Volvo FL transformation fit for a king
IF TRUCKS could talk, this 1995 Volvo FL would have a few interesting things to say.
The prime mover, originally owned by Danny Marr of Marrs Management in Nambour, Queensland, spent the first years of its long life carting furniture up and down the east coast of Australia.
Although it was sold to a subcontractor in 2000, who continued to use it for furniture removals, Marrs Management workshop manager Phil Stanbridge continued to maintain it.
"That's never changed (for the truck's life), it's always been me who's maintained it," he said.
When Marrs bought back the truck 10 years later, it had done about 1.5 million kilometres, so they decided to give it a new life as a horse truck.
Phil, who will be celebrating his 24th anniversary with the company soon, worked on the truck and helped transform it.
As for the reason why a horse truck?
"They're not a very well-used truck for furniture now so that's why we turned it into a horse truck," he told Big Rigs.
"The boss, Danny Marr, started using it to travel around show jumping horses with his granddaughter."
Phil said the pair drove the truck to many shows, travelling to places like Perth and Adelaide.
The truck, after its transformation which included a chassis stretch to maximum length, measured at about 12.5m long and included full-size living quarters and enough room for five horses.
"It was quite elaborate."
About 300,000km later, at 1.8 million kolometres, the Marr family decided to sell the truck again.
This time they sold it to Lyle and Andree Ravenscroft, who will take their daughter show jumping.
Part of that sale was to do a rebuild on the engine, Phil said, just to give it a refresh.
"These people are locals and we still maintain the truck and will continue to while they own it," he said.
To do the refresh, Marrs purchased a genuine Volvo kit from Brisbane.
"It was still the original motor, kingpin and everything in the front end had never been changed," Phil said.
"There was still the original crankshaft and hand-shaft, (we) just did the liner and main stick and bearing."
Phil said throughout the life of the vehicle, he'd always used genuine parts, which he believed contributed to its lengthy life.
"We always use genuine Volvo because it's just so reliable," he said.
While Marrs has been in the business of furniture removal for more than 50 years, the company has moved away from that and now focuses on mechanical and general transport.
Phil said Marrs Management's fleet was mostly filled with Volvos, with 28 FL7s and FL10s at one stage.
"Marrs currently has a couple of Volvo trucks with side tippers and we do outside mechanical work for other people in our area," Phil said.
"We love Volvos. People come to us because they know we love Volvos and help them where we can."