Tradition & Technology

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1 THE VOLVO MAGAZINE FOR OPERATORS, DRIVERS AND ENTHUSIASTS #51 WINTER 2014 Tradition & Technology W H Bowker s unique story

2 95.2% FIRST TIME MOT Pass Rate We turn a science into success * ROAD WORTHINESS Safety THE SCIENCE OF COMPLIANCE Traffic enforcement Monitoring Your O Licence is at risk if your truck fleet is not maintained to DVSA Standards. (Driving Vehicle Standards Agency, formerly VOSA). Servicing your trucks through an authorised Volvo dealer is the first step to keeping a roadworthy fleet. Our high first time MOT pass rates can help you avoid heavy DVSA penalties, eliminate the threat of poor OCRS scores and facilitate profitability by reducing downtime. When you bring your truck into our workshops you get peace of mind knowing the impressive combination of Genuine Volvo Parts and Service will keep your fleet on the road earning. To find out how your local Volvo Trucks Dealer can turn our science into your success visit *Source: VOSA published MOT data Jan June National average is 80.4%. Volvo Trucks. Driving Progress 53139

3 contents Inside Lane #51 WINTER WH BOWKER LEAD THE WAY W H Bowker have been a much respected Volvo operator since 1972, we pay tribute to the company that has successfully combined traditional values with cutting edge technology. 8 Artic in the Arctic Roger Henriksson drives a special 90 tonnes GTW FH16 timber artic in arctic conditions. Temperatures of between -35 and -40 C are usual in winter. 22 Me & My (Euro 6) Volvo Mike and Laurie Moore train LGV drivers. Their company, Tockwith Training, is using two new FE rigids, fitted with I-Shift gearboxes. 34 Questions & Answers Knowles Transport has been in business for 82 years. Alex Knowles explains how operating Volvo trucks with Dynafleet has helped the business. 5 START 24 INSIDE VOLVO 31 HOW IT WORKS 36 VOLVO TRUCK NATION 40 GEARING DOWN 43 THE IMAGE INSIDE LANE #51/2014 3

4 EDITORIAL LETTER Inside the Volvo Academy and a special thank you to our customers Welcome to the latest issue of Inside Lane. We have a number of articles with contrasting themes and subjects which we hope you will find of interest. Two things stand out for me. The first is the article about the Volvo Academy, our revitalised apprentice training programme. Volvo Trucks firmly believes in developing our own workshop technicians and aftersales people. In addition to providing both practical and academic learning environments at Stephenson College, we have also created the basis for our young people to grow and develop a long-term career. It is a fact that a growing number of our senior staff s careers started by doing a Volvo Trucks apprenticeship. Describing the Volvo Academy at Stephenson College, The Office for Standards in Education, Children s Services and Skills (Ofsted) said that: Good links with the company enable Volvo s heavy goods vehicle apprentices to use outstanding learning resources including the latest trucks and online training resources to diagnose and repair faults. Ofsted were also complimentary about the work the Volvo Academy does with our dealer network, who sponsor the apprentices. Here is what they said: Liaison between teachers and employers is good, enabling the close coordination of apprentices workplace and college training. Learners benefit from high-standard learning resources and accommodation that enable them to develop good vocational skills and make good progress. As usual in Inside Lane magazine, we are indebted to a number of our fantastic customers who have kindly shared with us a glimpse behind the scenes at their much respected transport businesses. I would like to thank all of our customers who have been kind enough to allow us to feature them in these pages. In particular, I would like to thank Knowles Transport and W H Bowker, two of our longest established customers. However, we were saddened to hear of the untimely death of W H Bowker s long serving Fleet Engineer Geoff Whittle earlier in the year. The article in this issue was unfortunately the last interview Geoff gave. He was a true stalwart of the transport industry and a supporter of the Volvo marque. The industry will not see his like again for many a year. Thank you for reading this issue of Inside Lane. Arne Knaben Managing Director, Volvo Trucks UK and Ireland INSIDE LANE Editor: Reg Crawford Phone: +44 (0) All correspondence to: The Editor, Inside Lane, CWA Ltd, Ashleigh Road, Glenfield, Leicester LE3 8DA Advertising: All enquiries to the above address. Inside Lane is a magazine for Volvo operators, drivers and enthusiasts. Opinions expressed in articles may not necessarily be those of Volvo Trucks. Neither Tribal PR & Marketing Limited or Volvo Group UK Limited can be held responsible for factual errors within the magazine. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without prior permission of the Editor. If you no longer wish to receive Inside Lane, please contact the Editor at the address above. Inside Lane is printed on paper which is FSC certified (Forest Stewardship Council). FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not for profit organisation established to promote the responsible management of the world s forests, facebook.com/volvotrucksuk twitter.com/volvotrucksuk youtube.com/volvotrucksuk pinterest.com/volvotrucksuk 4 INSIDE LANE #51/2014

5 Start News & updates from the Volvo world NFT award exclusive vehicle supply partnership contract to Volvo Trucks and Hartshorne Group Volvo Trucks and Hartshorne Group are pleased to announce that they have been jointly awarded the exclusive vehicle supply partnership contract for leading chilled food and drink logistics experts NFT. The contract, which is for the exclusive supply of all 6x2 and 4x2 tractor units, involves an order for 100 trucks in the next two years. All are replacements for existing fleet vehicles, any growth will further be added to this exclusive deal. The exact split between two and three axle tractors is to be decided. According to NFT, Hartshorne's fifteen year track record of providing tailored solutions to meet the logistics company s business needs was one of the key factors that helped secure the business. Andrew De'Vere, NFT Managing Director of Shared User Operations comments We conducted a thorough tender process with four vehicle manufacturers. Areas reviewed in the selection process included; price, in-house tested KPL/MPG, vehicle terrain reactive cruise control, cab ergonomics and driver feedback. As well as historical reliability, the partnership of both manufacturer and dealership was also key, including its approach to repairs and maintenance. Volvo came out top of all suppliers, and in particular innovation and technology, which are key attributes that NFT are looking for in its partners. I am excited to be working with Volvo and Hartshorne Group and look forward to the exclusive partnership. Concluded Andrew De Vere. In addition to Hartshorne and Volvo s positive and flexible approach, which includes delivering pre seasonal peak capacity fleet solutions, weekly local reviews and twice daily VOR updates, fuel performance from two Euro 6 demonstrators played a key role in the decision to award the 2014 tender to Volvo Trucks and Hartshorne Group. Volvo Trucks Managing Director Arne Knaben revealed that the team involved in securing the NFT vehicle supply tender had worked very closely with the customer to deliver the optimum solution for the customers business. Speaking from Volvo Trucks Head Office at Warwick, he said: We are absolutely thrilled by the news that Volvo Trucks and Hartshorne Group have been chosen by NFT for the exclusive supply of trucks in 2014 and We regard it as an honour to be chosen for such a prestigious contract and our respective teams are looking forward to continuing to work closely with NFT. Specification of the trucks, which are all new series Euro 6-compliant, Globetrotter-cabbed FM tractor units, includes Volvo s D11K, 11 litre engine fitted with the Volvo Engine Brake and rated at 450hp. All are equipped with I-Shift automated gearboxes and I-See fuel saving software. All the trucks are equipped with Dynafleet telematics and are maintained on a Gold Contract, which includes Volvo s unique Uptime Assurance promise. Volvo Trucks and Hartshorne Group are working with NFT s driver trainers to provide familiarisation material for the new series FM product features, including I-See, as well as continuing to advise on efficient driving techniques. Following the demonstration and evaluation programme, driveability and ease-of-use were also cited by the NFT driver workforce as positive features of the new series FM. INSIDE LANE #51/2014 5

