The first two new model Volvo FM car transporter chassis to enter service in the UK are heading to Bolton-based J&P Vehicle Deliveries, both specified to a high standard as part of the firm’s commitment to giving its drivers great trucks.
Supplied by Paul McNicholas, Customer Solutions Manager at Thomas Hardie Commercials, the new FMs are powered by Volvo’s D13K 500 hp engine. This is matched with Volvo’s brand-new low roof sleeper cab which features a new dashboard design with more storage space, a fully digital interface and Alexa – Amazon’s cloud-based voice service.
Paul Molyneux, Managing Director of J&P Vehicle Deliveries, says: “We held back on placing the order to ensure we’d get the new FM, and it hasn’t disappointed. These are the best trucks we have ever had; Volvo has raised the bar dramatically and we couldn’t be happier with our choice.”
The Volvo FM Specification
The two FM 500 rigids operate with Transporter Engineering Odyssey bodywork and drawbar trailers, sporting the company’s distinctive yellow, blue and green livery. The cab interiors have also been enhanced with ventilated and electrically adjustable leather seats, for maximum driver comfort, together with a fridge-freezer mounted under the bunk. The specification also includes a nine-camera safety system, plus Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels with Michelin tyres.
Supplied on hire purchase through Volvo Financial Services, they are backed with five-year Volvo Gold Contracts. This follows a move by J&P Vehicle Deliveries two years ago to transfer all repair and maintenance activities to Thomas Hardie Commercials, after its own in-house fitter retired.
The Benefits of R&M
Molyneux explains: “The best thing I ever did was putting our fleet on R&M with Thomas Hardie Commercials. When I looked at what we were spending on mechanic wages and parts, there wasn’t much in it – but operationally it has been transformational in reducing downtime.”
All routine service work is handled by Thomas Hardie Commercial’s dealership in Trafford Park, which now also carries out pre-inspection maintenance on the customer’s trailers under contract.
“If any additional work is required then we get notified and can authorise it; plus, the team has committed to carrying the most commonly used Transport Engineering components on the shelf for us. We get really well looked after by the workshop team,” he adds.
The new assets replace older trucks in the seven-strong J&P Vehicle Deliveries fleet and will be used predominantly on contracts with leasing fleets and auction companies.
Like the company’s existing FMs, the new trucks have been equipped with the Volvo Connect telematics suite to help analyse fleet operations. Molyneux uses this data to populate a league table enabling drivers to earn bonuses for the most fuel-efficient driving.
“Last year Thomas Hardie Commercials worked closely with our drivers to show them how to fully utilise features such as the cruise control and I-Roll functions on our existing fleet. Within a day we’d unlocked a 0.5mpg fuel saving, which makes a big difference. Now we use the Volvo Connect app to ensure the whole team is focused on the most efficient driving.”
Molyneux also uses the Volvo Connect system to extract detailed tachograph analysis and reporting, as well as for live monitoring of driver’s hours as required.