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Six Volvo FH Lite tractor units for Alfred Hymas

Volvo FH Lite Pusher Axle tractor units

New FH 6x2 Lite Pusher Axle tractor units helping award-winning bulk haulier power ahead

RECENT winners of the prestigious ‘Tipper Operator of the Year 2019’ award, Alfred Hymas Ltd of Burton Leonard, near Harrogate, have taken delivery of six new Volvo FH tractor units. The vehicles are also the first ever taken on contract hire by the North Yorkshire based company, for evaluation of procurement options.

‘Overall reliability is the main factor for us choosing Volvo Trucks,’ declared Stewart Hymas, managing director of Alfred Hymas Ltd. However, fuel consumption, payload factors and driver acceptance are also important,’ he added.

Volvo Trucks have a dominating presence in the company’s 76-vehicle fleet and Hymas have long links with the manufacturer, stretching back to its F86 models of the early 1970s.

The latest batch, supplied by Steve Hinde, area sales manager at Crossroads Truck and Bus Ltd, in Boroughbridge, are all FH 6x2 Lite Pusher Axle tractor units, powered by Volvo’s D13K engine rated at 460hp. Secondary braking is provided by Volvo’s Engine Brake (VEB) with 375kW on tap.

Globetrotter Cabs were also specified along with Volvo’s new I-See predictive cruise control system that helps maximize the trucks’ kinetic energy, whilst saving fuel and reducing CO2 levels. In addition to Volvo’s new lightweight drive axle, all six FHs are equipped with alloy air tanks and alloy wheels to reduce weight and improve payload.

‘The new trucks also represent a change in procurement as they are the first vehicles in the company’s 108-year history to be sourced on a contract hire agreement. We currently purchase a combination of new and used trucks for long distance and local works respectively,’ said director Robert Hymas.

The company has its own workshops, staffed round the clock, that cater for servicing and repairs. However, in another change to established policies, the new Volvo FH’s are on a full five-year Volvo Gold Service contract.

Robert Hymas explained: ‘Heavy trucks are becoming more and more electronically complex and we also need something to benchmark our current maintenance set-up with. It’s far too early to comment yet on whether the mix of contract hire and service contract packages will be advantageous to our business, but we’ll have a clearer picture by the end of year one.’

The company fits a range of aftermarket equipment on to its vehicles, as part of its high fleet specification to comply with FORS Silver accreditation. All Alfred Hymas trucks come with hydraulic kits, inclinometers and 360-degree full-time recording camera systems.

Sporting a full array of extra warning, strobe and working lights, the six Volvos’ are also equipped with radar detection systems, corner alert audible warnings and full tracking capabilities.

‘These extra systems do add on some weight, but the Volvo Lite Pusher Axle package is the main trade-off. We’ve used these small-wheeled axles since the days when Estepe did the conversions. Now of course, it’s a factory fitment and financially a better option,’ said Stewart Hymas.

The six Volvos’ are being used to haul 72 cubic yard tipping trailers and carry both bulk aggregates and agricultural products across the UK. Alfred Hymas Ltd run a mixed marque tipping trailer fleet and the FH Lite tractor units have payload capabilities of between 29 and 30 tonnes, depending on the trailer make coupled.

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