Burcombe Haulage Ltd of Saltash, Cornwall, recently purchased a Volvo FM truck that bears the special distinction of being the first in the United Kingdom to have an I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission. The 6x2 Lite pusher axle tractor unit also features a 500-horsepower Volvo D13K Euro-6 engine, a spacious Globetrotter Cab, two fuel tanks with a total fuel capacity of 645 litres, and an air-activated sliding fifth wheel. Justin Fisher, sales director of Stuarts Truck and Bus Ltd of Exeter, Devon, supplied the vehicle.
“We operate an existing Volvo FH fitted with I-Shift Dual Clutch and know it shortens journey times with the many gear changes required, crossing the hills of Cornwall and Devon on night trunks,” says Stuart Wilkie, transport manager at Burcombe Haulage Ltd. “I pressed Justin Fisher to see if we could have the same gearbox in our new FM. He did some research; Volvo responded positively and the truck was built specially.”
Burcombe Haulage will task its Volvo FM-500 with the double duty of handling deliveries and collections using an urban trailer during the day and pulling a curtainside trailer for The Pallet Network trunking operations at night. After three years of pulling a double shift, the FM will then transition into working as a local tipper truck. “That explains our decision to opt for Volvo’s factory-fitted Lite axle and we also have power take off preparation to make installation of a hydraulic kit more straightforward,” Wilkie adds.
The truck is well-suited for high-mileage work not only because of the D13K engine and I-Shift Dual Clutch gearbox, but also because it has several features that make it easy and comfortable to operate for long periods of time. “Our drivers really love the new FM and we opted for a high-specification interior that includes full leather trims and heated and cooled driver’s seat, all within the Globetrotter Cab’s additional space,” says Wilkie. “The driver is also in and out the cab frequently, so the lower floor with easier access is a benefit.”