Bolton’s A&F Haulage is in the process of modernising its fleet of over 100 trucks, as well as supplementing it with a smaller vehicle to facilitate a new customer contract. As a consequence, the construction and aggregates supplier has bolstered its fleet with an order for six new Volvos: five FM 8x4s and an 18-tonne FE 4×2.
Supplied by Steve Cruikshank, Fleet & Key Account Manager at Thomas Hardie Commercials Ltd, the FM 410 HP 8×4 rigids include an X-high chassis height with B-ride and sleeper cab. Powered by Volvo’s D8K Euro 6 engine producing 410hp, the FMs also come with a 12-speed, I-Shift automated mechanical gearbox.
A&F Haulage also chose front axles with extra high ground clearance and rear single reduction tandem axles with a maximum bogie load of 23 tonnes. The FE rigid has a standard frame height and a D8K320 six cylinder engine developing 320hp, which drives a 12-speed I-Shift automated transmission.
Masood Raza, Managing Director at A&F Haulage reports, “The FE is the first four-wheeler we’ve owned and it will be used on smaller jobs in towns and cities across the North West of England.”
A&F Haulage works for customers like Cemex, Hanson and Tarmac, shifting asphalt and aggregate. “It’s not so much in and out of quarries, as soft work from city to city. The FMs have a high cab in order to have good ground clearance for the odd occasion when they’re going off-road and we chose sleeper cabs so that there’s more room and storage for the drivers. We have always operated Volvos, since the early stages of the company. It’s all about the product and the reliability: it’s a great all-round vehicle,” Masood notes.
Thomas Hardie Commercials Liverpool has a long-standing relationship with the haulier and the ‘68’ plate vehicles will be delivered with new tipper bodies.
Steve Cruikshank notes, “On the whole, A&F Haulage’s fleet is eight-wheeled tippers or tractors and trailers to carry stone. The vehicle type is almost standard through their fleet, with just a couple of variations. If they have any other requirements, then we have a chat and amend accordingly. In this day and age, it’s very unusual for aggregate companies to be operating a four-wheel tipper because they want to bulk out with large loads. But for this contract they went for a smaller vehicle, which is more manoeuvrable and carries less product. It’s a great looking truck with a good spec on it.”