Steep gradients, rough surfaces, soft ground and often-unforgiving weather are all part of the daily routine in this transport sphere so, as a consequence, the new FH16-750s have been carefully specified, with high chassis packaging on a 3,200mm wheelbase, giving improved ground clearance and additional protection for the engine and cooling system.
Both FHs have factory-fitted Power Take Off (PTO) equipment with enhanced software to operate high capacity timber cranes. The D16K engines produce 750hp and 3550Nm of torque, whilst the I-Shift 12-speed automated manual transmission systems drive twin single reduction axles with rear air suspension. This combination provides first-rate power and traction in all conditions, which is essential as this fleet regularly travels deep into forests to collect newly-harvested timber.
Globetrotter cabs were ordered with single bunks, additional rear wall storage, leather trim and automatic temperature control, in addition to microwaves, fridges and coffee makers. These items components give the best possible working and living environment, when operating in remote rural areas.
Karl Jones & Sons Ltd also opted for factory-painted cabs and chassis, heavy-duty front bumpers and fixed cast 5th wheels.
Company owner, Karl Jones explains the thinking behind the latest additions. "Volvo trucks stand up to our work better than any other and we have a very good relationship with our local Volvo trucks dealerpoint at Truck & Bus Wales & West, Newport. Their staff there always go the ‘extra mile' to help us."
Karl continues, "The Volvo D16K engine rated at 750hp is really on top of the job regardless of the terrain. We already have two in the fleet and they give better fuel consumption than lower powered engines, if driven properly. Our drivers really like the trucks and we feel that these high specification vehicles will help us to both attract and retain good staff. Timber haulage is tough on both man and machine; drivers often have to work on their own. Having the right equipment is essential."
One of the new Volvo FH16s has an Epsilon timber crane mounted behind the cab and will operate with extending trailers carrying telegraph poles up to 20 metres long. The other Volvo will work with trailer-mounted cranes.
Karl Jones fits Central Tyre Inflation (CTI) systems to all its trucks, improving traction and enhancing tyre life, despite frequently running on forest tracks. "In the long term I intend to standardise on the FH16-750. We think that they are the ideal truck for our operation," Karl concludes.