Volvo Trucks’ five new features for enhanced productivity

VolvoTruck-TRMEThe new features are expected to make it easier on truck drivers and operators to navigate tough working conditions at construction sites. (Image source: Volvo Trucks)Volvo Trucks has launched new features in their trucks, including the Volvo Dynamic Steering for dual front axles as well as increased front axle loads, for better mobility during construction-related activities

Volvo Trucks vice-president Ricard Fritz said, “Volvo trucks have a solid reputation for their quality and drivelines. By adding new, innovative features we give our customers access to a broader range of options and unique ways to improve productivity.”

The newly-added features will aid drivers and operators of trucks to work in a smarter and more efficient manner, said the company. The features include Volvo Dynamic Steering for dual front axles, increased front axle loads, five-axle trucks 10x4 and 10x6, rear air suspension in combination with driven front axle and electronic brake system for drum brakes.

The Volvo Dynamic Steering is a very common configuration in construction operations. As these trucks often carry particularly heavy loads or super structures, the benefits are noticeable for the driver, stated the company. In addition to a 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, thereby saving the driver time and energy.

With increased front axle loads, Volvo’s heavy duty trucks with dual front axles increase the maximum technical capacity from 18 to 20 tonnes. Customers could benefit from improved productivity as well as added flexibility. The extra capacity translates directly into increased income-earning capacity – particularly valuable while transporting heavy materials in construction operations. 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.

Across markets, the trend currently 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 will launch 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.

Combining an air-suspended rear axle with a driven front axle permits the highest level of comfort even for trucks with all-wheel drive, said Volvo. While 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 as well as road surface. Lesser vibration, especially when there’s no load in the truck, allows the driver to maintain a higher average speed on bumpy construction site roads and can handle more deliveries during each shift. In addition to the enhanced comfort, Volvo Trucks’ air suspension also offers ground clearance of at least 300 mm and effective protection for all vulnerable components.

The electronic system for drum brakes can greatly help drivers navigate the trucks in dusty or wet conditions, as the system’s electronics provides a range of benefits of Volvo’s Electronic Brake System (EBS). Features such as the Hill Start Aid (for steep gradients) and Brake Blending (for engine braking and retarder function) enables higher efficiency.

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