6 start News & updates from the Volvo world Containerships (UK) Ltd s Tommy Walton wins Driver Challenge 2014 The Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge 2014 has been won by Tommy Walton who drives for Containerships UK (Ltd) out of Teesport. He was nominated to take part in the competition by Ian McLean, Fuelwatch Manager of Volvo Truck and Bus Centre North & Scotland. Tommy - who has been truck driving for twenty years - was presented with the prestigious trophy by Volvo Trucks Managing Director Arne Knaben after taking part in the Driver Challenge final at Warwick. Arne congratulated Tommy and all four of the Driver Challenge finalists, saying: You are the top four drivers in the UK and Ireland. The results are very close. You are all winners and should be proud of how you have won your place in the final. All four qualified to compete in the final, which came at the end of the twenty-nine week long competition that began in February. One hundred and thirty drivers from across the UK and Ireland took part in the competition which focused on improving driver behaviour. The other Driver Challenge finalists were: Steven Taylor of Gresham Office Furniture, John Harrison of Edwin C. Farrall and Kevin Collyer of Laura Ashley. Gresham Office Furniture and Edwin C. Farrall are customers of Thomas Hardie Commercials. Laura Ashley is a customer of Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia. Tommy Walton lifted the Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge 2014 trophy at the end of an intensive day that saw the four finalists each driving both Volvo FH and FM artics on carefully planned, set routes. The routes took in a wide range of road types, involving a total of three hours, thirty five minutes driving time for each of the finalists. The results for the Driver Challenge 2014 final were announced to the assembled drivers and their Tommy Walton supporters, with a live calculation of the rankings using Dynafleet telematic data exported from the trucks. The high standard of the finalists driving techniques was displayed in the overall results. For example, winner Tommy Walton spent 70% of his driving time on the day within economy parameters. Overall, all four used coasting for a phenomenal average 14.1% of the time as a fuel-saving technique during the final. Members of Volvo Trucks Driver Development team acted as in-cab invigilators during the driving periods and normal road speeds were maintained throughout. Fuel cost is a heavy burden for many haulage companies. However, an improved driving style can result in considerable cost savings. With the Drivers Fuel Challenge we want to highlight this fact and encourage truck drivers to adopt a more fuel-efficient way of driving, says Arne Knaben. Tommy went on to compete in the Drivers Challenge Global Final to represent the UK and Ireland, which took place on 19th September in Gothenburg, Sweden. He finished just outside the top ten. The event, which has been arranged in different forms globally or regionally - since 2009, attracted no less than 3,600 participants from 22 countries at the last Final in INSIDE LANE #51/2014

7 New series FM for car transporter applications announced The new series, Euro 6-compliant FM, is now available fully configured for car transporter applications. The latest FM was launched in 2013 and features a new chassis with the same suspensions as the new series FH. The challenge in configuring the new series truck to be suitable for car transporter use, was to keep the overall cab height from the ground under 2800mm, says Volvo Trucks Field Sales Engineer, Duncan Seaman. At 21450kg, Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of the Euro 6-compliant 6x2 FM remains the same as the Euro 5 model. Axle ratings are 9000kg for the front, 4500kg for the pusher and 11500kg for the drive axle. Chassis space packaging for the Euro 6 FM car transporter has also been optimised. As a result, maximum fuel and AdBlue capacity are achieved. Volvo has a long history of engineering specialised car transporters which goes back to the 1960s and the F86. As John Comer, Product Manager at Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland says, The Volvo F86, which was used to transport many cars of the period to the port including Delorean s in Northern Ireland, was a very simple car transporter because of its compact cab size. Later, the FL10 proved to be a great car transporter too with its low roof and side mounted air intake. The FL10 was around at the start of the short:long concept, and Volvo specifically engineered a rigid rather than a tractor chassis for this application. He continues, The Volvo FM was introduced in 1998 and the car transporter concept has been further developed with the mid-lift and 9-tonne front axles, which were specified to cater for changes in the car market. Primarily, the growth of the SUV and cross over vehicle sectors, whose cars are heavier. In conclusion, Duncan Seaman explains, The new Euro 6 FM is highly-suitable for car transporter applications because of its compact cab, low chassis height, high front axle capacity of 9 tonnes, its additional 4.5 tonne axle, plus its 3900mm wheel base and new chassis space packaging, which allows room for good fuel and AdBlue capacity, in line with the larger Euro 6 exhaust. INSIDE LANE #51/2014 7

8 DRIVER REPORT Text Olivia Krantz Photo Nicke Johansson WHERE SIZE MATTERS At the Polar Circle in northern Sweden, a 90 tonne vehicle combination is driving in the most gruelling conditions. 8 INSIDE LANE #51/2014

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10 DRIVER REPORT Roger Henriksson is simply longing for the light. For four months of the year, he spends his working days in the shadows between dusk and dawn. As a driver in Överkalix, a few kilometres south of the south of the Arctic Circle, darkness, snowy roads and temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius are the norm. The reward for this harsh winter arrives in June. It s almost impossible to describe what it s like here in the summer when it s light 24 hours a day and the midnight sun is shining. Everything is much easier when your alarm rings at 1.50 am in June and the sun is shining compared with the same thing when it s pitch black and minus 35 degrees Celsius! says Roger Henriksson. Even if the climate is harsh and shiftwork starting at 3 am every other week really takes its toll, he would not wish to change his job as a driver in the north. I m the person I am because I have always lived here. I m nearly 50 and I ve been abroad just once in my life. It was OK, two days before I came home I became homesick! I m the kind of person who couldn t live in a large city. Every time he works, Roger drives between his home town of Överkalix and the sawmill in Munksund, twice there and back with a cargo of timber. The truck he drives is 30 metres long and when it is fully laden it weighs 90 tonnes! It goes without saying that it was a bit scary to begin with when I looked in the rearview mirror and saw that the truck appeared to be endless! However, I quickly got used to it and I have to admit that I feel I ve got the power, says Roger with a smile. For the past year, he has been driving this vehicle combination, which is part of the ETT En Trave Till (One Pile More) research project. Driving with a 50% larger load increases efficiency and cuts carbon emissions by 20% compared with a traditional timber vehicle combination. As the weight is distributed over more axles, the vehicle combination also causes less wear and tear to the road surface. He has been given a dispensation to drive this truck, which weighs 30 tonnes more than Swedish legislation permits, on public roads. Volvo Trucks is one of a number of partners participating in this research project and it is hoped that the project will help to bring about a change in the legislation, so that the total maximum permitted weight for heavy-duty transport will be increased from 60 to 74 tonnes. The long term goal is also to get 90 tonne trucks approved. Roger sits in his cab and swears. The belowzero temperatures that usually hold Överkalix in a stranglehold have slowly risen to near zero, which will result in black ice and slush. Driver Roger Henriksson is checking the load of timber before driving off. This is a special day. It is the first time he will drive the new Volvo FH16 - specially designed for heavy-duty tasks. 10 INSIDE LANE #51/2014

