The new Volvo FM brings steering and handling to a completely new level – and it takes efficiency into a new dimension. The improved driving characteristics include the breakthrough Volvo Dynamic Steering and a number of chassis improvements. In addition, the truck offers new technology and new services that focus on the haulage firm’s transport efficiency and operating costs.
"We give the driver excellent driving properties at the same time as the operator benefits from maximum uptime and minimum fuel costs," says Volvo Trucks’ President Claes Nilsson.
The Volvo Dynamic Steering option and improved suspension both front and rear plus new engine mountings are upgrades that contribute to the new Volvo FM model’s outstanding road manners. Volvo Trucks’ chassis experts also focused on weight optimisation.
"Considerable weight reductions in all Volvo FM versions boosts attractiveness in weight-sensitive segments such as tanker and bulk-haulage operations, where customers want a lighter truck with predictable, safe driving properties," explains Claes Nilsson.
Breakthrough steering system
Volvo Dynamic Steering combines an electronically-controlled electric motor on the steering gear with hydraulic power steering. This gives the truck driver a number of benefits:
• At low speeds, the driver can sit back in a relaxed position and steer without having unnecessary strain on their shoulders or arm muscles. Volvo Dynamic Steering provides automatic self-centring when reversing.
• The system automatically compensates for heavily cambered roads and side winds, allowing the driver to steer straight ahead without having to constantly correct the steering wheel.
• Directional stability promotes a relaxed driving experience with full control at all speeds.
• Disruptions caused by irregularities in the road surface, such as cracks and potholes, are minimised.
Three steered axles
A new 8×2 rigid tridem with three steered axles, one at the front and two at the rear on the 8×2 with tridem, two at the front and one at the rear on the 8×2 with two front axles.
"This gives a far smaller turning circle without the truck tyres cutting into the road surface, perfect in areas where space is tight, such as rural farmyards," says Peter Frleta, chassis expert at Volvo Trucks.
I-See saves fuel
Volvo Trucks introduces both new technology and new services designed to reduce the customer’s transport costs. The I-See technology, a supplement to the I-Shift transmission, is available in an updated form on the new Volvo FM.
I-See is mainly developed for long-haul applications and can save up to five per cent in fuel consumption. The technology electronically records information about the topography of the roads on which the truck is driven.
"In the extended version, information from other vehicles can also be downloaded in advance. This means that I-See can provide full benefit the very first time the driver uses a given road," says Anders Eriksson, development manager for I-See.
Using recorded road or downloaded road data, gear shifting, speed and auxiliary braking are automatically optimised the next time the truck covers the same route.
Other fuel-saving features and services available to Volvo drivers are Dynafleet Fuel & Environment, the new Fuel Advice service and the Efficient Driving training course.
"It’s all about driving style; how you plan your driving. Regardless of the experience, there’s always room for further improvements to increase your profitability," explains Jarkko Aine, who is in charge of driver training and Fuel Advice.
World-class quality is a Volvo hallmark – and the new Volvo FM has endured a systematic testing and verification programme that mirrors the real working environments of the truck.
The first-class product quality combined with the option of telematics to monitor wear and the condition of certain key components means that Volvo Trucks can offer the truck owner a Gold service contract, including a maximum uptime guarantee
"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," explains Christian Gustavsson, director service at Volvo Trucks.
Full range of Euro 6 engines
The new Volvo FM is being launched with a full range of 11- and 13-litre engines. All versions meet the forthcoming Euro-6 requirements, which come into force at the start of 2014. The D13 is available from 420hp to 500hp, while the D11 engine spans the power range from 330hp to 450hp.
"We have further refined our Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology. The new Euro-6 engines offer excellent performance combined with high fuel-efficiency," says Astrid Drewsen, product manager for engines at Volvo Trucks.
Production of the new Volvo FM gets under way for European customers in September 2013