For many people, when it comes to truck cabins, the bigger the better, or so it seems. Volvo have come up with a new bigger cabin for the FH, the XXL, so the latest issue of Diesel magazine checks out one of the new models on a test drive to see whether the adage is true.
One of the limiting factors for European truck makers competing in the Australian truck market is that their home markets, in Europe, are very strictly limited in overall vehicle length. Standard truck length for a semitrailer in Europe is 16.5 m, add in the 13.5 m long trailer and you’re left with just 3 m between the front of the trailer and the absolute front of the truck.
The original XXL proved to be quite a successful option. Not only in Australia but also in some areas of Scandinavia where length regulations allowed for bigger cabins, in some cases. Unfortunately, when the new FH was released in 2014 the complete cabin redesign did not include a bigger cabin option.
By adding in larger body panels into the overall cabin design, Volvo had to put extra research and development into the new cabin to ensure it would pass the stringent Swedish cabin strength test. Every element within the cabin design is integral to that test rating including the windscreen which is glued into place to improve integral strength.
This larger cab fits into a specific segment in the truck market. The design is very similar to the FH prime mover with the standard cabin. However, the extra paid for the larger cabin is simply for improved driver comfort. When an employer buys a truck like this for a particular driver, it can be regarded as some form of reward for hard-work and loyalty or as a gesture which may keep the driver working for a few years longer.
There is enough room for the driver to wander about in the cabin without being constrained by space limitations. This particular cabin design has been honed over several generations of Volvo cabs and does its job very well.
Read more about the new XXL cabin from Volvo and Diesel News’ test drive of the new model in the latest issue of Diesel magazine. To get your copy subscribe here OR download it here OR get the Dieselmagazine app on your smart phone.