Purposefully built as 26-tonners, TMJ Interiors has de-rated the plated weights of the two vehicles to 18-tonnes, giving it the benefit of operating larger vehicles for its typically lightweight payloads of joinery, whilst still being able to cross Tower Bridge, which has an 18-tonne weight limit.
The two FEs have been specified with 355/50 R22.5 tyres and a lower chassis rail, helping to reduce the loading height by 85mm versus the larger of the two vehicles they replace. Volvo’s rear airsuspension also ensures the new trucks can use TMJ Interiors’ existing loading bay, despite it being purpose-built for use with 12-tonners.
Other features include auxiliary lower windows in the passenger door to give the driver an excellent view of other road users in otherwise hidden areas, coupled with a full-size Anteo tail-lift and curtainside bodywork by Bell Coachworks.
Steve Wells, Assistant Workshop Manager at TMJ Interiors, says: “We have built a reputation over four decades for working on projects of exceptional quality – so naturally, our customers expect us to deliver our products and materials to site in premium vehicles. Volvo is one of the few brands we’d consider; their trucks are popular with our drivers and we’ve previously enjoyed great vehicle reliability and aftersales support.”
The two new vehicles have been specified with Volvo’s Dynafleet fleet management and telematics system, which is saving the firm 15 minutes of administration time per vehicle, per week, by automatically downloading tachograph data as each truck drives into and out of the yard. Previously a member of staff would download this information manually.
Dynafleet’s fuel and environment reporting also supplies TMJ Interiors with much of the information it needs to maintain compliance with the strict FORS Gold standards.
Power is provided by D8K Euro-6 diesel engines, which produce up to 320 hp and 1,200 Nm of torque – with a variable geometry turbo ensuring quick responses at low revs – aiding both innercity driving and manoeuvring on building sites.
Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia has supplied the vehicles with a five-year Volvo Gold Contract repair and maintenance package, to guarantee maximum uptime. The vehicles will be in operation up to six days per week, being double-shifted when required to meet the firm’s busy workload.
A third identical Volvo FE will enter operation with TMJ Interiors in the second half of the year. Once in service, the company will have three FEs operating at 18-tonnes, replacing a fleet which previously comprised a single 26-tonner and two 12-tonners.