It’s good to learn that Volvo Trucks listen to Tachoblog.  They must have read that we and our friends over at TNN really rate the Allison Transmission fully automatic gearboxes – see Swedish Truck Extravaganza on Tachoblog with a Volvo FH16-660 and FE-230, Scania P380 and R480.

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What you can see above is Volvo’s new UK and Ireland market specific low-entry version of their FE middleweight rigid.

Designated the FE Low Entry Cab (LEC), the new truck is aimed at the waste collection and recycling sector – in particular, the carriage of domestic refuse delivered direct to a bulk transfer or recycling station.

Click below for more and for why we know Volvo listens to Tachoblog…

In addition to municipal applications, the FE LEC is also designed to meet the need for ease of access of crews of specialist fire, airport and highways vehicles – particularly those working ‘stop-start’ duty cycles such as cone trucks in roadworks.

The Volvo FE LEC is configured around a 26 tonne GVW 6×2 rear-steer, tag-axle rigid chassis. Chassis layout is conventional and is available with the standard cab. Ninety five per cent of components are from the standard FE chassis – including key components such as mirrors, windscreen and cab panels.

The radiator, intercooler and steering box are also from the standard FE. Should the worst happen, cab and chassis parts are available throughout the Volvo Dealer Network.

The FE LEC is designed to cater for four crew (three crew plus driver) in comfort while providing easy entry and exit. The driver’s side of the cab features single step entry and the flat floor of the cab allows excellent cross cab access unimpeded by obstructions. This means the driver can also exit on the nearside – an important Health and Safety consideration.

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The FE LEC cab is mounted 600mm further forward and 200mm lower than the standard FE. Crew entry and exit on the near-side is via a wide, low access step at a height of 550mm. Front air suspension gives the option of a kneeling function, when the doors are opened, for even lower step entry of only 440mm. Both cab doors feature wide apertures and open to a full 90º.  The air suspension for both front and rear of the truck can be operated from a tethered handset controller located by the driver’s seat.

Seats are covered in easy to clean vinyl and the crew sit at the same level for excellent forward vision through the deep windscreen. The nearside crew seat is set back to aid driver visibility and there are windows in the lower passenger door and passenger cab side panel. Three point diagonal safety belts are fitted to all four seats.

With an overall width over the doors of only 2,300mm, easy to replace plastic mudwings, and a three piece bumper with steel corners, the FE LEC is designed to take the knocks and scrapes of urban life.

Cab equipment includes manually operated air conditioning, power windows, heated mirrors and additional storage for wet gear behind the driver’s seat.

Now that’s all very nice Tachoblog we can hear you thinking, but why are you crowing that you’ve influenced Volvo?  Well, coupled to the FE LEC’s Volvo D7 Euro 5 engine with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) (Power output 300hp at 2100 to 2300 rpm and peak torque of 1160Nm between 1200 and 1800rpm)  is the Allison AL306 6-speed automatic with hydraulic torque converter and push button mode selection.  See, they do read Tachoblog!

The AL306 features a live drive PTO. Rear axle ratio is 6.17:1 and the FE LEC can keep pace with city traffic at 26 tonnes GVW and also cope with the stop start demands of waste collection. Disc brakes feature the latest generation electronically controlled EBS.

The FE LEC offers operators a competitive unladen weight of 7,500kg +/- 1.5% (includes 215 litres of fuel, 70 litres of Adblue and no driver). In terms of axle capacity, the FE LEC offers 1,000kg of loading tolerance at 26 tonnes with an 8 tonne front axle and a 19 tonne rear bogie. The rear bogie is air suspended and chassis ride height is 1,000mm. The front axle is also available with air suspension (with the option of a kneeling function). 315/80R22.5 tyres aid axle capacity and provide increased ground clearance.