South Gloucestershire Council has taken delivery of seven new Volvo FMX 330 6×4 and two FMX 330 4×4 rigids, each mounted with a snow plough and gritting body.
Supplied by Stuart Pearce, EV & Fleet Solutions Manager at Truck and Bus Wales and West, the nine new FMXs join a 45-strong HGV fleet, 15 of which are currently supplied by Volvo Trucks. The deal builds on a 10-year relationship the Council has enjoyed with the Swedish manufacturer.
Ron Dovey, Fleet Operations Manager at South Gloucestershire Council, says: “Reliability and prompt back-up from the local dealer are essential for us, as we need to feel assured that our operations are relatively unaffected during any necessary maintenance and downtime, particularly in the colder months.”
The FMX Specification
Purchased outright, each FMX is powered by a 10.8 litre Euro-6 diesel engine, producing up to 330 hp and 1600 Nm of torque. The larger 6x4s are built on a 4300mm wheelbase, while the two all-wheel drive 4x4s are built on a shorter 3900mm wheelbase – ideal for working on icy surfaces and steep hills, often between rows of parked cars, on the local roads.
All the trucks are fitted with Econ Engineering salt spreading bodywork and a snow plough, and are driven through Volvo’s Powertronic six-speed fully-automatic planetary gearbox with integral retarder. Designed for heavy duty applications, this provides smooth gearchanges without interruption in power delivery in both automatic and manual modes. The electronic gear selection and torque amplifier also offer smooth start-ups and good traction, even on gradients and demanding terrain.
The Day cabs have been specified with an Information package, designed for easy and safe operation. This is centred around a dashboard featuring a fully digital 12-inch high-resolution instrument display, allowing drivers to choose between four different screen views.
On-board safety features include Forward Collision Warning with emergency braking and Lane Keeping Support, which uses a camera positioned in the upper centre of the windscreen to alert the driver with a signal from the speakers during unintentional lane departure. The trucks also benefit from Volvo’s Drive package, including fully electric air conditioning and twin driver armrests, to enhance comfort.
The seven FMX 26-tonne 6×4 rigids and the two smaller 18-tonners have also been equipped with a passenger corner camera, which detects nearby pedestrians and cyclists. This camera can be activated manually or by the turning indicator and projects a clear view on the driver’s display screen.
South Gloucestershire Council will use the trucks to spread salt and grit on routes in the local area, keeping access roads, delivery ramps and shoppers’ car parks clear in areas of urban Bristol, such as the Cribbs Causeway and Kingswood Malls, as well as rural main roads, such as the A46 and A38. The fleet is on-call 24/7 throughout the winter months, with the new trucks likely to be kept in operation for ten years.