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12 DRIVER REPORT It goes without saying that it was bit scary to begin with when I looked in the rearview mirror and saw that the truck appeared to be endless! ROGER HENRIKSSON, TRUCK DRIVER WATCH THE FILM Take a ride with the 90 tonnes truck. volvotrucks 12 INSIDE LANE #51/2014

13 It s only when it starts melting and the slush appears that it s like this, not otherwise. Not being able to get away immediately is, he stops speaking and grimaces. After being helped by a colleague to get his truck moving, Roger is slightly late leaving the parking lot. Today is a special day. This is the first time Roger is driving Volvo Trucks new Volvo FH16, specially constructed for heavy-duty tasks. It s always fun to drive a new truck. I already feel a big difference now when driving the new FH. This one has more power, it is much stronger and maintains better speed on hills. It has a different suspension than the old model and it feels much more comfortable on the road. I feel extremely confident in this truck, says Roger. The road between Överkalix and Piteå is pretty straight with some longer runs and occasional curves. Thanks to the independent front suspension, IFS, Roger already notices that the truck is easier on the road. It runs like a dream, like clockwork. It is much more stable compared to the old one. It is even more stable on bends and roundabouts and can withstand more, you only need to turn. This is of course very positive for me as a driver with a vehicle that behaves in a more stable manner on the road. Reliability and the fact that the truck can handle the job despite tough conditions are a must in northern Sweden. Driving in the winter up here can be exciting, a snow storm one minute, ice the next. INSIDE LANE #51/

14 DRIVER REPORT The braking system is so good on this truck that the braking distance isn t longer than that of a standard 60-tonne truck. ROGER HENRIKSSON, TRUCK DRIVER 14 INSIDE LANE #51/2014

15 For inexperienced drivers with poor tyres, it s no fun. I often see foreign trucks that have got stuck on hills. Just last week, a foreign vehicle combination drove into the ditch, trailer and all, he says. He has found himself in the ditch on a couple of occasions during his 24 years as a timber truck driver. The last one was more than ten years ago. Roger points to the shoulder he injured in the accident and says it still aches a little. In icy conditions you need to be able to judge when to stop and when to continue driving, explains Roger. THE PROJECT FACT FILE THE TRUCK The first time he drove the ETT truck, he was surprised by how smooth and flexible it was, despite its length. As the trailer comprises a dolly, link and trailer, it is difficult to reverse, but otherwise Roger does not think that the extra tonnes make that much difference while driving. The braking system is so good on this truck that the braking distance isn t longer than that of a standard 60-tonne truck, he says. He winds down the window and spits out his moist snuff (Swedish snus ). Behind the tops of the pine trees, the March sunshine flashes past. Roger is wearing sunglasses over his normal glasses to protect his eyes from the light which is reinforced by reflections from the snow. Between Överkalix and Piteå, there s a real difference in climate, road conditions and weather conditions. It can be great in Överkalix but slippery between Luleå and Piteå, says Roger. Even though it takes just two hours to travel between Överkalix and Piteå, the temperature in the winter can vary from minus 30 degrees Celsius inland to just a few degrees below zero at the coast. This creates demands not only on the driver but also on the truck, which has to be able to deal with these large temperature variations. En Trave Till ETT is Swedish and stands for One More Pile. Adding one more pile of timber increases efficiency and makes transport more environmentally sound at the same time. The research project started in 2007 and will continue until The objective is to influence Swedish legislation so that the current maximum limit, a total weight of 60 tonnes, is increased to 74 tonnes. The long term goal is to get 90 tonne trucks approved. ETT is a partnership between Volvo Trucks, Skogforsk (forest research), the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Skogsnäringen (forest industry), Parator (trailers), and other representatives in the automotive industry. THE AREA A Volvo FH16 model 2013 with a 16-litre 750 bhp engine. It transports timber from Överkalix to the Munksund sawmill in Piteå. This vehicle reduces carbon emissions by 20% and, at the same time, the cost is 20% lower compared with a standard timber truck. The truck, the only one of its kind, carries a load of 65 tonnes instead of 42 i.e. 50% more timber. The total weight of the truck when fully laden is 90 tonnes and it is 30 metres long. At the sawmill in Munksund, the debarked logs travel on conveyor belts between the piles of timber. Unloading takes no time at all and, just over 30 minutes later, Roger is once again on his way to Överkalix. Before the day comes to an end, he will have completed another transport assignment. It will then be time to return to his home and family. Roger has four children and today he is going to collect his youngest son from nursery school. I like covering the same route. My friends think I m a bit mad, they wonder if I won t go crazy! I tell them that you can t sit and think about driving the same route. The advantage is that I get home to my family in time and can sleep in my own bed every night. Arctic Circle SWEDEN Piteå Överkalix Gulf of Bothnia 50 km FINLAND INSIDE LANE #51/

16 SPECIAL OPERATOR PROFILE Text Reg Crawford Photo Craig Eccleston and W H Bowker W H Bowker are one of Volvo s longest established customers. 16 INSIDE LANE #51/2014

17 Pioneers & innovators The meeting which led to the publication of this special Volvo customer profile took place at W H Bowker s Head Office in Bamber Bridge, Preston, in June. We were welcomed by Bill Bowker who introduced his colleagues Jim Roach and Geoff Whittle. Tragically, W H Bowker Director Geoff Whittle died suddenly, only a few days after kindly taking part in the discussion. This article is thus dedicated to his memory. He was widely respected as one of the most talented fleet engineers of his generation and was, in part, responsible for some of the major innovations and developments which the transport industry continues to benefit from today. W H Bowker began operating Volvo trucks in In what was to become a Bowker s tradition of being the first to operate the latest truck technology, the company purchased an F88, the first in the country to be fitted with a 16-speed gearbox. The company standardised on Volvo trucks in To understand just how close Bowkers and Volvo have worked together over the last forty two years, it is necessary to describe some of the engineering projects and Volvo firsts that the company and Geoff Whittle in particular, have been closely involved in. Bowkers were the first UK operator to run FL10s on full air suspension. They also ran the first FL10 in drawbar configuration and the first low height chassis FL10 into service in the UK. In 1994, the first low height chassis FH12, complete with a red painted cab, arrived in the Bowkers Transport yard. This was a 6x4 rigid, powered by the D12 engine at 380hp. It was used to transport swap bodies. They were the first in Europe to operate the F10 Eurotrotter drawbar concept. This was a short cab mounted on 6x2 drawbar prime mover rigid. The driver s sleeping accommodation was in a factory fitted pod mounted on the cab roof. The cab was built on the line at the Volvo factory in Umeå. In the late 80s, Bowkers field tested a new variant of the FL10. The 6x2 tractor unit was fitted with the first Pusher Axle to be seen on a Volvo in the UK. The 6x2 Pusher Axle went on to become the most popular three axle tractor unit configuration, especially with the advent of 44 tonnes GCW in the UK. In 1983, the company purchased the first five F12 6x2 tractor units in the UK to feature selfsteering centre axles. These arrived from Sweden as 3.8 metre 4x2 tractors. The second, castoring self-steer second axle was added at the Irvine factory in Ayrshire. Another fuel saving measure pioneered by Bowkers, thanks to the foresight of Geoff Whittle, was the use of adjustable, blade type, roof mounted air deflectors. The introduction of 100 m³ capacity Van Hool mega-trailers to the fleet in the early 90s meant that a low height chassis was required. The first such Volvo chassis was exhibited at the RAI Show in Thanks to Geoff s insight and transport know how, Bowkers began operating forty, high-cubic capacity drawbar outfits and artics coupled to mega-trailers. These were used on runs to Italy, Spain and Eindhoven in Holland where they collected television cathode ray tubes for onward transport to a television manufacturing plant. Geoff was an advocate of order, consistency and a thoughtful, empirical approach to the introduction of new products and components. On being asked what fuel economy the new Euro 6 trucks were achieving, he replied that it would be rash to publicise the mpg of the latest additions to the fleet before they had operated in all four seasons. To Geoff, only in the long-term could a reliable, real-world, overall aggregate INSIDE LANE #51/

