Volvo Trucks a cut above the rest for Sherborne Upholstery

Supplied by Jason Robinson, Area Sales Manager at Crossroads Truck and Bus, the new Volvo FMs are each fitted with a box body and tail lift supplied by Advance Commercial Bodies and Tuckaway, respectively. The trucks are the first of a total of five Volvo FMs due to land with the customer this year as it continues to freshen up a 17-strong commercial vehicle fleet that currently consists of 16 18-tonners and one 7.5-tonne unit.


Wayne Watkinson, Transport Manager at Sherborne Upholstery, says: “In our line of work, ‘Volvo’ is a byword for premium performance and comfort, and I’m delighted to report that our new rigids are living up to that reputation. Our drivers were already buying additional accessories before they’d arrived to really make them their own. We’re excited to see how they can benefit our business moving forward.”


Sherborne Upholstery’s new FM rigids each feature a D11K Euro-6 Step E engine, producing 330 hp and a peak torque of 1,600 Nm. They are paired with Volvo’s proven I-Shift automated gearbox technology, which makes driving easier, safer and more comfortable and can also deliver improved fuel economy through perfectly-timed gear changes.


Further mileage gains are unlocked by the inclusion of features including I-See Predictive Cruise Control, and roof air and cab side deflectors which are designed to yield improved fuel consumption and therefore reduce CO2 emissions.


The trucks each benefit from a spacious Globetrotter cab, specified with Volvo’s Drive package, including dual armrests and electrically controlled air conditioning with sun sensor. Watkinson has also opted for a comfort-spec heated driver’s seat, which features an integrated seat belt, lumbar support, as well as additional seat cushions and side support adjustments.


The premium in-vehicle experience is completed by a microwave, a 28-litre rear upper wall mounted fridge and ample storage space, as well as a 12-inch chrome-surrounded fully dynamic instrument cluster with a secondary colour display and DAB radio.


“Finding a good driver is hard enough, let alone keeping hold of them,” adds Watkinson. “That’s why we’ve gone for such a luxurious spec with this latest order. Given how hard they work day in, day out, it’s only right our drivers have the tools to do so as safely and as comfortably as possible.”


To maximise driving safety and visibility, the trucks also benefit from Forward Collision Warning with advanced emergency brake and Lane Departure Warning systems, electrically heated main and wide-angle mirrors, and headlamps which automatically adjust to ambient light conditions.


The new rigids – expected to cover around 105,000 km annually – are backed by five-year Volvo Gold Contracts, delivering full cost control, worry-free ownership and maximum uptime by covering all repairs and wear and tear while also enabling preventative maintenance and 24/7 Real Time Monitoring of their critical components.


Founded in 1930, Sherborne Upholstery manufactures and supplies a range of chairs, recliners and settees to customers from its Bradford headquarters.

Econ on a charge with new multi-role electric gritter

Key to the truck’s flexibility is Econ’s innovative new Electric Quick Change Body (E-QCB) system, which in addition to a gritter body, can be supplied with tipper bodywork for highways maintenance, or with a cage tipper for refuse collection and recycling. Developed in-house by Econ, the E-QCB uses hydraulic rams to enable the vehicle to switch between demountable bodies in just 15 minutes, all controlled via a single operator.


The first in this new ‘Econ Zero’ range is a fully operational prototype built on a 19-tonne Volvo FE Electric 4×2 chassis. Its development follows a period of close partnership working between Econ Engineering’s R&D team, and product specialists from Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, and supplying dealer Crossroads Truck & Bus.

Jonathan Lupton, Managing Director at Econ Engineering, says: “We’re excited to introduce the E-QCB to the market with Volvo. We have spent a long time developing the new E-QCB, undertaking comprehensive redesigns and trialling it, to ensure that we can offer a fully electric solution for our customers that can be used 52 weeks a year.

“The vehicle operates best in urban environments, where daily mileage is typically less than some longer distance motorway routes. As it is easy to switch body types with this model, customers can benefit from operating the vehicle all year-round. We are committed to continuing to evolve our Econ Zero range, and other renewable energy innovations, as the UK’s infrastructure develops in support of this.”


Econ Engineering unveiled the new truck on its stand at Cold Comfort 2023 in Harrogate, a specialist conference and exhibition dedicated to winter highway maintenance services.


Christian Coolsaet, Managing Director of Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, explains: “Every part of the transport sector needs to have its sights set on achieving net zero, and gritting and snowploughing is no exception. The team at Econ has developed an exceptional new product with our FE Electric chassis at its heart; this is going to allow gritter fleets to reap the benefits of operating cleaner, quieter and more efficient trucks.”


