Alfred Hymas of Burton Leonard, near Harrogate, has taken delivery of six new Volvo FH tractor units. The vehicles are also the first ever taken on contract hire by the North Yorkshire based company, for evaluation of procurement options.
Managing Director Stewart Hymas said: “Overall reliability is the main factor for us choosing Volvo. However fuel consumption, payload factors and driver acceptance are also important.”
Volvos have a dominating presence in this 76-vehicle fleet and the company have long links with the manufacturer, stretching back to its F86 models of the early 1970s. This batch, supplied by Crossroads Truck and Bus, Boroughbridge are all FH13.460 6×2 Lite Pusher Axle tractor units, powered by 460hp D13K engines. Secondary braking is provided by Volvo’s Engine Brake (VEB) with 375kW on tap.
Globetrotter cabs were also specified along with I-See predictive cruise control system that helps maximise the trucks’ kinetic energy, saving fuel. In addition to new lightweight drive axle, all six FHs are equipped with alloy air tanks and alloy wheels to reduce weight and improve payload.
Director Robert Hymas added: “The new trucks also represent a change in procurement as they are the first vehicles in the company’s 108-year history to be sourced on a contract hire agreement. We currently purchase a combination of new and used trucks for long distance and local works respectively.”
The company has its own workshops, staffed 24/7- that cater for servicing and repairs. However, in another change to established policies, the new FHs are on a five-year Volvo Gold Service contract. As Robert explains, “Heavy trucks are becoming more and more electronically complex and we also need something to benchmark our current maintenance set up with. It’s far too early to comment yet on whether the mix of contract hire and service contract packages will be advantageous to our business, but we’ll have a clearer picture by the end of year one.”
The company fits a range of aftermarket equipment onto its vehicles, as part of its high fleet specification. All come with hydraulic kits, inclinometers and 360-degree full-time recording camera systems. Sporting a full array of extra warning, strobe and working lights, the six Volvos’ are also equipped with radar detection systems, corner alert audible warnings and full tracking capabilities.
“These extra systems do add on some weight, but the Lite Pusher Axle is the main trade-off. We’ve used these small-wheeled axles since the days when Estepe did the conversions. Now of course, it’s a factory fitment and financially a better option,” Stewart concludes.
The Volvos are being used to haul tipping trailers and carry both bulk aggregates and agricultural products across the UK. Alfred Hymas runs a mixed marque tipping trailer fleet and the payloads are between 29 and 30 tonnes, depending on the trailer make coupled.