WJ UK, the UK’s leading independent specialist road marking business, has put the UK’s first 18-tonne Volvo FL with factory-fitted Crew Cab into service. The 5,600mm wheelbase 4×2 rigid FL8.250 model was supplied by Crossroads Truck and Bus Limited.

WJ opted for Volvo’s D8K engine coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox. In addition to a rear engine-mounted live drive Power Take Off (PTO), an extra front mounted engine pulley provides drive for some of the bodywork accessories. The new arrival also features a 7.1-tonne front axle, large capacity alternator and cab air conditioning.

“Volvo has a long standing presence in our fleet of 150 trucks and the latest FL rigid was ordered after the performance levels of a 16-tonne FL Crew Cab,” said Mark Fawcett, Managing Director at WJ’s Elland depot. The FL has been allocated onto temporary road marking works and is fitted with specialist bodywork that is designed and built in-house by WJ.

Mark explains: “The truck has a team of four. The driver follows a pointer bar to guide him accurately on the carriageway and up front in the bodywork, a hot compressor air dries the road surface. Behind that is a canopy covered stockpile of temporary coloured road studs. Immediately aft of the rear axle is a radar encoded bitumen glue applicator.”

He adds: “This triggers the correct amount of surface adhesive every one to two metres, depending on the job in question. Finally, on the rear platform, two team members and their stock of markers, stick the studs onto the roadway.” WJ is currently working on a robotic arm design to automate the latter function.