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Somerset-based, Briarwood Products has put its first Volvo trucks for 25 years into service. The two FH13.540 tractor units will be used on own account operation for the company, which specialises in the supply of Fibre Cement profiled sheets and accessories.

The two latest arrivals follow a two-week demonstration period with an FH13.500 model. “We waited around a month to receive the FH demonstrator, but once in service it delivered impressive fuel savings over two separate drivers,” reports Oly Janes, Director, at Briarwood.

“After just two days with the demonstrator, Wales and West Truck and Bus phoned to update us on fuel usage via the Dynafleet system. Prior to that trial, it had arranged for two different FH models, a flat roof cab and a Globetrotter cab, to be viewed at our premises. We were able to carry out detailed technical inspections of both trucks and these factors helped us return to Volvo,” Oly adds.

Oly Janes also spent time carefully considering the overall specifications for the new trucks to ensure they were exactly right. The two 3,000mm wheelbase tag axle chassis are fitted with D13K engines, Volvo’s I-Shift Dual Clutch, automated transmission systems and RSS1360 single reduction axles with a ratio of 3.08:1. They also have Globetrotter cabs

The Medium height, all-air suspended chassis also feature higher fixing heights for the Jost JSK37 fifth wheels, to eliminate any frame contact with the trailer superstructures whilst operating on rough ground conditions. The stunning white, red and blue cab livery was produced by Complete Wrap UK and Alcoa Dura-Bright EVO alloy wheels provide the perfect finishing touch. The additional light bars and associated wiring were completed by AD Auto Electrical.

Briarwood also elected to use Volvo’s Gold Service Contract for 36 months, which guarantees 100% uptime. These programmes will be carried out at the new dealerpoint in Bridgwater.

“Our drivers are usually away for four nights every week, so we opted for the roomier Globetrotter cabs with Drive Plus and Single Bed Living packages,” notes Oly adding, “The drivers love the cab comfort and trim levels, whilst the I-Shift Dual Clutch gearbox is also proving popular.”

“Looking at the purchase price, total cost of operation and anticipated resale values, Volvos were the right decision to make. Our previous experience stretches back to the early F86 and F88 models. We also ran one of the first drawbar specification, F10 rigids with hub reduction axles. We have high hopes for the new FH13.540 tractor units,” Oly concludes.