Working out of various quarries in Cumbria and delivering a range of aggregates into the firm’s customer base across the north of England, the trucks have been chosen due to Volvo’s proven reliability and the excellent working environment provided by the latest version of the FM.
Supplied by Karl Davies, Customer Solutions Manager at Thomas Hardie Commercials, the three trucks are powered by Volvo’s proven D13K Euro 6 engine, producing up to 500 hp and a peak torque figure of 2,500 Nm – plenty of power for pulling M E Saunders & Sons’ heavy bulk loads.
Rowland Saunders, Co-owner of the family-run firm, says: “We’ve had a long tradition of running Volvos and chose them again this time because we have always found the Volvos to be more reliable and robust than the other manufacturers we’ve had in the fleet.
“We did look at some other options, but the FM came out on top because we know they won’t let us down – you can’t afford to have vehicles off the road in this line of work. The new cab interior of the FM is really impressive, very comfortable and everything is where it should be – the driver of the first one that we’ve had delivered likes it a lot, with the next two due to arrive very shortly.”
The new FM Globetrotter cab offers more space than ever before, including a wealth of smart storage for the driver’s belongings. While raised A pillars, combined with a large windscreen, low door line and modern mirrors, deliver excellent all-round visibility.
M E Saunders & Sons has also specified the three new 44-tonne FMs with multiple options packs, adding desirable features including full electronic air-conditioning, adjustable steering wheel with neck tilt, DAB radio, 28-litre upper wall mounted fridge, and an ultra-comfy bunk set-up to ensure its drivers can enjoy a good night’s rest.
Built on a 4,100 mm wheelbase, the three FMs are driven through Volvo’s I-Shift 12-speed automated gearbox and are expected to clock up between 130,000 - 150,000km per year. All three trucks have been supplied on hire-purchase agreements via Volvo Financial Services.
The new trucks will be paired with Fruehauf and Wilcox bulk tipper trailers – delivering a variety of aggregates including sand, stone, coal and salt.
“We’re working mainly across the north of England, but we do get further afield occasionally,” adds Saunders. “These new FMs are a big step up on the trucks we are replacing. It’s early days, but we’re expecting good fuel figures and the payload matches anything else we have run before.”
M E Saunders & Sons recently marked its 100th anniversary. The bulk transport firm operates out of its base in Ulverston and is now run by the third generation of the Saunders family.
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Volvo Trucks supplies complete transport solutions for discerning professional customers with its full range of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Customer support is provided via a global network of dealers with 2,300 service points in about 130 countries. Volvo trucks are assembled in 12 countries across the globe. In 2022 approximately 145,000 Volvo trucks were delivered worldwide. Volvo Trucks is part of the 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.