After the impressive performance on a Volvo FM rigid vehicle that joined the fleet last year, Bristol-based, Plantforce Rentals Limited is expanding its vehicle fleet with one FH tractor unit and two FM rigids – all supplied by Wayne Bryant, Transport Solutions Executive at Truck and Bus Wales and West – with Operations Director, Sam Mercer already reporting increased savings, by using Volvos for his own account transport operations.
Plantforce Rentals specified the FH 6x2 single tyre tag axle tractor unit with Volvo D13K Euro-6 engine rated at 540hp. Completing the powertrain is an I-Shift 12-speed automated transmission system, driving a RSS1360 single reduction axle with a final drive ratio of 2.64:1. A Jost JSK37 cast, fixed fifth wheel together with front steel and rear air suspension, round off the 3,000mm wheelbase chassis specification. Inside the roomy Globetrotter Cab, the driver benefits from a Drive+, Single Bed and Media packages.
The FH-540 will be used to haul a new Faymonville, three-axle low loader trailer.
The duo of FM 8x2 single tyre, tag axle chassis come with 6,000mm wheelbases and rear air suspension. Powering this pair are Volvo's D11K Euro-6 engines rated at 410hp. I-Shift automated gearboxes and RSS1356 drive axles with a ratio of 2.79:1, sit under low profile plant bodies, manufactured by Andover Trailers.
Plantforce Rentals opted for Globetrotter Cabs on both of the FM rigids, with Volvo's Living and One Bed Resting packages. As with all the Plantforce fleet, which is currently in transition from FORS Bronze to FORS Silver accreditation, the new Volvos come with additional safety equipment that includes 360-degree camera systems and left turn alarms.
"The arrival of Volvo trucks in our fleet last year, marked a significant change in our transport operations," notes Sam Mercer, Operations Director at Plantforce Rentals. "In the past we outsourced our transport requirements, but the increasing fleet of Volvo vehicles is due to us bringing that policy back in-house. We've always seen own account operations as a loss, but the Volvos are cutting that deficit and delivering such good savings that we have further FH and FM models on order for delivery early next year."
Driver feedback on Plantforce Rentals' new Volvo trucks has also been positive. "Our drivers love the Volvos and have benefitted from one-day training courses supplied by Truck and Bus Wales and West in Avonmouth. Those one-to-one sessions have let the drivers maximise use of every control feature and the I-Shift gearbox is also superb in operation."
To guarantee 100 per cent uptime with carefree ownership, Plantforce Rentals chose 36-month Volvo Gold Service Contracts.
"We receive a fantastic level of service from Truck and Bus Wales and West in Avonmouth and we've also started using their new dealerpoint in Bridgwater. There are always going to be minor issues to sort out with any vehicle, as there are so many variables in the build and specifications. Our own business is used to resolving its customers' operational issues quickly and effectively. Volvo works on the same principles," Sam concludes.