Somerset-based, Briarwood Products Ltd has put its first Volvo trucks for 25 years into service. The two FH tractor units will be used exclusively on own account operation for the company, which specialises in the supply of Fibre Cement profiled sheets and accessories.
The two latest arrivals follow a two-week demonstration period with an FH-500 model. "We waited around a month to receive the FH demonstrator, but once in service it delivered impressive fuel savings over two separate drivers," reports Oly Janes, Director, at Briarwood Products Ltd.
"After just two days with the demonstrator, Wales and West Truck and Bus' Transport Solutions Executive, Wayne Bryant, phoned to update us on fuel usage via the Dynafleet system. Prior to that trial, Wayne also arranged for two different FH models, a flat roof cab and a Globetrotter cab, to be viewed at our premises. We were able to carry out detailed technical inspections of both trucks and these factors helped us return to Volvo," Oly adds.
Oly Janes also spent time carefully considering the overall specifications for his two new Volvo FH-540 Globetrotter tractor units, to ensure they were exactly right. The two 3,000mm wheelbase tag axle chassis are fitted with D13K engines producing 540hp. Volvo's unique I-Shift Dual Clutch, automated transmission systems were also selected and these gearboxes drive RSS1360 single reduction axles with a ratio of 3.08:1.
The Medium height, all-air suspended chassis also feature higher fixing heights for the Jost JSK37 fifth wheels, to eliminate any frame contact with the trailer superstructures whilst operating on rough ground conditions. The stunning white, red and blue cab livery was produced by Complete Wrap UK Ltd and Alcoa Dura-Bright EVO alloy wheels provide the perfect finishing touch. The FH's additional light bars and associated wiring were completed by AD Auto Electrical.
Briarwood Products also elected to use Volvo's Gold Service Contract for 36 months, which guarantees 100 per cent uptime for the operator. These programmes will be carried out at Wales and West Truck and Bus' brand-new dealerpoint in Bridgwater.
"Our drivers are usually away for four nights every week, so we opted for the roomier Globetrotter cabs with Drive Plus and Single Bed Living packages," notes Oly adding, "The drivers love the cab comfort and trim levels, whilst the I-Shift Dual Clutch gearbox is also proving popular with them."
Established over 40 years ago, Briarwood Products Ltd. is a specialist supplier - and the largest stockholders - of Fibre Cement profiled sheets and accessories. The company utilises its transport fleet exclusively for customer deliveries across the UK and Ireland. These runs are often supplemented by return loads of raw materials.
"Looking at the purchase price, total cost of operation and anticipated resale values, Volvo trucks were the right decision to make. Our previous experience of Volvo trucks stretches back to the early F86 and F88 models. We also ran one of the first drawbar specification, F10 rigids with hub reduction axles. We have high hopes for the new FH-540 tractor units," Oly concludes.