E. T. Morris & Sons of New York in Lincolnshire has taken delivery of twelve Volvo FH-500 6×2 tractor units with Globetrotter cabs and lightweight pusher axles from Crossroads Truck and Bus of Hull.

The newest arrivals to the company’s 46-strong fleet have been configured to attain a low coupling height of 1050mm, required in order to deliver an overall height of 3.95 metres when loaded with a 2.89 metre (9’6”) high container.

Managing Director Jeremy Morris says: “Only Volvo could effectively meet our needs in achieving this. I sat with our local salesman from Crossroads Truck and Bus, Keith Ottley and Duncan Seaman from Volvo Trucks. We configured the chassis using all standard Volvo components, just in a somewhat different arrangement.”

The FHs were specified with full air suspension on all axles, including the front steer, 315/60R 22.5 tyres on the front, 295/60R 22.5 on the drive axle and 245/70R 19.5 tyres on the pusher axle, all contribute to achieving the required low coupling height.

Jeremy says: “We operate a lot of Euroliner trailers for carrying steel coils and both the primary steel works and many of the delivery addresses, have access heights of just 4.1m, dictated by the cranes within. We also operate skeletal trailers capable of carrying 2.9m high containers while achieving an overall height of 3.95m. Through reducing the standard chassis height by some 200mm we have enhanced our capability in terms of the variety of loads we can carry.”

By specifying the lightweight pusher axle and the careful packaging of components, which included repositioning the batteries from the rear to the left hand side of the chassis, the FH’s are 150mm shorter than an equivalent wheelbase version and each truck’s unladen weight has been reduced by around 300kg.

“The lower overall height and flexibility of these carefully spec’ed trucks allows us to couple them to our Euroliner curtainsiders as well as ‘skeles’ for container work,” says Jeremy, “so they represent a win-win for us.”

The company’s first-ever Volvo was a 240hp F88, bought in 1974 and ever since the fleet has remained predominantly Volvo. “The capability of Volvo sets it aside,” says Jeremy, adding, “The dealer support from Crossroads Truck and Bus as well as from the factory is second-to-none. The reliability of Volvo is a matter of fact and if there is a breakdown access to spares and support is there around-the-clock. I look at Volvo and I see that as an organisation it’s able to support my business. That is quite a reassurance.”

E. T. Morris & Sons was started by ‘Ted’ Morris back in 1950 offering haulage services to the agricultural sector. Work often involved serving Bolton dock so the company duly opened a depot in Hull. To this day the company continues to serve the local area offering daily distribution across mainland UK. “Steel is a large part of our business,” explains Jeremy, “but we also carry forest products – timber and paper – as well as carrying out general container work.”

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