Wrexham-based Ash Waste Services recently added two new Volvo FM 8x2 rigid trucks to its fleet on a trial basis to test out various bodies and lifting equipment for waste collection applications. The trucks come in a day cab configuration with Volvo’s 420-horsepower D11K engine and I-Shift automated transmission. They also feature a rear air suspension and single-wheel tag axle, as well as a 5,400-millimetre wheelbase and High Chassis Height; the finishing touch was Ash Waste Service’s livery, which began in the factory with Volvo’s French Blue paint colour.
Ash Group (which includes Ash Waste as well as additional skip truck and tipper operations) had success with Volvo trucks in other contexts and plans to try out the FM models specifically for waste management. “Our two new Volvo FMs are part of a six-vehicle trial featuring Dennis Eagle refuse collection bodies and Terberg bin-lifting equipment,” says Phil Mottershead, transport and compliance manager at Ash Waste Services. “We've gone for something completely different this time. We'll be making direct performance comparison between the Volvos and other makes, in addition to monitoring capability and reliability levels of the refuse bodywork and bin lifters.”
For The Long Haul
The Volvo FM trucks were supplied by Thomas Hardie Commercials Ltd., complete with a seven-year Volvo Gold Service Contract for ongoing support. They will operate out of the Ash Group’s Widnes location to cover Central and Greater Manchester. “I consider Volvo trucks to be a good product,” Mottershead explains. “We get good back-up levels from the dealer network and crucially, our staff are positive with their feedback on the FMs. It's early days yet, but already the drivers have singled out the steering system for praise; it being both light in operation and offering good manoeuvrability.”