Volvo are a major player in haulage world and their trucks can be seen across the UK delivering goods with exceptional reliability and safety. In fact, many haulage operations that count on return loads to increase their revenues rely on Volvo’s reliability for getting the job done.
Today the haulage industry is facing many challenges; if truck manufacturers want to “stay in the game”, they must constantly develop and provide new answers to issues such as environmental and safety regulations, the demand for more efficient vehicles with lower running costs, and more. Volvo, known for its quality and innovation, has also stepped up to the challenge and offer haulage companies a range of great vehicles.
The FH Series
• Cab Design Inside and Out
Volvo has redesigned the cab to be more efficient and more aerodynamic so that you get maximum efficiency from every drop of fuel.
Driver comfort is paramount: I’ve said this in every article in this series. Volvo hasn’t ignored this in their cab design which adds a whopping cubic metre of extra space. They’ve added massive amounts of storage and numerous small compartments for special storage needs. Beds are wider and more comfortable and you can even have a drying cupboard to dry out wet clothes. Controls are well laid out and easily accessible from the fully-adjustable steering wheel.
The FH series offers a range of engines to suit every possible need including the flagship FH16 with a D16K with three power variants – 550, 650 and 750 hp and up to 3,500 Nm of torque.
Just like in a car, the FH series offers smooth, individual front suspension. When added to the GRAS-G2 air suspension system a smooth ride is guaranteed.
The I-Shift gearbox, manual or automatic selectable, is easy to drive and includes software that works to reduce fuel consumption – perfect for when your vehicle is working long hours and carrying return loads.
The FL Series
Designed for work in the city, the FL is a compact truck that has all the benefits you’d expect from Volvo.
• Driver Comfort
Driving in town is different from long haulage jobs. The driver’s station is designed so that instruments, gearshift, controls and storage are all in easy reach from the driver’s seat so that their eyes stay on the road and their hands on the wheel.
• Engines and Gear
Volvo’s D5K and D8K engines come with 4 or 6 cylinders and 5.1 or 7.7 litres. Both provide wider, flatter torque and greatly improved response at low rpm. Maximum torque is 800 to 900 Nm for the D5K and 950 to 1,050 Nm for the D8. The FL series uses the I-shift gear described above.
• PTO Systems
Power take-off systems can be critical to a city truck’s operation. The FL range’s PTO options are designed to mesh perfectly with Volvo engines and gearboxes to maximise operations and meets demands.
The FM Series
These are multipurpose trucks for every job – long haul, regional operations or plain distribution services. Designed to provide the haulage operator with maximum flexibility when configuring their fleet, the FM series also ensures minimum down time and operating costs to improve profitability.
Volvo offer a selection of five cabs: day cab, sleeper cab, low sleeper cab, globetrotter cab and globetrotter LXL cab. All provide driver comfort and flexibility and all round safety.
Hydraulic power steering combines with an electric motor attached to the steering gear. An electrical control unit receives information from multiple sensors 2000 times per second that anticipate speed, direction and other factors. This is used to activate ‘torque overlay’, which corrects inadvertent steering movements and provides extra steering torque when, and if, it is needed.
This model uses the I-Shift gearbox, and fuel-efficient and high torque 11- and 13-litre engines with up to 500 hp.
The Volvo range lives up to the company’s reputation for excellence, quality, safety and design. It is perfect for the haulage operator who uses return loads to make the most of their outlay and maximise revenues and profits.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching loads and return loads with available drivers. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.