Picture of a Volvo FM-460 sweeper fitted out for WJ North

W J North draws a line under driver comfort

Published:  24 July, 2016

A top specification Volvo FM-460 4x2 ‘super-sweeper’ – with all mod cons – has entered service with road-marking business W J North in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

The Volvo FM-460 is the first brand new sweeper chassis for the company, which had always purchased second-hand trucks before. It is also the first ultra-high specification sweeper to join the W J North fleet of 258 vehicles, 85% of which are Volvos.

The 4.3m wheelbase 4x2 truck is plated at 18 tonnes GVW and is fitted with the 13-litre 460 hp engine with I-Shift automated gearbox, Dynafleet telematics (for asset tracking and to produce environmental reports) and the Globetrotter LXL cab. The drive axle is air-suspended.

The FM-460 is fitted with the latest Johnston VT801 sweeper which the manufacturers claim uses up to 50% less fuel in work mode than its competitors at low revs and 13% lower fuel consumption at maximum revs. It comes with a data capture system which allows the user to download operational information, such as fuel consumption, operating revs and time swept.

It also features an ‘eco mode’ which limits the engine revs to 1500rpm. The operator can over-ride the limiter if allowed to, enabling the sweeper to be used for road works, surface dressing or heavily solid areas. And the FM-460 sweeper is fitted with five external cameras, including side scan and a 360° camera and Vision Techniques Banksman Plus reversing sensors.

But it is inside that the vehicle really tsands out. The Globetrotter LXL cab features full standing interior height of 2.1m, leather upholstery and extra storage lockers with roll blind doors. The cab’s full size bunk measures 70 x 200cm and is part of a luxurious package of ‘home from home’ comforts for the driver, including a coffee maker, fridge freezer, microwave oven and a television.

W J North’s group transport manager Scott Logan said the driver of the new sweeper will spend between two and three weeks at a time away from base, working as part of a three truck team on major road marking projects across the UK.

‘We wanted the highest level of comfort possible for the driver of the new sweeper and you can’t beat Volvo for that,’ he said.

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