Secret Seven
Truck & Driver|February 2021
Way down in the south east of Ireland, you’ll find a fleet with a whole lot of horsepower supplied by no less than seven Volvo FH16s!
Paul O'Callaghan

When we think of Ireland and high powered trucks, the usual assumption is it’ll be a Scania V8. Ever since the days of the 140, the Irish have continued to buy the highest powered offerings from one Swedish manufacturer, while shying away from the other.

True, there were F89s and plenty of F12s sold, but we need only point to the fact that not one new F16 was ever sold in the Republic of Ireland. Let that sink in for a minute. There were a handful sold in the north and registered on the northern (UK) system, but the only ones ever registered on Republic plates were a few which came in second hand from the UK.

The original FH was a huge success offering a level of comfort that far exceeded anything that could be offered by Scania, but Irish buyers were reluctant to take the plunge on a 16-litre model. Perhaps tales of high fuel consumption from the original F16 were still making buyers wary. Besides, once the 460 engine was introduced back in 2000, they had a serious contender which was known to show a clean pair of wheels to many a 164 480 despite all the bluster about V8s. Continuing with the version two and three, not much had changed in Ireland, the vast majority of buyers sticking with the well proven 13-litre with 480, 500, 520, or even the 540 if you were really lucky as a driver.

Things seem to have changed a little with the fourth generation FH. That’s not to say the country is awash with FH16s, but there certainly are a few more than in the days of old.

The most common trend is for a fleet to buy a 750 as a flagship. Finding other versions of the 16-litre 650 and 550 is a hens teeth job. Digesting all of the above should make the following fact all the more impressive; a small haulier from southeastern Ireland operates the largest fleet of version four FH16s in Ireland - or the UK!

Powering up

James Ormonde explains why he came to buy his first FH16 back in 2016; “I was still driving myself at that stage and was interested in more power. The logical step up from the 540 was the FH16 650 and I was very clear about what I wanted when I spoke with the dealer.” So impressed was James with his original FH16 650, that he bought another in 2017, three in 2018, one in 2019 and one in 2020, bringing the total to seven.

“The FH16s are a serious truck. I’m very happy with them and reckon they won’t be beaten for comfort and power.” Seeing as we are in Ireland, I feel almost obliged to ask the fuel question. “They are no heavier on diesel than our 540s. We’re loaded to 46 tonnes 70% of the time, on a lot of stop-start routes, so any truck will return the same mpg figure more or less. With the power of the FH16s it makes for a more relaxed drive however.”

James is full of praise for the I-shift gearbox and says he has never felt the need to pay the extra for a dual clutch on his previous 540s; he has two 2015 and one 2016 models. “I’ve heard a lot of good reports about the dual clutch and don’t doubt any of them. But its horses for courses I think. Maybe if we were doing lighter work I’d be going for a dual clutch 540 over a 650, but I’ve got exactly the truck I needed, with lots of torque and a good price – it’s the same with all of the trucks you see here today.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM TRUCK & DRIVERView All

A little bit tangy

Paul does another European trip, when the UK was still in the EU, but Covid had arrived too

6 mins read
Truck & Driver
February 2021

Back to ERF

This ERF EC11 Olympic was fully rebuilt from the ground up and has been working hard every night trunking for the last three years, with some low loader work too!

9 mins read
Truck & Driver
February 2021

Orange Blossom Special

Here’s the latest addition to a superb new livestock fleet from Wales, featuring Scania’s new 540 engine

9 mins read
Truck & Driver
February 2021

Feeding the nation

They may not be glamourous but they’re one of the biggest and most important sectors of our transport industry. So let’s shine the spotlight on some unsung heroes

6 mins read
Truck & Driver
February 2021

Secret Seven

Way down in the south east of Ireland, you’ll find a fleet with a whole lot of horsepower supplied by no less than seven Volvo FH16s!

9 mins read
Truck & Driver
February 2021

TRUE BLUE

Owner-driver Dan Lote’s first new truck is a stunner – but then this all-blue Daf XF 530 had to be something special to replace his much-loved first truck

9 mins read
Truck & Driver
February 2021

Swede summer sun!

Stefan Bloeman and his friends took their old school Volvos on a tour of Europe last summer and he wrote to tell us all about it

4 mins read
Truck & Driver
February 2021

Staying A float

After a busy 2019 shifting boats all over Europe, Ashley Peden had his world turned upside down when coronavirus struck, but he got going again with a trip to Norway which ended with some wonderful news from home

10+ mins read
Truck & Driver
February 2021

Sitting on the fence

Nick Oates and his family have built several successful businesses in the past decade within their KN Group, and his striking Renault Range T-High Low is the best advert for it – as well as paying tribute to his late wife

7 mins read
Truck & Driver
February 2021

Hit for Six!

Scania’s new 540hp six-pot is proving the perfect match for AAD Transport, who recently took in some of the first in Scotland. We spoke to boss Alan Davie about them

9 mins read
Truck & Driver
February 2021
RELATED STORIES

MORMON CHURCH SUED FOR $100 BILLION CHARITY SCAM!

Outraged member charges donations used to build insurance & property empire

2 mins read
National Enquirer
April 19, 2021

Supermodel Turned Super-Mogul

Kathy Ireland Brings Fashion and Functionality into the Home Furniture Arena

4 mins read
Home Business Magazine
Spring 2021

Fear of a Digital Dollar

Central bankers are looking at virtual currencies that could work without banks

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 29 - April 05, 2021

THE CANARY THAT ROARS

THE V8 SUPERCHARGED F-TYPE'S DAYS MAY BE LIMITED, BUT THE MATT SORRENTO YELLOW JAGUAR AWAKENS ALL THE SENSES.

6 mins read
Jaguar Magazine
Issue 206

I SPY…MIX AND MATCH ARPEGGIOS

Hey there, bass players! We’ve recently dedicated two columns to arpeggios, and for good reason. Whether you’re creating a groove or walking through changes, we do our jobs better by gracefully outlining the notes of the chord and clearly defining the harmony.

5 mins read
Bass Player
March 2021

BABS & JAMES FIGHTING LIKE CATS & DOGS!

Her spoiled pooches are driving him nuts

2 mins read
Globe
March 29, 2021

AMERICA'S CRUELEST MOTHER!

Murder bust after tossing boy in river

1 min read
Globe
March 29, 2021

THE BIKER WITH A BIG HEART

Her son’s organ donation saved his life. So he rode 1,426 miles to meet her.

10+ mins read
Reader's Digest US
April 2021

GH: VALENTIN REACTS TO BROOK LYNN'S PREGNANCY

Valentin is left reeling when he comes face to face with a newly returned Brook Lynn and discovers that their one-night stand had lasting consequences: She’s pregnant!

2 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
March 29, 2021

GOOGLE VOWS NO NEW USER TRACKING IN CHROME TO SELL ADS

Google says it won’t develop new ways to follow individual users across the internet after it phases out existing ad tracking technology from Chrome browsers, in a change that threatens to shake up the online advertising industry.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #488