Volvo launches new generation of heavy trucks

Volvo Trucks has introduced four new heavy-duty trucks – the Volvo FH, FH16, FM and FMX – with a strong focus on the driver environment, safety and productivity.

The FM and FMX have a new cab, as well as many of the same instrument display functions as their larger Volvo counterparts. The interior volume has been increased by up to one cubic meter, providing better comfort and more working room. The visibility has been improved with larger windows, a lowered door line and new mirrors.

For driver comfort, the steering wheel has a neck tilt function, which allows the driving position to be individually adjusted to a greater extent than in previous models. In addition, the lower bed in the sleeper cab is positioned higher up than previously, affording higher comfort and creating additional storage space underneath. The day cab has a new 40-litre storage compartment with interior lighting on the back wall. The cab also has enhanced insulation to block out cold, heat and noise disturbance, while a sensor-controlled climate unit with a carbon filter promotes good air quality in all conditions.

Meanwhile, all models are equipped with a new driver interface, which aims to make it easier to overview and manage different functions, creating less stress and distraction. The instrument display is fully digital, with a 12-inch screen. Within easy reach of the driver there is a supplementary 9-inch side display available for infotainment, navigation, transport information and camera monitoring. The functions can be controlled via buttons on the steering wheel, by voice control, or via the touchscreen and display control panel.

Volvo FH and FH16

In the Volvo FH and FH16, safety has been improved with functions such as adaptive high beam headlights. 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.                                                                                                         

The trucks also feature an improved Adaptive Cruise Control for speeds down to zero km/h and descent control that automatically activates the wheel brakes when extra brake force is needed to maintain constant downhill speed. The Electronically controlled Brake System, which is a prerequisite for safety features such as Collision Warning with Emergency Brake and Electronic Stability Control, now comes as standard. Volvo Dynamic Steering, with the safety systems Lane Keeping Assist and Stability Assist, are 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.

Visibility can be improved further by adding a passenger corner camera, which provides a complementary view of the side of the truck on the side display. 

Engine types

There will be several types of drivelines available for the trucks, which will continue to exist in parallel for the foreseeable future, according to the company.

In many markets, the Volvo FH and Volvo FM are available with the Euro 6 compliant gas-powered 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%, or natural gas, which reduces CO2 emissions by up to 20% when compared with Volvo’s equivalent diesel trucks.

The new Volvo FH can also be tailored with the new efficient Euro 6 turbo compound diesel engine, which is included in the I-Save package and enables significant fuel and CO2 savings. 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%.

It also offers the I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission enabling gear changes without power interruptions.

The FH also has capacity for increased front axle loads, as well as tag and pusher axles with improved steering angles to reduce tire wear and improve manoeuvrability. The truck is also available with Tandem Axle Lift, enabling the rear axle to be disengaged and raised when the truck is not loaded, reducing the fuel consumption.

“Easy access to a variety of information increases the driver’s ability to perform more efficiently, safely and comfortably,” said Carin Larsson, chief designer for User Experience and Human Machine Interaction for Volvo Trucks. “The presentation of information has improved significantly with the new displays. Demanding interactions are now concentrated on the side display, which is placed within easy reach of the driver’s seat. Distractions are therefore minimised as key driving information is shown clearly on the user-friendly and easily-viewable instrument display.

“The new generation Volvo FH combines the most successful elements from the previous FH series with smart technologies and a functional, human centric design. The result is an intelligent and sophisticated truck that helps the driver deliver outstanding performance under any conditions.”

Roger Alm, president of Volvo Trucks, added: “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.”

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Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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