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ISM Take Delivery of the First Volvo FMX Trucks in UK

Volvo FMX Truck

The first two Volvo FMX trucks to be ordered in the UK have gone into service with Lancashire-based waste recycling company ISM.

ISM Director John Allen Jnr first saw the Volvo FMX at its UK launch in the Midlands in September 2010 and was sufficiently impressed by the higher ground clearance, three individual front lights, improved mirrors and front and central mounted front and rear towing eyes (which alleviate the potential for damage caused by pushing with a loading shovel when stuck on site), to order the two chassis shortly afterwards.

In addition to an ongoing programme of investment in new trucks, plant and machinery, ISM, which was founded by John Allen Senior and his wife Winifred in 1964, is currently in the process of expanding their Kenyon Street operation at Ramsbottom. The expansion is necessary to cope with increased customer demand and the development of a new Materials Recycling Facility at the well kept site. ISM has been active in recycling waste since 1978.

The arrival of the new FMX rigids, which are being used mostly to haul waste to landfill, brings ISM's fleet up to a total of 18 trucks. Both are equipped with Volvo's 13-litre engine rated at 460hp and feature manual gearboxes and heavy duty T-Ride rear suspension.

Volvo FMX Truck

Both trucks are fitted with roof-mounted air kits and Boughton bulk waste ejector bodies. One of the bodies has been refurbished in-house, as it originally came from an H-plate 1990-registered Volvo and has been immaculately re-presented with new sheeting system and on-board weighers. Boughton also provided the CANBUS compatible electronics.

The fleet is moving to an all-rigid policy as the amount of bulk waste transported longer distances to landfill continues to decline, thanks in large measure to the increasing amount of material ISM recover for recycling. Only two Volvo artics are operated now as the fleet is modernised further, says John Allen. "In that sense", he says, "the FMXs are part replacement and part additional vehicles."

Volvo FMX Truck

ISM is a long-standing, loyal Volvo customer and, according to John Allen says the marque has "fantastic driver acceptability". Asked why the company operates an all Volvo fleet, he also says: "We've found that Volvos last longer on this type of work than anything else", adding, "Volvo build quality is very good. They do not skimp on anything. We've never had a Volvo chassis crack for example. We get 8 to 9 years out of the RELs and 10 out of the hookloaders. As a family-owned and managed company, our philosophy is to buy the best we can afford. It may be dearer initially, but we’ve never had a problem selling a Volvo at the end of its life with us. There is a ready market for our trucks". The company has also recently purchased its first Volvo loading shovel, an L45F.

Both of the 8x4s were supplied by Volvo Dealer Thomas Hardie Commercials and are on fixed price, long term Volvo Repair and Maintenance contracts with Thomas Hardie Commercials’ at Preston. The vehicles are maintained at weekends and the Volvo Dealer provides a courtesy car to ISM’s drivers.

Thomas Hardie Commercials also manage an imprest stock of parts at ISM’s Kenyon Street premises to enable running repairs to be carried out quickly. In addition, the Dealer makes parts deliveries 3 times a day. It’s a gold plated service which John Allen is happy to praise, saying: “It’s a business relationship, but we do work very closely with Thomas Hardie. Their customer care is pretty good. Given the intensity of this operation, we need the best product and the best back-up. Volvo does it better than anybody else and we see no reason to change.”

Check out more great pictures of the ISM vehicle fleet in our photo gallery.

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