Former apprentice at Thomas Hardie Commercials purchases new FH-500 6x2 tractor unit
TEN years after completing his apprenticeship at Thomas Hardie Commercials, Sam Archer, now director of Fleetwood-based family firm Archway Haulage, has taken delivery of his first new truck in five years – a Volvo FH-500 tractor unit
The Volvo FH 6x2 Lite tractor unit, which has a flagship Globetrotter XL cab, is set to be joined over the coming months by two further FHs and an FE rigid – all supplied through Neil Crook, customer solutions manager at Preston-based Thomas Hardie Commercials.
The new FH truck has been designed to achieve the maximum possible payload, thanks to a range of specification changes to reduce unladen weight, including the fitment of mono leaf front springs, as opposed to twin leaves, aluminium air tanks, aluminium susie arch, aluminium fifth wheel and aluminium wheels. It also uses a lightweight pusher axle on 17.5in wheels together with a lightweight drive axle.
Mr Archer left his workshop role with Thomas Hardie Commercials in 2014 to jointly run the family bus and coach hire operation with his father, shortly after starting Archway Haulage which has grown steadily over the past five years. Unfortunately, his father died this summer, but is recognized with a message on the cab of the new Volvo.
‘We grew the business bit by bit together, and now we’re taking delivery of four brand new trucks all in the space of a few months,’ said Mr Archer. ‘The first FH looks absolutely fantastic, and the driver loves it. It’s just such a shame dad’s not here to be part of it.’
The first new vehicle will operate with a Fruehauf bulk tipping trailer and be used to deliver aggregates nationwide, covering up to 120,000km a year. It also benefits from a full DVS system, tipping gear, light bars, beacons and a colour coordinated front grille – fitted in-house by the Archway team.
For complete peace of mind, Archway Haulage have taken out a Volvo Gold Contract on the 6x2 tractor unit, whereby Thomas Hardie Commercials will take care of the maintenance and repair of the truck over a three-year period.