A demonstration drive leads to double-shifting for S&R Whistance Ltd’s new Volvo FH

After the impressive performance of a Volvo FH demonstration vehicle, Monmouthshire haulage contractors, S&R Whistance Ltd., has put a new Volvo FH-540 tractor unit into service.
Volvo FH demonstration vehicle

"We trialled the Volvo FH13-500 demonstrator for around nine days and we liked it a lot," reports Mike Whistance, Director, S&R Whistance Ltd adding, "we opted for a new 13-litre FH-540 which is now being doubled-shifted on retail deliveries and road planing work."

Supplied by Darren Padfield, Transport Solutions Manager at Truck and Bus Wales and West Ltd, S&R Whistance Ltd.'s Volvo FH 6x2 tractor unit comes with a lifting tag axle and a 3,000mm wheelbase. Behind Volvo's D13K engine is a 12-speed I-Shift automated mechanical gearbox and a rear drive axle with a ratio of 2.64:1. However, the Globetrotter cab with Drive+ and One Bed Resting Packages is already proving popular with the company's drivers.

"The ordering and specification process with Darren Padfield was clear and straightforward. Shortly after its arrival, I drove the new FH-540 on a night shift. The visibility and comfort levels are superb, whilst there is more than enough power for our operations," notes Mike.

S&R Whistance Ltd opted for a two-year Volvo Service Contract that will be carried out at Truck and Bus Wales and West's Newport dealerpoint.

The company's smart livery is courtesy of a Rover Kingfisher Blue painted cab, complemented by sign writing and Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels.

To deliver maximum productivity levels, S&R Whistance double-shifts the latest arrival, which is also the first Volvo truck to join their seven-strong fleet. The FH hauls a temperature-controlled trailer on early morning supermarket deliveries for Tesco, through a working partnership with Bull Transport, whilst late evening shifts see the tag axle tractor coupled to a tipper trailer on road planing jobs.

"Both work spheres are relatively low mileage operations, so we'll aim to retain the Volvo between eight and ten years. The tag axle's reduced turning circle is already delivering benefits in both confined shop delivery spaces and in road maintenance," concludes Mike.