The history of development
The production of Volvo cars was started in 1927 by Sweden engineers. At first the production was based on the manufacturing facilities of the AB SKF bearing manufacturing plant. It all started with ÖV4 "Jakob" cabriolet, and during further 3 years the company had been progressing fast. By the beginning of the 30s the company had entered the truck market with Penta and 3 series. LV66- and LV68 truck models appeared in 1931 and became very popular soon. The first B1 series motor-coach was produced in 1934. Besides, by the middle of the 30s Volvo had been known as a premium-class manufacturer of motor-cars. By the 40s it had developed its first all-wheel-drive vehicle.
After WWII Volvo goes on describing itself as a manufacturer of power-sufficient and secure automotive engineering, it also introduces lightning system upgrades and innovations that concern fuel combustion. Nevertheless, engineers were working on the elaboration of engine performance upgrade. In 1970 the most powerful Volvo truck was produced - А889. The agricultural vehicles production department had also achieved success due to T650 tractor in both farming and construction versions. Besides, the variety of specialty vehicles was expanded with LM845 loader and SM463 timber loader. Owing to the extension of this segment, Volvo is able to merge all the rest of European excavator and wheel loader manufacturers.
By the beginning of the 2000s, the Volvo auto group had decided to give up producing motor cars, so the auto-group was sold, after what Volvo focused on heavy and powerful vehicles. At the present day the Volvo auto group is the 2nd largest in the world in the sphere of trucks production. There are 3 subdivisions in the group: Renault Trucks, Mack Trucks Inc (trucks manufacturer from the USA) and Volvo Trucks, actually.
Volvo Trucks and Truck-tractors
Today there are 13 models incorporated in the following series: FH, FMX, FM, FE, FL; conventional variants of VN and VH for the USA market and models with a hybrid and gas-diesel engines.
FH series has been being produced for 25 years. Heavy trucks with a 16-litres diesel D16 engine from 540 to 750 hp and a turning torque of up to 3550 N/m are a top-of-the-range. These trucks are fitted with an I-Shift gearbox, which is more efficient in transmitting torque to the wheels. You are able to choose from three cabin modifications, as well. What is more, besides standard chassis there is advanced chassis to order.
The active and passive safety is what sets aside the Volvo trucks. Cabin view provides maximal vision. What is more, the trucks are fitted with extra parking aid system I-Park.
A truck-tractor can be delivered with back axels with a single-reduction unit having the gross vehicle weight of 44-70 tons, as well as with a hub-reduction final drive with a reduction gear with the gross vehicle weight of 70-120 tons. The F16 models are fitted with a wheel-hub drive with the gross vehicle weight of 70-100/180 tons. The new FH series is equipped with a lower consumption engine. The interior comfort has been advanced. In addition, new series with D 13K engines comply with the EURO 6 emission class.
FMX model was specially developed for building and construction works. It possesses the wheelbase of 4x2, 4x4, 6x2, 6x4, 6x6, 8x2, 8x4 or 8x6 and is fitted with D11 or D13 engines having a capacity of 330 to 540 hp. This truck weighs up to 100 tons together with a reduction gear. The present model is equipped with an active steering function, the Tridem construction which helps to turn the vehicle in a limited space with all axles. Also, this model is more endurable and is fitted with an air suspension. The trucks possess high off-road capability due to AWD. The automatic gearbox makes the trucks easy to drive. The trucks are as well equipped with cabins and lighting system suitable for construction tasks.
Like other trucks with higher payload, FM truck pulls also very well. This very model was designed to carry out both close and long-distance trucking. It is equipped with the engines of up to 500 hp. Together with the I-Shift gearbox and a single-reduction gear unit the truck weighs 70 tons in total, and can weigh up to 120 tons with a reduction gear fitted. The new generation of the present model provides the emission that complies with the EURO-6 standard and, besides, is equipped with various options to make driving secure and comfortable.
FE model is a universal type among all the trucks. It may be used both for low-tonnage and mid-tonnage regional or urban transportation. It’s a perfect variant for business and small building works. Its gross weight varies from 18 to 26 tons. With a reduction gear GVW is 44 tons. Besides, the truck is fitted with the engines of 240 to 340 hp. There may be modifications with a closed body fitted on chassis and a tractor unit with a bed.
Volvo FL is a low- or mid-tonnage truck designed for transportation in an urban area. The truck is fitted with an engine of 240-290 hp. Intellectual Volvo I-Sync transmission may be installed. The truck can be adjusted to the running functions with the help of smooth shifting with an ideal interval of gear ratios. Volvo FL is introduced in several modifications: with a regular driver’s cab, a cabin with enhanced comfort or a double cab. S-units and a wheel reduction gears increase the gross weight of the truck up to 32.5 and 40 tons. The advantage of this model is its enhanced ergonomics. The cabin is designed in order to make the driver and the passengers both easily leave the truck and get into it. The truck possesses enough power and turning torque to ensure the cornering ability in an urban area.
The examples of the 2 latter FE and FL models are introduced in the following variants: closed body, tank, refrigerator, a garbage truck, a tipper truck, etc.
The construction equipment by Volvo
Volvo Construction Equipment Department has been producing a wide range of construction vehicles since 1954. There are skid loaders, pipe-layers, wheel loaders, wheel excavators, asphalt and ground compactors, crawler excavators, articulated tippers, motor graders, asphalt pavers and crawler harvesters.
Excavating vehicles may be wheeled or crawler with various turning radius. The maximal operational weight of crawler excavators amount up to 71.7 tons, while wheeled excavators weigh 25.6 tons.
Wheel loaders possess the operational weight of up to 5 tons and their engine is of 63 kW. These vehicles are equipped with a huge spacious cabin and a universal quick-disconnect Volvo holder for dozens of varieties of plug-in devices.
Wheel loaders can be used with different purposes on the building sites and in agriculture. These models are fitted with the engines of 115 up to 397 kW and a shovel of 1.7 up to 12.7 cubic metres. The diversity of hydraulic equipment makes it possible to create a truck that fits concrete requirements.
Backhoe loader is used for earth-moving works, for lifting heavy weights and loading. It is equipped with a Volvo Care Cab cabin of advanced comfort and the engines of 62 and 73 kW. The operational weight varies from 7080 to 9800 kg.
The Volvo Bus Department produces city buses equipped with low-consumption and eco-friendly engines to use in ecological urban areas, as well as enhanced comfort coaches. The engineers’ elaborations make the Volvo buses the most advanced in the urban exploitation if to concern passenger safety, driving comfort and environmental performance. Thus, city buses are fitted with hybrid engines only that are able to save up to 50% of fuel with the same power reserved, if to compare with other analogues. Coaches are equipped with EURO-6 engines and automatic transmission, what makes driving comfortable and fuel-saving.
The company is the leader in a new principle of urban transport organization – Bus Rapid Transit. It represents the usage of articulated sections of the bus of high capacity. A hybrid gearing is sometimes employed in city buses, as well as electric motors and methane-based engines.