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After 26 years since its initial launch in 1993 the Volvo FH accounts for nearly 20% of sales in its sector. The FH has been voted International Truck of the Year on three occasions and it has also collected many transport industry magazine awards along the way, including Motor Transport’s Fleet Truck of the Year in 2017.

‘Once in service with our customers it soon became clear that it was a world-beater’ Mike Corcoran, commercial director, Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland

However, this success has not been achieved by resting on its laurels. During the past 25 years Volvo has continually developed and delivered many new technologies, alongside world leading safety features. A timeline of these innovations, key moments and awards can be found within these pages.

Reliability and longevity are the cornerstones of any profitable heavy truck and a wide range of customers across the globe rely on the Volvo FH. Long-established haulage contractor Des Hartley & Sons Transport of Birstall, Leeds is one of a select few operators that still use all four Volvo FH generations on frontline haulage duties. The story of this remarkable family-run firm follows on pages 12 and 13.

Finally, looking to the future, we round off this publication with a focus on Volvo’s FH 25 Year Edition truck and the LNG powered FH range. Both these exciting vehicles will be making the news and raising the bar further in future, as the FH range enters its 26th year in production.

Aggressive operator disqualified for two years

An operator who behaved in an aggressive manner towards a DVSA vehicle examiner, leaving him “scared for his life”, has been disqualified.

J&P Scaffolding director Jacek Pawlaczyk has been banned from holding any type of licence in any traffic area for two years after traffic commissioner (TC) for the West Midlands Nick Denton heard evidence that his behaviour was so threatening the examiner had to plead with a maintenance provider not to leave him alone with him.

At a public inquiry in Croydon, the TC heard how the examiner had visited the haulier’s premises and found some shortcomings including high MoT final failure rates, excessive intervals between safety inspections and use of an unauthorised operating centre.

Although Pawlaczyk started the visit with a pleasant manner, his mood changed when the shortcomings were pointed out.

In evidence, the examiner said the operator had shouted, pointed his finger in his face and blown smoke in his face. He said he panicked and began shaking and a maintenance provider arrived to calm Pawlaczyk down. He then had to leave, despite pleas from the examiner to stay. The examiner was later signed off work with stress.

Pawlaczyk’s solicitor Charles Stansfield accepted his client had been upset by the encounter with the DVSA, but there had been no allegation of physical violence or verbal abuse.

Denton said he had two different versions of the encounter between the two men, but given that he had known the examiner for several years and found him to be reliable and level-headed and not in the habit of making wild accusations, he had no hesitation in believing his version of events.

“It is not acceptable for DVSA examiners to face aggressive and threatening behaviour from operators. I accept that Mr Pawlaczyk did not physically assault the examiner [there was no claim that he did], but I am clear that Mr Pawlaczyk’s shouting, smoking, and close proximity finger-wagging did intimidate him and caused him to fear what might happen next. An operator who indulges in such behaviour is not fit to hold a licence,” he said.

Pawlaczyk’s company O-licence was also revoked.

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