18 SPECIAL OPERATOR PROFILE mpg figure, be derived. During the 1990s and 2000s, Bowkers were intimately involved in the testing and ongoing development of Dynafleet. We were able to look at Dynafleet as an outside interested party, explained Geoff. During the development period, we worked as a team with Volvo. Being part of the field testing process was a bonus that came with running a one make, all-volvo fleet. As Geoff was at pains to point out, We don t run Volvo trucks because we love them. We take a complete package. Compliance is a major focus. We are very protective of our O licence. Maintenance is planned and carried out in-house or, depending on capacity, at Thomas Hardie Commercials, Preston, who supply the new trucks. It s a practical relationship, explains Geoff: Our workshops run in parallel with those of the Volvo dealer. We monitor the working relationship very closely and carry out random fleet quality checks. Thomas Hardie know in advance what vehicles and work will be coming to them each weekend. If we do have a breakdown, VAS is very good. Their feedback of information is excellent. The latest Volvos to join the fleet are twenty three Euro 6-compliant FHs. All are tractor units, bar two 6x2 rigid drawbars. The fleet specification utilises the D13K, 13 litre engine rated at 460hp and the I-Shift gearbox. Globetrotter cabs are fitted and the tractor units have Fontaine (VBG) fifth wheels with 1200mm coupling height. The drawbars utilise VBG couplings and 315/70R 22.5 tyres on all axles to keep within the 4 metre overall height limit. Dynafleet is fitted to all the trucks. Thanks to Geoff Whittle s eagle eyed foresight 18 INSIDE LANE #51/2014

19 FACT FILE Bowkers began operating Volvo in In 1979, the company purchased an F88 which was the first in the country to be fitted with a 16-speed gearbox. Bowkers were the first in Europe to operate the F10 Eurotrotter drawbar concept. The cab was built on the line at the Volvo factory in Umeå. For a while, this truck was the only one of its kind. W H Bowker, with its unparalleled heritage of over 90 years, is still very much a family business. and robust focus on the long term issues affecting vehicle specifications, it is fair to say that Volvo Trucks and Bowkers have benefited from the close working relationship that was forged over forty years ago. The long-term partnership approach effectively creates a virtuous circle, where the customer s input provides a vital part in the development of a transport solution. We took the decision to go with a Volvo, single make fleet policy in 1978, said Geoff in conclusion. We based that decision on the fact that Volvo was the best, the safest, had the best back-up and the best resale value. We made that choice and have grown with it. It s a partnership and we have a track record to prove its benefits. In the late 80s, Bowkers field tested a new variant of the FL10. The 6x2 tractor unit was fitted with the first Pusher Axle to be seen on a Volvo in the UK. During the 1990s and 2000s, Bowkers were intimately involved in the testing and ongoing development of Dynafleet. Pictured is one of the early versions. INSIDE LANE #51/

20 THE CUSTOMER Text Reg Crawford Photo Craig Eccleston Crossroads supply nine Euro 6 FH tractor units to Bedfords Group N ine new, Euro 6-compliant, Volvo FH-500 tractor units have joined the fleet of West Yorkshire-based logistics and supply chain management specialist Bedfords Group. According to Bedfords Group s Business Improvements Director Lee Nichols, the company decided to go with Volvo and Crossroads following a purchasing process that, among other factors, scrutinised vehicle reliability, indicated fuel performance, dealer support, dealer proximity and driver feedback. Crossroads Group was awarded the business and the nine new trucks will be maintained on a thirty-six month Volvo Gold R&M contract at the dealership s facility in Birstall. The new Volvos, says Lee, are at the cutting edge of technology and I am pleased to say, have generated a high level of positive driver feedback. We take the drivers views on truck accommodation and working environment very seriously, he explains. The new Volvos are at the cutting edge of technology and I am pleased to say, have generated a high level of positive driver feedback LEE NICHOLS, BEDFORDS GROUP 20 INSIDE LANE #51/2014

21 Our trucks are utilised seven days a week on high profile contract distribution, including newsprint, so reliability is key. LEE NICHOLS, BEDFORDS GROUP INSIDE LANE #51/

22 Me & my volvo Text Reg Crawford Photo Craig Eccleston MIKE MOORE AND LAURIE MOORE, DIRECTORS, TOCKWITH TRAINING Volvo have definitely designed the FE as a driver s truck. Hessay, York based, LGV Training company Tockwith Training have taken delivery of two Euro 6-compliant, new series Volvo FE 4x2 rigids. They are among the first new series FEs in the UK to be specified with Volvo s I-Shift automated gearbox. A recent change to the law, on 10th April 2014, means that drivers can now acquire their Category C LGV licence driving a truck fitted with an automatic gearbox. The availability of Volvo s I-Shift gearbox in the new series FE was the main reason we bought these two trucks, confirms Tockwith Training s Mike Moore (pictured left). For one thing, the I-Shift has the auto Hill-Hold feature, which other manufacturers don t offer. As it is so smooth, it s also a good gearbox for reversing, reports Mike Moore, adding: Ergonomically, the FE is the best to drive. The driving position is designed so well. Because of the I-Shift and the ease with which drivers get used to it compared to a ninespeed manual box - they need two days less training from our qualified, DSA accredited instructors. We ve been helping drivers acquire their LGV/HGV licences for forty-one years. We train five hundred drivers a year and currently have a 90% pass rate. 22 INSIDE LANE #51/2014

23 TRUCK FACTS Dealer: Crossroads at Boroughbridge Vehicle: New series FE, 4X2 Rigid Engine: Euro 6, D8K rated at 250hp Gearbox: I-Shift Wheelbase: 5.8m Drive axle: Air Suspension Annual mileage: 50,000 kms Fuel: 12.9mpg Bodywork: Micra Truck Bodies INSIDE LANE #51/

24 INSIDE VOLVO Text Olivia Krantz Photo Sören Håkanlind, Claes Hillén TWO inone Volvo Trucks new I-Shift Dual Clutch is the first dual-clutch transmission in the world for heavy-duty vehicles. The result is seamless gear changes, with no loss of power. All in all, it delivers a fantastic driving experience with more constant speeds. 24 INSIDE LANE #51/2014 0,01 0,05 0,10 0,15 0,20

