It has been an interesting couple of weeks in the commercial vehicle world as manufacturers are all preparing for the upcoming Commercial Vehicle Show on the 9th and 11th of April. A range of companies have already announced their new offerings for the commercial vehicle markets which they plant to display at the show, and now we have seen Volvo’s new addition to the heavy commercial vehicle sector.
The new Volvo FM boasts improved efficiency and brand new technology that enables the driver to manoeuvre the vehicle easier and use less fuel. The truck includes Volvo Dynamic Steering, a number of chassis improvements and services that focus on the reducing operating costs for their customers. Volvo Truck’s President Claes Nilsson said: “We give the driver excellent driving properties at the same time as the operator benefits from maximum uptime and minimum fuel costs.”
It seems that a fair amount of commercial vehicle manufacturers who are releasing new vehicles in the next few months have made money saving one of their top priorities, and we can see why as the cost of commercial vehicle insurance, petrol, maintenance and tax can often be extremely expensive for fleet managers. Safety and comfort for drivers also seems to be a priority for Volvo, which is why they developed the Volvo Dynamic Steering system which combines an electrically controlled electric motor on the steering gear with hydraulic power steering.
The system allows drivers to sit back in the relaxed position and steer without straining their muscles at low speeds, as well as provides automatic self-centring when reversing meaning that it is less likely for drivers to experience an accident whilst manoeuvring. Volvo have also improved the suspension at the front and back of the RV and found new ways to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle in order to improve fuel efficiency. Mr Nilsson said: “Considerable weight reductions in all Volvo FM versions boost attractiveness in weight-sensitive segments such as tanker and bulk-haulage operations, where customers want a lighter truck with predictable, safe driving properties.”
Volvo have also introduced new aftercare services for the FM, including optional telematics systems that can monitor the way the truck is being driven and also log any wear or damage to the vehicle making it easier for mechanics to fix the vehicle quickly and effectively. Mr Nilsson said: “The workshop can monitor actual wear of various components via computer. As a result, the workshop can contact the operator well in advance to plan the service for when it is most convenient.”