New Volvo FH fleet on the start line for McLaren Racing

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McLaren Racing has put its new fleet of 24 Volvo FH Globetrotter XL tractor units into service, transporting all of the team’s equipment for last weekend’s season-opening F1 race in Spielberg, Austria.

The new 4×2 left-hand drive trucks will stand out in the paddock thanks to their striking Mammoth Tree Metallic grey paintwork, featuring a flash of McLaren’s traditional papaya orange along the swage line. They have been supplied as part of a long-standing partnership with the Woking-based F1 team.

Andy Collett, Key Account Manager at Volvo Trucks, worked closely with McLaren to tailor the new vehicles for optimum efficiency, supporting the FIA’s goals for F1 to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Ian Barnard, Transport Manager at McLaren Racing, says: “F1 is moving to a model of ultra-efficient logistics and travel, and these new Volvos represent one of the first steps in that process.

The trucks were delivered in March, but we’ve been eagerly waiting for the season to get underway so we could put them into operation. Now we’ve got the green light for the first race, we’re hoping for a very busy summer and autumn supporting as much racing as possible!”

The new fleet includes seven Volvo FH with I-Save tractor units for transporting race team equipment, introducing Volvo’s most fuel-efficient heavy truck to McLaren for the first time. These medium chassis height 4x2s combine Volvo’s powerful 500hp Euro-6 Step D engine with turbo-compounding and updated fuel-efficiency features. They each produce up to 300 Nm of extra torque, which means less acceleration and fuel is needed to keep a steady speed in motorway traffic, making them ideal for long-haul journeys to circuits across Europe.

McLaren’s lead truck, which pulls a bespoke race car transporter trailer, also benefits from an I-Shift Dual Clutch for the smoothest possible acceleration and seamless gearchanges in just a fraction of a second, without interrupting power delivery. This vehicle also features Volvo Dynamic Steering for perfect stability and control at all speeds.

The remaining 17 FH 4×2 tractor units are powered by 540hp engines and are built on Volvo’s X-Low chassis, ensuring the optimum fifth wheel height for the team’s mega cube trailers. These vehicles are used primarily to transport hospitality equipment to each event.

All 24 trucks feature a huge specification list, making them amongst the most desirable FHs on the road. This includes Volvo’s complete Dynafleet fleet management suite, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, TomTom® navigation, I-See Predictive Cruise Control, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Changing Support, which uses radar technology to scan the passenger side for other road users – providing additional safety for left-hand drive vehicles running in the UK.

Drivers also enjoy a sumptuous on-board specification inside each spacious Globetrotter XL sleeper cab, with a full leather interior, fridge-freezer, microwave and coffee maker.

The new fleet has been supplied on a Volvo Gold Contract which includes all preventive maintenance, repairs and roadside assistance. Each truck is expected to cover around 12,000-miles per season.

Commenting on the experience of working with Volvo, Barnard adds: “This is our fifth year running an all-Volvo fleet and the backup both in the UK and across Europe has been amazing. We’ve never had a problem with one of the trucks, but we’ve called Volvo Action Service out to help with trailer issues and they have always got us moving again, and fast. It’s a huge weight off our  minds.”

Photos: Volvo Trucks UK