Armstrong Logistics takes delivery of five LNG-powered Volvo FHs

Armstrong Logistics has added five new LNG-powered Volvo FH 460s to its 95-strong truck fleet, each supplied on contract hire through Volvo Financial Services.

Specified with 155kg gas tanks, the 6x2 tractors are expected to cover 200,000km per annum, and are part of the Lutterworth-based haulier’s business strategy to reduce its carbon emissions and improve the long-term sustainability of its operation.

Marcus Fischer, finance and commercial director at Armstrong Logistics, said: “We did our research from articles in the press, spoke to key contacts in our sector and then held informal talks with three manufacturers, before deciding to go with Volvo.”

The haulier worked closely with supplying dealer Truck and Bus Wales and West, and fuel provider Gasrec, to ensure the infrastructure and support was in place to make the move financially viable.

“The big focus has been on unlocking both financial and CO2 emissions savings by switching to a cleaner and lower cost fuel,” added Fischer. “We were really helped along the way thanks to the clear data given by the team at Wales and West, which we were able to plug into our whole life cost calculator and confidently predict the benefit these trucks would bring.”

Fischer confirmed that “if the figures stack up”, and driver acceptance is good, it would consider adding more gas-powered trucks in the future.

Used Focus: DAF XF510 6x2 tag axle

The vast majority of 44-tonne tractor units on the secondhand market have a similar set-up – a sleeper cab, a mid-lift axle and, of course, an automatic gearbox. As a result, those seeking something a little different

will need to shop around for a truck that ticks their specific boxes.

While tag-axle tractors (available factory-built from DAF, MAN, Renault, Scania, Volvo and to a lesser extent Mercedes-Benz) are not especially hard to source, throw a manual gearbox into the equation and your choice shrinks considerably. Now try looking for one that’s less than six years old. The expression “rocking horse manure” springs to mind!

What’s available

We’ve been searching long and hard, and have finally managed to unearth just such a truck at Hertfordshire truck dealer Centre Transport Sales. It’s a one-owner 2015 DAF XF510 with Super Space Cab, and has only covered 390,000km.

The MX-13-powered tractor has plenty of tricks. It is equipped with tipping gear, retarder, Kelsa HiBar with beacons, under bumper splitter and alloy wheels.

Inside the spacious cab you’ll find lots of extras too, including an uprated multi-speaker system, twin bunks, twin air seats, media package, USB/Bluetooth, fridge and microwave. Finished in blue, the truck features colour-coded panels and a freshly painted chassis.

It has been maintained by a main DAF agent from new, and comes with a full service history and fresh MoT. The buyer can choose a warranty that suits their requirements/budget (up to 24 months) and there are various finance options.

It’s on the market at £35,000+VAT, which for a truck of this spec, mileage and age, appears to be a good price.

Who will buy it?

Obviously the manual gearbox is going to put off some buyers. But other operators, especially small fleets and owner drivers, do still prefer having a clutch pedal. And for them, this XF510 could be perfect. Meanwhile, tag axles appeal to timber hauliers, many of which also like a manual gearbox.  So while this is a specialist truck, we envisage it finding a buyer very soon.

This is a perfect truck for a timber or heavy-haulage operator. It has a great spec and a low mileage for its age. There’s plenty of life left in this one – and it could also be a bit of a head-turner too.

The XF can trace its origins to the Leyland DAF 95 series, which was launched in 1987. But the first designated XF models appeared a decade later, featuring the new 12.6-litre engine (with 380hp, 430hp and 480hp ratings) or the 530hp 14-litre engine. The XF95 model arrived on the scene in 2001, followed five years later by the XF105 (with power ratings of 410hp, 460hp and 510hp). A major rework occurred in 2013 in readiness for Euro-6, which introduced the new look we know today – featuring a silver strip beneath the windscreen bearing the DAF badge and the teardrop headlights. While some people referred to these as XF106s, the official designation from DAF was simply XF410, XF430, XF460 and XF510. In 2017 the models were refreshed again, with updated drivelines (including the ZF TraXon two-pedal transmission), a new top power rating of 530hp and subtle external tweaks.