Fox Group charge into being UK's first Volvo FE Electric tipper operator

Fox Group has added two new Volvo FE Electric tippers onto its fleet becoming the first operator in the UK to run the model.

Based at the company’s Leyland depot, a charging infrastructure has been installed to support the trucks as well as staff cars.

Supplied by dealer Thomas Hardie Commercials, who worked closely with Fox Group to determine the optimal specification for the vehicles, Volvo’s Electric Range Simulator was used to make considerations about the customer’s operation, including payload, routes, driving hours and charging infrastructure in order to ensure their suitability for the role.

Paul Fox, Fox Group MD, said: “This purchase marks the start of the electrification of our fleet. We understand we are the first company in the UK to invest in electric tippers – and one of the first in Europe.

“We are strongly committed to playing our part in the UK’s push to reach net zero and we will be making more of our fleet electric in the future. This milestone is just the beginning of the journey, and we believe if the country is serious about substantially reducing carbon emissions, the construction sector needs to join the party – and we are proud to be playing our part and leading from the front.

Both Volvo FE Electric 6x2 rigids are plated at 27 tonnes – 1-tonne more than a standard three-axle rigid – to help offset the additional weight of the batteries. Mounted with Thompsons tipper bodywork, they will operate primarily on local contracts for customers such as Lancashire County Council, moving materials to and from construction sites, before returning to base each night to be recharged.

The trucks also have day cabs, full air suspension and a hydraulically-steered rear axle and have a range of around 150km on a full charge – taking into account PTO usage.

  • The official handover of this truck will take place at 12.30pm on Thursday 30 June on Volvo Trucks’ Road Transport Expo stand Register now for FREE

Sapphire Vehicle Services launches new fleet mangement division

Commercial vehicle repairers Sapphire Vehicle Services has launched a new fleet management division which it hopes will take the stress out of the day-to-day running of delivery vehicles.

Sapphire Fleet Services will allow operators to concentrate on running their business rather than their vehicles.

“For many companies, owning and operating a fleet is not their core business,” explained Sapphire’s head of fleet services, Paul West.

“Those who make or build products need to get their goods to their customers, for example – but their expertise tends to be in manufacturing not distribution. By allowing Sapphire Fleet Services to take over the management of their entire delivery operation, they can rest easy in the knowledge that not only are their vehicles being deployed with optimum efficiency and safety, they are also guaranteed to be legally compliant,” West added.

 The Derbyshire-based firm came up with the idea for a fleet management service after Sapphire was approached by one of its existing customers – which runs a line-up of trucks to provide traffic management and other services to utility contractors.

“We were already looking after the repair and maintenance of the vehicles, but the customer asked whether we would consider taking over management of its fleet. With our expertise, experience and national network of facilities, it was clear we were ideally positioned to offer a high-quality, cost-effective and hassle-free solution not just to this business but to others too,” West said.

Sapphire Fleet Services can take over responsibility for maintaining trucks or vans with service planning and MOT scheduling, vehicle inspections and DVSA tests. Sapphire Vehicle Services already maintains more than 28,000 trucks and vans in 19 dedicated Vehicle Maintenance Units and independent workshops across the country.

“There are literally tens of thousands of trucks and vans out on the roads, which are kept running smoothly by Sapphire workshops. So even customers who have never heard of us can have complete confidence in our exemplary standards of support. By adding a full fleet management service to the packages we offer, Sapphire is becoming a true one-stop shop for everything truck and van operators need,” West added.