Owner operator marks 20 years with first FH eight-wheel tipper
Tony Gough takes delivery of special Volvo FH-500 truck in Midland Quarry Products livery
OWNER operator and loyal Volvo customer Tony Gough is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the founding of his transport business with the purchase of a special Volvo FH-500 8x4 tipper, which is believed to be the first Globetrotter-cabbed new-series FH 8x4 in the UK to be bodied as a tipper.
Mr Gough, who operates the top-spec new FH in the livery of Midland Quarry Products (MQP), has been a Volvo customer for all of the 20 years he has run his own transport business.
His first Volvo was an FL10-320 8x4 and since then he has operated several FM-460 Globetrotter-cabbed 8x4 tippers, all on asphalt work. He says these proved a popular buy in the used truck market when the time came to sell them on.
The new FH operates out of the MQP coated-stone plant in Wednesbury as well as Clee Hill Quarry in Shropshire. The truck was supplied by Truck and Bus Wales & West and is to be maintained by Hartshorne at Kingswinford.
Mr Gough has customized the FH with a number of unique finishing touches, such as polished stainless steel finishing strips down the rear edges of the cab side extenders. These are set off by 12 rearward facing LED lamps (six a side) which double as markers, indicators and extra brake lights.
Other personalized touches include green LEDs in the Kelsa light bars, polished stainless steel door handle bezels, stainless steel toolboxes, polished aluminium air tanks, and a neat sideguard arrangement.
With average annual mileage forecast to be less than 30,000km, Mr Gough is planning to keep the new FH for two years and says he already has a buyer for it at that time.
Typically, deliveries are carried out within a one-hour drive of the coating plant. Much of the job involves tipping asphalt into paving machines at roadworks, including many in urban areas. This entails a great deal of stop/start driving where the I-Shift automated gearbox is a major benefit.
The fully fuelled tare weight of the truck, which is fitted with a B-Ride rear suspension, Bulkrite body, Dawbarn sheet and Edbro CX14 tipping cylinder, is just under 13,000kg, resulting in a payload of 19,000kg.
By specifying a higher diff ratio of 2.83:1, Mr Gough reports that the 13-litre D13K500 engine installed in the FH, which is an on-road N3-spec tipper, is turning over at 1,200 rev/min at 90km/h.
‘The faster diff ratio keeps it in the green band and the I-Shift changes up at lower revs with no loss of torque,’ he said. ‘I’m expecting the FH to be returning up to 8.5 miles/gal. Considering most of our work is stop/start and in urban areas, that’s good compared with the overall average for my three previous Volvos, which was 7.2 miles/gal.’