It looks a little odd – a truck largely full of axles, but there was plenty of thought that went into the design of West Coast Woodfuels new Volvo FH tridem. If you need a 32 tonner but space is tight for delivery, then a short wheelbase tridem appears to be the answer. The operator is a supplier of force-dried woodchip fuel for the biomass heating market and has now increased its fleet to three trucks with the addition of a Volvo FH 500 Globetrotter 8×2 tridem. The new truck has been built on a 5,100mm wheelbase and benefits from a hydraulically steered pusher axle and a tag axle with single wheels, affording incredible manoeuvrability for a 32-tonner.
Limited Access for Delivery – No Problem
Roddy Danabie, Operations Manager at West Coast Woodfuels, says: “I’m a Volvo man through-and-through; there’s little else worth buying, provided the price is sensible. For this new truck the focus was on maximising payload capacity, whilst still being able to get into sites with very limited access. What we’ve achieved with this tridem is nothing short of exceptional!
“It’s been spec’d to go into sites where we know 26-tonne refuse collection vehicles can struggle, yet we can comfortably get in on four axles thanks to careful chassis selection and the wonder of Volvo Dynamic Steering. My driver can literally turn the wheel with his little finger when manoeuvring, it’s that easy and makes such a difference.”
The customer specified the truck for optimal driving performance, selecting a range of additional options including the Drive package, Living+ package with single bunk, Media package with navigation and Visibility package. For enhanced safety, the latter adds electrically heated and operated main and wide-angle mirrors, a manually adjusted kerb view mirror on the passenger side, rain sensing windscreen wipers and static corner lights.
Danabie adds: “The FH will only cover 50,000 km a year, but a lot of that will be driving on poor quality roads, so we need a truck we can rely on. It’s also why we’ve specified LED headlamps, front fog lights and a light bar with three Lazer Lamps and two LED beacons – as on these roads, the more light we have in front of us, the better.”
Volvo Truck and Bus Centre North & Scotland has supplied the truck on a comprehensive five-year Volvo Gold Contract. Servicing will be undertaken by either the Ayr or Glasgow West dealerships, both equidistant from the customer’s site in Inverkip.
The new FH replaces an older three-axle rigid from a rival manufacturer, which will now be kept as a support vehicle during peak periods. It will operate alongside a single Volvo FH tractor unit which has been on the fleet since it was supplied new in 2017.
Powered by Volvo’s D13K engine delivering up to 500 hp between 1,530 and 1,800 rev/min, and up to 2,500 Nm of torque between 980 and 1,270 rev/min, the new truck is driven through a 12-speed I-Shift automated transmission.