Crucially for drivers, the new FE Electric offers an improved working environment due to less vibrations and almost silent operation, allowing them to better focus on the road ahead. The Volvo powertrain, with two electric motors combined with a two-speed gearbox, offers an ultra-smooth driving experience, with power delivery handled by a unique traction control system developed to master slippery surfaces.


Specified with four batteries, the FE Electric chassis offers a range of up to 250km, and a recharging time of just 2.3 hours with a 150 kW DC charger. The battery can also be charged more quickly up to 80 per cent capacity, in just the same way as a smartphone, because the charger slows down towards the end of the process to protect the battery cells.


Econ is a Yorkshire-based company, which has been at the forefront of winter maintenance vehicle solutions for over 50 years. It designs and manufactures gritters and other vehicles that are widely used by local authorities and private contractors across the UK. 

Newell & Wright Group returns to its roots with fuel-efficient Volvo FH with I-Save trucks

Supplied by Luke Cook, Area Sales Manager, Crossroads Truck and Bus, the new vehicles benefit from Volvo’s I-Save technology, which leverages turbo-compounding to reduce fuel consumption without compromising driveability.

Stephen Newell, Operations Director, Newell & Wright Group, says: “Reducing environmental impact is our top priority and we have now placed clear targets to push for double figures in regard to the fuel consumption of our trucks.

“For older models from other manufacturers, those sorts of numbers are nothing more than a pipe dream. That’s not the case with these Volvos though. With the combined technology of the trucks and the superb driver training we received, in no time at all both of our new models were comfortably hitting that double figure target.”


The tractor units feature a Euro-6 compliant D13TC Step E engine, producing 460 hp and a peak torque of 2,600 Nm, which unlocks supreme fuel figures by making use of the available energy at every stage to deliver increased efficiency across the whole rpm range.

Further fuel gains are provided by Volvo’s I-Shift automated gearbox technology, which constantly evaluates information such as speed, weight, road grade and torque demand to perfectly time each gear shift. Volvo’s predictive cruise control system, I-See, and I-Cruise with I-Roll are also included as part of the I-Save package.

To maximise comfort, Stephen Newell has opted to equip his latest acquisitions with Drive++ packages. This sees the trucks fitted with leather upholstery, dual armrests and an adjustable steering wheel with neck-tilt, all included within a spacious Globetrotter cab. This setup is completed by an air-suspended and heated driver’s seat.

Both vehicles feature a modern dashboard with a fully digital 12-inch, high-resolution instrument display, DAB radio and navigation and an under bunk mounted 33-litre fridge freezer.

Safety is boosted through Forward Collision Warning with Advanced Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning systems, while visibility is increased with electrically heated and operated main and wide-angle mirrors and headlamps, which automatically adjust to ambient light conditions.

Though Newell & Wright Group previously ran a “purely Volvo fleet” – some older models of which it still maintains on site – its FH with I-Save trucks are the first new vehicles from the Swedish manufacturer to enter its fleet since 2013.

“Since returning to Volvo we’ve been very impressed by the product quality and innovation on offer,” adds Stephen Newell. “We like to keep our fingers firmly on the pulse when it comes to the latest vehicle technology and, as far as we can see, Volvo’s I-Save package is not just second to none but technologically unique. We’d certainly be interested in trying its zero emissions technology in the future too.”

The new trucks are expected to cover at least 160,000 km annually, working five days a week across the next seven years. The tractor units will work double shifts, with drivers conducting container deliveries around Sheffield and as far north as Newcastle during the day, before switching to long distance operations at night across the UK.

Founded in 1974, Newell & Wright Group provides haulage and container services via its fleet of 100 commercial vehicles. In addition to Sheffield headquarters, the company also operates two rail terminals.

Hauliers Against Hunger steps up emergency support for food banks

WORKING families in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are amongst those hardest hit by the cost of living crisis in 2023, according to findings by Hauliers Against Hunger.


Many households with children are continuing to struggle to afford food along with basic essentials such as toothpaste, shampoo, and cleaning products. 


Crossroads Truck & Bus, which founded Hauliers Against Hunger last year in conjunction with The Trussell Trust, is renewing its support for community food banks. The campaign has made regular donations of food and essentials and raised £25,000 since last April, but organisers say more help is urgently needed.


