As part of a range review, Volvo Trucks has brought out a totally new cab for their regional distribution heavy truck range – the FM series.
The company’s focus was clearly putting the driver at the centre of the truck’s design. Volvo believe that if an operator can attract the right drivers, then operating costs will immediately fall – this holds true regardless of the truck they are driving.
As a result, Volvo want the best drivers to want a Volvo, then the Volvos will always perform better on the roads.
So What’s New Inside the Cab?
The all-round visibility has been improved with raised A-pillars which has the added benefit of increasing the space in the cab – but only my 1m3. To help as a workplace for the driver, Volvo have improved the amount of storage on offer in the new FM cab. This is under the sleeper cab but also on the new dashboard which contains the 12-inch flat screen display that replaces the outgoing dials. This display handles all the driving functions, including the speed and revs, whilst a neighbouring 9-inch screen handles the ancillaries, such as cameras, navigation and entertainment.
The new screens can be controlled by buttons on the steering wheel, through voice control, or directly via the touchscreen and display control panel.
For drivers who need to move across the cab, there will be a pleasant surprise – the I-Shift selector has been re-worked so it is not in the way anymore. Getting into the bunk should be much more straightforward.
The overall sophistication of the cab environment has been improved in the new cab thanks to the reinforced insulation that helps keep out cold, heat and noise.
Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks said of the launch;
…The new Volvo FM heavy duty truck is designed to be the ultimate workplace on wheels in all segments. Drivers are one of the most important assets in the transport industry. With the new Volvo FM we are introducing a versatile working tool that is also a haven of comfort, allowing our customers to attract and retain the best drivers that will keep their operations moving successfully.
What’s new Outside?
There is a more aerodynamic shape to the new cab as a whole – the front has a more modern look and a line sweeps right the way across the side of the cab. New headlights, modified grille and a larger Volvo logo bring the FM up to date.
So the driver can see more with the lower window lines, but in addition, the truck can automatically stop over-speeding when going down a big hill when on cruise control by simply applying the brakes, whilst the adaptive cruise control will bring the truck to a standstill if required by traffic stopping in front of the truck when engaged.
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.
The Volvo FM also features a road sign recognition system displayed in the instrument display to alert the driver. The system is able to detect signs such as overtaking restrictions, road type and speed limits.
Better on Fuel
Improved steering geometry for rear steer axles means that savings can be made on tyre rubber, whilst there is an option to specify the FM with a gas engine. Running on biogas (from processing waste materials) the truck is 100% better on CO2 output. This figure is still as high as 20% when running on straightforward (liquefied) natural gas.
The New FM in a Nutshell
- Cabs: Day cab, Low day cab, Low sleeper cab, Sleeper cab, Globetrotter cab, Crew cab. Exterior and interior trim packages for individual design.
- Engines: Diesel engines are available with different emissions standards. Volvo FM is also available with the Euro 6, Step D compliant gas-powered LNG engine in selected markets.
- Gear changing system: I-Shift with software package for different areas of application.
- Lights: Halogen or LED headlamps.