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New Volvo delivers the performance

JL Wilkie is reporting substantially increased performance levels from a new Volvo FH13.540 tractor unit delivered with I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission.

The company, based in Longforgan, near Dundee, ordered the new truck alongside a standard I-Shift FH13.500. Both new trucks are 6×2 pusher axle chassis with Globetrotter cabs.

“In just a few weeks, the I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission has far exceeded my expectations. It is the best gearbox I’ve ever used in a truck,” reports operations manager David Wilkie.

Supplied by Aberdeen dealer of Volvo Trucks and Bus Centre North & Scotland, the two FHs are the first new Volvos to enter this Tayside operation. Their specifications include Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels, Xenon headlights and Hyva tipping gear. The interiors feature twin bunks, leather seats, fridge/freezers and microwave ovens.

Delivered on a four-year contract hire deal that includes Volvo Gold Plus Service Contracts, the FHs will be used across the UK, on general haulage predominately linked to the agricultural industry.

“The FH13.500 is a replacement vehicle and the FH13.540 is an additional truck to cope with increasing workloads,” David adds. “We are using Volvo’s Perth dealerpoint for repairs and maintenance and, although its early days, my initial opinion is that its staff team seem very helpful.”

The FH13.540 is delivering constantly better fuel consumption figures than its standard I-Shift stablemate. “Our operation sees trucks regularly go off-road onto farm access tracks and the public roads to reach these locations are also challenging. That environment brings its own fuel consumption challenges and includes a fair share of soft surfaces. The I-Shift Dual Clutch never requires any manual intervention and it never gets stuck in the mud, as there’s no interruption to power delivery,” David explains.

He concludes, “We are using Volvo’s fleet management system, Dynafleet, to monitor the two new FHs. I suspect the standard I-Shift’s fuel consumption figures will increase as the truck beds in, but the current returns from I-Shift Dual Clutch are remarkable. That transmission is undoubtedly the future and it literally has to be specified with every new truck we order from now on.”