Evesham-based road planing business Jet Plant Hire has put its first Volvo FMX Tridem chassis into service.
The 460hp 8x4, purchased from Wales and West Truck and Bus in November with a seven-year Volvo Gold Service Contract, features a Globetrotter cab, Volvo’s I-Shift transmission, a 9-tonne front axle and a rear lift/tag axle. It is fitted with a Boweld Taperlite tipper body and used with a tri-axle Andover drawbar trailer to move the company’s road planers around.
The FMX, which has a lower passenger door glazing panel as well as front, side and rear cameras, joins an all-Volvo truck fleet of 32 at Jet Plant Hire which includes everything from FL rigids up to STGO-plated FH tractor units.
Sean Witheford, MD of Jet Plant Hire, said the decision to try out the Tridem was based on it offering the manoeuvrability of a six-wheeler but with a larger payload.
“We require our trucks to carry out two roles – to transport the road planer and, when on site, to remove the material that has been planed from the road surface. The FMX Tridem ticks all the boxes and is probably the first of several we will operate,” said Witheford.
He particularly praised the truck’s I-Shift gearbox, which he said had been a deal-clincher. “Low-speed road planing operations have the potential to burn out a truck’s clutch within a very short space of time. I-Shift has taken that potential issue out of the equation,” he commented.
Nigel Rowberry, transport manager at Jet Plant Hire, told CM the FMX could handle around 18.5 tonnes of payload, compared to just over 14.5 tonnes with the firm’s 6x4s.