Solid old SWEDE

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 21, 2017

Back in May last year we featured an article by Brian Weatherley on the FL10 Volvo, the popularity of this truck in Europe in its heyday, and the difficulty in finding a good one nowadays. Well we‘ve found a superb example still hard at it, right here in New Zealand!

Reliable and workhorse are two thoughts that come to mind when writing about the FL10 Volvo, and Allister Morten has an FL10 that fits the bill perfectly.

Upon seeing the article last year, Allister, an owner-driver at NZ Express Transport in Christchurch, contacted us about his FL10 Volvo and we decided to pay him a visit.

Allister‘s 1996 FL10 Volvo 6×4 tractor unit started its life in Wellington as a company-owned truck for Allied Petroleum, carting Jet A1, petrol, diesel, avgas, oil and lube throughout the North Island. The Volvo was transferred to Allied‘s Christchurch branch, where local operators Jimmy Hill and Mark Amer ended up double-shifting the truck.

When it arrived in Christchurch the Volvo was in bad shape, but once Jimmy and Mark got stuck in, adding plenty of lights, mud flaps, and other accessories, along with polishing the wheels and painting the front bumper, she looked like new again!

Allied Petroleum then decided to replace the FL10s in the fleet with an 8×4 FM Volvo so the truck went to Southern Viking in Christchurch where Allister purchased it in 2002.

Resplendent in Allied colours after being shown the love by true truck enthusiasts Jimmy Hill and Mark Amer.

With only 448,000 kilometres on the clock, a tare of around eight tonne, cruise control, 14-speed Volvo synchromesh transmission plus a great service record with Southern Viking, the truck was a great fit for what Allister needed.

A Steelbro Crusader Plus skeletal trailer – the first ever built in New Zealand – weighing in at just four tonne was added, meaning back then the complete unit could carry containers up to 27 tonne legally!

The interior of the Volvo is also testament to
the care shown to the truck throughout its life.

Allister, who has been with New Zealand Express Transport for 18 years (he‘s their longest serving driver), runs daily from the Port of Lyttelton to the local container yards around Christchurch, and other jobs when needed.

After owning the FL10 for 15 years the kilometres are creeping up towards the million mark (currently 994,000), but Allister has no plans to retire the old girl just yet.

So there you have it. A charmed, well cared for and lucky old FL10 still keeping a roof over her owner‘s head.

Still show-worthy after all these years.