Volvo Trucks’ new function, Tandem Axle Lift, makes it possible to disengage and raise the second driven axle. This gives better road grip and up to 4 per cent lower fuel consumption when the truck is driven without a load.
Volvo Trucks is now launching its Tandem Axle Lift. The new function is designed for heavy duty transports with loads being carried one way and empty return trips, for instance when hauling timber or in construction and bulk cargo operations.
"With Tandem Axle Lift the second driven axle can be disengaged and its wheels raised off the road when the truck is driven empty. This offers many advantages, of which the foremost is fuel savings. Driving with the second driven axle raised saves up to 4 per cent in fuel compared with having all the axles lowered," says Jonas Odermalm, segment manager Construction at Volvo Trucks.
By replacing the differential in the first driven axle with a dog clutch, the second driven axle can be disengaged and raised. The driver thus has access to both the power and capacity of two driven axles (6X4) and also the better manoeuvrability of a single driven axle (4X2). What is more, driving with the second driven axle raised also cuts the turning circle by a metre and imposes less wear on tyres and suspension systems.
"Tandem Axle Lift is perfect for transports where ground conditions or gross vehicle weights demand a tandem-drive truck, but where the vehicle returns empty or lightly loaded in the opposite direction. On slippery or soft surfaces, the driver can increase pressure on the first axle by raising the second driven axle, which results in better grip and reduces the risk of getting stuck," explains Jonas Odermalm.
Tandem Axle Lift also offers the driver better comfort when the truck is driven empty, which in many cases corresponds to 50 per cent of the operating time. The in-cab noise level is lower and steering wheel vibration is reduced when only the tyres of one drive axle are in contact with the road.
Tandem Axle Lift is available for the Volvo FM, Volvo FMX, Volvo FH and Volvo FH16.