The range of options available from truck manufacturers today is bewildering – there seems to be absolutely something to suit every application. For example, who would have thought that you could order a really short wheelbase, 18-tonne truck with an extra high chassis for improved ground clearance? Well, that’s exactly what a Volvo Truck customer has specified for their new crane truck for building supplies delivery in rural Wales.
Lliw Building Supplies has taken delivery of a new Volvo FL 250 4×2 rigid equipped with rear mounted crane, continuing its long relationship with the manufacturer.
The Pontardawe-based business has been ordering Volvo trucks for more than 20 years and has returned to them again due to the reliability and manoeuvrability of the product, plus the excellent support it receives from local dealer Truck and Bus Wales and West.
The new 18-tonner, which features a sturdy steel suspension, joins three other Volvos in the firm’s four-strong truck fleet and will be used for multi-drop deliveries to customers in the local area.
“We have been choosing Volvo for many years now,” says Geraint Llewelyn, Managing Director at Lliw Building Supplies. “The FL is a very robust vehicle, and it handles extremely well. We’re in an area with some pretty narrow streets and steep gradients but the Volvos carry the heavy loads that we need to move with no problems whatsoever. The drivers really like them too.
“All of those factors come into consideration and, above all else, they are reliable. We did try a different manufacturer several years ago but very quickly discovered we’d made an error!”
Powered by Volvo’s D8K engine, the new FL produces 250 hp with a peak torque figure of 950 Nm. Lliw Building Supplies has specified the truck with an X-High chassis, which aids ground clearance on the rural roads of South Wales.
Backed by a five-year Volvo Gold Contract – for maximum uptime – and supplied under a hire purchase agreement with Volvo Financial Services, all servicing and maintenance is carried out by the Truck and Bus Wales and West depot in Swansea.
“We have a good relationship with Wales and West, they have been taking care of our trucks for a very long time and we find the service amazing,” adds Geraint. “When you have a small fleet, you need the vehicles on the road during working hours. So, we have the trucks serviced overnight to ensure they are ready for the morning – which means we have no scheduled downtime whatsoever.”
The new FL is fitted with a day cab with steel safety cage design, with access in and out made easier thanks to a two-step entry with wide overlapping, forming a stair-like design.
“The drivers are doing many different drops throughout the day, so that ease of access really does make a difference by the end of the shift,” says Geraint.
Built on a 3,800 mm wheelbase, the FL is ideally sized, with good visibility and extremely manoeuvrable, perfect for multi-drop transport.
Fitted with lightweight dropside bodywork and a Hiab grab crane, supplied by Neath Coach Bodywork, it will be working five and a half days a week and replaces another Volvo in the fleet.
Established in 1992, Lliw Building Supplies offers a complete range of materials, timber, and roofing products to the building trade, self-build and DIY customers from its 3.5-acre site just outside Swansea.