Owens Group welcomes DAF back into its fleet

The Owens Group has purchased 36 XF480 6x2 mid-lift tractors from Watts Truck & Van in Cardiff, the first DAFs to enter its fleet in more than a decade.

“We had some engine problems with DAF in 2007, so started to leave them out of our purchasing decisions,” explained commercial director Eurof Owen. However the Llanelli-based operator decided to give the company another chance following a successful trial against other marques.  

“The latest DAF XF was a clear winner,” said Owen. “The 480hp engine and Super Space Cab combination appealed to our drivers and their expert opinion features strongly in the ultimate buying decision.”

The trucks, which join a mixed MAN, Mercedes-Benz and Scania fleet, are returning an average of 9.8mpg. According to Owen this compares favourably with its fleet average, which is in the low nines. 

The latest purchases, half of which are additions to the 550-stong fleet, will operate out of Owens’ locations in Wales and the West Midlands. In addition some will be based at its newest site in Carrington, Manchester, following its acquisition of BTS Haulage in July last year. Owens runs an 80% Euro-6 fleet. 


Volvo Trucks releases engines for Euro-6 Step D

As the next stage in the Euro-6 emissions standard approaches, Volvo Trucks has introduced a modified range of compliant engines, available now. Step D of Euro-6 (pictured below) tightens still further the onboard policing requirement for engines, and increases the range of operating conditions monitored.

Under the current Step C, emissions figures as measured by PEMS (portable engine measurement system) can be ignored when the engine is developing less than 20% of its maximum power, but Step D reduces this threshold to 10%.

The new requirement has been in place since September 2018 for newly homologated engines, and will apply to existing engine designs from this September.
Volvo has taken the opportunity to apply numerous detail changes to its D11 and D13 engines as fitted to FH, FM and FMX models.

Volvo Trucks former president Claes Nilsson said: “With fuel chalking up about one third of hauliers’ costs, we continue to turn every stone to find ways of reducing fuel consumption in our trucks. This time, a combination of small improvements enables significant cost savings for customers without compromising performance or productivity.”

Both engines get new software and an improved coating in the exhaust after-treatment system, while the D13 uses a new VDS-5 low-viscosity oil type with new oil control piston rings that reduce internal friction. The 500hp engine now has the same higher compression ratio as the 460hp and 420hp ratings.

Volvo’s I-See predictive cruise control has been upgraded with a new gear selection strategy and more effective selective coasting in the I-Roll function.