Used Truck: Lindsay Philp's 1987 Volvo FL7

By: Steve Skinner

Steve Skinner got to check out Lindsay Philp's Volvo FL7, and the Queensland cattle breeder’s workhorse hasn’t missed a beat.


Lindsay Philp admits he doesn’t know a whole lot about his 1987 4x2 Volvo FL7, except that it’s been a trusty servant for the past 15 years.

History of the Volvo FL7

He knows that in earlier lives it was a prime mover for a furniture van, and then a tipper after it was converted and had the chassis extended.

But he’s not sure if it’s been around the clock once already (the odometer reads 680,000 kilometres) or how many horses it has under the cab (Our best estimate is 250, or 184kW)

Volvo Fl7

What the cattle breeder from Bell, between Dalby and Kingaroy in Queensland does know, is that the FL7 has been reliable.

"It’s only had a few little minor problems," says Philp, such as old wiring playing up.

Philp only does about 5,000 kilometres a year, between his three properties, sales and shows. So he only gets the Volvo serviced a couple of times a year at a garage at Dalby. Every second year it needs a rego check.

We asked Lindsay to fire up the engine, and it ran like a clock. There’s no emissions equipment on it of course, which doesn’t matter out in the bush.

But there are still plenty of old bangers like this running around in the cities and adding heavily to the concentration of particulates and other nasties.

Driving the Volvo FL7

Lindsay says the FL7 is good to drive: "A lot of people have been surprised at how well she travels," he says, adding that it can sit on 100km/h no problems at all.

"When it’s loaded it travels the best," he says, and of course that’s because the leaf spring suspension gets a bit of weight on it, without ever being anywhere near full-weight.

Philp points out that the ride is comfortable, including on the rough stuff, which he attributes mainly to the cab’s coil spring suspension.

He adds that the cab can get a lean up going around corners. When informed that the latest model FH doesn’t sway any more (see the review in the next issue of Owner//Driver) Philp says: "That’s a brilliant idea to cut it out."

For Volvo FL7s, the "F" stands for forward control (ie cab-over); the "L" stands for low entry; and the "7" is the engine size in litres.

Read more about Lindsay Philp’s FL7 in the next issue of Owner//Driver.

Find Volvo FL7 trucks for sale.


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