New driveability improvements for Volvo Trucks' transmissions

Volvo Trucks is to introduce new features to improve safety and driveability on bumpy or slippery roads.

Terrain Brake, Change Direction and Active Grip Control along with an updated cruise control will all be made available to help improve driveability and manoeuvrability of Volvo Trucks.

“Thanks to several smart updates of the I-Shift gearbox, we have managed to make a range of new functions available that improve driveability, safety and comfort. Each is designed to give the driver greater control and ease of operation when manoeuvring,” said Pär Bergstrand, Volvo Trucks heavy duty transmission manager.

Terrain Brake is for driving at low speeds over rough and uneven ground and applies the brakes as soon as the driver releases the accelerator. Terrain Brake holds its position without rolling, which enables small movements, with great precision – for example, if balanced on a large rock or on a curb – preventing the truck from rolling off.

“The Terrain Brake is ideal for off-road conditions like construction sites, mines or uneven roads, but it can also be useful for manoeuvring in cities and navigating over speed bumps and street curbs. Regardless of the situation, it will give the driver much greater agility and control, making the job safer and easier,” added Bergstrand.

Change Direction makes it easier to manoeuvre a truck at low speeds. Instead of applying the brake, the driver can switch into reverse while still moving forwards and will automatically ease the vehicle to a standstill and then start moving in reverse, while the driver simply holds the accelerator pedal. To move forward again, the driver just switches into forward gear and keeps holding the accelerator.

Active Grip Control improves stability and acceleration in slippery conditions through sensors which detect if the truck starts to skid. It has been designed to reduce the risk of jack-knifing and oversteering when driving unloaded.

Updates to the cruise control enable it to now be activated at set speeds as low as 4kph and 2kph when using crawler gears.

“I’m really proud that we have managed to develop so many useful features that are not only improving driving at construction sites, but are also helpful in many other situations, such as timber transport and when driving in cities,” Bergstrand said.

Volvo will be exhibiting at Road Transport Expo at NAEC Stoneleigh (30 June to 2 July). Register now for FREE

Fox Group charge into being UK's first Volvo FE Electric tipper operator

Fox Group has added two new Volvo FE Electric tippers onto its fleet becoming the first operator in the UK to run the model.

Based at the company’s Leyland depot, a charging infrastructure has been installed to support the trucks as well as staff cars.

Supplied by dealer Thomas Hardie Commercials, who worked closely with Fox Group to determine the optimal specification for the vehicles, Volvo’s Electric Range Simulator was used to make considerations about the customer’s operation, including payload, routes, driving hours and charging infrastructure in order to ensure their suitability for the role.

Paul Fox, Fox Group MD, said: “This purchase marks the start of the electrification of our fleet. We understand we are the first company in the UK to invest in electric tippers – and one of the first in Europe.

“We are strongly committed to playing our part in the UK’s push to reach net zero and we will be making more of our fleet electric in the future. This milestone is just the beginning of the journey, and we believe if the country is serious about substantially reducing carbon emissions, the construction sector needs to join the party – and we are proud to be playing our part and leading from the front.

Both Volvo FE Electric 6x2 rigids are plated at 27 tonnes – 1-tonne more than a standard three-axle rigid – to help offset the additional weight of the batteries. Mounted with Thompsons tipper bodywork, they will operate primarily on local contracts for customers such as Lancashire County Council, moving materials to and from construction sites, before returning to base each night to be recharged.

The trucks also have day cabs, full air suspension and a hydraulically-steered rear axle and have a range of around 150km on a full charge – taking into account PTO usage.

  • The official handover of this truck will take place at 12.30pm on Thursday 30 June on Volvo Trucks’ Road Transport Expo stand Register now for FREE