The smaller sibling of the Volvo FH, the FM shares much of the underpinnings of the larger brother, but fitted with a smaller cab for lightness and accessibility for shorter distances and multi drop work.
The Volvo FM is a popular truck in the UK for tipping work, configured as a day cab 8×4 eight wheeler, although since the introduction of the construction specialist FMX model, the FM tipper has tended towards the lighter end of the tipping spectrum.
No stranger to distribution work, many FM rigids are seen in urban environments – usually in supermarket livery.
Many truck buyers use the model FM13 for these trucks – this was never a model made by Volvo – when the 13-litre was introduced they dropped the first numbers and just used the power in HP. So instead of an FM13.440 it is an FM440.
Introduced as recently as 1998, the FM was launched by Volvo to appeal to operators where the FH cab is too high and heavy for their operation. Typically high payload, local distribution, such as fuel tanker and tipper work fall squarely into these categories.
The model stands for Forward control Medium height cab, (compared to the Forward control High cab of the FH.
A totally new model series is big news for a truck operator, even if the underpinnings are largely the same as the FH model.
From launch the FM was available with three different sizes of engines – the ageing 7-litre D7 from 250 to 290HP, the D10B with power outputs from 320 to 360HP and the more modern D12C with horsepower ranges from 380 to 420HP.
As there was such a choice of engines, Volvo used the swept volume of the engine as part of the model – so the 7-litre rated at 250HP was the FM7.250, for example. There was also the FM10 and the FM12.
Only three years after launch, the FM was given an overhaul in the engine department. The range went from a choice of three engines to a choice of two. This was a positive step, as the ageing 7 and 10 litre engines were replaced by the ultra-modern 9-litre D9A. In addition, Volvo introduced the I-Shift automated gearbox which appeared in the FM at the same time as the FH.
The new 9-litre used the same design principles as the already successful 12-litre. The old pushrods were replaced by overhead camshaft and four valve heads. These new 9-litre FMs were available in power outputs from 300 to 380HP
The D12D in the FM12 was given more power – now with 460HP (Compared to the 500HP launched at the same time for the FH using the same engine).
Alongside a revamp and the replacement of the D12 with a new 13-litre D13A engine, Volvo decided to change the naming protocol for all their trucks. The FM was no exception with the company dropping the swept volume from the model. So the FM9 and FM12 changed to simply FM, (not FM13 which many operators and dealers insist on calling them).
As far as the emission standards went, both the 9-litre and the 13-litre were available at Euro 4 (Euro IV) using SCR to clean up the emissions.
The I-Shift automated transmission also got an overhaul as the second generation was launched.
Available models were the FM360, FM400, FM440 and the FM480.
To compete with MAN and their ‘Add Nothing’ campaign at Euro 4, Volvo launched an EGR version of the FM that required no Adblue to meet the Euro 4 legislation. This D13B engine was available alongside the existing SCR models, albeit at lower rated horsepower from 360to 440HP.
With revised styling and changes to the engine lineup, the 2010 changes took place alongside the launch of the FMX – the heavy duty construction version of the FM cab.
The second facelift for the FM in three years was more major, as it formed part of the range renewal prompted by the introduction of Euro 6. The FH was the first to receive the treatment with the FM coming along a year later.
The FM received some new electronic gadgets, such as the Volvo Dynamic Steering (optional) plus some changes to the chassis including new engine mountings and improved suspension. The FM also went on a diet as Volvo managed to strip some weight across all models in the range. The FM’s full range of 11- and 13-litre engines were available from the Euro 6 launch. The D13 was available from 420hp to 500hp, while the D11 engine spanned the power range from 330hp to 450hp.
Not on the roads until the end of 2020, February 2020 saw the reveal of the long-awaited new cab for the FM. Only slightly larger than the outgoing FM cab, the new version gives the driver much more room in the cab – both in day and sleeper forms.
New technology was the other major focus of the upgrade in 2020 – which formed part of a range review including the FMX, FH and FH16. The technology was less about the driveline – although savings of up to 6% were quoted when using the I-Save functions and more about the driver technology.
There were technological improvements in the displays – gone are the old-fashioned dials which were replaced by flat screens (a 12inch to replace driving dials and a 9 inch to control cameras, music and sat nav). Plenty of safety tech for the new FM including a smarter version of the adaptive cruise control that can not stop the truck totally when following traffic that stops.
