Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Graham Quirk, will officially launch the new Volvo FH, which was built in Brisbane at Volvo’s Wacol factory by local engineering and design teams.
Volvo Trucks Australia Vice President, Gary Bone, said the new truck boasts world-first innovations and will set the industry benchmark for safety in Australia.
“Volvo is the world leader in safety and technology and in preparation for this launch we’ve crash tested over 25 trucks and have run over 1000 simulations,” he said.
The FH features Volvo’s innovative I-See system, making it the first truck to remember hills to reduce fuel consumption.
“It has a built-in memory, which can store up to 4000 hills and acts like an autopilot that handles gear-changes and maintains truck momentum,” Mr Bone said.
“The I-See technology not only helps our customers by reducing their fuel costs, it also reduces our impact on the environment.”
Mr Bone said Volvo wanted to create a truck with the market’s best handling. “The Volvo FH is more like driving a car than a truck when it comes to precise response and directional stability,” he said.
“Several structural improvements give the new Volvo FH series a stable and flexible design, which we demonstrated in our ballerina stunt video last year.
“The ballerina stunt shows slackliner Faith Dickey walking on a rope between two trucks travelling at 80 km/h.”
Mr Bone said Volvo’s Brisbane factory had to undergo a major facelift to accommodate the production of the new truck.
“We had to raise the roof of the Wacol factory because the vehicle is a lot taller than previous models,” he said.
“With over 500 employees, Brisbane really is the home of Volvo Trucks in Australia, and last year we invested $9 million to prepare the production plant for this new model.”
Customer field testing was also a key part of the development of the new model.
“We’ve field tested more than 60 of these new trucks around the world, but due to the harsh climate and long distances that drivers contend with in Australia, we’ve conducted more test kilometres here than in any other country,” Mr Bone concluded. One of Volvo’s leading experts in road safety, Ulf Torgilsman, direct from the Crash Testing Laboratory in Gothenburg, Sweden, will also be in attendance at the launch event.