A tougher new truck
The new design is focused on robustness and maintainability. The front towing member, for instance, is one piece of cast iron. Specially designed (and exposed) fasteners greatly simplify the replacement of body parts. Whatever you might think of the new design, one thing is perfectly clear: the new Volvo FMX is built to stand up to the wear and tear of construction work.
There is nothing hanging down underneath the truck except wheels, and a rigid new construction makes the front more robust. This is good for when the driver runs into a pile of rubble or perhaps a tree stump. The idea is that a little mishap shouldn’t stop you getting the job done. To this end, resilient new headlights are higher up and best kept behind the tough protectors.
With its integrated handles, the new front can be climbed up like a ladder to reach the windscreen. The front towing member, too, has become stronger. Now it can pull up to 32 tonnes.
World news in steering
Volvo Dynamic Steering is the new technology that promises to do for trucks what servo once did for the automotive industry. It’s a speed dependent form of servo assisted steering that includes an electric motor. This is electronically managed 2,000 times per second to provide the ideal assistance at every single moment. Consequently, when driving a fully laden truck at low speeds, one finger is enough to turn the steering wheel. It quite literally takes the truck’s weight off the driver’s shoulders.
Where potholes normally give the steering wheel a jolt, the new steering is able to cancel this type of disturbance before it can reach the steering wheel. It filters out the washboard effects of poor road surfaces so the driver is less tired and safety is improved for everyone. And purely as a result of added comfort, average speeds are increased – along with productivity.
First purpose-designed air suspension for construction
Continuing the theme of improved drivability, the new Volvo FMX can be specified with air suspension designed for tough conditions. This brings the comfort of air to the type of road surfaces where it is most needed – and now with the necessary ground clearance. The new air suspension combines benefits such as automatic levelling and a more forgiving nature when the truck is unladen.
To provide the tipping stability needed for on- and off-road applications, it also uses new – upward turned – stabilisers.
Available for a wide range of axle combinations including Tridem, the new suspension saves wear and tear on both the truck and the driver. And like Volvo Dynamic Steering, its added comfort is good for productivity. The combination of these two technologies means you no longer have to be made out of cast iron to cope with driving a truck in a quarry all day.
Greater clearance underneath, behind and in front
The new air suspension affords the truck 300 millimetres of ground clearance and all the vital parts are protected from low flying rocks and branches. Besides this, it offers greater clearance at the rear with a shorter overhang. So there’s less to interfere with tipping and the driver can get closer to equipment such as asphalt pavers.
The new Volvo FMX also has a brand new driven front axle that offers a better approach angle. As a result, the front-wheel-drive vehicles can cope with steeper hills and deeper ditches.
Extreme mobility with 8x6
Taking full advantage of the off-road approach angle is the new 8x6 front-wheel-drive, with a maximum payload of 33 tonnes. This now becomes part of the standard offer, which means shorter delivery times and a full warranty package. The driver is still in charge of when and how to apply front-wheel-drive, so the opportunity to save fuel for normal conditions is unchanged.
The completely new driven front axles (4x4, 6x6, 8x6) are fully compatible with the entire engine range – up to 540 hp. What’s more, they can now be used together with Volvo’s intelligent automated transmission, I-Shift, and all its features designed for tough construction work.
The ultimate turning manoeuvre
The Tridem concept offers a turning diameter that is up to 5 metres smaller than its 8x4 equivalent with a double front axle. Now this is available with both Volvo Dynamic Steering and the new air suspension. This adds up to a construction vehicle that comfortably copes with a wide range of terrain and haulage tasks.
Wherever work is turn-intensive, the combination of turning axles and dynamic steering saves space, time and – for the driver – wear and tear. The versatility has an economical aspect, too, by raising the tag axle when running unladen the truck saves valuable fuel and tyres.
What’s more, if you’ve signed up for a New Volvo Gold Contract and the truck is not back on the road in the agreed time, Volvo will compensate you.
Look and feel inside the cab
Despite being a tougher truck, everything inside the cab feels more inviting. Sitting in the comfortable new driver’s seat, the first thing that strikes you is the clean design – the new dash, steering wheel and instrument cluster. Like the new Volvo FH, this integrates the Secondary Information Display without disturbing the driver’s view, and the steering wheel now incorporates many more functions than before.
It’s easier to enter and exit the cab, yet there’s more space for managing work and personal items. And there’s even an air gun on hand to blow away sand and debris.
Plus all the FM news
Of course, countless improvements to the new Volvo FM also apply to the FMX. To begin with the D11 and D13 drivelines now meet the new Euro 6 legislation. Then you have the heavy-duty remote control, Work Remote, which brings together everything you need to manage loading, tipping and other operations. The suspension is completely revised and the maximum payload of most axles is up by a ton or more. Even headlight performance is vastly improved and the truck can be equipped with Bi-Xenon lights.
So with the arrival of the new Volvo FMX, plenty of things are looking brighter in the world of construction.