Woodlands Generators gets new Volvo FH-500 Tridem

Volvo FH Tridem

Woodlands Generators has been impressed with its first ever Tridem chassis; a Volvo FH-500 8x4. The truck features a heavy-duty 10-tonne front axle, adding to the rear bogie’s 27-tonne design capabilities, providing the company with the ability to carry out heavier operations.

Jack Preece, director at Woodlands Generators, said: “We’ve switched the design around with our first Tridem chassis, as the 8x4s need constant monitoring not to overload the front axles.

“The Tridem’s larger capacity rear bogie design has permitted a rear chassis crane fitment and will bring us more flexibility when moving larger generators.”  

The unit is powered by the Swedish manufacturer’s D13K engine, with power sent through an I-Shift automated gearbox and single-reduction drive-axles with a ratio of 2.83:1.

Preece added: “The new FH is running well and so far there have been no complaints from the driver.”

A standard cabbed truck has been fitted with alloy wheels and aluminium air tanks. It also features a FASSI F545 crane capable of picking up and moving 53m/tonne, mounted at the rear behind the AG Bracey-built platform plant body.

Another of the reasons behind the purchase besides the flexibility, Preece said, was the back-up included within the five-year Volvo Gold Service contract: “Local back-up is crucial to our business and the nearby location of Truck and Bus Wales and West, Evesham, was a factor in our purchasing decisions.

“We already have a Volvo FH tractor unit on our fleet. Volvo is a good brand with excellent back-up and response levels”, he concluded.

The new Volvo FH operates throughout the UK predominantly, but may undergo some trips to Europe. Preece explained that its most recent journey was to Gibraltar.  

Head to head: 1996 Mercedes-Benz SK1853LS 4x2 vs 1995 Scania R143/450MNA 6x2


If you’re looking for a powerful V8 tractor to remind you of your youth, you won’t do much better than these two workhorses from the mid-1990s. But which should you go for? We pit a 1996 Mercedes-Benz SK1853LS 4x2 and a 1995 Scania R143/450MNA 6x2 head to head in the August 8 issue of Commercial Motor.

Check out some of the specs and the galleries below, and make your predictions of who will come out on top.


Mercedes-Benz: 1996 Mercedes SK1853LS 4x2 tractor unit with Eurocab high-roof sleeper cab.

Scania: 1994 Scania R143/450MNA6x2/4 twin-steer/lift-axle tractor unit with Topline/Streamline sleeper cab.


Mercedes-Benz: 3.5m wheelbase, GVW 18,000kg (22,100kg design), GCW 40,000kg (80,000kg special types). Steel front suspension, plated 7,100kg, 385/65R22.5 tyres, four-bag rear air suspension with raise and lower facility, plated 11,500kg (up to 15,000kg) for heavy duty applications). Mercedes hub-reduction drive-axle, 4.03:1 ratio (3.77:1 standard), 450-litre fuel tank. Factory-fitted auto lubrication, fixed fifth wheel and chassis-mounted toolbox.

Scania: 13.8m wheelbase, GVW 23,100kg, GCW 41,000kg. Steel front suspension, plated 7,100kg, 295/80R22.5 tyres all-round, fully air-suspended rear bogie (two bags per axle), load transfer and full lift facility on second steer-axle, raise and lower facility. Bogie plated for 16,000kg (split 6,000kg/10,000kg). Scania ADA90 axle with R780 single-reduction gear, diff lock, 3.08:1 ratio standard (4.31:1 optional). 400-litre fuel tank and sliding fifth wheel. Optional aluminium wheels, custom-built twin exhaust stacks and chassis-mounted toolbox.


Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes OM442LA 530 Euro-2, 14.62-litre, V8 turbocharged and intercooled, with separate turbochargers for either bank of cylinders. EDC-controlled fuel injection, twin exhaust brakes and constant throttle engine brake.

Scania: 1Scania DSC 14-05/450 Euro-1, 14.2-litre V8 turbocharged and intercooled, with one centrally mounted turbocharged and mechanically controlled fuel injection system. Standard exhaust brake.

Maximum power

Mercedes-Benz: 530hp (390kW) at 1,900rpm

Scania: 450hp (331kW) at 1,900Nm

Maximum torque

Mercedes-Benz: 2,300Nm (1,696lbft) at 1,000rpm to 1,500rpm

Scania: 1,950Nm (1438lbft) at 1,150rpm


Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes G180-16 manual, overdrive, 16-speed synchromesh, range change and splitter, with double H pattern gate. Ratio spread 11.53-0.83:1 (standard transmission but with EPS semi-automated control system). Optional Voith Integral Retarder.

Scania: Scania GR900 manual, direct-drive, 8-speed synchromesh with one non-synchronised crawler gear, range change controlled by electric switch on gearstick. Ratio spread 16.6-1:1 (optional GRS900 14-speed range change and splitter gearbox).


Mercedes-Benz: Air-operated drum brakes all round, with ABS and load sensing. Parking brake on rear axle and trailer axles.

Scania: Air-operated drum brakes all-round, with ABS and load sensing. Parking brake operated on axles two and three. (Optional Scania integral gearbox retarder).


Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes SK/G-Type (Grosseraum Kabine) sleeper cab, with EuroCab high-roof extension, four-point steel suspension and hydraulic tilting. Twin bunks, extensive overhead and under-bunk storage, twin external lockers, twin air suspension seats, air conditioning and night heater. Air deflector side valences, additional front driving lamps, external sun visor, airhorns, beacons, and illuminated headboard.

Scania: Topline/Streamline high-roof sleeper cab, with four-point air suspension, hydraulic tilting. Twin bunks, twin air suspension seats, sliding passenger seat, customised interior trim, overhead and under-bunk storage and night heater. Full air deflector kit, airhorns, additional driving lamps and external sun visor.

Owner / restorer

Mercedes-Benz: Owner and restorer: Andrew Cooper, Porthcawl, South Wales (vehicle purchased used from Germany).

Scania: David Connor and family, Caerphilly, South Wales.

Read this full head-to-head feature in the Summer Special issue of Commercial Motor magazine. Coming out on 8 August, this bumper issue will feature 16 extra pages!

Subscribe and get your copy delivered to your door. Or, you can pick up an issue from our stand at Convoy in the Park on 10-11 August.