Volvo FM

Optimised Trucks: Getting it right from the start

For optimal fuel efficiency, it is crucial that a truck is correctly specified for its intended transport assignments and driving conditions. Avoid unnecessary maintenance and high fuel costs by specifying the correct driveline from the start.

When ordering a new truck, customers have the opportunity to utilise their Volvo Truck Dealer's expertise. Volvo's dedicated experts are on hand to ensure that the driveline on a truck is Fuelwatch optimised from the outset. By mapping driving patterns, roads, topographical conditions and load scenarios, a new truck can be equipped with a combination of the ideal engine, transmission, tyres and treads, as well as the optimal rear axle ratio.

If an engine is under-powered for its task, the driver will
instinctively be forced into imposing an unnecessarily high
load on the engine, which can be extremely fuel consuming.
However, a truck with too much engine power for its task also
consumes more fuel. A truck used for European longhaul transport in flat topography generally requires 8-10 horsepower per tonne, whereas a truck that is exposed to more stops and starts or more challenging topographical conditions requires a higher horsepower level.

The rear axle ratio on a truck can be optimised for the average speed at which the truck is driven. The rear axle ratio determines the engine revolutions of the truck at operating speed.

To limit fuel consumption, the truck should be optimised to operate in the "sweet spot", which is located in the middle of the green band on the rev counter, as much as possible. By identifying the main cruising speed of the truck, the rear axle ratio can be set accordingly.

To minimise fuel consumption, a dedicated economy tyre with low friction treads is preferable. However, for driving in more difficult conditions, a deeper tread might be necessary.

The optimal transmission for fuel-conscious truck operators is Volvo's intelligent and highly effective I-Shift. A fuel efficient truck should also be equipped with aerodynamic spoilers.