Volvo Trucks wraps up big order with DS Smith

DS Smith Logistics has taken delivery of 61 new Volvo FM 460 Globetrotter 6x2 tractor units as part of a major fleet renewal programme.

The new trucks – that arrive via a long-term contract-hire agreement from TIP Group – replace vehicles from a rival manufacturer in the paper, packaging and recycling business’ busy operation.

Volvo Trucks secured the order on the back of the strong performance of a demonstrator that highlighted the reliability, fuel economy and payload potential of the FM.

India Wacher, Fleet Compliance & HS/E Manager at DS Smith Logistics, says: “This is a major order for our business, replacing the entirety of our 61-strong truck fleet. We underwent a thorough procurement process, which considered numerous truck manufacturers, and the Volvo FM emerged as the best truck for the business.

“Our trucks are worked very hard, so we need a product we can rely on, and from previous experience we know Volvo are dependable. Safety, environment and vehicle weight are the other main factors we consider, while product availability was also an important part of the decision. Overall, the FM gives us a good all-round package.”

Steve Stanton, Key Account Manager, TIP Group commented: “Our brief from DS Smith was to replace an ageing fleet with new, reliable vehicles, and a key requirement for the new units was tare weight. Volvo’s FM 460 Globetrotter 6×2 tractor units, when fitted with alloy wheels, aluminium air tanks and range-optimised fuel tanks enjoy an enviable weight advantage, while Volvo’s reputation for providing quality vehicles with excellent support also gave both parties great confidence.”

Supplied by Jose Lavarello, Key Account Manager for Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, the new FMs, paired with curtainsider trailers also from TIP, will be used to take paper reels from DS Smith’s Kemsley Paper Mill to customers across the UK. The trucks then bring bailed fibre into the mill, which is recycled back into paper reels.

It’s a 24/7 operation which will see the FMs double-shifted and clock-up in the region of 130,000 miles every year.

Each new tractor unit is powered by a D13k Step E engine, producing 460 hp and a maximum torque figure of 2300 Nm. These are paired with Volvo’s 12-speed I-Shift automated gearbox technology and I-See predictive cruise control, which works to yield further sustainability and operational efficiency gains through perfectly timed gearshifts and active speed management. To maximise that fuel economy potential all the new trucks are fitted with A-rated Michelin X Line Energy tyres.

To boost safety, the trucks are supplied with multiple cameras which can be viewed through the driver’s nine-inch side display, plus an added lower window in the passenger door to help meet the 3-star Direct Vision Standard (DVS) rating for working in central London.

Volvo’s distinctive V-Shaped LED headlamps help always ensure DS Smith Logistics’ drivers have a clear view of the road.

“Our deliveries do take us into Transport for London’s controlled zones, and we need these trucks to be as safe for all road users as possible,” adds Wacher. “Driver comfort is also really important – we want to provide our staff with the best tools for the job.”

The interior of the FMs’ spacious Globetrotter cabs feature several Volvo optional packages. A Drive+ package adds fully electronic air conditioning with sun sensor, dual armrests on the driver’s seat and an additional storage drawer. A one person Living package features extra rear cab storage, a bottle holder and a cab parking heater. From the vehicles’ air-suspended driver seats occupants also benefit from a Volvo Media package featuring a high performance 12” fully dynamic instrument cluster.

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