AYLWARD Heavy Haulage Ltd, have taken delivery of a Volvo FH16, 610 bhp, 8x4 tractor unit, making it the fifth in the County Laois operator's all-Volvo fleet. Plated for operation at 200 tonnes GCW, the truck will make full use of its torque and horsepower in transporting heavy construction plant.

The push-pull tractor, supplied by Irish Commercials of Naas, has a range of features specified to match its task, including a Volvo Engine Brake and a Volvo hydraulic retarder on the D16D engine. Additionally, an oil cooler and engine block heater are fitted. The chassis, meanwhile, has a full inner liner with a 600mm front frame extension and both front axles uprated to 8 tonnes.

Reflecting the amount of long-distance work envisaged from the unit, the cab is a Globetrotter XL in 'Prestige' trim, which includes leather upholstery as well as a fridge. A reversing camera is fitted to improve safety on busy building sites. The FH16 is finished in the same Bass Green metallic paint used by Volvo as the launch colour. "It's a very good truck," says the company's founder, P.J. Aylward. "We're very impressed with it: it's comfortable and performs very strongly on long gradients where the power helps keep a constant speed.

We've always run Volvo's: the others are FH12, 6x4 tractors with 460bhp and a 1999 FH16 with 520bhp. They're all reliable and comfortable: they give us no bother - we seldom have any problems with the trucks on the road and, if we do, Volvo Action Service get us going again. The service from Irish Commercials has been very good and helpful, too." Maintenance will be split between the operator's own workshop and Irish Commercials at Naas.

P.J. Aylward set up in 1981 working on general haulage contracts with some Continental work: the company has since expanded and now employs, and is run by, the whole Aylward family. The heavy haulage business, says P.J., "just crept in over the years" and now occupies the company full time. Aylward Heavy Haulage Ltd. provides heavy plant transport services for construction contractors throughout Ireland and the UK.