25 INSIDE LANE #51/ ,25 0,30 0,35 0,40 0,45

26 INSIDE VOLVO Swedish driver Lars Lindgren transports general cargo between northern Sweden and various destinations in Norway, using his Volvo FH equipped with I-Shift Dual Clutch. Travelling up steep hills with a fully loaded truck, over ice and on bumpy roads where the ground frost is just starting to melt these are everyday driving conditions for Lars Lindgren. Every week, he transports general cargo between the city of Luleå in northern Sweden and various destinations in Norway. Lars Lindgren is one of only a few drivers in the world who know what it is actually like to drive with Volvo Trucks new I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission. The first time I drove a truck with the new transmission, I was incredibly impressed. As you are driving, you don t even notice when the truck changes gears, he says and looks out over the Norwegian landscape. The I-Shift Dual Clutch can basically be described as two transmissions combined in parallel, each with a separate clutch. Put simply, you could say that one gearbox controls the even gears, while the other manages the odd ones. When a gear is active in one gearbox, the next gear is prepared in the other gearbox. When the truck changes gear, no speed is lost during the actual gear change, explains Astrid Drewsen, Product Manager Driveline, Volvo Trucks. As the truck does not lose any power, driving in environments that require a large amount of gear changing is both more efficient and more convenient. On steep hills, on winding roads and on roads where it is easy to get stuck, this new gearbox, developed for long-haul applications, is absolutely fantastic. For example, once you've got going with a full load in the middle of the forest, you don t want to risk getting stuck because the truck changes gear. With the I-Shift Dual Clutch, the truck simply takes off and gear-shifting is seamless, Astrid Drewsen adds. The I-Shift Dual Clutch changes gear whenever necessary, with no loss of power. In driving when it is more advantageous that the gearbox skips a few gears, the gearbox changes gear like a standard I-Shift. The I-Shift Dual Clutch can change gear with no torque interruption on every gear apart from range gear shifting, which takes place between gears 6 and 7. In addition to driveability, driver comfort is also enhanced. The environment in the cab is perceived as being quieter, and the smooth driving makes the driver less tired. The smooth ride enabled by the seamless gearchanging is also sympathetic to the vehicle and the cargo. Uneven driving results in wear and tear, not only to the driver and the driveline, but also to the whole vehicle. If you are transporting livestock or driving a tanker 26 INSIDE LANE #51/2014 0,01 0,05 0,10 0,15 0,20

27 On steep hills, on winding roads and on roads where it is easy to get stuck, this new gearbox is absolutely fantastic. ASTRID DREWSEN, PRODUCT MANAGER DRIVELINE, VOLVO TRUCKS. The front of I-Shift Dual Clutch is 12 centimetres longer than the I-Shift gearbox. INSIDE LANE #51/ ,25 0,30 0,35 0,40 0,45

28 INSIDE VOLVO containing liquid, the less the cargo moves about, the better, says Astrid Drewsen. The technology involved in dual-clutch transmission is nothing new. It has been used, especially in performance cars, for quite some time. Volvo Trucks actually began considering a transmission with a dual clutch over 20 years ago. In the 1990s, we tested a gearbox with a dual clutch, but it was only a prototype with a whole raft of add-ons that would never have worked in practice or been feasible in series production, explains Björn Lyngsö, Chief Project Manager I-Shift Dual Clutch, Volvo Trucks. The greatest problem when it comes to adapting dual-clutch technology to trucks is that trucks are driven in such varied conditions and in different environments on everything from small, winding forest roads to motorways. The transmission needs to work equally well when the truck is empty and fully loaded. It needs to withstand extreme heat and cold and continue running for thousands of miles without causing problems. The rear of the transmission is almost identical to the rear of the I-Shift gearbox. So a large part of the work on the I-Shift Dual Clutch involved testing and optimising hardware and software until the engineers were really sure that the transmission would function in every situation and in all conditions 365 days a year. In 2007, Volvo Trucks took the first steps towards the I-Shift Dual Clutch. The fact that the I-Shift has been a market leader among automated transmissions for heavy trucks since 2002 was an essential factor when it came to developing the I-Shift Dual Clutch. The development teams behind both the software and the hardware in the I-Shift Dual Clutch comprise the same people who worked on developing the I-Shift. Without the knowledge and experience we acquired from developing the I-Shift, we would never have been able to develop the I-Shift Dual Clutch, explains Björn Lyngsö. On the outside, the I-Shift Dual Clutch looks like a standard I-Shift. The only difference is 28 INSIDE LANE #51/2014 0,01 0,05 0,10 0,15 0,20

29 In the 1990s, we tested a gearbox with a dual clutch, but it was only a prototype with a whole raft of add-ons that would never have worked in practice. BJÖRN LYNGSÖ, CHIEF PROJECT MANAGER I-SHIFT DUAL CLUTCH, VOLVO TRUCKS Early illustration from Volvo Trucks showing the principles behind the dual-clutch system. INSIDE LANE #51/ ,25 0,30 0,35 0,40 0,45

30 INSIDE VOLVO With I-Shift Dual Clutch the truck keeps an even speed and the tyres maintain a constant grip on the road surface. It feels safe to drive on winter roads when you know that the tyres won t lose traction. According to Lars Lindgren the truck, equipped with I-Shift Dual Clutch, maintains a steadier and higher speed, even on roads where the driving conditions are challenging. LARS LINDGREN, TEST DRIVER that the front part of the transmission is 12 centimetres longer. The rear of the transmission is almost identical to the rear of the I-Shift and the power take-offs are the same. On the inside about 100 of the more than 300 components in the new transmission are different compared with the I-Shift. The inside of the new I-Shift Dual Clutch can be compared to a sophisticated jigsaw puzzle, where every single millimetre has been used and every component has been optimised to take up as little room as possible. It s fantastic that we have succeeded in incorporating all the new functionality in just 12 centimetres. This required a great deal of ingenuity, says Björn Lyngsö. In northern Norway test-driver Lars Lindgren sits calmly and securely behind the wheel, as his truck, a Volvo FH with an output of 540 horsepower, begins the climb up one of the steepest hills in the area. Some hills here have a gradient of 10 per cent a real challenge for a fully-loaded 48-tonne truck. With I-Shift Dual Clutch the truck keeps an even speed and the tyres maintain a constant grip on the road surface. It feels safe to drive on winter roads when you know that the tyres won t lose traction, he says. With the new transmission, Lars Lindgren says that the truck is much smoother both on country roads and when driving in the city. I have been driving trucks since 1979 and have trouble with my shoulders and neck. The fact is that since I started to drive with I-Shift Dual Clutch I don t notice these problems anymore. That s fantastic, he says. As no power is lost during gear changes, the truck maintains a steadier and higher speed, even on roads where the driving conditions are challenging. I-Shift Dual Clutch also improves downhill driving, as there is no loss of engine braking during gear changes. I can save 10 minutes during a four-andhalf-hour shift. That s a lot of time when you add it up over a whole working week. n Starting in the autumn of 2014, the I-Shift Dual Clutch will be available on every market that sells the Volvo FH with Euro 6 D13 engines developing 460, 500 and 540 horsepower. 30 INSIDE LANE #51/2014 0,01 0,05 0,10 0,15 0,20

