The new Volvo FMX is built to take the rough and tumble of the construction industry. It’s strong enough to hold up to 32 tonnes with its tow hook. If it runs into a pile of bitumen, or even a concrete wall, the truck should be able to carry on working as though nothing has happened.
The person who designed the new front has a calm manner, a quick mind and probably wouldn’t look out of place on an ice hockey rink. Hans Bergqvist describes the work that’s been done. “We’ve focused on robustness and maintainability. A lot of steel parts have been added but the weight gain is minimal – maybe five or six kilos. Whereas robustness has increased many times over.”
Absorbs the energy like a giant spring
Boxy for a reason
“The new towing member, the new bull bar, the new skidguard – everything has been connected to the front protection beam with huge brackets. This makes a box-like construction. The front becomes incredibly sturdy as it is an extension of the chassis. So it absorbs the energy of a low speed impact like a giant spring. And it almost completely eliminates eigenfrequency – and the shaking of the cab that comes with it,” says Hans Bergqvist.
The towing member is solid so you can climb on it to reach the windscreen.
Bounces back into shape
One of the tests to measure the robustness of the construction involves trying to penetrate the front with up to 3 tonnes of pressure via a steel post. The boxy construction behaves like a spring, almost completely recovering its shape.
Another test involves a heavy concrete block. At approximately 5 km/h the truck drives into it, generating a massive amount of energy. The steel front flexes slightly, but largely regains its form. The core strength of the truck’s front and a rubbery form of polypropylene on the bumper make a winning combination.
More steel means more uptime
“The corners of the truck are highly exposed, so the bumper corners are made out of three-millimetre thick high grade steel.” says Hans Bergqvist. The new headlights are much higher up above the bumper where they are less vulnerable. Body panels are split rather than overlapping so that any cosmetic damage is isolated.
“And if you do manage to do any serious damage to the front, you’ll probably be able to replace the part yourself as the screws are all visible and easily accessible. We’re pretty sure this is going to be popular with customers – it saves them and in-creases uptime.”
Push and pull 32 tonnes
The towing member is one piece of cast iron. “If you are lying on the axles and the wheels are spinning, an excavator – or another Volvo FMX – can have you rolling in no time. And the fact that the towing member is exposed means you can use it like a ladder to climb up the front. Wherever you step you’ll find it’s solid, nothing is going to break or crack,” says Hans Bergqvist. A handle opens so that the towing pin can be accessed when needed.
See the details of the front and towing device