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Alpha Recovery's New Volvo FH Rigid is the ‘Beast From the North East’

Alpha Recovery has put a new ultra-high specification, Volvo FH-540 rigid recovery vehicle into service to coincide with a major operational expansion programme for the north east-based company.
Alpha Recovery's New Volvo FH Rigid is the ‘Beast From the North East’
Alpha Recovery has put a new high specification Volvo FH-540 rigid into service, fitted with an NRC Industries 50-tonne Sliding Composite Rotator recovery bodywork.

Supplied by Darren Cartner, Transport Solutions Executive at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre North & Scotland, the 6,000mm wheelbase 8x4 T-Ride chassis is designed for a maximum 120-tonne operation. Powered by Volvo’s D13K engine rated at 540hp, the FH also features an I-Shift Crawler automated transmission system with ultra-low crawler gears and deep multi-speed reversing gears. Rounding off the powertrain are twin Volvo RTH3210F hub reduction axles with a ratio of 3.6:1. Alpha Recovery also opted for uprated steel parabolic spring suspension for the eight tonne front axles. The Globetrotter Cab comes with a Single Bed living package, an under bunk fridge freezer and leather trims.                                                                                                                     

Safety systems abound on the new FH rigid with electronic anti-twist and self-level devices, backed up by full remote control, in addition to a dazzling array of additional work and marker lights. A full complement of wardrobe style, body lockers contain a wide selection of tools and ancillary recovery hardware.

NRC Industries in Canada manufactured the new Volvo’s Composite Sliding Rotator (CSR) 50/65 recovery bodywork, which was imported into the UK and fitted by York-based, Dave Bland Engineering. The 50-tonne CSR can operate at its maximum capacity with its boom retracted to first stage, whilst the extended third stage boom has a 12-tonne lift capacity.

Other vital statistics for this leviathan include a 9.2 metre maximum reach past body and a 13.4 metre ultimate boom working height. Two sets of twin speed winches deliver 50,000lbs and 20,000lbs capacities respectively, whilst the boom is capable of 360 degrees continuous rotation.

Our new Volvo recovery vehicle represents a substantial investment for our company and has now been in service for around three months,” reports Simon Narey Recovery Manager at Alpha Recovery. “The FH-540 takes over as our fleet flagship from a Classic FH16-660 8x4 rigid and the newcomer has already proved its worth on several recovery jobs.”

Simon continues, “We’ve used Volvo trucks for over 30 years it’s always been our number one marque. Currently we’ve an FMX rigid in build, which will be our first Volvo fitted with Tandem Axle Lift. Ordering the new Volvo FH was a technically complex procedure. However Darren Cartner could not do enough for us, he went the extra mile- making the process straightforward and smooth. With a number of city low emission zones now on the near horizon, we’re looking to invest in a modern fleet and the Euro-6 Volvo FH rigid fits the bill. The new FH 540’s capabilities are impressive; it regularly assists the Fire and Rescue Services. The vehicle can turn its hand to anything and recently lifted a damaged, disused railway bridge out of harm’s way. That job was quite a spectacle.”

Founded by Michael Burke in 1987, Cramlington-based Alpha Recovery started moving cars with a Harvey Frost crane-equipped, Land Rover. The company’s first heavy truck was a second-hand Volvo F7 rigid, which was in turn followed by F12, F16 and FH16 models. Nowadays the north eastern operation runs a diverse fleet of 36 recovery vehicles, from 7.5 tonnes upwards and many of its 20 plus strong staff team have accrued long service records and the business still remains family-run.

Operating a genuine 24/7/365 emergency response service, Alpha Recovery has recently acquired a similar business based in Peterlee, County Durham. This second site now gives the company complete geographical coverage of Northern England and Southern Scotland, as well as strategically placed depots both north and south of Newcastle.

In addition to our signature vehicle recovery and heavy rescue operations in Northumberland, we also have a long-established bus breaking department within our five acre Cramlington premises. We carry out all our own maintenance in-house and have just completed building a new three bay workshop,” notes Simon concluding, “Our new Peterlee property opens up the potential to expand the business further south to North Yorkshire.”

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For more information, please contact :

Nigel Hanwell, Press Officer, Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland
Tel:     +44 (0) 1926 414210
Mobile: +44 (0) 7831 817083
Fax:     +44 (0) 1926 414386
E-mail: nigel.hanwell@volvo.com