Volvo FEs prove popular with Williamson Food Service

Commercial Motor
October 7, 2019

Williamson Food Service has taken delivery of two 18-tonne Volvo FE 280 4x2 rigids fitted with Carrier Transicold Supra 1150 multi-temperature (MT) refrigerated Gray & Adams bodies.

Having purchased two Volvo FEs in 2017 and 2018, the latest additions to the Inverness-based caterer’s 40-strong fleet have been designed to make drivers’ lives easier.

MD of Williamson Food Service Gary Williamson, explained that triple doors have been specified this time instead of barn doors, which “allows the driver access without having to open a door beyond the width of the vehicle – handy for on-street deliveries”. 

The smaller size of the triple door “reduces temperature leakage” too, he added. Volvo’s Comfort cabs were specified, the comfier seats and additional storage helping to “look after our drivers!” said Williamson.

Some components have been relocated because earlier FE’s tail-lifts would suffer from water damage, as drips fell from the evaporator unit and pipes on to the tail-lift control panels and electronics.

Both Volvos are equipped with extra-large AdBlue and fuel tanks to cover the long routes Williamson Food Service operates in the Highlands. 

The latest pair have been bought outright and come with the Swedish manufacturer’s five year Gold Service contract. Williamson’s reasoning behind opting for five years, is because he believes most trucks reach the limit of their useful service life within five to seven years. 

The rest of the fleet is made up of 15- and 18-tonners, including a second-hand 16-plate DAF LF 4x2 purchased for £40,000 to meet increased company activity. With only 72,000km completed, Williamson added that the LF still had “a decent life left and a good spec for the money”.

“The amount of trucks we need depends on seasonal demands. We provide services to independent outlets as well as bigger companies like Bespoke Hotels. In total we have around 1,000 clients. For example, summer is quite busy for us with more pop-up eateries appearing,” he said.

Since operating the new Volvo FEs, the company has seen improved fuel economy figures, but Williamson stated that this is down to the evolution of the product compared to older vehicles like the DAF, so “does not have sufficient data to give an illustrative figure”.

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