Based in Rackenford near Tiverton in Devon, the Cole family has enjoyed a 20-year relationship with Avonmouth Volvo Dealer Wales and West Truck and Bus Ltd and had no hesitation in looking to Volvo for their current flagship.
“Although it’s early days yet, I can’t speak highly enough of the truck,” said driver and owner Richard Cole, adding that “It drives like nothing else!”
Richard admits that when working out the specifications of the vehicle with Volvo’s Total Solutions Executive Justin Fisher, he went for ‘the whole nine yards’. As a result the Volvo FH16 6×2 rigid not only boasts a 600-hp inline diesel, Volvo I-Shift automated two-pedal gearbox and Globetrotter cab, but includes leather upholstery, polished alloy wheels and an in-cab refrigerator.
The FH16 is designed to operate with a drawbar trailer and somewhat surprisingly this is not the customary centre-axle model, but a ‘proper’ A-Frame unit. This is necessary because it is better suited to the narrow lanes encountered in Devon and Cornwall and in the capable hands of Richard Cole can be manoeuvred into farmyards that would otherwise prove inaccessible.
Working with the maximum permitted weight of 44-tonnes the FH16 truck and drawbar trailer weigh in at 15-tonnes tare thereby allowing a 29-tonne payload. The combination also provides optimum load space within the 18.75-metre overall length limit.
“All things considered I know I made the right choice,” said Richard. “Comfort is first-class and the performance brilliant. And I have the payload I wanted. This truck is an awesome bit of kit.”
The Volvo FH16-600 joins a Volvo FM 6-wheel drawbar combination and is used mainly to move agricultural loads such as fertilizer, hay and straw and similar products.