Long-established Midlands builder’s merchants, Tippers of Lichfield, has taken delivery of its first new Volvo trucks in 20 years – two FE rigids which are both fitted with dropside bodies and cranes supplied by Dan Byworth, Truck Sales Executive at Hartshorne Motor Services.
The 18-tonne FE comes with a Volvo D8K engine producing 250hp and a 12-speed I-Shift gearbox with ‘Distribution and Construction’ software package. Both are equipped with remote control, Hiab brick grab cranes and platform dropside bodies by Fred Smith & Sons.
“We used to have Volvo trucks around two decades ago and recently put a 26-tonne Volvo FE rigid demonstrator through its paces,” notes Bill Tipper, Director at Walter Tipper Limited. “The trial went very well and we particularly liked the vehicle performance and safety standards.”
“The cranes are both fully remote control operated and both truck bodies have galvanised dropside frames that incorporate vinyl signage panels. This pre-empts expensive repairs should any forklift damage occur during loading or unloading, as a vinyl sign is much more economical to repair than a steel body panel,” Bill reports.
The company’s attention to build detail also includes an air-driven mechanism to raise the rear spray suppressing mud flaps, thereby minimising damage when working on uneven site surfaces.
The larger 26-tonne FE, is also powered by a Volvo D8K engine but producing 320hp, also with I-Shift gearbox, nine-tonne front axle and electro-hydraulically steered tag axle all adding to the truck’s detailed specifications.
Bill continues, “To maintain flexibility, we’ve always run two separate vehicle marques in our delivery fleet, which now totals 45 specialist vehicles ranging from 3.5 tonne rigids right through to artics. We have another Volvo truck on order, in the shape of a five-axle FM rigid with a rear-lift and steer axle. This will be used in our volumetric concrete operation.”
The new Volvo FE’s are currently based at Tippers’ Lichfield headquarters, where the trucks’ initial performance levels will be closely monitored.
“It’s early days yet, but so far so good,” Bill concludes. “The drivers report the FE’s are super and they like the design. Our delivery vehicles have a hard work cycle and they’re also a good advert for our business. We normally retain trucks for around ten years and fully refurbish each half way through that decade. The new Volvos’ will be used on both customer deliveries and inter-branch supply work to cover stock levels at our 12 sites across the Midlands.”
Source: Uk Haulier