Gareth Legg, Managing Director at Crossroads, said: “We are renewing our commitment to work alongside food banks to provide on-going assistance throughout 2023 as part of the Hauliers Against Hunger campaign. One of the smaller food banks that we support recently sent out 21 emergency parcels in a single day for children containing food for a week. Those parcels went out in a relatively affluent area but that’s 21 children who otherwise would not have received a week’s proper food.”


The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of food banks and provides emergency food parcels along with other types of help and advice, whilst working towards lifting people out of long-term poverty.


Laura Chalmers, Trussell Trust Area Manager for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “We are expecting a very difficult year. Food and energy prices remain high and people on low incomes are among the worst affected. Many food banks are now revising their opening hours to ensure people who are working can access support.


“One in five (20%) of people referred to food banks in our network last year were from working households. Over a six-month period we distributed 1.3m food parcels. Half a million of these parcels were for children. The Hauliers Against Hunger campaign could not be happening at a more important time. Our food banks desperately need support and I cannot thank everybody enough.”


Crossroads Truck & Bus, which supplies and services Volvo commercial vehicles, operates depots throughout Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, including sites at Birstall, Boroughbridge, Hull, Lincoln, Normanton, Scunthorpe and Stallingborough. Each depot is twinned with a local food bank so that Crossroads staff and customers can make food donations or take part in fund-raising events.


Photo: Members of the Crossroads team with the Hauliers Against Hunger campaign trucks. L to R: Gareth Legg (Managing Director), Jayne Bulpitt (Finance Director), Keith Ottley (Sales Director) and Justin Rushton (Operations Director).

Commercial vehicle dealerships invest £350k in electric vans

Our two operating companies Hartshorne and Crossroads have invested £350,000 in electric vans to reduce carbon emissions in their respective parts delivery operations.


The latest investment forms part of a joint programme by the commercial vehicle dealerships in order to boost sustainability within the haulage sector in the Midlands and the North. The vans were added to the fleet after the successful trial of two vans purchased in August 2022 as part of the same programme.


The companies have installed charging infrastructure and taken delivery of four more electric vans, which will help meet their sustainability targets as well benefitting customers by removing carbon from the supply chain.


“We are committed to working towards a sustainable future, which will also include the continued rollout of Volvo heavy electric vehicles during 2023 and beyond,” said Dave Crowley, Group Deputy Managing Director.


“This investment will not only help to meet our emissions targets, but it will also play an important role in a fast-changing world by helping our customers to meet carbon neutrality goals within their own supply chains.”


The new electric vans are state of the art VN5 models manufactured by LEVC, which were designed and built in Coventry and supplied through the Paul Rigby dealership in Birmingham.


Two of the vehicles will operate from Hartshorne’s Potteries depot in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire and two will be based at Crossroads’ site in Rotherham, adding to the two electric vans at the Hartshorne depot in Alfreton, Derbyshire.


The vehicles have a completely electric drivetrain fitted with a petrol range-extender that can be used in an emergency to seamlessly recharge the batteries.


“We experienced a 90% electric-only use throughout the three months trial in our operation. The vans operate routes to enable our drivers to return to base for a quick lunchtime charge ready again for afternoon deliveries, with a resulting reduction in emissions both for ourselves and the customer. We are now also installing solar PV panels in order to drive even more carbon from our business,” said Mr Crowley.


Hartshorne operates at a number of depots throughout the Midlands, whilst Crossroads operates at sites throughout Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. 

Branston on course to save more than £60,000 per year in fuel following Volvo driver training course

The company has boosted its average driver scores by more than 10 points and increased fuel efficiency by roughly one mile per gallon – equating to a saving of well in excess of £1,000 per week.

The initiative was instigated by Group Transport Manager Luke Braddow, who worked with Stace Whitehead, Fleet Solutions Manager at Crossroads Truck & Bus, to come up with a training plan to cover all the firm’s drivers across its three depots in Lincoln, Ilminster and Abernethy.

“We knew by improving driver behaviour we could have a real impact on our business, improving safety and getting far better efficiency from the vehicles – the data we have gathered so far has proved us right,” says Braddow. “With fuel costs getting higher, it’s so important to squeeze every penny out of the trucks as possible.

“The training delivered by Stace was very thorough and this was then backed by follow-up sessions with our in-house driver trainer. We are now monitoring each driver’s overall score and mpg via the Volvo Connect app. Over the first nine-week period we saved ourselves around £10,500, meaning savings should be in the region of £62,000 over a full year – and potentially more if diesel costs rise further.”

Branston’s fleet of Volvo FH 6×2 tractor units average 180,000 km per year. Paired with either curtainside or refrigerated trailers, the trucks collect potatoes from farms across the UK and deliver into supermarket regional distribution centres.

