The Highways Agency has put a fleet of 90 new winter service vehicles into service in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.
The vehicles were developed by AEBI Schmidt and Volvo Trucks in partnership.
The Highways Agency reckons the new vehicles will use 25 per cent less salt than previous models, by using a pre-wet system in which the salt is mixed with brine in the spreaders’ spinner. This reduction in salt use is expected to help conserve supplies in the event of a major snow event.
The contract includes in the region of 90 Volvo FEs, of which 47 are equipped with the latest generation of durable AEBI Schmidt Stratos spreaders.
All the new spreaders are equipped with AEBI Schmidt’s SNK single blade snow plough. It has a self-supported polymer blade which is cushioned against vibration by a diagonally braced steel frame. It is adjustable and can be mounted and dismounted in a matter of minutes.
The Volvo Euro-5 FE-340 6×4 rigids include a medium cab with an independent cab-heater, Allison World Series 6-speed automatic transmission and a rear-of-engine mounted Volvo power take-off driveshaft. An FMS gateway has also been fitted as preparation for telematics. The chassis has a wheelbase of 3.85 metres.
The new spreading vehicles have a minimum life expectancy of seven years.