Volvo truck, L4851 and F86 - 1960

L4851 and F86

The decade-long popularity of the Viking together with the good reception by the customers of the revolutionary L4751 Raske TIPTOP with its tilting F cab made it natural to also present a tilting cab as an alternative to the L48 Viking.

Further use of the F cab 
The modern cab of the Raske TIPTOP was the natural choice, since it offered not only perfect access to the engine (even better than on a conventional N truck with a bonnet) but unique ergonomic properties.

Even if the Raske had benefited from the F cab, the advantages of the TIPTOP cab were perhaps even more obvious for the Viking. The Viking was the obvious choice as a two-axle tipper truck for solo use, having as alternatives the Raske (where less power was needed) and the Titan (where extremely high power was needed).

Benefits that brought success
The F truck model offers unique qualities for this transport task. These consist of favourable weight distribution (necessary since overloads sometimes add extreme tension to the chassis, suspension and the axles) together with the possibility of using a shorter wheelbase - a major improvement in construction site transport where building sites are often crowded and manoeuvrability is of utmost importance.

The introduction of the L4851 Viking TIPTOP took place in 1964. The truck immediately met high demand from the customers, especially on the home market in Sweden. Enormous success would not occur, however, for another year. Then the successor to the Viking TIPTOP was introduced, the F86, perhaps the most beloved truck in Volvo's history....!

The System 8 family
The F86 was presented in the summer of 1965 as part of the 'System 8' family of trucks. The cab was almost identical to the cab of the Raske TIPTOP (the only exception being a larger engine tunnel, necessary to house the larger 7-litre engine). The bench for two passengers in the Raske TIPTOP had given place to a single passenger seat.

Despite the close resemblance to the L4851, the F86 was completely new 'under the skin' (= the TIPTOP cab). All the basic mechanic components of the new F86 truck were identical with the components of the renewed N86 truck, being the successor to the L48 Viking.

The two most obvious changes were the completely new engine (preserving the cylinder dimensions) which was prepared for high-output turbocharging together with the range-change 'R50' eight-speed fully-synchronized gearbox which made life much easier for the driver. With the new engine and the new gearbox came completely new frame rails, suspensions, brake systems and steering systems.

The most popular truck in Britain
Despite the technical novelties, however, the F86´s greatest importance for Volvo as a truck producer lay in its amazing export success. In the mid 60s, the F86 was introduced in Great Britain, and soon manufacture of the F86 was started in Scotland. Result? Volvo F86 became the most popular truck in England, and Volvo became as a result the major make of truck in the British Isles! A parallel history took place in Australia, where the F86 won unique acceptance by the customers and drivers.

A third market where the F86 played a major role for Volvo was the USA, where the F86 was introduced in 1974 and soon became a much-loved truck, albeit in limited numbers since growth in this 'biggest country in the world' can only been obtained after a long enduring service of quality trucks (Volvo has since become one of the major makes of truck in America).

Fitted for any transport task
Perhaps the most important explanation behind the success of the F86 (together with utmost reliability and almost unlimited service life) has been the possibility of adapting the F86 to any transport task, from distribution of goods in city areas to community service, construction site transport (even in the tandem-driven four-axle model) and long-distance transport (with a portable bed serving to make the day-cab of the F86 into a very efficient 'sleeper cab').