Used Volvo reliability secures JF Pearce & Sons new truck order
The superb reliability of a number of used Volvos in the fleet, together with a desire to operate trucks with what was seen as an ‘uncomplicated SCR engine’, finally convinced the directors of Mendip operator J F Pearce and Sons that they should invest in new Volvo vehicles.
The result was a highly valued order for ten new Volvo FH 6x2 rigids secured by Truck & Bus Wales and West salesman Andy Button.
Configured as a six-wheeler, operating in conjunction with a tri-axle drawbar trailer, the new combinations are designed to operate at the UK legal maximum of 44-tonnes on brick and block haulage.
Powered by the fuel-efficient D13 500hp engine and featuring the popular two-pedal I-Shift fully-automated gearbox, the Volvo rigids are equipped with Globetrotter cabs with full-leather interior trim.
“There was a period in which drivers employed in the brick and block business could be virtually guaranteed to be home every night,” explained director Joe Pearce.
“These days however drivers may be away from base three or even four nights a week and the Globetrotter cab provides excellent accommodation,” he added.
The 6.25-metre alloy body was built in-house by Pearce themselves as the company has a long tradition of fabricating its own bodies which are thereby tailored exactly to the tasks to be undertaken.
At the rear of the chassis sits an Atlas 125.2 crane with a Kinshofer brick and block grab and a V Orlandi hitch mounted at the extreme rear of the Volvo chassis is used to couple the prime mover to the trailer. The tri-axle trailers coupled to the Volvo rigids were built by Truck and Trailer Conversions of Bristol.
The identical body lengths can accommodate just about any mix of product the driver is likely to encounter and long experience in the business has shown this to be the ideal size. Any shorter and the load space can be compromised. But a longer body on the truck would mean increasing the wheelbase and that in turn limits manoeuvrability.
“The trucks we used previously were configured as 6x4s and we had some concerns that the 6x2 tag-axle layout on the Volvos might compromise performance,” said director James Pearce. “But so far the air-dump facility and drive axle diff-lock has always provided adequate traction and of course manoeuvrability is better.”
Today the J F Peace fleet comprises 59 vehicles in total and is made up of almost equal numbers of artics and drawbar combinations. Eight new Volvos have yet to be delivered and so by the end of 2012 the fleet size will have increased to a total of 67.