When faced with an impressive menu in a good restaurant, many of us think ‘I could just eat it all’. It seems a similar thing happened when the boss of Leicester-based Aylestone Transport was browsing the available options on the Volvo FH menu. Bodge Aylestone Ward, Managing Director of Aylestone Transport literally ordered it all.
As a result, the company has taken delivery of one of the highest-spec new model Volvo FH 540 Globetrotter tractor units to be built for the UK market to-date, with the 6×2 pusher axle tractor unit riding on full air-suspension and benefiting from six different options packages and multiple accessories to create a truly unique vehicle.
Richard Moorse, Sales Manager for Volvo Truck and Bus Centre South & East, worked closely with the customer to define the precise specification, culminating in a flagship vehicle which takes driver appeal, comfort, style and safety to new levels.
The truck will be used for crane haulage five days a week, delivering concrete slabs and kerbs from Aggregate Industries’ base in Ashbourne into London.
Bodge says: “We’re exclusively Volvo these days; they are the best truck money can buy and you never struggle to get good drivers if you give them great trucks.
“We might have gone a bit crazy with this one, but I don’t regret it one bit. It’s a fantastic statement for our company after more than 100 years in business and the driver is absolutely thrilled with it. It’s a far cry from the horse and cart my grandfather began with in 1918!”
Supplied on hire purchase through Volvo Financial Services, the new truck visited the dealer’s specialist body and paint shop in Loughborough for additional colour coding prior to entering service, as well as having crane hydraulics, custom chassis side-skirts and a full catwalk installed at SB Components.
The List of Bling
To complement the LED light package from Volvo, and to make it ‘look like an Aylestone’, the truck was also sent to Kelsa for the full ‘Kelsafication’ process, as Bodge calls it. This saw Lazer lights ordered, with inbuilt flashing amber beacons and sidelights. The smaller size of the Lazer lights meant a new grille bar was needed – with Darren Longdon and the team at Kelsa developing an all-new Kelsa Multibar XS; the first of its kind to be specifically designed for Lazer lights. An array of other Kelsa bars, plus a perimeter kit, complete the look and ensure maximum impact on the road.
Prior to entering service, the PDI was completed at the dealer’s Bardon depot – which will now be maintaining the truck under a Volvo Blue Contract.
“The team in Bardon are absolutely brilliant,” he adds. “I literally can’t fault them. This was a complex build and they made it seamless. Plus, I know the truck is in very good hands with them looking after the servicing and maintenance.”
Loaded with Optional Extras
The colossal specification includes Volvo’s Long Haul Fuel package – which features I-See predictive cruise control for maximum fuel efficiency – with the Media pack offering satellite navigation and Dynafleet driver coaching.
Safety is enhanced with the Visibility++ pack and Active Safety+ pack, adding key features such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Volvo Dynamic Steering, Driver Alert Support, Lane Departure Warning System with corrective steering, Lane Change Support and Stretch Brake – an automatic low speed trailer brake activation system to prevent jack-knifing and improve steerability, particularly on downhill sections and slippery roads.
Ward explains: “I strongly believe that the extra cost of added safety features is easily recouped, but never seen. It’s another reason we run Volvo trucks as they are synonymous with safety.”
Aylestone Transport’s drivers are also treated to the ultimate in refinement with the Drive++ pack and Single Bed+ Living pack, which adds everything from a 33-litre under-bunk fridge/freezer to twin armrests on both the driver’s and passenger seat, as well as additional leather upholstery and an electrically operated textile interior sunblind.
Other features added include Alcoa Dura-Bright aluminium rims, television, microwave, dirt deflectors and a further upgrade to a deluxe driver’s seat with electrical adjustment with memory function, lumbar support, heating & ventilation. The livery has been applied by James Unwin of Coalville Signs, a new supplier to Aylestone Transport.
The new truck is expected to remain on the fleet for at least eight years, clocking up around 100,000 km per annum.