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JPE focuses on uptime, fuel economy, driver skills & safety

2nd April 2013 Print
Volvo FM-410 8x4 tippers

Twenty Volvo FM-410 8x4 tippers have entered service with JPE, one of the Midlands leading suppliers of aggregates, sand and soils to the construction industry.
The trucks are equipped with I-Shift transmissions and Volvo’s Dynafleet telematics. A larger AdBlue tank was specified to reduce the need for the drivers to top up during the week. All are powered by Volvo’s fuel-efficient and payload-friendly D11C engine rated at 410hp (30kW). With maximum torque of 1950Nm developed between 950 and 1400rpm, the D11C-410 offers excellent driveability and competitive unladen weight, making it an excellent choice for tipper applications.
Sourced from Volvo dealer Hartshorne Group, all the vehicles are on full Volvo Gold Contract Maintenance programmes and are serviced overnight at Hartshorne Group’s Walsall workshops. The latter now includes an ATF and the R&M programme allows JPE to schedule MOT preparation dates well in advance, for the least disruption to and impact on their business.
According to JPE Director Steve Birch, the Essington, Wolverhampton-based company, focuses very hard on the relationship with the dealer as much as the Volvo product. “We like the Volvo product and we have a good relationship with Hartshorne. We see it as a partnership. They have really got under the skin of our business and delivered a highly tailored quality package that includes driver development and telematics. They’re providing a professional service and I would say that our relationship with Hartshorne is probably better than it’s ever been."
Steve Birch reports that initial analysis of the Dynafleet data, coupled to driver development by Hartshorne Group, has succeeded in reducing JPE’s average fuel usage by up to 20%, from around 6 mpg to7.5mpg, at 32 tonnes GVW on a variety of on-off road duties.
A mix of steel and aluminium is used for the Boweld Taperlite bodies as the new Volvos’ duties are split 50:50 between sand and gravel haulage from the company’s own quarries to builder’s merchants and other customers and muckaway.
A target payload of 20 tonnes was set for the steel-bodied FMs and 21.5 tonnes for the aluminium bodied FMs and this was achieved, despite all the trucks being on steel wheels.
The company originally trialled I-Shift automated transmissions in five Volvo FMs. The trial proved that specifying I-Shift saw clutch life improve from 18 months to three years – despite use on muckshifting duties.
Safety is enhanced by the use of automatic tailgates, sheets, Navman tracking and an Optronics 360 degree, surround viewpoint, multiple camera system from Spillard Safety Systems. The latter gives a bird’s eye view of the truck and surrounding area on a 30cmsize screen in the cab. When combined, these safety measures mean, says Steve Birch, that the driver does not need to leave the cab.
“We’ve specified the Volvos in a way that gives us considerable flexibility,” explains Steve Birch, concluding: “The combination of Hartshorne’s driver development and Volvo’s Dynafleet telematics is helping us build on the skills of our drivers to make a better workforce.”

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Volvo FM-410 8x4 tippers