In Europe, Volvo has released a new model to its range. The Volvo FE LEC is a modified version of the FE model, released in Australia at the recent ITTES in Melbourne. The LEC stands for low entry cab and sees the cabin redesigned forward in front of the steer axle and lowered closer to the ground for easier ingress and egress for the driver.
The new model design uses all of the components of the current FE but rearranges them to suit applications like garbage and other tasks where the driver gets in and out of the cab many times a day. The floor of the low entry cab is only 530 mm off the ground and this can be lowered a further 90 mm by using the ‘kneeling’ function of the front suspension.
Seeing these new Volvo FE LEC trucks on Australian roads any time soon is extremely unlikely. Historically, the Volvo design and layout has been found to be too heavy for the requirements of the Australian garbage industry and the FE models are assembled in Europe, giving little chance for the kind of customisation our very particular garbage industry specifies.
The garbage truck market has become more interesting in recent years with the entry of other new brands into the market. The long-time dominance of the Iveco Acco has been challenged by the introduction of the Dennis Eagle brand and the Mercedes Benz Econic, both introduced from Europe and adapted, in different ways to suit Australia. Volvo does not look set to join the fight in this market segment.