Oldest active Volvo hauler located in California

By |  July 11, 2016
Volvo representative, Amswede representative stand in front of Volvo DR860 articulated hauler. Photo courtesy of Volvo Construction Equipment.

Amswede Inc. has been using the 1968 Volvo DR860
articulated hauler for about 25 years. Photo courtesy
of Volvo Construction Equipment.

As equipment ages, it may be tempting to put machines “out to pasture” and buy brand-new replacements.

Continuous maintenance can, however, pay off, as it recently did in a unique way for a recycling contractor based in California.

Amswede Corp., a recycling company located in Chula Vista, Calif., won Volvo Construction Equipment‘s “Still Hauling” contest after Volvo identified Amswede as having the oldest operational Volvo articulated hauler working on a North American jobsite.

Volvo hosted the contest as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of its first articulated hauler, rewarding Amswede’s Tomy Stenvall with a weeklong trip to the company’s facility in Sweden. Stenvall runs a 1968 Volvo DR860 almost every day at Amswede, according to Volvo.

“There were customers all over the world at [Volvo’s facility in Sweden],” Stenvall says. “Some were buying 30 or 40 haulers at a time, but I was the one getting the royal treatment, all because I have one old truck.”

Stenvall adds that had this been a beauty contest, his truck wouldn’t have made it far.

Amswede Inc. Volvo wheel loaders. Photo courtesy of Volvo Construction Equipment.

Amswede Inc. runs a fleet of Volvo wheel loaders for the
recycling business, equipped with quick couplers, third
valves and big grapples. Photo courtesy of Volvo
Construction Equipment.

“This truck has been through a lot over the years,” he says. “But it’s still going strong.”

Stenvall added the Volvo DR860 to his fleet in the early 1990s when he purchased it from a tunneling company in Sweden. He reassembled the truck, lengthened its frame and put a water tank and ag pump on it.

Stenvall’s customized Volvo DR860 runs with its original 48-year-old transmission, and it was just last year that he replaced the original engine with a vintage 5-liter TD50 engine from a previously scrapped cab-over-engine truck in his yard.

The DR860 continues to contribute to work on jobsites that require dust control and soil mixing, Stenvall says. He estimates the truck has averaged at least 1,000 hours per year of use over the last 25 years.

“It was already 23 years old when I bought it,” he says. “That’s a lot of hours on this truck.”

In addition to not knowing the true hour mark, the exact age of the DR860 was initially unclear. When the “Still Hauling” contest was announced, Stenvall’s equipment dealer, Mike Burrell of Volvo Construction Equipment and Services (VCES), helped him research the age.

“I knew his DR860 was the oldest I had seen – we just didn’t know how old,” Burrell says. “We couldn’t find any serial numbers stamped in the frame, but after a thorough inspection, we were able to find an identification plate on the transmission. We sent the number to Volvo, and they told us it fell within the range associated with the 1968 production year.”

With that information in hand, Burrell helped Stenvall enter the contest.

“Sure enough, he had the oldest working hauler,” Burrell says. “I was really excited for him to win the trip to Sweden. He’s just one of those guys that never stops working. I bet he hadn’t taken a vacation in 20 years.”

Stenvall isn’t the only contractor with a vintage Volvo articulated hauler. Check out photos of others on Volvo’s contest webpage.

About the Author:

Megan Smalley is the associate editor of Pit & Quarry. Contact her at msmalley@northcoastmedia.net or 216-363-7930.

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