Thompsons of Crews Hill has taken delivery of a second Volvo FM Tridem 8×4 from Volvo Truck & Bus Centre London, Enfield. So impressed was the company with its first FM Tridem, delivered earlier this year, that just two days after putting that on the road it ordered this second truck.

Managing Director, Rod Thompson says: “We needed a quality truck with the payload of an eight wheeler, but the manoeuvrability of a six. The Volvo FM Tridem with its hydraulic-steered tag-axle simply ticks all the boxes. It turns ‘on a sixpence’ while basically doubling the payload of an 18-tonne truck and it looks fantastic, which is also important as we pride ourselves on the quality of our products and service. The trucks we use represent many people’s first impression of us.”

The new truck, equipped with a Day cab, has a drop-side tipper body from Webb Truck Equipment of Sudbury and is fitted with a Palfinger PK19.001 crane with radio remote control.

“Every aid that we can give to our drivers in terms of safety we do,” says Rod. To this end – and over and above the remote control crane – the company, which is FORS Silver accredited, has lavished attention on the FM Tridem, specifying a Brigade four camera system, nearside sensors and left-turn audible alert fitted by Munifix of Chelmsford, as well as calling on Truck Align for the installation of a low level nearside window.

“We’re essentially conducting multi-drop work in central London and the Home Counties, so specifying this truck so that it’s fit for purpose and safe for our drivers and vulnerable road users was a prerequisite,” adds Rod.

Powered by the Volvo 11-litre 410hp engine producing up to 1950Nm of torque transmitted to the road via the 12-speed I-Shift automated transmission, the new FM Tridem features a 10-tonne capacity front axle and 27-tonne capacity rear bogie on air suspension. “The 10-tonne capacity front axle makes a real difference because of the 1.7 tonnes of crane on-board,” says Rod.

Another difference with the new Volvo FM Tridem that has impressed Rod and the truck’s regular driver is the Volvo Dynamic Steering. “This is a really good innovation from Volvo,” says Rod. “The difference over conventional steering is phenomenal. Even fully-loaded you can literally steer with a single finger – it’s amazing.”