An expected growing demand for transport is putting pressure on the availability of skilled drivers worldwide. In Europe, for example, estimates show that around 20 percent of all driver jobs are vacant. To help customers recruit and retain the best drivers, Volvo Trucks has focused strongly on developing the new trucks to make them safer, more efficient and more attractive working tools for qualified drivers.
“Drivers who handle their truck safely and efficiently are an invaluable asset to any transport company. Responsible driving behaviour can help reduce CO2emissions and fuel costs, as well as helping reduce the risk of accidents, injury and unplanned downtime. Our new trucks will help drivers work even more safely and productively and give our customers stronger arguments when competing to attract the best drivers,” continues Roger Alm.
The various truck models in Volvo Trucks’ range are available with many different cab models and can be optimized for a wide range of applications. In long-haul trucks, the cab is often the driver’s second home. In regional transport trucks it often serves as a mobile office, while in construction the trucks are robust, practical work tools. Therefore, visibility, comfort, ergonomics, noise level, maneuverability and safety were key focal points when developing all the new truck models. The truck exterior has also been upgraded to reflect the new trucks’ properties and create an attractive overall design.
New cab, offering more space and improved visibility – Volvo FM and Volvo FMX
The new Volvo FM and Volvo FMX have a brand new cab, as well as many of the same instrument display functions as their larger Volvo counterparts. Their interior volume has been increased by up to one cubic meter, providing better comfort and more working room. The visibility is now even better due to larger windows, a lowered door line and new mirrors.
The steering wheel is equipped with a neck tilt function allowing the driving position to be individually adjusted to a greater extent. The lower bed in the sleeper cab is positioned higher up than previously, affording higher comfort and creating additional storage space underneath. The day cab has a new 40-liter storage compartment with interior lighting on the back wall. Cab comfort is further enhanced through reinforced insulation that helps shut out cold, heat and noise disturbance, while a sensor-controlled climate unit with a carbon filter promotes good air quality in all conditions.
All models equipped with a new driver interface
The driver’s area now has a completely new interface for information and communication, aimed at making it easier to overview and manage different functions, creating less stress and distraction. The instrument display is fully digital, with a 12-inch screen that makes it easy for the driver to choose the information needed at any time. Within easy reach of the driver there is a supplementary 9-inch side display available for infotainment, navigation, transport information and camera monitoring. The functions can be controlled via buttons on the steering wheel, by voice control, or via the touchscreen and display control panel.
Enhanced safety systems to help avoid accidents
Safety has been further improved with functions such as adaptive high beam headlights in the Volvo FH and Volvo FH16, a solution that Volvo Trucks is the first truck manufacturer to launch. The system improves safety for all road users by automatically disabling selected segments of the LED high beam when the truck approaches oncoming traffic or another vehicle from behind.
Driving is also facilitated by an improved Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) for speeds down to 0 km/h and downhill cruise control that automatically activates the wheel brakes when extra brake force is needed to maintain constant downhill speed. The Electronically controlled Brake System (EBS), which is a prerequisite for safety features such as Collision Warning with Emergency Brake and Electronic Stability Control, now comes as standard on the new truck. Volvo Dynamic Steering, with the safety systems Lane Keeping Assist and Stability Assist, is also available as an option. A road sign recognition system detects road traffic signs, such as overtaking restrictions, road type and speed limits, and displays them in the instrument display.
The visibility can be improved further by adding a passenger corner camera which provides a complementary view of the side of the truck on the side display.
Efficient engines and alternative drivelines
Both the environment and economics are important factors for haulage companies. As there will not be one singular energy source that addresses all climate change issues, and since different transport segments and assignments will require a variety of solutions, several types of drivelines will continue to exist in parallel for the foreseeable future.
In many markets, the Volvo FH and Volvo FM are available with the Euro 6 compliant gas-powered LNG engine that offers fuel efficiency and performance on par with that of Volvo’s equivalent diesel trucks, but with a far lower climate impact. The gas engine can run on either biogas, which cuts CO2 by up to 100 percent, or natural gas which reduces CO2 emissions by up to 20 percent when compared with Volvo’s equivalent diesel trucks. This relates to emissions from the vehicle during usage, known as tank to wheel.
The new Volvo FH can also be tailored with a new efficient Euro 6 diesel engine, which is included in the I-Save package that enables significant fuel and CO2savings. In long-haul operations for instance, the new Volvo FH with I-Save combines the new D13TC engine with a package of features and can deliver fuel savings up to 7%*. There have also been improvements for the Euro 3 and 5 versions with features like Volvo Torque Assist.
A new range of Services setting the standard for Uptime
With this range, Volvo Trucks is setting a new level for Uptime by increasing the engine oil drain interval by up to 50%, and introducing an advanced Real Time Monitoring system. This system continuously monitors selected Uptime critical components to help predict potential unplanned stops and turn them into planned workshop visits. Real Time Monitoring is available as an option for the Volvo Gold Contract, which has been extended with yet another offer; the Volvo Flexi-Gold Contract. The new contract allows a more flexible payment structure, as it adapts to fluctuating business due to changes in workload.
Volvo Trucks has also introduced the Volvo Uptime Care Contract, which uses connectivity to follow up selected components and real usage of the truck in order to detect wear-and-tear and based on that continuously adapt the service plan.
Connectivity also enables Remote Software Download, which means selected software can be downloaded at the customer’s convenience.
*The fuel improvement claim is calculated by comparing costs of diesel and AdBlue for D13TC Euro 6 step D with the Long Haul Fuel Package (I-Save) to D13 eSCR Euro 6 step D without the Long Haul Fuel Package. Actual fuel economy may vary depending on many factors such as the driver’s experience, use of cruise control, vehicle specification, vehicle load, actual topography, vehicle maintenance, and weather conditions.
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