As part of its ongoing vehicle replacement programme, Scrabster-based D Steven & Son has recently added nine new Volvo FH 540 tractor units to its fleet. Supplied by the Inverness dealerpoint of Volvo Truck and Bus Centre North & Scotland, the new trucks all feature Globetrotter XL cabs and Volvo’s I-Shift automated gearbox.Managing director, David Steven opted for the 6×2 tag axle chassis configuration and noted that, ”our experience has shown this configuration delivers increased traction levels during Northern Scotland’s hard winters.”
The nine new FH-540 tractors replaced a number of similar specification ‘Classic FH’ models and two other models from another manufacturer.Established in 1920, D Steven & Son are one of Scotland’s oldest family-run haulage contractors and operate a fleet of 30 traditionally-liveried tractor units, hauling a variety of trailers. They have purchased a variety of Volvos since 1981 and the company presently runs its youngest-ever fleet of trucks, with the eldest being just 18 months old.
The geographical remoteness of his Northern Highlands base, saw David Steven specify twin Volvo fuel tanks that give a total diesel capacity of 660 litres on the 3200mm wheelbase units.
Michelin X Multiway 3D tyres were also selected on the new Volvos as a factory option, whilst D Steven & Son’s immaculate two-tone red livery with gold lettering, was applied by Dingwall Panel Beaters Ltd.
The demanding geographical terrain of the A9 trunk road between Inverness and Scrabster has a challenging effect on fuel consumption figures, but Mr Steven reports an encouraging 7.8 to 8.5mpg average from the new FHs at present. ”Those figures should improve after the vehicles accrue mileage and once all our drivers have received specific product familiarisation from Volvo’s driver training team,” he added.
Fast approaching its centenary in business, D Steven & Son was originally founded by David Steven, grandfather of the present owner, with just a single horse and cart. Today the company’s 21st century, high horsepower trucks still pay tribute to those humble origins and carry traditional carter’s horse head motifs on the front of every truck’s front grille.
Temperature-controlled, refrigerated trailers predominate within this business and these are backed up by a number of new curtainsiders, oil spec flats and extendable step frame trailers that stretch to 65 feet, to provide a true general haulage service.