Volvo Truck 1920

Series 3 and 4

Right from the start, a Volvo truck was considered to be (and in fact was) fairly expensive (something that also applied to Volvo cars). Customers chose a Volvo generally for its to superior quality and ruggedness in spite of its higher price.

By the autumn of 1926, Volvo management was already aware that the choice of a small four-cylinder engine had not been very wise step. The development of a straight in-line six-cylinder engine was begun, by simply taking the existing four-cylinder 'DA' engine, adding two cylinders, thus creating Volvo's first six-cylinder engine, the 'DB'.

Introducing the six-cylinder truck
In the spring of 1929, both the first car and the first truck with a six-cylinder engine were introduced. Thus, Volvo got its first truck with not only a high level of quality and rugged design, but also decent performance.

Generally speaking, the first six-cylinder truck, the Series 3, was very similar to the Series 2 truck. This meant that the specification was otherwise almost unchanged, right down to the chassis wheelbase, with the result that the length of the platform was fairly limited, which was perhaps not then a severe hindrance in transport since the payload was limited to about 2 tonnes in the first edition. Later, the length of the platform was slightly increased but not significantly.

Increased vehicle weight and payload
Even by comparison with the competitors of the day, the first six-cylinder truck was old-fashioned. The wooden wheels were far from perfect for a fair level of heavy-duty transport applications, and the two-wheel brakes that worked on the rear wheels only were not the safest of devices for a medium-duty truck for distribution operations and other tasks.

The two basic versions of the first generation of six-cylinder trucks did not change much during the production period that spanned about three years, in which no less than a total of around 3,000 trucks were produced. There was, however, a gradual increase in the Gross Vehicle Weight, and a corresponding increase in the payload.

The first three-axle truck
A major step for the small Volvo factory was the introduction of the first three-axle truck, the LV64 LF. The principle reason for introducing this truck was not to increase the payload, but to comply with the low permitted axle loads of the day, imposed as a result of the very bad roads of the early 1930s. This first three-axle truck was, however, not used very much as a straight truck, but as a chassis for fairly simple buses for rural routes, perhaps an area where the authorities´ interest in controlling axle loads applied on a daily basis was more intense than when it came to trucks, where axle loads often far exceeded permitted values.

The Series 3 truck and the Series 4 truck were the last outdated trucks to be made by Volvo. Trucks introduced after these were normally up-to-date compared with other contemporary makes of trucks.