Two new Volvo FM 8x2 rear steer rigid chassis have joined the fleet of Ash Waste Services, part of a company trial, using different types of refuse collection bodies and bin lifting equipment.
Supplied by David Hill, Customer Solutions Manager at Thomas Hardie Commercials Ltd, the new FMs are equipped with day cabs, Volvo's D11K engine rated at 420hp and I-Shift automated transmission systems.
The new arrivals are the first Volvo trucks to be utilised within The Ash Group's waste services fleet and come after the solid performance levels of Volvo products used within the company's skip truck and tipper operations.
The 5,400mm wheelbase High Chassis Height rigids were specified with rear air suspension and hydraulically-steered, single wheel tag axles. Ash Waste's smart signature livery was part achieved with Volvo factory painted cabs in solid French Blue.
"Our two new Volvo FMs are part of a six vehicle trial featuring Dennis Eagle refuse collection bodies and Terberg bin lifting equipment," reports Phil Mottershead, Transport & Compliance Manager at Ash Waste Services, adding.
"We've gone for something completely different this time. We'll be making direct performance comparison between the Volvos and other makes, in addition to monitoring capability and reliability levels of the refuse bodywork and bin lifters."
Benefitting from a seven year Volvo Gold Service Contract, the new FMs will be based at Ash Group's Widnes depot to cover a wide operational area, which includes Greater and Central Manchester.
"We receive great levels of support from Thomas Hardie Commercials, so it seems logical to keep the FMs working within their dealerpoints' area of influence," Phil informs.
Ash Group's network of depots provides comprehensive coverage of North West England and a newly opened building in the West Midlands has also boosted the company's ever-expanding trading presence.
"I consider Volvo trucks to be a good product. We get good back-up levels from the dealer network and crucially, our staff are positive with their feedback on the FMs. It's early days yet, but already the drivers have singled out the steering system for praise; it being both light in operation and offering good manoeuvrability," Phil concludes.