“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,” says Pär Bergstrand, Heavy Duty Transmission Manager at Volvo Trucks.
Terrain Brake is a new, unique solution for driving at low speeds over rough and uneven ground, making it easier and safer to manoeuvre a truck. Usually, if the driver brakes with a wheel positioned on the edge of an elevated surface, like a large rock or a curb, it may roll off before the driver has time to apply the brakes, making it hard to keep control of the vehicle. The new Terrain Brake solution applies the brakes as soon as the driver releases the accelerator. The truck then holds its position without rolling, which enables small movements, with great precision.
“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,” continues Bergstrand.
Change Direction is another solution that makes it easier to manoeuvre a truck at low speeds. Situations such as turning in a confined space or reversing into a loading dock typically require short, sharp movements with the driver switching between the brake and accelerator pedals. Now, instead of applying the brake, the driver can switch into reverse while still moving forwards. The new function will then 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 is a function that significantly improves stability and acceleration in slippery conditions. If the truck starts to skid, multiple sensors allow the vehicle’s control system to react to the road surface in an intelligent way to help the driver stay on the road. The new feature is also designed to reduce the risk of jack-knifing and oversteering when driving unloaded.
Volvo Trucks has also updated the cruise control so that it can be activated at set speeds as low as 4 km/h, or even 2 km/h, if used with the optional 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,” concludes Bergstrand.