31 HOW IT WORKS: I-SHIFT DUAL CLUTCH The seamless gear change with the I-Shift Dual Clutch is made possible by the gearbox s two clutches and input shafts. Input shafts The input shaft to the right is placed inside the left. Dual clutch I-Shift Dual Clutch has two input shafts, where one is placed inside the other, and two clutches. With these dual input shafts, two gears can be engaged at the same time. The active gear is determined by which of the two clutches is engaged When driving, the first gear is engaged by one of the input shafts. At the same time, the other input shaft 7 pre-selects the next gear During the actual gear change, the idling clutch is engaged at the same time as the previous clutch is disengaged all without any loss of torque. ENGINE TORQUE POWER COMPARISON I-Shift Dual Clutch changes gear without any loss of power. Since torque is kept constant, the truck does not lose any speed when the actual gear change takes place. Engine torque n Green line torque level with I-Shift Dual Clutch. n Grey line torque level with an ordinary gearbox. Driving distance INSIDE LANE #51/ ,25 0,30 0,35 0,40 0,45

32 TRAINING Text Reg Crawford Photo Craig Eccleston Volvo apprentices work on a new series FH. Left to right: Sam Fazackerley (Thomas Hardie Commercials), Joe Needs (Truck and Bus Wales & West) and Michael Hughes (Volvo Truck and Bus Centre, East Anglia). The Volvo Academy Each year, a total intake of around fifty new apprentices travel to the home of the Volvo Academy at its state of the art, new facilities in Stephenson College, Coalville, Leicestershire. Here they will take up their place on the first, two week long module of the three year apprentice training programme. The Volvo apprentice programme was founded in 1995, since when around 600 have graduated. 32 INSIDE LANE #51/2014

33 The Volvo Academy workshop at Stephenson College mirrors that of a dealer. Each Volvo Academy apprentice is sponsored by a dealer for the three year duration of their course. They will have already started employment with a Volvo dealer in July, so they will know that they are entering a period of high expectations and hard work. It is however a time where they will receive the highest levels of support to help them achieve the academic and practical goals that will lead to not just a qualification, but, potentially, a lifelong career at the most senior levels of Volvo Trucks, or even Volvo Group. It is an exciting time for them, their parents, guardians and supporters. Given a willingness to work hard and demonstrate a good attitude, that first day at Stephenson College will see them begin a three year journey that will involve them working on the very latest products in the Volvo Academy workshops. Here, they will gain expert working knowledge of Volvo s cutting edge technology. To ensure the best possible practical learning environment, the workshops at the college mirror those of the dealer network in terms of equipment, special tools and the latest IT technology. Although its home has been Stephenson College since the first apprentices joined the Volvo Academy, in 1995, there is the strongest possible alignment between the Volvo driven course content and the quality of delivery, which is managed by the college. In fact, the apprentice programme is fully integrated with Volvo Trucks vision and the dealer network s practical requirements. The college works in close partnership with Volvo and the dealer network to deliver excellence in all areas, including teaching and the provision of state of the art facilities for both the practical and the learning environment. It also provides a unique, one-to-one, mentoring and pastoral care programme to support and help the Volvo apprentices achieve academic, personal and life skill goals. Apprentices stay with local families during their two week block college placements and transport is arranged to collect and deliver them to the college each day. Workplace mentors, who are carefully selected, experienced dealer colleagues of the apprentices, provide another motivational and skilled resource that is critical to the ongoing success of the programme. Another feather in its cap is that the Volvo Academy apprentice programme recently received a special mention from Ofsted. It is something that the hard working and dedicated staff are rightly very proud of. That it was singled out for such fulsome praise provides reassurance for anyone thinking of applying to join the apprentice programme. Here is what the Ofsted report said: Good links with the company enable Volvo s heavy goods vehicle apprentices to use outstanding learning resources including the latest trucks and online training resources to diagnose and repair faults. Liaison between teachers and employers is good, enabling the close coordination of apprentices workplace and college training. There is no doubt that an apprenticeship with the Volvo Academy has the potential to provide an unrivalled experience, qualification and base for a career with Volvo Trucks and the dealer network. INSIDE LANE #51/

34 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS Text Reg Crawford Photo Craig Eccleston If it s on a Volvo, it s going to be safe. Knowles Transport are one of the longest standing and most loyal Volvo customers. The company was founded by Gerald Knowles in He was the grandfather of Alex Knowles, who is Business Development Manager of this well-known and respected East Anglian company. How does it feel to be one of the new generation of younger business leaders in the transport industry? The right balance between youth and experience, like that between me and my father Tony, is a winning formula. My father has allowed me to spread my wings and learn for myself. He has a different skill set from me. His area of expertise is procurement and getting the best deal. However, he doesn t stand over me. We have different views, but we always come to the same conclusions. In the transport business, you have to be your own person and I have learnt from him. I think it s a case of continuous improvement. The transport industry today is having to deal with change in many areas. As a professional family business, we can make quick decisions. We own and operate our own vehicles. If you own less than 30% of your own vehicles, service levels will decline. We offer customers a hybrid business model that, we believe, bridges the gap between the large logistics companies and the smaller niche players. What are your priorities for the business? We need to grow and our approach is for that to be achieved through organic growth. We have always invested wisely and prudently, not growing too big, too quickly. We work hard to build a long-term relationship with customers who understand service and share our ideals. We are not afraid to look into and offer new services. For example, we believe that our inhouse developed driver training programme can add value not just for us, but also for other transport operators. We have good drivers and we ve been in business for over eighty years. We know how to run trucks efficiently. Our drivers are proof of the effectiveness of our training programme. Another added value aspect of the business that we are keen to develop is our consolidation service. We currently deal with Sainsbury s suppliers, managing stock at our premises for next day deliveries to their distribution centres. This is where running our own fleet really comes into its own as we can achieve delivery lead times as short as thirteen hours. How do you keep your eye on the ball, balancing looking after customers with running the transport fleet? By having a good team around me. We have a strong team and thanks to the length of service of many team members, we offer customers continuity of communication. Also, with regard to the fleet, and compliance being such a major focus for us and the industry, and the fact that we want to roll out our training programme externally, we have recently appointed David Cooper as Head of Driver Development. Volvo have played a part in our success. If it s on a Volvo, it s going to be safe. We have a very good relationship at all levels with Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia, Ely. What part does technology play in your business? We use technology to measure vehicles as a cost centre. However, I believe that hauliers of our size need to embrace it more. Haulage is a tough business on costs. Technology saves time and resource. It s essential to have IT skills in business now. From a measuring point of view, Dynafleet is essential. Our planners would be lost without it. It removes the need for phone calls and we know which truck will be back first. It is also a crucial tool for David Cooper. He can view what s happening with a truck, live on the app. 34 INSIDE LANE #51/2014

