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Two new Volvo FM tag axle tractor units prove the right combination at Davidsons Animal Feeds

Shotts based, Davidsons Animal Feeds are evaluating two high specification Volvo FM tag axle tractor units that haul non-tipping, Muldoon trailers to deliver safer and quicker customer deliveries.
Two new Volvo FM tag axle tractor units prove the right combination at Davidsons Animal Feeds
Shotts based, Davidsons Animal Feeds are evaluating two high specification Volvo FM tag axle tractor units that haul non-tipping, Muldoon trailers to deliver safer and quicker customer deliveries.

A recent initiative by William Davidson, Operations Director at Davidsons Animal Feeds, sees three eight wheeled rigids replaced with two non-tipping artics. The plan is already delivering efficiencies, in addition to increasing vehicle manoeuvrability and flexibility levels. “Euro 6 eight wheelers are really heavy, we needed to look at alternatives. It’s been a brave move putting artics into places we’ve never considered suitable before. However, the tag axle Volvo FM tractor units coupled to tandem axle, rear steer Muldoon trailers have been a revelation,” reports William. 

Supplied by Rhona Paterson, Transport Solutions Executive at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre North & Scotland, D11K engines rated at 460hp power the two Volvo FM Globetrotter 6x2 tag axle units. The powertrains also use I-Shift gearboxes driving RSS1356 single reduction axles with a ratio of 2.79:1. The 3.0m wheelbase trucks also come with uprated eight tonne front axles, whilst the rear bogies have a 19 tonne capacity. Davidsons specified Jost JSK 37 cast iron, fixed fifth wheels for the duo, which sport Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels and aluminium air tanks to help payload figures.

The first Davidson Animal Feeds Volvo Tag axle tractor unit / steer trailer combination entered service in September 2018 and the latter component was one of the first of its type off Muldoon’s production line in Co. Tyrone. William continues, “There have been a few teething issues, but nothing unusual for new technology such as this. The Volvo FM tractor units are also very good on fuel and there will be more non-tipping trailers in our fleet, after a two year trial of these pioneering vehicles,”

Having operated mid lift 6x2 tractor units with rear steer, tri axle trailers for a number of years, the benefits of a tag axle unit have been immediately apparent. “The geometry set up when the tag is raised, combined with the steer trailer, gives better traction off-road. Crucially there is better weight distribution across the four axles with ground contact. The Muldoon positive steer system uses a linkage connected to a fifth wheel wedge and we’re not experiencing any increased tyre wear rates,” William adds.

Davidson Animals Feeds’ association with Volvo Trucks stretches right back to its diminutive F86, the maker’s inaugural UK model. Having operating examples of virtually every Volvo truck since, the marque still predominates in this 29 strong fleet. The company also own two Volvo heritage vehicles, with an FL10 6x2 tractor unit and a much rarer NH12 Globetrotter 4x2 tractor unit, both having been restored to a better-than-new condition.

Davidsons Animals Feeds has produced its own brand market-leading animal feeds since 1977. However, the owning family’s selling and transporting of these agricultural essentials goes back further, as in the years before building their own mill, Managing Director, Billy Davidson and his four brothers ran a small fleet of Fodens and Volvo F86s.

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For further information, please contact:
 

Martin Tomlinson
Head of Media, Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland
Tel: +44 7775 938063
Email: martin.tomlinson@volvo.com

Volvo Trucks provides complete transport solutions for professional and demanding customers, offering a full range of medium to heavy duty trucks. Customer support is secured via a global network of dealers with 2,100 service points in more than 130 countries. Volvo trucks are assembled in 14 countries across the globe. In 2019 approximately 131,000 Volvo trucks were delivered worldwide. Volvo Trucks is part of Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. Volvo Trucks´ work is based on the core values of quality, safety and environmental care.