City West Commercials appoints new dealer principal

Darren Sweet

City West has appointed former group aftersales director Darren Sweet as new dealer principal. Sweet joined the south west based dealer network three years ago, and now heads up the operation from its headquarters in Avonmouth.

With 30 years in the automotive industry, Sweet has worked within two former Mercedes-Benz franchises as well as Northgate Vehicle Hire in the UK and Ireland. His focus for the business going forward is to grow City West’s share of retail business in the region, while building on its national fleet sector customers.

Sweet took on the roll just prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, but City West’s four dealer depots remained open to support front line operators. 

“It was certainly something of a ‘baptism of fire’,” said Sweet. “The team have been fantastic in supporting our business, and this has allowed us to keep all departments, including Truck Sales, operational throughout the crisis. 

“We have big plans to grow this business, and the consistent delivery of great customer service will be key to the achievement of our goals,” added Sweet.

“Fortunately, the solid foundations from which we can build are already in place. I’ve inherited a first-class team of colleagues, while our branch infrastructure is among the best in the Mercedes-Benz Trucks network. In terms of aftersales, therefore, our strategy is one of evolution rather than revolution. We will continue to make incremental improvements in our service and parts offer, while simultaneously raising our profile, and ensuring that commercial vehicle operators across the region are fully aware of the timely, efficient support we can provide.”

Used Volvo FH: 14 common issues

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Click here to view all of the used Volvo FH tractor units we have in stock.

We’ve put together 14 potential issues you should check out before buying a used Volvo FH.

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1. Seals

Poor window seals causing whistling noises while driving. Also, leaking door seals – particularly an issue when the vehicle is washed vigorously, when soap and water will find its way inside and on to electric mirror controls.

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2. Windows

Issues where both driver’s and passenger’s windows will not close if lowered above 50mph. Some operators say opening the sunroof temporarily solves this problem.

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3. Airbag

A recall was issued in 2018 owing to a problem with the driver’s airbag inflator rupturing, potentially causing violent deployment of the airbag. Ensure vehicle has been inspected and the airbag replaced, where necessary.

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4. Central locking

Some evidence that incidents of doors self-locking unexpectedly on previous versions of the FH have continued with this generation. Advise drivers not to leave keys in ignition when leaving the cab, just in case.

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5. Key

Keys becoming stuck fast in ignition switches. Check key has not been bent as a result.

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6. Electrical system

On early models the electrical system can’t be reset using the master switch. Rather than disconnecting the battery entirely, turn the vehicle off at the key, flash the hazard lights twice, remove hand then flash a second time while holding button down. This will force a full system reboot. Non-issue on later models.

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7. Sunvisor blind

Sunvisor blind motors failing. This component has since been entirely redesigned, so check whether replacement is advisable.

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8. Brake pedal

Some issues with incorrect assembly of brake pedals in production on 2017 models – ensure split pin on brake pedal cross-shaft is correctly installed. This was the subject of a recall, so will be corrected at no cost by the manufacturer.

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9. Doors

Examples of doors actually bending on early models.

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10. AdBlue

Be aware if running multiple vehicles on fleets where drivers regularly change units that the position of the AdBlue tank can vary, with some versions placed behind the air kit where the diesel tank is positioned on others. This has led to incidents of mis-fuelling when filling in the dark, especially under sodium lights where the blue cap isn’t as obvious – the tanks look otherwise identical. Be certain to advise drivers to double check what they are doing. More general AdBlue issues on older vehicles – mostly pumps and nozzles.

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11. Wipers

Wiper mechanisms failing. Wiper shafts prone to seizing.

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12. Starter motor

Instances of starter motors failing between 18 and 24 months.

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13. Cab tilt cylinder

Examples of internal leakage in the cab tilt cylinder, meaning cab can fall without damping once it passes top dead centre. Ensure vehicle has been inspected by a Volvo dealership and the parts replaced as necessary.

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14. Batteries

Batteries poor on early models – ensure originals have been replaced. This was actually caused by the ECUs failing to shut down on turning off the ignition or locking the doors, repeatedly draining available power, and has since been resolved. Post-2017 versions had the option of being fitted with a dual battery system which runs internal amenities from a pair of gel-based leisure batteries, reserving another battery for starting.