Volvo Trucks dealers across the UK have begun taking orders for the company’s new generation of heavy commercial vehicles. The Volvo FH16, Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX benefit from a new, flexible user interface with a digital instrument panel, whilst the FM and FMX models have new cabs that give the driver more space and improved direct vision.
Skilled drivers are an invaluable asset to any transport company; but there is tough competition to attract the best talent. Acknowledging the importance of the driver, Volvo Trucks has invested heavily in developing the driver environment and driver interface with its new generation of heavy trucks.
“With these new models, we’re introducing the strongest heavy truck line-up in our history,” says Hannah Burgess, Director of New Vehicle Sales, Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland. “We’ve taken classic Volvo characteristics such as ergonomics, comfort and safety and combined them with smart new technology and design, to make the driving environment even more attractive and productive – bringing significant advantages for both drivers and transport companies alike.”
New driver interface
A new 12-inch fully digital main instrument display gives the driver easy access to key information, including driving times and road sign identification, making it easier to plan ahead and reduce the risk of violating regulations.
Offering four selectable views, drivers can customise the content and appearance of the main instrument display. Options include Load view, which allows control of the load weight, gross vehicle weight and axle pressure per axle, or for trucks with a navigation system installed, the Navigation view provides clear and easy-to-follow maps. Fans of a more classic Volvo look can choose the Home view, whilst those preferring to see only essential information can choose the Focus view.
The main instrument display can be supplemented with an easy-to-navigate 9-inch side display for managing communication, infotainment and transport information. Up to eight cameras can also be connected to the side display, and four camera views can be displayed simultaneously.
Information in both displays can be presented in more than 30 languages, with the system capable of storing multiple custom settings simultaneously – perfect for trucks shared between drivers.
The instrument functions are easily controlled via new, intuitively grouped steering wheel controls, as well as from the instrument panel and by voice command. The side display functions can also be managed by touching the screen directly.
Trucks with more than one drive axle will have a new anti-spin control function to help the driver quickly and easily manage potentially risky traffic situations, both during on- and off-road driving. The driver simply needs to turn a lever to activate the differential locks. The increased traction is shown on the digital instrument display.
“The whole instrument panel is designed to allow the driver to manage information intuitively and efficiently, with less stress. It has a functional and robust design, with generous storage compartments and several USB charging ports,” adds Burgess.
The Volvo I-Shift gear selector has a new design that is more practical and ergonomic, providing greater freedom of movement inside the cab. The gearchange programs have also been enhanced and now include economy, standard and performance modes.
New cabs for Volvo FM and Volvo FMX
The Volvo FM and Volvo FMX benefit from new cabs with up to one cubic metre more interior volume than previously. This affords a more spacious feel, more working room and significantly improved direct vision due to, among other things, a lowered door line.
Low, wide entry with two footsteps with improved anti-slip properties and lighting facilitates operations on routes with frequent stops. During construction operations, for instance, it is common for the driver to climb in and out of the cab up to 50 times per day.
As with the Volvo FH16 and Volvo FH, the driver’s area now boasts a neck tilt function on the steering wheel for increased adjustment of the driving position. The lower bed in the sleeper cab is positioned higher than previously, making it more comfortable to sit on and creating additional storage space. The day cab also has a new 40-litre storage compartment with interior lighting. New, more robust cab insulation helps shut out cold, heat and noise disturbance. A sensor-controlled climate unit with a carbon filter ensures good air quality, even in challenging conditions.