NEW VOLVO FH CHALLENGES THE TRUCK INDUSTRY AND BOOSTS HAULAGE FIRMS’ PROFITABILITY

Published on December 5th, 2012

Fuel economy, reliability, ergonomics, superior handling, active and passive safety and time saving features – these are among the new features offered by Volvo Trucks latest FH Series that was launched in Gothenburg, Sweden recently.

There is no doubt that fuel economy is one of the highest priorities for haulage firms today. So it was naturally also in firm focus during the development of the new Volvo FH. The already fuel-efficient Euro 5 driveline is now even more economical. At the same time, Volvo’s first Euro 6 engine sees the light of day, significantly reducing emissions. The new I-See function makes it possible to cut fuel consumption still further – by up to 5 percent. And, in autumn 2013, a new driveline Volvo I-Torque will be launched, setting a new technological benchmark and delivering even lower fuel consumption and further improved driveability: features that will benefit both haulage firm and driver.

Speaking on the announcement of the new Volvo FH, Mansoor Ahmed, Managing Director of Volvo Trucks Malaysia said, “The Volvo FH series is our backbone and has for many years been the most prefered choice for hauliers with extra demands on performance, efficiency, power and comfort. With the new FH series, the bar is raised to an entirely new level and as a global company, we believe that this truck will set a new industry benchmark and continue its legacy.”

The new Volvo FH series is the foundation for the continued successful market development of Volvo Trucks.

I-See cuts fuel consumption on hills 

I-See is an example of technology that makes life easier for the driver and saves fuel. “I-See is a software package for the I-Shift transmission. It stores information about hills as the truck drives along. The next time the truck uses the same route, I-See operates the accelerator, gears and brakes to ensure that progress is as economical as possible,” explains Claes Nilsson, President Volvo Truck Corporation.

“Thanks to I-See the haulage firm can cut fuel consumption by up to 5 percent per vehicle,” Nilsson continues.

An additional fuel saving of up to 5 percent is possible with Volvo Trucks’ new Fuel Package. This package encompasses training and monthly assistance – Fuel Advice – and its aim is to cut fuel costs by changing driving styles and increasing knowledge of how to drive for maximum fuel-efficiency.

Wireless connection maximises uptime 

A truck is only profitable when it is working. Volvo now offers maximum uptime. This promise is based on Volvo Trucks’ new technology for remotely monitoring component wear and the vehicle’s overall condition.

“The workshop can remotely check the actual wear of various truck components via the computer. As a component approaches the end of its service life, the workshop can get in touch with the haulage firm well in advance to schedule a service when it is most convenient,” adds Claes Nilsson.

Superior handling in the truck world 

You don’t need to read the manual to discover that the new Volvo FH represents a major step forward. It’s enough just to get behind the wheel.

“The new Volvo FH offers exceptional handling – pretty much like a car’s. To put things into perspective, we even offer individual front suspension. This world-first vehicle takes handling to unsurpassed levels in the truck world,” says Claes Nilsson.

An entirely new truck 

Superior handling is a major benefit, but when Volvo Trucks unveils an entirely new Volvo FH series, there are many new features in other areas too. “The Volvo FH series represents a paradigm shift. This becomes evident for instance when you look at how we use remote online communication to connect the truck directly to the workshop,” says Claes Nilsson.

New technology further increases onboard safety, creates a more economical driveline and transmission, and is used to keep uptime at high levels.

“Having said all that, we haven’t just packed in technology for the sake of it. In order to reap the full benefits of innovative technology, it’s important that the people using it know how to use it and actually do so. That’s why we’ve worked hard to develop a truck that puts the driver firmly in focus,” explains Claes Nilsson.

Ergonomically designed and intuitive to use 

The driver’s work-place is a good example of this focus. From the improved driver’s seat, the driver has a better view of the road, not least owing to the increase in the cab’s usable window area and to the innovative rear-view mirror design. Stalks and controls are arranged in priority so that the most important ones are closest to the driver. All in all, these various changes give the driver far better visibility.

The driving position is better and offers greater flexibility. For instance, the steering wheel now has a neck tilt function, a world-first in the truck world. A better driving position means the driver is less likely to get tired – and of course an alert driver does a better job.

Collision Warning with Emergency Brake 

Rear-end collisions account for a significant proportion of road accidents. In order to address this problem, Volvo Trucks developed Collision Warning with Emergency Brake – an advanced emergency braking system which also includes early collision warning. The braking system, which is available on the new Volvo FH Series, has been developed to support the driver so that the majority of these rear-end collisions can be avoided or mitigated.

The new system combines a radar and a camera that work together to identify and monitor vehicles in front. The system is designed to deal with both stationary and moving vehicles and can prevent a collision with a moving target at relative speeds of up to 70 km/h. When the system detects a vehicle that the truck will hit at its current speed, the warning system activates a constant red light in the windscreen in order to bring the driver’s attention back to the road.

Safety in a variety of ways 

An all-new cab structure makes the new Volvo FH an even safer truck. Never before has a Volvo truck passed the comprehensive collision tests as well as the new FH cab. The improved visibility, not least thanks to the slimmer rear-view mirrors, also contributes to the safer work environment.

More upright A-pillars have given the cab an additional one cubic metre of interior space. This means an extra 300 litres of storage capacity, as well as greater comfort on board.

“The cab is optimised both for work and free time. A better bed, integrated parking cooler, new lighting, low noise level and other features all increase the chance of pleasant relaxation and a good night’s sleep, which in turn means drivers are less tired and more alert,” says Claes Nilsson.

Attracts the best drivers 

Good drivers who have the opportunity to work as efficiently as possible increase the haulage firm’s profitability. A truck built for the driver also improves the haulage firm’s ability to attract the very best drivers.

“There’s already immensely tough competition over good drivers in Europe; that competition is going to get even tougher. I’m convinced that trucks which are popular among drivers will push them to apply for jobs with haulage companies that operate these models. That is why the new Volvo FH will increase the haulage firm’s profitability in many different ways in the future,” says Claes Nilsson.

Production of the Volvo FH will start in spring 2013 for the European market. See the film about the new Volvo FH via www.youtube.com/volvotrucks.

words & pix: Volvo Malaysia

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