Sausage manufacturer James T Blakeman and Co. Ltd has taken delivery of three Volvo
FH Globetrotter XL trucks having taken the decision to switch its entire distribution fleet
to the Swedish manufacturer.
The 6×2 tractor units join three existing FHs that were delivered in 2020, with the new
models benefiting from updated styling, enhanced fuel-saving features and a newly designed
interior, incorporating a fully digital 12-inch high-res instrument display. Supplied by Mark
Lingard, Customer Solutions Manager at Thomas Hardie Commercials, the FHs are powered
by Volvo’s D13K Euro-6 engine, rated at 500 hp and generating up to 2,500 Nm of torque.
Nathan Hodgkiss, Transport Manager at Blakemans, says: “We felt that it was the right move
for us to switch to a one manufacturer fleet and it was quite a simple choice to go with Volvo.
They are a premium truck manufacturer with excellent build quality, very high safety
standards, reliability and excellent fuel economy. We get a very good level of service from
Thomas Hardie Commercials, which is essential to us in eliminating downtime.
“Driver influence was another big factor. All the drivers really like the Volvos and these new
model FHs with the Globetrotter XL cabs just take things up a step further. It’s a great truck
and a really nice working environment. We have one more truck to replace, but by the end of
the year all seven vehicles in the fleet will be Volvo.”
Blakemans will use the FHs to deliver their own sausages to the catering industry and ready
meal manufacturers around the UK. Backed by Volvo Gold Contracts, for maximum uptime
and reassurance, the FHs will each clock up roughly 75,000 miles per year, working five
days a week, with all servicing and maintenance carried out by Thomas Hardie Commercials’
depot in Middlewich.
“Our drivers can be out on the road for several days at a time – we go all the way up to
Aberdeen and down as far as Plymouth, so it’s important they are happy in their vehicles,”
To enhance the comfort of the Globetrotter XL cabs further, Blakemans has specified the
FHs with Drive ++ and Living Plus packages. The benefits include an electrically operated
tinted glass roof hatch, twin arm rests for both the driver and passenger seats, side sun
visors, leather upholstery and steering wheel, 33-litre under bunk fridge, plus DAB radio and
The trucks also come with Volvo’s I -Park Cool, an intelligent overnight air conditioning
system, allowing the drivers to sleep at their chosen temperature from dusk till dawn.
Factory-fitted, it has zero impact on fuel consumption.
Safety is enhanced with the Visibility Plus package, including electrically heated and
operated main and wide-angle mirrors, rain sensing windscreen wipers and LED headlamps.
“We do like to have them spec’d to a very high standard,” adds Nathan. “They really are lovely
trucks, combining all the creature comforts you could want for the driver, with good reliability
as well – which is so important in our line of work.”
One of Europe’s largest manufacturers of sausage and meat products, the Blakeman family
has supplied the UK, export catering and fast-food markets for nearly 70 years. Today, the
business operates from its Newcastle-under-Lyme production facility and has ensured a
reputation for consistently high-quality products, employing a workforce of more than 250
members of staff. Its client portfolio includes Booker Group, Marks & Spencer and Greggs.