The versatility of the Volvo FM 6×2 tag-axle, rear-steer rigid in drawbar configuration, persuaded E. M. Transport of Coalville in Leicestershire to take delivery of another example of this productive truck from Volvo Truck & Bus Centre East Anglia, Bardon.
The latest addition to the fleet joins six Volvo FH 6×2 tractor units and three Volvo FMs. The new truck will be used for the collection and distribution of construction related materials.

As with the company’s existing Volvo FMs, the newest addition – which features the 11-litre 450 hp diesel – will operate with a drawbar trailer to maximise performance and efficiency.

“Drawbars are so versatile and because we carry bagged products, bricks, blocks, railway sleepers and other materials for general construction, we absolutely need that flexibility,” says E M Transport Director Matt Noon.

The Volvo FM 6×2 was specified with the Globetrotter sleeper cab boasting leather upholstery, a fridge, microwave and a television with the Volvo aerial, which Matt rates highly. “Our drivers are out all week,” he says. “We therefore specify our trucks as highly as possible to make them more homely. I am particularly impressed by the Volvo aerial, which gives the drivers a quality connection to Freeview and something like 100 channels.”

The body and drawbar trailer are by Saunders of Stapleton, Leics and, where possible, aluminium is the material of choice. The same attention to detail is reflected in the truck, which features aluminium diesel and air tanks as well as Dura-Bright polished aluminium rims.

“Even with the Atlas crane that gives us a 1.7 tonne lifting capacity at 6.6m we’re getting a payload in the order of 27.5 tonnes at 44 tonnes GTW, thanks to the weight savings we’ve found in the build stage,” says Matt. “There’s no question that this kind of payload, allied to fuel efficiency that sees us returning somewhere in the order of 10mpg, helps us optimise the business.”

“Ever since my wife Emma and I started E. M. Transport seven years ago, we have relied upon Volvo. I believe Volvo Trucks are the best, they look great, they offer sound reliability and they’re economical. Furthermore, the support from the dealership in Bardon is second-to-none and has even led us to take out a five-year R&M contract for the new truck,” explains Matt.

Emma adds: “The higher specification also helps with driver recruitment and the standard of drivers we attract. I think it also plays a part in our drivers taking pride in their vehicles and looking after them, which is both good for our brand now and is later reflected in enhanced residual values.”

Optimisation is further enhanced with the 12-speed I-Shift automated transmission. “We have

I-Shift on all ten of our trucks,” says Matt. “Frankly, it’s the best gearbox you can get and plays an important role in running a fuel efficient operation.”

Driver Martin Batty concurs, adding: “The I-Shift transmission is brilliant. I would never go back to a manual ‘box having used I-Shift.”

The new Volvo FM is equipped with a Brigade 4-camera system as well as near-side sensors and an audible left turn alert.

“We’re currently FORS Bronze accredited,” explains Emma, “although we’re looking to get Silver within the next six months.” In addition to its FORS accreditation, E. M. Transport is also Crossrail and CLOCS-compliant.