CV Sector News

Tockworth Training acquire automatic Volvo FEs

16 June 2014 #CV Sector #News

York based LGV Training company Tockwith Training have taken delivery of two Euro 6-compliant, new series Volvo FE 4×2 rigids. They are among the first new series FEs in the UK to be specified with Volvo’s I-Shift automated gearbox.

A recent change to the law, on 10th April 2014, means that drivers can now acquire their Category ‘C’ LGV licence driving a truck fitted with an automatic gearbox.

The change to the legislation coincided with the availability for the first time of Volvo’s I-Shift in the FE series of trucks. “The availability of Volvo’s I-Shift gearbox in the new series FE was the main reason we bought these two trucks,” confirms Tockwith Training’s Mike Moore.

“For one thing, the I-Shift has the auto Hill-Hold feature, which other manufacturers don’t offer. As it is so smooth, it’s also a good gearbox for reversing,” reports Mike Moore, adding: “Ergonomically, the FE is the best to drive. The driving position is designed so well.”

“The FE has a good brake pedal and everything works well together,” he continued. “It’s very quiet and there is no wind noise. Because of the I-Shift and the ease with which drivers get used to it – compared to a nine-speed manual ‘box – they need two days less training from our qualified, DSA accredited instructors. This translates into less cost for the person being trained,” concluded Mike Moore.

Mike Moore also declares himself to be impressed with the operating costs for Volvo trucks in general and the new FE series in particular, saying: “We’ve been helping drivers acquire their LGV / HGV licences for forty-one years. We train five hundred drivers a year and currently have a 90% pass rate. We acquired our first Volvo in 1980 and our first new Volvo in 1986 and we have always found that Volvo trucks, we have artics as well as rigids, have fewer faults and incur lower costs overall.”

“Our trucks do about 50,000 kms a year each. The rigid trucks are loaded to five tonnes and the new FEs are returning about 12.9mpg at the moment. That is an improvement over the old model FE that they replaced and will help in the overall running costs. We will also save on maintenance because the clutch in the I-Shift should last twice as longas that with a manual gearbox. An important factor as learners could be breaking clutches more frequently now the trucks are loaded.”

Both the trucks, which were supplied by Crossroads at Boroughbridge, are powered by Volvo’s new Euro-6, D8K engine rated at 250hp. Wheelbase in each case is 5.8metres and the bodywork is by Micra Truck Bodies. In the interests of providing a comfortable workplace for the instructors, the passenger seat in both trucks is air suspended. The drive axles also run on air suspension.

“The new series FE is a fleet truck that is going to go places,” says Mike Moore in conclusion. “We’ve always gone for the best. Volvo have definitely designed the FE as a driver’s truck.”

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