Neales’ low-ride FE is UK firstThe UK’s first right-hand drive 6×2 new-series Volvo FE Low Entry Cab (LEC) has entered service with Neales Waste Management in Blackburn, Lancashire.

The new truck is the company’s first Euro 6 vehicle in its predominantly Volvo fleet. Power is provided by the Swedish manufacturer’s D8 eight-litre engine rated at 320 bhp, driving through an Allison Automatic transmission.

The vehicle is also equipped with a Farid TISM-22 RCV body.

The new FE LEC is based on the latest generation of Volvo’s medium-duty Volvo FE – meaning the chassis, driveline, design, instruments and controls are all more or less identical.

The rear-steer, tag-axle LEC features a low-entry height of 530 mm. The truck is equipped with air suspension on all three axles and, with the ‘kneeling’ function activated, entry height is lowered to 440 mm.

Access for the driver and crew is further aided by doors that can be opened a full 90 degrees. Cross-cab access is made easier by a flat floor throughout the cab.

Neales said its new FE LEC will be operated on a ‘driver plus one’ basis on commercial waste collections. It is expected to cover in the region of 50,000 km per annum for the seven years it will be operational with the company.

“In addition to the driver and crew benefits of the low-height crew cab, the rear-steer tag axle will also be a big help in tight access situations,” said Neales Waste’s operations manager, Lee McKenzie. “It should also reduce tyre wear.”