Manfreight has continued its long association with Volvo Trucks by becoming the first operator in Northern Ireland to put the latest model of FH on the road.
Supplied by Dennison Commercials, the 10 tractor units feature updated styling, enhanced fuel-saving features and a driver-focused interior incorporating a fully digital 12-inch high-res instrument display.
The Craigavon-based logistics company selected the Volvo FH with I-Save 6×2 model, each with Globetrotter XL cabs, to join its 200-strong fleet – citing fuel economy and reliability as the two main factors for the order. They will be used to make just-in-time deliveries to Manfreight’s wide base of retail customers across the UK and Ireland.
Chris Slowey, managing director at Manfreight, says: “My father started the business in 1976, we bought our first Volvos in 1978 and we’ve been Volvo fans ever since. We had the first version four FHs in Northern Ireland back in 2013, and we wanted to be the first again for this latest model. We have a very strong relationship with Volvo, I know and trust the team behind the build – so we have a reassurance in the quality of the product which is absolutely crucial in our line of work.”
Volvo says its FH with I-Save model combines its most fuel-efficient engine ever, the D13TC, with the Fuel Package – adding the I-Shift automated transmission with long haul optimised software, map-based I-See predictive cruise control, I-Cruise with I-Roll, a fuel-efficient rear axle, engine idle shutdown, and a servo pump with variable displacement to reduce fuel consumption in long-haul operations.
The new model is also around three per cent more fuel efficient than the previous FH with I-Save, after Volvo’s developers combined crucial software updates with a more aerodynamic design. To save even more fuel, the I-See feature in the new model can also detect when it’s efficient for the engine to rev up slightly and then freewheel, even on roads that look flat to the human eye.
“We produce weekly reports for our customers, measuring the CO2 emissions produced in order to deliver their products,” says Slowey. “The turbo compound engines in these trucks are among the most fuel-efficient on the market and will help to further reduce the environmental impact of our operation.
“Uptime is also critical to us; what we’re carrying today is your dinner tonight, so the vehicle has to be reliable and we need a strong dealer network to support us nationwide. That’s what you get with Volvo. The local team at Dennison Commercials have delivered the trucks just as we want them, as they always do – plus we know we can count on great service from the entire network.”
Built on a 4,100mm wheelbase, the FHs ride on full air suspension and feature Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels. Inside each Globetrotter XL cab, drivers benefit from the Drive Plus and Living Plus Packages, as well as the Visibility Plus Package, which adds rain sensing wipers and automatic switching Bi-Xenon headlights with washer jets.
Expected to travel up to 200,000km per year, the FHs are covered by a four-year Volvo Blue Contract covering preventative maintenance and will be in operation six days a week.
With a team of 300 full-time and part-time drivers, Slowey has hand-picked those being given keys to the new FHs.
“They are very proud to have been chosen,” he says. “Some have more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, and they tell me they have never driven anything so comfortable or responsive. They really are fantastic trucks.”