvo's D13K Euro-6 engine rated at 540hp, which is coupled to an I-Shift 12-speed automated manual transmission system.

Supplied by Kevin Fraser, Transport Solutions Executive at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre North & Scotland's Inverness dealerpoint, the FH comes with a flat roof ‘Sleeper' cab option that includes Drive+ and Media+ packages. The driver benefits from a 33-litre under-bunk fridge and full leather trim. A ten tonne front axle bolsters the Tridem rigid, which is fitted with Boughton hook lift gear. A VBG coupling also caters for haulage of a tri-axle drawbar trailer.

Michael Bowman, Commercial Director of the family-run business notes, "The last Volvo FH on our fleet was a tractor unit in 1994, which was used for general haulage. The company was keen to try out an 8x4 Tridem specification for its business, as we usually operate traditional eight-wheelers. Transport Solutions Executive, Kevin Fraser, has to take some credit for helping set the deal up."

Ewen Bowman started the company with his wife Ann in 1966, but today the couple's children Jacqueline, David and Michael run the business. The family's third generation is also involved, with Michael's daughter Hannah working as an administrative clerk, whilst Jacqueline's sons Gary and Matthew are involved with managing the waste collection and driving the new FH respectively.

"Collecting and delivering skips from our customers' premises means manoeuvrability is a critical factor. The Tridem rear-steer improves access and reduces the tyre wear," reports Michael adding, "The wind-drag created by two large bins, combined with the amount of hill work in this area, makes it's a great opportunity to go for more horsepower than we usually select. Volvo's 540hp power plant makes journey times slightly quicker at a higher average speed."

The FH is also fitted with a four-camera, 360-degree recording system, supplied and fitted by Banlaw Systems, Glasgow. Danny Murray & Sons Coachworks in Carstairs applied the FH's paintwork and signwriting.

Bowmans will carry out the vehicle's six weekly inspections in-house, as the company operates its own workshop and an Authorised Test facility (ATf). To reduce the cost of ownership, Bowmans has also opted for a five-year Volvo Gold Service Contract.