Completely redesigned for the truck, the new headlights offer the same performance as those developed for long haul in the Volvo FH. But with one or two unique extras.
Visibility specialist Hanna Degerman is on a mission to make the Volvo FMX known for having the best headlights.
You can drive forever with these on
Stronger, longer, wider
“We have decided to become number one for visibility,” says Hanna Degerman, without sounding boastful. “It’s important for the people who drive a Volvo FMX as they have to operate on bad roads, with poor lighting – often all night – in gravel pits, mines and forests.” This is why the standard lighting is now stronger, longer and wider. And according to Stig Elofsson, the engineer behind the light, it is a radical improvement.
“The intensity of light from the new headlights is very noticeable. It makes driving in the dark less tiresome for the driver and improves safety for everyone.”
Powerful appearance, too
The new headlights are higher up and have a compact design – one that reminds Stig of a wild boar. But this is not just for the sake of appearance. Robustness and reliability have also been improved. The new halogen lights can stand up to the vibrations caused by the most bone-shaking terrain. As they discovered in a Brazilian jungle.
“In severe conditions good headlights help you avoid damage to the truck. And anything that forces you to stop the truck reduces productivity,” says Hanna Degerman.
Daylight in the dark
The optional Bi-Xenon headlights offer extremely high performance, and are particularly good for older drivers with tired eyes, like Stig Elofsson. “These have twice the light intensity of halogen and a totally different colour temperature – it’s like driving in daylight,” says Stig Elofsson. His face lights up, “You can drive forever with these on.” Even the new Bi-Xenon modules have become much more resilient to vibration.
Cab Shake Test
In order to simulate a life time of driving over ruts, ridges and potholes, Volvo has designed its own vibration pattern. The Cab Shake Test applies this programme of headlight hell to the new lights for 300 cycles. The Bi-Xenon lights have in fact passed the test with Stig Elofsson’s blessings. “The components outlasted the test and came out looking like new,” he exclaims.
Clever use of LED
The two variants are largely identical, the Bi-Xenon module simply replaces the lower of the two halogen lamps. This manages low and high beam but is complemented in high beam by the halogen module at the top.
Daytime running lights are provided by the signature V-shape LED light guides. The lower part of this doubles as a turn indicator using an amber light guide. At this point, the rest of the LED light guide is dimmed to make the indicator even more noticeable. The fact that it’s unique is less important to Hanna Degerman who sees the practical benefit: two less light bulbs for the customer to replace.
Cages save lights
Headlight protectors are factory fitted but interchangeable. This means the driver can easily switch between the on- and off-road versions. The fact that they are reinforced with steel makes them pretty tough. The fine mesh in the off-road version stops smaller stones from hitting the glass. But how strong is it – does it help if you hit something bigger?
“Not a kangaroo,” responds Stig Elofsson, “But we’re going to sell a lot less replacement parts to customers who use these in the bush.”
The visibility effect
The question remains, will the new light performance be enough to reach the company’s visibility goal? Hanna Degerman thinks it will, “The FMX lighting is as good or better than that of any other truck.”
Explore the new and improved headlights here