Its latest model FHs were acquired last year, coinciding with Braddow’s arrival at the company which was the catalyst for the training programme. Via the Volvo Connect app, each driver is given a fuel efficiency score out of 100 which is based on performance in four key areas: engine and gear utilisation, speed adaptation, anticipation & braking, and standstill. Those marks are closely monitored, with additional support and guidance given to those drivers with the lowest rankings.

“We’ve colour coded the scores into green (99-90), amber (89-85) and red (below 85),” explains Braddow. “Then we will have specific conversations with those in the red to help them to move higher up through the levels.

“The message is really getting through to the drivers and helping to keep our mpg as high as possible across the fleet. They all have the Volvo Connect app downloaded and are monitoring it daily, which creates healthy competition.”

Established in 1968, Branston is one of the UK’s biggest potato buyers, packers, distributors and marketers, handling around 350,000 tonnes of potatoes a year and supplying some of the largest retail, wholesale and food manufacturing customers in the country.

Food bank in Leeds receives boost from coast-to-coast cycle ride

Staff at Crossroad Truck & Bus in Birstall raise £4,830 to fight cost of living crisis

A CROSS county coast-to-coast charity cycle ride has raised £4,830 for a food bank in Leeds that is facing huge demand due to the cost of living crisis.

Staff at Crossroads Truck & Bus in Birstall raised the cash as part of the company’s ‘Hauliers Against Hunger’ campaign.

The ten cyclists from the Crossroads depot in Pheasant Drive completed the tough 160-mile cycle ride from Morecambe on the West coast to Scarborough in the North East in just three days.

The funds will be donated to the Leeds South & East Foodbank in Millshaw Park, where staff say they are facing multiple new requests for help from members of the public every day. The food bank has provided support for nearly 7,000 people over the last six months, including nearly 3,000 children.

Nathanya Laurent, Development Manager at the food bank said: “We’re so pleased to have the support of Crossroads Truck & Bus. It’s partnerships like this that help us to continue our service during these challenging times. The cost of living crisis is really being felt by many people, and this is just the beginning. We’ve seen an increase in demand for our service and a dip in donations, as everyone is feeling the pinch. The Crossroads partnership has never been so critical to help us support local people in need right now.”

The food bank is affiliated to The Trussell Trust, a nationwide charity that fights hunger across the UK.

Crossroads Truck & Bus, which supplies and services Volvo commercial vehicles, says all of its nine depots in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are twinned with food banks in the trust’s network.

Paul Rayner, Workshop Supervisor at Crossroads in Birstall said: ” Our team did a fantastic job to complete the ride in just 72 hours. I’d also like to thank all of our customers who supported us. The haulage industry played a key role in maintaining supplies during the pandemic and together we can now help to keep the food banks stocked.”

The donation consisted of £2,415 in sponsorship that was raised by staff, which the company itself then doubled.

Latest statistics show that between January 22nd and June 22nd, Leeds South and East Foodbank provided 6928 people, including 2813 children, with emergency food parcels. The service says it is seeing more and more working families and individuals requiring support.

Mayor praises support effort for Rotherham foodbank

Cash and groceries donated by Crossroads Truck & Bus

A FOODBANK in Rotherham has been given a major boost after receiving a cash donation and supplies of groceries from a company in the haulage sector.

Newly elected Mayor of Rotherham Tajamal Khan attended an open day event at Crossroads Truck & Bus, where the company presented a cheque for £1,635 to the foodbank as part of a ‘Hauliers Against Hunger’ campaign.

The money will go directly to Rotherham Foodbank at the Hope Centre in Grove Road where it will be used to provide emergency support for families and individuals who are struggling due to the cost of living crisis.

Councillor Khan said: “The work that Crossroads and Rotherham Foodbank are doing to help people is fantastic. If everybody pulls together during these challenging times we can make society a better place.”

Sandy Bennie, an administrator at Rotherham Foodbank, said: “We’re very grateful to everybody at Crossroads. Some of the people who approach us have not eaten a proper meal for several days. Many are working in jobs but they are running out of money towards the end of the month because they are struggling to pay bills.”

Staff and customers of Crossroads, which supplies and services Volvo commercial vehicles at its depot in Canklow Meadows, worked together to raise the funds that were donated to the foodbank.

Justin Rushton, Operations Director at Crossroads, said: “People are struggling due to astronomical fuel and food prices. We’ve been operating in Rotherham for over 35 years so we’re keen to support the local community.”

