When working on bulk tipping operations, payload is vital. That’s the view of Aggregates business Elliotts (Cheltenham), so when they opted for their first brand new tractor unit for some years, they needed a lightweight truck that has been on a diet.

Volvo FH540 6x2 with pusher axle
The pusher axle on Volvo’s FH Lite is up to 490 kg lighter than a conventional 6×2 model

So, Adam Barnard, Transport Solutions Executive at Truck and Bus Wales and West worked with the company to keep the weight off the 6×2 tractor unit, whilst keeping all the important bits.

“We hadn’t bought an artic for many years, but we put a used Volvo FH into service 18-months ago and were very pleased with what we saw,” says owner Nick Elliott. “So, when we made the decision to upgrade to a new vehicle, we were always likely to go for Volvo. Every kilo counts in our line of work and we really wanted to get the maximum payload possible from the new truck so we worked with Adam to make it as light as we could. It’s worked out even better than we expected.”

Lightweight Additions

The pusher axle on Volvo’s FH Lite can be lifted to save fuel when not needed and the entire installation is up to 490 kg lighter than a conventional 6×2 model. Built on a 4,000mm wheelbase and benefiting from an I-Shift automated transmission, the new FH Lite is powered by Volvo’s D13K engine producing 540 hp.

The specification also includes Alcoa Dura Bright alloy wheels, aluminium air tanks, an aluminium trailer arch connection and LED rear lights. The FH is fitted with a sleeper cab and Drive+ package, while the interior benefits from a media package, including DAB radio and 7” touchscreen, plus Volvo’s ultra-comfy single bed living package.

“We use it mainly for feeding materials to the concrete company we work with called Monster Mix and helping to top up our own builders’ yard with materials,” says Elliott. “When combined with our aggregates trailer the FH can carry around 30 tonnes, which is excellent for this type of work. The driver is very happy with it. The truck is certainly living up to all expectations so far.”

The Volvo FH Deal

Elliotts (Cheltenham) sourced the FH Lite via a five-year contract with Volvo Financial Services. It is covered by a Volvo Silver Contract and comes with a three-year subscription to the manufacturer’s fleet management system, Dynafleet – providing the business with positioning data, fuel and environment reports, plus the ability to remotely download tachograph data.

In operation five days a week, it is expected to clock up to 100,000km per annum and will be serviced by the team at Truck and Bus Wales and West in Gloucester, located less than 15 miles away.