35 Alex Knowles is one of the new generation of business leaders in the transport industry. INSIDE LANE #51/

36 VOLVO TRUCK NATION The Volvo Truck Club Spot the Difference Competition We couldn t resist choosing this fantastic photograph for this issue s Spot the Difference competition. It is said that every picture tells a story and we think this one is a great example of that. It shows a fine FL at work, negotiating the narrow city streets. It certainly looks at home in this tough and demanding environment. Compact and easy to manoeuvre, the FL is now also available as a 12 tonne GVW model, with a superb new 4-cylinder engine, which is up to 500 kg lighter than some comparable 6-cylinder vehicles. In addition, weight ranges from 12 to 18 tonnes GVW are covered by the new series FL. When it comes to effective city centre distribution, it s hard to think of a truck that outperforms the new FL. One lucky person stands to win a Volvo Driver Rugged Watch (example pictured). This stainless steel watch in black matt finish, is branded with the Volvo Iron Mark and the Volvo FMX logo. It is equipped with Miyota movement with date, a mineral glass lens and water-resistance to 10 ATM. To enter the competition, mark up a copy of this page with the 8 changes and send it, together with your name, address, postcode and a daytime telephone number to: Spot the Difference Competition, c/o CWA Ltd, Ashleigh Road, Glenfield, Leicester LE3 8DA. Entries must be received by December 31st Rules of entry: The winner will be chosen at random from the correct entries. There is no cash option. This competition is only open to Volvo Truck Nation members and readers of Inside Lane. Employees of Volvo Group UK, Volvo Dealers or anyone else professionally connected with Inside Lane may not enter. No purchase necessary. Promoter - Volvo Group UK Limited. JOIN VOLVO TRUCK NATION TODAY! ONE YEAR MEMBERSHIP STILL ONLY 9.99 New members and those renewing their membership can enjoy a free gift and can also take advantage of a 25% saving by purchasing a two year membership for the reduced price of just 14.99! Sign up today by scanning the QR code on your smartphone to go straight to the Volvo Truck Nation website or go via Alternatively, you can call us on: UK Overseas Remember to visit the Volvo Truck merchandise website It's the best place to browse and buy your official Volvo merchandise, including model trucks and clothing, delivered direct from the manufacturer. 36 INSIDE LANE #51/2014

37 From Top2Bottom Volvo Trucks recently invited four of the UK s top road transport journalists to drive four, fully laden, high specification FH artics the 796 miles from the tiny fishing village of Scrabster in the far north of Scotland, to the cruise liner terminal at Southampton. Volvo customer and famous Scottish long-haul FH operator D. Steven & Son very kindly loaned the use of their depot as the starting point for the journey. The journalists, all seasoned and respected, professional LGV road test drivers, were supported on the three day trip by Volvo Trucks Driver Development team members who rode shotgun in the cabs. The journalists who took part were: Colin Barnett (Truck and Driver), Steev Hayes (Trucking), John Wood Henderson (Transport News) and Matthew Eisenegger (Volvo Truck Driver magazine) who supplied this brief report: FH-500 6X2 GLOBETROTTER XL On the long climb out of Scrabster and into Thurso the FH made good speed, which gave an indication of what was on offer and what the truck's capabilities could be on the road ahead. Before long, it was time to tackle the infamous Berriedale Braes, a series of tight hairpins that for many a year have always proved problematic for large vehicles. The trunk road drops from 150m (492ft) to 20m (65ft) as it enters a valley in Caithness. FH-460 6X2 GLOBETROTTER Fitted with I-See, the FH-460 really got stuck into the many undulations, climbs and drops on the top end of the A1, with I-See making the correct call on throttle and gear balance. FH X2 GLOBETROTTER XL On the run south down the A19, A1 and M69 the mighty FH ate the road. With traffic conditions permitting, hardly ever did the I-shift drop out of top and the needle back away from 90kmh. FH-500 6X2 GLOBETROTTER I-SHIFT DUAL CLUTCH From the second you hit the road, the I-Shift dual clutch set-up feels nothing like anything you have ever driven before. The change is absolutely seamless. The only indication that a change has taken place is by a slight flick on the rev counter needle. We hit the M27 round Southampton, picking up the M271 for the run down to the quayside and the official end of the Top2Bottom road trip. INSIDE LANE #51/

38 the year: 1959 Text Olivia Krantz Photo Colourbox, Volvo Trucks 100 TECHNOLOGY Barbie, pacemaker and a crashlanding 200 The space race between the USSR and the USA is in full swing in 1959, with the Soviet Union scoring points by being the first nation in the world in crash landing a spacecraft (Luna 2) on the moon. Meanwhile diving legend Jacques-Yves Cousteau discovers a new way to explore the ocean, together with engineer Jean Mollard. With the SP-350 Denise, the diving saucer, they create a submersible craft that combines the submarine s ability to deep-sea dive with a diver s freedom of movement. The craft can go down to 400 metres and thanks to sharp headlights and a gripper arm, passengers can enjoy a close-up experience of life under water. The same year, the Swede Yngve Eriksson files a patent on a toothpaste containing sodium monofluorophosphate and chalk, a combination that proves effective against tooth decay. A patent is granted by several countries and today s fluoride toothpaste is born. In 1959, an American toy doll is launched that will move into millions of girls bedrooms worldwide. The doll is named Barbie after its creator Ruth Handler s daughter Barbara. That same year, the pacemaker is invented and an innovation that is frequently seen both on red carpets and at sports events worldwide sees the light of day namely spandex INSIDE LANE #51/2014

39 1959 is the year that Volvo is first in the world to crash-test their vehicle by swinging a pendulum weighing a tonne into a cab. The test is still used today, and although it has evolved over the decades, it still consists of the three basic tests that have been performed for over 50 years. First, the cab s roof is subjected to a weight of 15 tonnes. After this, a cylinder -shaped pendulum strikes the cab s front left support pillar. Finally the pendulum hits the back wall of the TRUCK TECHNOLOGY The impact test cab. The pendulum is released from a height of three metres. The three stages correspond to an accident sequence in which the truck driver first drives off the road and the vehicle then rolls over and crashes into a tree or other hard object. The blow to the back of the cab is equivalent to the truck s trailer sliding forward and hitting the cab from the rear. To pass the test, physical damage to the cab should not endanger the driver or other passengers survival space. The cab must also retain its original structure, with no major holes or protruding sharp edges. The doors must remain closed, but at the same time it must be possible to open them without tools or other equipment. In 1960 the test became a legal standard in Sweden, as it was until April 2009 when it was replaced by an EU law, ECR 29. This law does not require that the cab is subjected to as much force as previously. Even so, Volvo Trucks has stuck to its tough impact test. INSIDE LANE #51/

40 gearing down To put the new fuel-saving generation of tyres through its paces, Volvo enlisted Michelin s support to run a series of tyre trials under test conditions. Taking your fleet to another dimension The increased axle loads demanded by heavy trucks at Euro 6 is driving a move towards new tyre sizes for many UK operators. Volvo and Michelin teamed up at the Millbrook Proving Ground to put these tyres through their paces. 295/80 R 22.5 truck tyres have long been a favourite amongst UK fleets, accounting for more than a quarter of all truck tyre sales on the replacement market in But the arrival of Euro 6 technology is set to change this, with most customers expected to move to specifying the 315/70 R 22.5 and 315/80 R 22.5 sizes already favoured on the continent. Both of these sizes have the load capacity to meet Euro 6 requirements. Plus, for many tyre manufacturers, their popularity across mainland Europe means they are often the first to benefit from the latest tyre technology. In the case of Michelin, 315/70 R 22.5 and 315/80 R 22.5 sizes both allow fleets to unlock the potentially significant fuel savings from its latest long-distance Michelin X Line Energy range. To put this new fuel-saving generation of tyres through its paces, Volvo enlisted Michelin s support to run a series of tyre trials under test conditions. The test saw a pair of Volvo FH 6x2 460hp tractors coupled with Krone Duoplex tri-axle trailers, fully loaded, spend two days lapping the famous high-speed bowl at the Millbrook Proving Ground. With flow meters to record the precise fuel consumption, Volvo found that Michelin s 315/70 R 22.5 X Line Energy tyres offered a 5.4 per cent improvement in fuel economy compared with the same size X MultiWay 3D tyres Michelin s regional tread pattern. During the tests 40 INSIDE LANE #51/2014

