ROSS GARRETT TAKES FIRST VOLVOS FOR 20 YEARS – AND THEY’RE EURO-6 !
West Country operator Ross Garrett has taken delivery of the first Volvo trucks to enter service with the family-owned company for twenty years.
The three, high spec, Euro-6 compliant, Volvo FH 6×2 tractor units were supplied by Truck and Bus Wales & West, Gurney Slade, near Bath.
The operator reports fuel consumption to be up to 8.1mpg on a mix of low loader plant haulage and platform trailer work, transporting concrete pipes for major construction projects.
Following the untimely death, earlier this year, of the company’s founder Ross Garrett, his son Luke has run the business. Ross Garrett was one of the haulage industry’s great characters and, says Luke, things were tough in the initial months after the death of his father. However, he reports that, thanks to the support from his family and his ‘fantastic’ team of drivers, the future is looking bright for the proud Somerset haulier.
Two of the three new FH Volvos were purchased as special, ‘premium image’ trucks for drivers Alan and Paul: “I like to give all our drivers a good spec truck. Alan has been with us for sixteen years so we felt we needed to provide him with a top of the line truck to show our appreciation.”
“Paul used to work for my father,” continues Luke, “although he has been away for a number of years. After my father passed away, Paul made the decision to come back to us, so we allocated one of the new Volvos to him in appreciation of his decision to support us.”
One of the trucks is a 500hp, Globetrotter XL-cabbed 6×2 mid-lift, which is used to transport concrete pipes. The other two FHs are 6×2 tag-axle configuration, with Globetrotter cabs, 13-litre 540hp engines, I-Shift automated gearboxes with Construction software and 9-tonne front-axles with steel wheels. Uprated front springs help provide additional ground clearance. Upholstery in these two trucks is a hardwearing, ‘wipe-clean’ fabric to cope with the low-loader work. This mainly involves hauling Barber-Greene paving machines and associated asphalt-laying equipment, including back-hoe loaders and road rollers.
All the FHs are on 3-year Volvo Gold Repair & Maintenance contracts, which includes Volvo’s Uptime Assurance. Maintenance is carried out at Truck and Bus Wales & West’s workshops at nearby Gurney Slade.
With annual mileage at around 110,000Kms a year, the FHs tend to work between Cornwall, London and the Midlands, says Luke. The low-loaders often delivering down narrow lanes with steep hills, where the tag-axles’ ability to aid traction and manoeuvrability are a premium asset.
In conclusion, Luke Garrett describes the FH driving experience as ‘fantastic’, saying: “the steering has been improved as has the room in the cab. I drove one of the new FHs and was particularly impressed by the new mirror design which has completely removed any blind spots.”