road test

Volvo’s all-new Euro 6 rigid, artic and multi-wheeler models break cover


By Steev Hayes
Photography Steev Hayes / Volvo

Volvo Trucks has been busy attracting attention to its latest trucks with a series of high-profile videos available to watch on the internet. Most arresting is the sight of the Swedish truck manufacturer’s boss standing on the grille of an FMX tipper chassis, suspended from a crane over Gothenburg harbour and hanging by its towing eye (page 6). We knew Volvos were built tough, but that really does prove it!

Following the launch of its all-new FH range last year (Trucking, December 2012), Volvo has now produced Euro 6 trucks across its whole range designed to meet the needs of conscientious operators running modern fleets. These include FL, FE, FM and its tough tipper/off-roader, FMX. They all now sport the latest ‘family’ appearance, with the iron mark badging shifted to the area between the grille and windscreen. They all have improved interiors, seating and lighting, and better bumper protection.

FL interior has been totally revamped

Volvo FL/FE

FL and FE are aimed at own-account operators running trucks over a 7-10 year cycle and who want the manufacturer to take full responsibility for the truck – virtually a ‘cradle to grave’ service as far as they are concerned.

Often day-cabbed (they can also be fitted with sleeper cabs), trucks in this sector are generally driven on good road conditions – with frequent stopping and starting in heavy traffic – so they need to offer stability and good driver comfort.

Efficient 5.1-litre D5 (four-cylinder) engines and new and 7.7-litre D8 (six-cylinder) engines offer swift torque delivery at lower revs, while a new, lighter FL 12-tonner gives up to 500 kg greater payload capacity. The D5 comes in power outputs of 210 bhp (800 Nm) and 240 bhp (900 Nm). There is a choice of three power outputs with the D8: 250 bhp (950 Nm), 280 bhp (1050 Nm) and 320 bhp (1200 Nm).

While FL still uses a version of the ZF-derived I-Sync automated transmission, FE now has the well-proven I-Shift gearbox on offer, with mission-specific software (such as distribution) available. Slick transmissions, ultra-drivable new engines and outstanding turning circles make these ideal trucks for city and suburban deliveries. The high-torque engines will ensure the trucks don’t hold up other traffic and are up to speed fast. Automated transmissions will improve fuel economy, reduce driver fatigue and lengthen the life of the driveline, while manoeuvrability of the trucks in whatever environment they work will be assured with light, responsive steering.

coverRead the rest of this feature in the October issue of Trucking. Buy the magazine here