Volvo Trucks releases five new features for rough terrain

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Volvo Trucks continues to improve productivity within construction by releasing another five new features that will enable trucks and drivers operating in tough conditions to perform their work more smartly and efficiently.

1) Volvo Dynamic Steering for dual front axles: Volvo Dynamic Steering is now also available on trucks with dual front axles, a very common configuration in construction operations. As such trucks often carry particularly heavy loads or superstructures, the benefits are very noticeable for the driver. In addition to far lower turning resistance at low speeds, the steering wheel returns automatically to the straight-ahead position after full lock, cutting out the need for added effort in close-quarter manoeuvring and saving the driver both time and energy. Volvo Dynamic Steering, which was launched in 2013 and was showcased in ‘The Hamster Stunt’ YouTube hit, consists of an electric motor that compensates for vibration and steering wheel movement while minimising the amount of force needed to steer the truck.

2) Increased front axle loads, dual front axles:

Volvo’s heavy duty trucks with dual front axles increase the maximum technical capacity from 18 to 20 tonnes. On a 4-axle truck with a gross weight of 32 tonnes the load bed is also longer and there is greater flexibility regarding where to place a load such as gravel in a tipper body. This means maximum load is reached more quickly when loading and that the driver can be certain about meeting weight limitations. Higher load capacity above the front axles also permits a greater variety of crane configurations and allows other applications with considerable weight on the front axles.

3) Five-axle trucks, 10×4 and 10×6: In many markets, the trend is towards increased gross combination weights of between 50 and 76 tonnes. In order to meet the demand for heavier applications both on highways and in construction, Volvo Trucks is now launching factory-built 5-axle combinations. The two front axles permit up to 20 tonnes maximum load and the three rear axles can handle up to 36 tonnes, resulting in both increased payload and greater flexibility for customers. This solution is also suitable for concrete pumps and large crane trucks that need uniform axle load distribution. By reducing pressure on the axles, many of these vehicles can be transported over longer distances on regular highways, resulting in both faster transportation and increased income potential.

4) Rear air suspension in combination with driven front axle (Volvo FMX): The new possibility of combining an air-suspended rear axle with a driven front axle permits the highest level of comfort even for trucks with all-wheel drive. Whereas leaf springs are generally dimensioned for the heaviest weights, air suspension offers the flexibility of adjustment to suit the weight of the load. This results in a smoother driving experience and less wear on truck, driver and road surface. Thanks to reduced vibration – especially when the truck is driven without a load – the driver can maintain a higher average speed on bumpy construction site roads and can thus handle more deliveries during each shift. In addition to the enhanced comfort, Volvo Trucks’ air suspension also offers ground clearance of at least 300mm and effective protection for all vulnerable components.

5) Electronic Brake System for drum brakes: Now even customers who specify drum brakes for operation in particularly dusty or wet conditions can benefit from the advantages of Volvo’s Electronic Brake System (EBS). The system’s electronics give access to a range of intelligent functions such as Hill Start Aid for better control on steep gradients. Safety is also improved thanks to integration of engine braking and retarder function, known as Brake Blending. In addition to improved brake function, EBS in combination with drum brakes also offers access to Volvo Dynamic Steering (not with drive to the front wheels) and more efficient gear changes since I-Shift obtains some of its information from the electronic braking system.

3 July 2015

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Tom is editor of ivtinternational.com and iVT magazine. During his 20 year career in journalism Tom has worked for a diverse range of titles including Men's Health and Cosmopolitan. He also edits iVT's UKi Media & Events stablemate Traffic Technology International.

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