Every year Volvo Group Australia takes the opportunity to brief the media on several new developments within the Volvo organisation. The prevailing theme this year centred on how the company is working hard to at least meet if not exceed client expectations across its diverse product range. Paul Matthei reports.
Volvo’s new products
Tony O’Connell, President Sales at VGA, described a number of new products the company has revealed. He started by listing the ‘key ingredients’ VGA possesses that undergird the company’s ability to help facilitate customer success.
“Australian made. Put simply, we design, engineer and build our trucks right here in this country,” said Tony. “Safety. It’s our core value, it’s in Volvo’s DNA and we stand by the safety credentials of our products.
“Fuel innovations. Components of our Fuel Concept Truck launched last year have now been commercialised and delivered to the market, a concept to reality time of only six months.
“Dual clutch transmission. Trucks equipped with these components are now on the road delivering superior performance, fuel efficiency and productivity to our customers.”
Plus-sized FH shed
Tony was keen to elaborate on the big-ticket item unveiled at the Brisbane Truck Show – the all-new FH Globetrotter XXL cab.
To achieve the extra space, Volvo re-engineered the XL Globetrotter cab, moving the rear wall back 250mm to accommodate one of the biggest beds in the business, 130mm longer and 250mm wider than the regular Volvo FH.
The bigger bunk also sports a new pillow-top innerspring mattress with an adjustable reclining section that adapts to the shape of the occupant’s body, delivering what Volvo describes as a remarkable level of sleeping comfort.
As well as the improved sleeping experience, Volvo has packed in additional storage space, which means a driver can bring more personal items for long trips.
According to Tony, the XXL cab underlines the importance of the Australian market to Volvo Trucks’ global operations.
“Australia is one of very few select markets that will gain the all-new XXL cab and it has been designed with Australia’s vast distances in mind,” said Tony. “We listened to our customers and developed a truck that delivers world-class driver comfort and is a home-away-from-home when drivers are on the road for long periods.”
While the differences in size are substantial, the approach to safety by design is the same as any other Volvo cab, with extra C-pillars making sure the cab is strong enough to meet Volvo’s stringent Swedish Cab Strength Test safety standards, as well as the latest ECE R29/03 which now includes roll-over simulations.
The XXL cab has also been designed with fuel efficiency in mind. It maintains the FH Globetrotter’s aerodynamic and fuel-efficient shape and has been constructed using galvanised sheet metal and other carefully selected materials to increase the space with minimal extra weight.
FE Low Entry Cab
Another of the new developments within the Volvo organisation sees the introduction a new member of the FE family, the Low Entry Cab variant is designed to improve safety for vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. Due to the low seating position and large, deep glass areas, the driver has a panoramic 180 degree forward and side view with virtually no blind spots.
According to Volvo, the low-slung cab makes it ideally suited to roles such as urban distribution, waste collection and aircraft catering. The unit features a suite of standard safety features including an ECE R29/03 crash certified cab and autonomous emergency braking.