Volvo Trucks South Africa has had its biggest launch ever. The company introduced four new truck ranges to the local market, with a strong focus on the driver environment, safety and productivity.
“With the new Volvo FH, Volvo FH16, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX, we are bringing a whole new level of driving experience. And in the process, taking performance and efficiency to new heights,” said Eric Parry, Senior Manager for Product Support at Volvo Trucks South Africa.
The various truck models in Volvo Trucks’ range are available with many different cab models and can be optimised for a wide range of applications. In long-haul trucks, the cab is often the driver’s second home. In regional transport trucks, it often serves as a mobile office, while in construction the trucks are robust, practical work tools.
Therefore, visibility, comfort, ergonomics, noise level, manoeuvrability and safety were key focal points when developing all the new truck models. The truck exterior has also been upgraded to reflect the new trucks’ properties and create an attractive overall design.
Volvo FM and Volvo FMX
New cab, offering more space and improved visibility
The new Volvo FM and Volvo FMX have a brand new cab, as well as many of the same instrument display functions as their larger Volvo counterparts. Their interior volume has been increased by up to one cubic meter, providing better comfort and more working room. The visibility is now even better due to larger windows, a lowered door line and new mirrors.
The steering wheel is equipped with a neck tilt function allowing the driving position to be individually adjusted to a greater extent. The lower bed in the sleeper cab is positioned higher up than previously, affording higher comfort and creating additional storage space underneath. The day cab has a new 40-litre storage compartment with interior lighting on the back wall. Cab comfort is further enhanced through reinforced insulation that helps shut out cold, heat and noise disturbance, while a sensor-controlled climate unit with a carbon filter promotes good air quality in all conditions.
All models equipped with a new driver interface
The driver’s area now has a completely new interface for information and communication, aimed at making it easier to overview and manage different functions, creating less stress and distraction.
The instrument display is fully digital, with a 12-inch screen that makes it easy for the driver to choose the information needed at any time. Within easy reach of the driver, there is a supplementary 9-inch side display available for infotainment, navigation, transport information and camera monitoring. The functions can be controlled via buttons on the steering wheel, by voice control, or via the touchscreen and display control panel.
Enhanced safety systems to help avoid accidents
“Safety is in the Volvo DNA and the safety features of our new truck range reflect our commitment to increasing safety for all road users,” stated Parry.
Safety has been further improved with functions such as adaptive high beam headlights in the Volvo FH and Volvo FH16. The system improves safety for all road users by automatically disabling selected segments of the LED high beam when the truck approaches oncoming traffic or another vehicle from behind.
Driving is also facilitated by an improved Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) for speeds down to zero km/h and Downhill control that automatically activates the service brakes when extra brake force is needed to maintain constant downhill speed.
The Electronically controlled Brake System (EBS), which is a prerequisite for safety features such as Forward Collision Warning with Emergency Brake and Electronic Stability Control, now comes as standard on the new truck. Volvo Dynamic Steering, with the safety systems Lane Keeping Assist and Stability Assist, will be standard on certain models and also be available as an option.
Visibility is further improved by the addition of a camera on the passenger side that provides a complementary view of the side of the truck on the side display. This feature is standard on all models.
”Volvo Trucks are geared for enhanced connectivity. For our customers, it means we can deliver proactive recommendations, preventing costly unplanned service stops,: said Pieter le Roux from Pieter le Roux, Senior Manager: Uptime Services from Volvo Trucks South Africa’s. ”We’ve developed a real-time diagnostic system, available in every truck we build. Unparalleled connectivity and service experts available 24/7.
t’s an advantage for updates and repairs that can turn days into hours, and hours into minutes.”
Volvo Connect is the company’s interface to its digital services.
We see it as a digital home for fleets to access all critical information of their various vehicles’ operation and performance through one interface,” said Le Roux. ”It gives fleet managers greater control to manage the efficiency and profitability of their trucks in real-time.”
Volvo Connect provides instant access to a fleet’s positioning and maps, fuel efficiency, vehicle status reports and driver scores. Safety and service features enable fleets to plan service and maintenance of vehicles, monitor safety-critical driving behaviour and usage of Volvo safety systems.
The company’s API Manager system also allows for connection between Volvo’s systems and those of third party applications that fleets might have in use.
”Ultimately, it allows fleets to connect critical aspects of their business in completely new ways,” said Le Roux.
Volvo Financial Services
Since its inception in 2017, Volvo Financial Services has financed 2 900 assets in South Africa. Volvo Financial Services is the global captive finance company of the Volvo Group.
There are currently 20 Volvo Financial Services staff throughout the country, including staff based at Volvo Group dealerships, committed to developing and maintaining long-term relationships with customers throughout their respective business cycles.
“While we are a global organisation, we also believe in leveraging local expertise to ensure our South African customers’ unique business requirements are addressed through personal attention and tailored solutions,” said Uys.
He said that as part of Volvo Group, VFS has in-depth knowledge of the transport and mining industry.
“For this reason, we are able to offer clients a customised solution, from a single unit to an entire fleet, new or used,” he explained.
Volvo Financial Services was formed in 2001 and is headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. The company manages a gross credit portfolio of over SEK 124 billion, employs over 1 400 people worldwide, and provides customer financing in 48 countries.