North Lincs Aggregates has recent taken delivery of 11 new Volvo trucks – nine tractor units and two FH 8×4 tipper chassis – all supplied by Crossroads Truck and Bus. NLA is based in the Isle of Axholme and is one of the biggest companies in the region for quarry products, plant machinery and contracting.
Having a strong, reliable fleet is key, as Director Richard Mills, said: “We have both Volvo trucks and construction equipment. The trucks are new and we’ve been running another manufacturer for the past few years. We like to buy our vehicles rather than renting them, then we sell them at three years old, which is what we’re doing now.”
So far 11 Volvos have been delivered: eight FH13.500 6×2 mid lift tractor units, two FH13.540 8×4 rigids with Weightlifter aluminium tipping bodies and one FH16.750 6×2 tractor with a tag-axle to be used at up to 80-tonnes. The eight tractors all have the 500hp version of Volvo’s D13K engine; while the 8×4 tippers boast 540hp versions, along with Alcoa Dura-bright alloy wheels.
“We use the 8x4s for longer distance work shifting our own material, that’s why they’re a sleeper cab,” Richard adds. “We opted for Volvo because we’ve always got an eye on residual values, and at the moment, they’re maintaining a much higher price after three years. We’ve gone for the bigger engine because we believe they’ll be more of an owner drivers’ vehicle when we come to sell them, Richard says, adding. “The drivers also like them better because of the I-Shift gearboxes.”
The FH16 is a bit of a reward motor; adds Richard: “Its driver has been with us for 20 years, so it’s really the fleet flagship.”
With the D16K engine producing 750hp under the floor and full leather seats above, this truck is also specified with versatility in mind. “We have a four-axle low loader for moving our own plant machinery, so we bought the FH16 to go up to STGO2 operations at 80 tonnes. But 90% of the time it pulls a lighter weight tipping trailer, so we had to find a balance. Having the tag-axle keeps the weight down while also giving you a better turning circle for plant work.”
So far, the new Volvos are a success, especially with North Lincs’ drivers. “Put it like this, if you take a driver off his current truck and put him on a Volvo, he doesn’t want to go back,” Richard declares.
Richard concluded: “We’ve got 11 more Volvos on order to come next year, all are FH13.540 tractor units with mid lift axles.”