The new Volvo FMX is easier to drive, at the same time as several innovations boost its efficiency and off-road capability for FMX models with a single steered front axle. The driver can steer a heavily-loaded truck without the slightest effort thanks to a new technology: Volvo Dynamic Steering.
“The patented Volvo Dynamic Steering system benefits all drivers, but its advantages are most noticeable when driving at low speeds. The effortless steering makes the construction truck driver’s job far easier,” says Claes Nilsson, President of Volvo Trucks.
An electronically-controlled electric motor attached to the steering gear is a major technological innovation. The electric motor works together with the hydraulic power steering and is regulated thousands of times per second by its electronic control unit.
“At low speeds the electric motor replaces the driver’s muscle-power. Instead, the driver can relax and steer without any effort and strain,” explains Gustav Neander, project manager for Volvo Dynamic Steering.
In this way, the dynamic steering system addresses the most frequent occupational injuries suffered by commercial vehicle drivers. Another benefit is that Volvo Dynamic Steering self-centres automatically when reversing.
New rear air suspension
Most of the new chassis and driveline features in the new Volvo FMX enhance the truck’s productivity. “This is a high-priority area for our construction customers. The new air suspension is tailor-made for construction work without compromises or connection to other segments,” explains Peter Frleta, chassis expert at Volvo Trucks. He adds: “The rear air suspension offers considerable comfort and agility both when the truck is loaded and when it is empty.”
The suspension system features automatic ride-height control and with 300mm of ground clearance the result is excellent get-you-there ability. The new off-road air suspension is available in both 4×2 and 6×4 configuration, but with the 8×4 axle configuration on both the traditional twin front axle set up and the new Tridem design.
Since the anti-roll bar is positioned in the centre of the bogie, the vehicle has excellent stability. At the same time there are no unprotected suspension components behind the truck’s last axle, so it is ideal for tipping into asphalt pavers.
To create a tighter turning circle and reduced tyre wear, it is possible to specify the 8×4 configuration with tridem bogie with a hydraulically-steered tag axle. The tag axle can also be lifted or dumped for increased drive axle traction in difficult operating conditions, as well as reducing tyre wear when running unladen.
I-Shift combined with improved All-Wheel Drive
The I-Shift Automated transmission is already highly efficient when manoeuvring at low speeds and is now also available on FMX 4×4 and 6×6 all-wheel drive vehicles. Another new I-Shift feature is a longer oil-change interval of 45,000 kms.
The front wheel drive system has been further refined to deliver increased off-road capability and endurance. The driven front axle has been relocated 100 mm further forward to the same position as a non-driven front axle.
In addition to this the parallel rod has been moved up to a more protected location. The shorter front overhang means that the approach angle has increased. Driven front axle is available in the following axle configurations: 4×4, 6×6 tractor and rigid and 8×6 rigid.
Available with 11- and 13-litre engines
The new Volvo FMX is available with a choice of 11- and 13-litre Euro-6 engines. The D13 has power outputs from 420 to 500 horsepower, while the D11 spans the range from 330 to 450 horsepower.
For markets outside Europe, engines adapted for Euro-3, Euro-4 and Euro-5 will also be available.
In order to meet the Euro-6 requirements, the engine has been equipped with a non-cooled EGR system for recirculation of exhaust gases. This optimises exhaust gas temperature and NOx levels for efficient after-treatment.
The particulate filter is automatically regenerated during normal driving conditions and Volvo Trucks’ patented service solution for the filter saves time and reduces costs for the customer.
Production of the new Volvo FMX for European customers starts in September 2013