The foodbank in Grove Road is affiliated to The Trussell Trust, a national charity that fights hungers across the UK. Crossroads says all of its nine depots across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are taking part in Hauliers Against Hunger.

* You can contact Rotherham Foodbank at the Hope Centre, Grove Road, Rotherham, S60 2ER. Tel: 01709 372104. Email:

Hah 2 Min - Crossroads Truck & Bus Limited

Hah 3 Min - Crossroads Truck & Bus Limited

‘Hauliers Against Hunger’ launches to support community food banks

Crossroads Truck and Bus partners with Trussell Trust to tackle cost of living crisis in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

A COMMERCIAL vehicle distributor is launching a ‘Hauliers Against Hunger’ campaign that will support food banks across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Crossroads Truck and Bus – which supplies and services Volvo commercial vehicles – says its depots will be twinned with food banks supported by The Trussell Trust, a nationwide charity that fights hunger across the UK.

The campaign will provide on-going assistance and donations that will be sent directly to the community food banks from Crossroads staff and customers throughout the year.

Crossroads Managing Director Gareth Legg said: “The cost of living crisis is creating unprecedented demand for food banks. We are launching Hauliers Against Hunger to support the vital work of these centres to meet this urgent need. The haulage industry played a key role in maintaining supplies during the pandemic and together we can help keep the food banks stocked.”

Research by The Trussell Trust shows that out of 5.7m people on Universal Credit in the UK, one in three (33%) are unable to afford adequate food.

Laura Chalmers, Trussell Trust Area Manager for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “I am delighted to partner with Crossroads, who will be supporting eight food banks across the region at a time when it is needed the most. Their commitment to fundraising activity, food deliveries and volunteer time will go far in helping to support those in their local communities who will be squeezed the hardest.”

The ‘Hauliers Against Hunger’ campaign will result in food banks receiving support from the following Crossroads depots: Birstall, Boroughbridge, Hull, Lincoln, Normanton, Rotherham, Scunthorpe and Stallingborough.

Crossroads Truck and Bus will donate £1 for every £1 that staff collect through fundraising events. Customers can also show their support by making a donation when they make use of two special demonstrator trucks, which are decorated in Hauliers Against Hunger campaign livery.

*For more information about how The Trussell Trust is working to make hunger a thing of the past go to

Volvo FL recovery truck makes its debut at Ladyroyd Garage

Bradford-based Ladyroyd Garage has taken delivery of its first ever Volvo truck on the back of a glowing recommendation from another operator. The new Volvo FL 4×2 rigid with rear air suspension has been brought in to help the business transport the larger vehicles it recovers.

Supplied via Jason Robinson, Area Sales Manager at Crossroads Truck and Bus, the FL is powered by Volvo’s ultra-efficient D8K engine, producing 280 hp and 1,050 Nm of torque. This is driven through an intuitive six-speed I-Sync automated transmission that simplifies urban driving and helps to improve fuel consumption.

The 16-tonne FL joins a 12-strong fleet of 7.5-tonne trucks operated by the company and is mounted with Powertec bodywork and a factory-fitted Power Take Off (PTO).

David Thornes, Owner of Ladyroyd Garage, says: “Before committing to Volvo, we did look closely at rival marques, but none of them could really compete. We knew that with Volvo we’d be buying a premium brand truck we could count on – it was certainly a step up for the fleet. We had also heard very good things about the FL in terms of reliability and payload.”

Commenting after the delivery, he adds: “It’s proving to be an outstanding vehicle and it certainly hasn’t disappointed. The team at Crossroads Truck and Bus have really impressed us too, offering invaluable support and advice from the moment of our first enquiry.”

The new FL, with a four-door, six-seat crew cab, has been specified for maximum comfort. An air-suspended and heated driver’s seat with lumbar support makes covering longer distances more relaxing for the driver. Air conditioning, cruise control and a heated windscreen also help to create an enhanced driver workspace.

“The specification of the Volvo perfectly met the requirements of the business, and the feedback we’ve had from the drivers has been fantastic,” adds Thornes. “They have been particularly impressed with the ease of access into the crew cab; the steps offer excellent grip in all weathers, making it a lot easier for passengers who might not be used to getting into a truck. Plus, the FL’s practicality and good all-round visibility have made it a firm favourite amongst our team.”

The new Volvo is expected to clock up 30-50,000 km per annum and will support the firm’s continued growth.

Ladyroyd Garage has been in business for more than 60 years and specialises in low approach recovery work as well as acting as agents for several of the nation’s major breakdown clubs.