When Holmes Chapel, Cheshire-based heavy haulage specialist Cranage Haulage Ltd were looking to upgrade to a productive, new Euro-5 emissions compliant truck to meet the 2012 London Low Emission Zone requirements, they opted for a Volvo FH16-600 double-drive tractor unit.
“Although we deliver plant and construction machines all over the UK and Ireland, we’re seeing an increase in the amount of work we get in London and the south east,” says company director Gareth Edwards, who also drives the new FH16-600. “We have two Volvo FHs now; both are STGO CAT2, so we can handle a wide variety of machines. Although the FH16-600 is new, we also have a 55 registered FH which is designed for 130 tonnes GCW operation, but which we use at 80 tonnes. The FH16 is on a five year Repair and Maintenance contract and Hardies carry out servicing to suit us, whether that’s overnight or at weekends. They give us first class service.”
The new Volvo is a fully spec’ed up with Kelsa extra lights and Eminox twin stainless steel stacks. Like the 55 registered FH, It is plated for STGO CAT2 operation (up to 80 tonnes GCW) and is equipped with Volvo’s 12-speed manual transmission and full air suspension on the drive axles. “We prefer air suspension on the bogie for 80 tonnes,” says Cranage Haulage Ltd’s Gareth Edwards.
“We find it helps the drive axle wheels follow the ground contours better than steel and provides improved traction; for example on landfill sites. We also find that it couples perfectly to our Faymonville four-axle step-frame trailers,” explains Gareth.
According to Gareth, payload on the FH16-600 when coupled to the four-axle Faymonville step frame is 56 tonnes – enabling them to haul, without problem, machines like the Volvo artic hauler A30E dumper that is pictured in the accompanying photographs.