41 Two FH 6x2 460hp tractors coupled to Krone Duoplex tri-axle trailers, fully loaded, spent two days lapping the high-speed bowl at Millbrook. From the driving seat, the 315/70 R 22.5 Michelin X Line Energy tyres deliver incredible performance in terms of handling, low roll resistance and improved fuel efficiency. the trailers ran on 385/55 R 22.5 tyres in the corresponding long-distance and regional tread patterns. John Comer, Volvo Product Manager UK & Ireland, says: One of the most notable results was the fuel economy. Not only did the X Line Energy tyres out-perform the regional fitments by more than 5 per cent, they increased the fuel economy from an already respectable 9.27mpg. Whilst many operators are firm believers in 295/80 R 22.5 tyres, the market is changing and has gathered pace since the introduction of Euro 6 in January. Customers appear to have started to see the benefits in changing to 315/70 R 22.5 tyres on the new FM and FH models. It is now the most popular Michelin tyre specified on the drive axle and accounting for 47% of all orders year to-date. This is double the number of orders with traditional 295/80 R 22.5 tyres. The 315/70 R 22.5 tyre is also proving popular for longdistance haulage use: 61% of Michelin tyres specified are the new X Line Energy, while the remainder are for the regional X MultiWay 3D tread pattern. Commenting on the added operational benefits, John Comer explains: At Euro 6, we have a bigger silencer so the unladen weight distribution is more focused towards the front of the vehicle. The eight tonne rating offers a greater load tolerance compared to the 295/80 R 22.5 at 7,100kg. The reduced height with a medium chassis also means a lower fifth wheel height and better packaging of the rear mud wings on tractors. Martin Tomlinson, Volvo Transport Services Manager, and the test driver for the duration of the Millbrook trials, adds: From the driving seat, the 315/70 R 22.5 Michelin X Line Energy tyres Not only did the X Line Energy tyres out-perform the regional fitments by more than 5 per cent, they increased the fuel economy from an already respectable 9.27mpg. deliver incredible performance in terms of handling, low roll resistance and improved fuel efficiency. When used in conjunction with the Volvo I-Roll function, the distance the truck rolls is greatly increased resulting in less frequent visits to the pumps. Coupled to the reduction in noise, this makes for a vastly improved driving experience. In terms of grip in both the wet and dry, the X Line Energy tyres give the driver confidence to use the full power and torque of the Volvo Euro VI engine range in the most fuel efficient way safe in the knowledge that grip and handling won t be compromised. Rob Blurton, Michelin Technical Manager, says: The tests highlighted what a significant impact our latest generation fuel-saving tyres can have. For trucks which operate primarily on motorways and major trunk roads, covering in excess of 110,000 km a year at average speeds greater than 70 km/h, specifying X Line Energy tyres makes total sense. While the move away from 295/80 R 22.5 tyres is likely to mean a change from the norm for many, it s an opportunity to unlock the tyres which will most likely benefit from the greatest future development. DATA FILE Michelin s X Line Energy range can be specified as original equipment on most new Volvo models and are widely available from both the ATS Euromaster and Michelin Truck Professional networks. Like all Michelin truck tyres, they can be regrooved and retreaded to offer multiple lives in service. Michelin Remix tyres are widely available on the replacement market, to support Volvo customers throughout the life of their vehicle. INSIDE LANE #51/

42 GEARING DOWN First Volvo trucks enter service with Roberts Bakery The first Volvo trucks to join the fleet of Roberts Bakery, a 12-tonne GVW FL and an 18-tonne GVW FE, have entered service with the company. Both trucks are Euro 6-compliant. Based in the Cheshire market town of Northwich, the company was established in 1887 and is still very much a family business. The Frank Roberts and Sons group comprises three main business divisions; Roberts Bakery and The Little Treats Co, based in Northwich and Aldred s The Bakers, located in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. Both trucks were supplied by Thomas Hardie Commercials, Middlewich. We chose Volvo on the basis of the total package, reports Fleet & Transport Manager Nick Crank: Dealer location and support are very important to us, as is the dealer s first time MOT pass rate. Roberts Bakery has achieved 100% in the last three years and we were pleased to see that Thomas Hardie has a current first time MOT pass rate of 98.5%. We also monitor fuel usage very closely, revealed Nick Crank, adding that, Volvo s Dynafleet telematics package has been installed to verify the trucks efficiency. Specification of the new Volvos includes the I-Sync automated transmission in the 12 tonne FL and the recently-launched automated option of I-Shift in the 18 tonne FE. I-Sync in the FL has 6 gears with an overdrive top ratio and gear selection mode is made via a stalk located on the steering column. The clutch and gearbox are fully-automated and there is no clutch pedal. A E George s FH tridem 8x2 rearsteer is bringing home the bacon Bruton, Somerset-based livestock haulier A E George Haulage Ltd., is one of the first UK operators to put a new 44 tonne GTW, Volvo FH 8x2 Tridem drawbar into service. The company, which operates a fleet of twenty trucks, all on livestock haulage, was founded 84 years ago in Russell Woof of A E George Haulage Ltd., reports that, with some older farms having limited yard access for heavy trucks, good manoeuvrability is an absolute requirement in livestock haulage. Fortunately, Truck and Bus Wales and West s Andy Button was able to come up with the solution in the shape of a new Volvo FH Tridem. The truck was supplied by Truck and Bus Wales and West, Gurney Slade and is on a seven-year Gold R&M contract which features Volvo s unique Uptime Assurance. Volvo is the only manufacturer, says Russell, to offer a Tridem configuration 8x2 with this combination of lifting and steering axles number two and four. It means that the turning circle of this new FH 8x2 Tridem is actually better than that of a standard 26 tonne GVW six-wheeler. The rearsteer, in particular, is invaluable when negotiating narrow winding roads and manoeuvring between buildings and machinery in busy farmyards, he adds.. 42 INSIDE LANE #51/2014

43 THE IMAGE Photo Craig Eccleston Wedding presence Mike Boyd and Caroline Gardner s wedding list included a new Volvo FH16, which they were planning to order in time for it to be at the ceremony in Kinlochbervie, north-west Scotland in However, a visit to this year s Truckfest at Peterborough, resulted in a change of plan when they saw the new series, Euro 6, FH on the Volvo Trucks stand. We were so impressed, we decided to order one there and then. We also brought the date of the wedding forward to 13th September 2014, so we could have the new truck at the ceremony on Oldshoremoor Beach, Kinlochbervie, explained Mike, before adding, After the wedding, we also used it to take us on a tour round the Highlands and Islands of Scotland on our honeymoon. The FH16-750, which was supplied by Thomas Hardie Commercials, is the first new truck that Mike has owned. It is being maintained by Thomas Hardie Commercials on a Gold Contract that includes Volvo s unique Uptime Assurance. INSIDE LANE #51/

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