G Webb Haulage has added an FM 8x4 rigid to its fleet – its first Volvo since 2011.
Based in Cambridgeshire, the firm specialises in the disposal of contaminated soil and other waste such as aggregates, coal, fertiliser and scrap metal, and operates 60 vehicles.
The 430hp FM Globetrotter, which was supplied by Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia, is fitted with a lifting rear axle. The axle features a button on the dashboard that allows the driver to disengage and raise the second drive axle when the truck is unloaded, which increases pressure on the first drive axle to improve grip and manoeuvrability, said to result in a 4% improvement in fuel economy. The second drive axle automatically lowers and reengages when the load bay is refilled.
Other equipment includes the company’s I-Cruise intelligent cruise control and I-Roll software – said to help to save fuel when the engine is not being used for acceleration or braking.
“The nature of our work means some jobs can involve a period of empty running, when our vehicles return to site to reload,” said fleet director, Paul Broker. “We can lift the rear axle, reducing rolling resistance, which in turn improves fuel economy and reduces tyre wear. Volvo was the only manufacturer that was able to provide us with this configuration and we were keen to give it a try.
“Initial driver feedback has been very promising. The main focus for us is fuel economy, so if the FM can prove its worth, we’ll definitely return to Volvo for future upgrades to the fleet.”