Bruton, Somerset-based livestock haulier AE George Haulage Ltd has become one of the first UK operators to put a new 44-tonne GTW Volvo FH 8×2 tridem drawbar into service. The company, which operates a fleet of 20 trucks on livestock haulage, was founded 84 years ago in 1930 – and the firm’s Russell Woof said that with some older farms having limited yard access for heavy trucks, good manoeuvrability is essential for its fleet.
AE George’s new tridem was supplied by Truck and Bus Wales and West, Gurney Slade UB and is on a seven-year Gold R&M contract with Uptime Assurance. Woof said that with the need to ensure the welfare of the transported animals, reducing unscheduled vehicle downtime was crucial.
“Volvo is the only manufacturer to offer a tridemconfiguration 8×2 with this combination of lifting and steering axles number two and four,” Woof said. “It means the turning circle of this new FH 8×2 tridem is actually better than that of a standard 26-tonne GVW six-wheeler.”
He added that rear-steer, in particular, is invaluable when negotiating narrow, winding roads and manoeuvring between buildings and machinery in busy farmyards.
Spec of the FH tridem includes a 13-litre Euro 6 engine rated at 500 bhp, Globetrotter cab with leather upholstery and extra locker storage.
Woof said the tridem is proving effortless to drive. “The driver is away three or four nights a week as we deliver to most of the UK, from Cornwall to Cumbria. The quality of the driving experience in the FH definitely contributes to reducing driver fatigue.”
AE George Haulage operates the FH tridem both as a drawbar and with just the prime mover, depending on the number of animals to be transported.