Only Volvo Trucks could provide an 8×4 tipping chassis with a lifting rear drive axle. No other manufacturer offers a truck in this configuration from the factory. This has led Cambridgeshire-based G. Webb Haulage to buy its first Volvo truck since 2011 – a Volvo FM 8×4 rigid.
Why have a lifting rear axle on an 8×4 tipper? Fuel economy.
G. Webb specialises in the haulage and disposal of all types of contaminated soils and wastes in bulk and chose the latest vehicle as part of efforts to reduce the company’s fuel use.
The nature of our work means some jobs can involve a period of empty running, when our vehicles return to site to reload. With the new FM we can lift the rear axle, reducing rolling resistance, which in turn improves fuel economy and reduces tyre wear. Volvo was the only manufacturer that was able to provide us with this configuration and we were keen to give it a try.Paul Broker, Fleet Director at G. Webb Haulage
The Truck – A Volvo FM430
Delivered by Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia, the FM, which replaces a rival marque, will be in operation five-days-a-week and cover up to 120,000 km annually. It is powered by the proven Volvo D11K Euro 6, Step D, diesel engine which produces 430 hp, plus up to 2,050 Nm of torque.
When the truck is unloaded, drivers can push a button on the dashboard to disengage and raise the second drive axle. This sees the pressure on the first drive axle automatically increase, optimising traction and agility, and delivering a fuel saving of around 4%. As soon as the truck is re-loaded, the second drive axle automatically lowers and engages.
“Initial driver feedback has been very promising. The main focus for us is fuel economy, so if the FM can prove its worth, we’ll definitely return to Volvo for future upgrades to the fleet,” Broker adds. “The whole purchasing process has been smooth from start to finish.”
Fuel Saving Software
With maximum fuel saving potential in mind, the truck incorporates I-Cruise intelligent cruise control along with I-Roll software – which helps to save fuel when neither engine power nor engine braking is needed.
Built with a spacious Globetrotter sleeper cab, the FM will typically leave the main site on Monday and return on Friday, so has been specified with driver comfort in mind. It includes a diesel-powered parking heater for the cab, practical internal lighting with night light and a 33-litre under bunk fridge/freezer.
A two-year Volvo Blue Contract covers preventative maintenance for a fixed monthly cost, giving G. Webb Haulage greater visibility of costs and better operational control. All routine maintenance will take place at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia’s Ely site.
G. Webb Haulage Ltd operates a mixed fleet of 60 vehicles, carrying a wide range of bulk materials including aggregates, coal, fertiliser, scrap metal and soils.