The new truck is the family-run business’s very first Volvo in its 25-year history and the impetus for the switch is directly attributable to Volvo Group’s commitment to providing sustainable transport solutions.
As A J O’Connor Fleet Engineer, Adrian Parolea Moga explains: “We work 95% of the time in London and we therefore needed a truck that offered us low emissions and good fuel efficiency as well as being designed and equipped to be as safe as possible. We also wanted a dealer that was interested and supportive both through the build process and going forwards. The Volvo FE, Steve Askew and Volvo Truck and Bus Centre London, Enfield met our criteria every step of the way and what we have now suits the business to perfection.”
“I would say we have invested in the future with this truck,” explains Adrian. “The single-drive with tag-axle means less wear and tear while also increasing the payload. Even with the Palfinger PK12002EH crane mounted behind the cab, which weighs in the region of 1.5-tonnes, we’re getting a payload of around 15.5-tonnes, which is a big jump upwards in comparison to our existing trucks.”
Payload is key, as the truck carries kerb-stones and paving slabs for the company’s work in the construction of pathways and cycle routes. “Presently we’re heavily involved in projects across Hackney, so operating a low emission truck that’s highly manoeuvrable, Crossrail-compliant, productive and literally bristling with safety features was almost a minimum requirement for us,” says Adrian. “Working with the dealership, Palfinger cranes and G. M. Billings of Epping who built the flatbed, we have arrived at a point where I would say everything is mm perfect.”
The pride of the A J O’Connor fleet is equipped with a Brigade 4 camera system as well as sensors all round. “We also have the low-level nearside window on the comfort cab to maximise driver visibility down the nearside,” says Adrian. “I would estimate that about 90% of our time is spent working around pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, so safety is of paramount importance.” He adds: “In every case, including the beacons, we opted for original Volvo fit as I believe aftermarket additions are a false economy.”
Powered by a Volvo D8K engine producing 280hp, the maximum 1050Nm of torque is transferred to the road via an I-Shift 12-speed automated manual gearbox. “I would say the new 6-cylinder, 280hp engine is the best diesel engine on the market for urban and regional distribution,” states Adrian. “In conjunction with the I-Shift transmission I think we have the best flatbed around. This truck turns heads while being perfect for the business. And that’s a great place to be.”