The company has started the revamp with the driver in mind. Whilst the guy behind the wheel may not be handing over the pound notes for the monthly payments on the truck, he or she can have a massive effect on the bottom line. Volvo Trucks want every driver to want to be sitting in a Volvo FH or FM truck. If this works, then Volvo Truck operators can choose the best drivers who will get the best fuel economy and meter out the least damage to the trucks.
We are really proud of this big forward-looking investment. Our aim is to be our customers’ best business partner by making them even more competitive and help them attract the best drivers in an increasingly tough market
…says Roger Alm, President Volvo Trucks. The four heavy-duty trucks; Volvo FH, FH16, FM and FMX, represent about two thirds of Volvo Trucks’ deliveries.
The various truck models in Volvo Trucks’ range are available with many different cab models and can be optimised for a wide range of applications. For long distance operation, 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, manoeuvrability and safety were all areas that Volvo had to consider when developing all the new truck models.
Brand New FM Cab – A Rare Event
With product development life cycles, new truck cabs do not come along that often.Although it does not look strikingly different, the FM and FMX both get a brand-new cab plus an upgrade to the dashboard to match the top of the range Volvo FH. The interior of the cab is around one cubic metre larger with bigger windows and better all-round visibility.
Both day and sleeper cabs get more storage and small design changes, like a tilting steering wheel and moving the I-Shift selector means that cross cab access is improved and the overall experience of working in the cab is a better one. 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.
New Flat Screens for All
Two screens are the order of the day across the FH, FM and FMX ranges – the drivers get twelve inches to look at in the central display, replacing the dials from the outgoing models. Another nine inches sits within reach of their right hand (or left on the continent).
The main display shows all the vital driving information and warning – speed, revs temperatures etc. whilst the smaller, offset screen deals with the infotainment, camera displays and navigation. All of the functions can be controlled via buttons on the steering wheel, by voice control, or via the touchscreen and display control panel.
Keeping Truck Drivers Safe
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.
All of the new trucks in the range also get an improved Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) which now works automatically to speeds as low as standstill. This is great news for the motorways of our busy country. The brakes will be applied automatically if the trucks starts to overspeed when going downhill. 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.
Keeping the general population safe, Volvo buyers can now opt for a passenger corner camera which shows the driver an extra side view of the truck in addition to the mirrors, great news for urban operation.
Fancy a Gas Volvo Truck?
Volvo are not hanging their hat on any one alternative fuel, as different governments are taking different approaches to subsidies. Also the optimum choice of fuel is determined by a truck’s operating duties and the degree to which it can be changed from one type of work to another.
In many markets, the Volvo FH and Volvo FM are available with the Euro 6 compliant gas-powered (Liquified Natural Gas) 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.
The new Volvo FH can also be tailored with a new Euro 6 diesel engine, which is included in the I-Save package. Volvo claim that, in long-haul operations, 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%.
Service Intervals Increased
Volvo Trucks are 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.