A tractor unit at around 8 tonnes unladen including a tank of fuel and tipping gear is a good result these days. Since payload is king for aggregate operators it’s worth trying that bit harder to find a truck that is lightweight yet can still perform. That’s what Nottingham-based Erewash Commercials and Hartshorne’s have achieved in the specification of their new Volvo FM Globetrotter Lite 6x2 tractor unit. The FM features a mono leaf front suspension, lightweight pusher axle, aluminium air tanks, & susie arch and Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels Lightweight Specification Supplied by Jack Castle, Areas Sales Manager at…>
Truck buyers need not simply consider any changes to emissions standards when considering the futureproofing of their new truck acquisitions – there are other standards to bear in mind. One such example is the direct vision standards required by Transport for London which requires a minimum of three stars to operate in the area. In light of this, the purchase of ten new Volvo FM 6x2 tractor units that have just been delivered into A.F. Blakemore & Son’s food distribution fleet, appears futureproof, as they each meet Transport for London’s three-star Direct Vision Standard (DVS) rating. The 44-tonne FMs will…>
One deal for a total of fifteen trucks almost doubled the number of gas-powered Volvo trucks on Gregory Distribution’s fleet. As with many of the more progressive operators, the company is gradually investing in alternatively fuelled trucks. For long distance, haulage the only viable option at present is to head down the Bio-Methane route. The company is using the Bio-LNG Volvos for its milk transhipment operation, with the arrival this week of 12 new Volvo FM Globetrotter LNG 6x2 tractor units for its Cullompton base – each expected to clock-up 200,000 km per year for the next five years. The…>
Changes to the 11 and 13-litre engines plus a re-working of the predictive cruise control mean that the fuel consumption of the already frugal Volvo Trucks range is set to improve further. The company says that the improvements come hand-in-hand with driveability improvements thanks to the shift pattern changes and the updated I-See feature, which optimises the engine’s performance by considering the road topography ahead in combination with the vehicle’s weight. “Cutting fuel consumption is crucial for all transport companies, especially those with long-haul operations. At the same time, they want to have instant access to high performance. Now with…>
Volvo Trucks has received an order for 100 FM Electric trucks from DFDS, Northern Europe's largest shipping and logistics company. The deal is the largest commercial order to-date for Volvo electric trucks, and one of the largest ever for heavy-duty electric trucks worldwide. The first Volvo FM Electric was handed over to DFDS in August. The delivery of the additional 100 trucks will start in Q4 next year “This is a major milestone in our commitment to fossil-free transportation and I am very proud of the partnership we have with DFDS. Together we are showing the world that electrified heavy truck…>
The FM420 is often confused by truck buyers and sellers into looking for the FM13.420 which was a truck that was never built.
Before Volvo changed from the 12-litre engine that powered the FM12 range to the 13-litre that powers the current range, it changed the model numbering system.
This means that around 2005/6, the ’12’ part of the number (the engine’s swept volume) was removed leaving the cab type (FM – Forward control – Medium) and the horsepower (in the case of this...
Used Volvo FM460 Trucks
The Volvo FM460 is part of the FM range of trucks from Volvo. The current models are fitted with Volvo's Euro 6, D11K engines which produce 460 hp (hence the FM460 name) and a top torque of 2,220 Nm.
Typically these models are used as tractor units or heavy duty 8x4 applications, such as machinery carriers and can be fitted with a heavy-duty front axle.
For every day 8x4 tipper operation you are more likely to see the FM400 or later FM410 on the road -...
Used Volvo FM400 Trucks
The FM440 is often confused by truck buyers and sellers into looking for the FM13.440 which was a truck that was never built. Before Volvo changed from the 12-litre engine that powered the FM12 range to the 13-litre that powers the current range, it changed the model numbering system.
This means that the '12' part of the number (the engine's swept volume) was removed leaving the cab type (FM - Forward control - Medium) and the horsepower (in the case of this...
Used Volvo FM450
Often called the FM11.450 - although not by us or Volvo, many truck dealers and buyers carried on with the naming convention of adding the engine size to the model name.
The FM450 is used either as a standard everyday workhorse tractor unit or as a multi-axle rigid - an 8x4 hookloader, for example.
Available in the UK from 2011, the model continues through Euro 6 and is available alongside the FM460