VN and NH
It was not until the mid 90s that a truck manufacturer had the courage to try to develop a truck concept which would be suitable for both European and North American transport service, but in 1996 Volvo presented the VN as a parallel transport tool to the already-famous FH (presented in 1993).
The family concept
Since the early 1980s, Volvo had improved the truck programme which it had taken over from White Motor Corporation step by step. This programme had been very advanced and was based on a 'Family concept', but partly lacked some of the advanced features present in the best European long-distance trucks.
On the other hand, these American Volvo White trucks had features which were perhaps superior to European trucks, among which low kerb weight was the most important. Without doubt, experiences from the American market have played a role in the development of even more efficient light heavy-duty Volvo trucks for the rest of the world (outside North America).
Designing a new generation of trucks
In the late 1980s, development work on a new generation of Volvo trucks started. In order to be able to devote massive design resources to the development of American Volvo trucks, superior to previous generations of American trucks, the decision was taken to use major components in several truck models.
These were to include the American Volvo trucks (which would be called 'VN'), European trucks ('FH' and 'FM') and also a full-cab-width conventional truck ('NH').
The benefits of the long bonnet American legislation permits long bonnets in front of the cab, so the new American Volvo cab was given a long bonnet early in the design stage, adding to the beauty of a truck type often favoured by many truck enthusiasts. With a long bonnet housing the engine, the cab floor naturally becomes completely flat, providing extremely roomy conditions for the driver.
The space in the cab of the VN is also made even more impressive by the generous sleeping compartments of the long sleeper cab versions (a day cab is also available), being available in two lengths for the 'VN' from its introduction in 1996.
Beautiful, exclusive and efficient
One year later, in 1997, the original two VN sleeper cabs were once more complemented by the even more impressive sleeper cab for the 'Volvo 770', possibly the most exquisite truck cab ever series-produced. The latter features options such as TV set, microwave oven, wardrobe, double berth, etc.
The VN/770 trucks may be beautiful and exclusive, but above all they are efficient transport tools, incorporating features such as low kerb weight, superior aerodynamics and traditional Volvo qualities such as optimised ergonomics for the driver.
The most demanding of safety tests
When it comes to safety, the VN/770 are second to none. In contrast to trucks from other American manufacturers, they have been tested and approved according to the demanding Swedish Cab Safety test procedure, the most severe in the world. For those customers requiring it, the VN/770 could in their original versions be supplied with an integrated Volvo driveline, incorporating the very efficient and environmentally-friendly 'Volvo D12' engine (basically the same as in the 'Volvo FH12' truck), but a wide variety of American components including engines and transmissions were also available.
The increasing number of Volvo engines in the VN/770 trucks does, however, present proof of the growing trust for Volvo as a complete manufacturer, which is demonstrated by American transport companies and drivers.