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Volvo's FH Lite Tractor Unit ticks all the boxes at R.M Hadfield Haulage

R M Hadfield Haulage of Buxton, Derbyshire is adding 14 new Volvo FH-500 6x2 Lite tractor units to its fleet. Supplied by Mark Lingard, Customer Solutions Manager at Thomas Hardie Commercials Ltd, the new FHs were selected after comparing payload levels, fuel consumption figures and total cost of ownership.

In business since 1986, R M Hadfield Haulage mainly serves the quarry and building industries with bulk tipping and crane trailers. The company has always had a mixed marque fleet, but soon 20 out of its 32 vehicles will be Volvo trucks, once the latest batch of 14 FH13-500 6x2 Lite tractors has been delivered.

“We've had four FHs so far, with another ten to come,” Director Rob Hadfield reports. “These wagons will join another Volvo purchase; an FH-540 8x4 recovery truck.”

Rob continues, “When we decide to purchase new vehicles, it comes down to the best deal on the day.” However, this time, there were three reasons behind his choice. “Firstly, we could get the FH with the factory-fitted lightweight axle,” notes Rob. Combining this with the D13K 500hp engine means Hadfields can achieve a 30-tonne payload for the vast majority of loads. “Secondly, fuel consumption is better with the D13K Euro-6 engine, there's no doubt about that, then lastly there was price,” he adds.

The company has its own two-bay workshop and maintains most of its fleet in-house, in addition to providing third party R&M work on a commercial basis.

The new recovery truck will be the third to arrive here and it’s a big step up from Hadfields' two existing Volvo FM 8x4s. “We've gone for the FH with the bigger horsepower engine and the larger under lift gear this time,” Rob informs. The specialist equipment has been supplied and fitted by Boniface Engineering. “The aim is to expand what we're already doing, with a view to undertaking more heavy recovery work in the future.” Once again, Volvo has been chosen for fuel consumption and value for money. “The I-Shift gearbox is a big bonus as well, and we decided on the Volvo Engine Brake+ to go with it,” he adds.

In a departure from previous practice, Rob has opted for a four-year operating lease with a full, Volvo Gold Service Contract included. “This way we know exactly where we are with fixed maintenance costs, especially now we're running Euro-6 engines,” he says adding, “Thomas Hardie Commercials at Middlewich will be looking after the new FHs for us and we’ve always had good service from this company.”

Thomas Hardie Commercials were also responsible for the specification and order of Hadfields' flagship truck, an FH16-750 bought to celebrate the company's 30th anniversary in 2016.

The 14 new Volvo FH Lite tractor units were all specified with leather interiors, under-bunk refrigerators and alloy wheels. The new trucks also come with full hydraulic kits and Power Take Offs, fitted by Thomas Hardie Vehicle Solutions (THVS) in Chorley. Rounding off the new FHs’ are R M Hadfield Haulage’s trademark light bars, spotlights and air horns, alongside the beacons needed to operate in quarries.

“This level of equipment means we can use the tractors on both our job spheres of tipper and crane work,” Rob concludes, adding “The 14 new Volvo trucks are ready for anything the beautiful, but rugged Derbyshire Dales can ask of them.”

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