After the success of the light-duty and medium-duty L42/L43 forward-control trucks, Volvo wanted to go ahead and design F trucks in the heavier segment. This created serious discussions within the management and the design department of the company.
Initially, a traditional European design was discussed (the L382/L3851 F version of the Viking truck had been around for some time), but they embarked on more ambitious plans probably on account of experience gained in the USA (where Volvo was the only European manufacturer with a presence there at that time).
Towards cab-over-engine trucks
In contrast to the preferences in the USA nowadays, there was a trend away from conventional (N) truck and in favour of cab-over-engine (F) trucks in the late 1950s and the early 1960s in North America. This was a trend which had been forced through by legislation that restricted the total length of truck combinations.
The F trucks of America were, however, very advanced vehicles. Low weight of chassis was one feature, the tilting cab facilitating the work of the driver or the mechanic when performing service was another. The decision was taken that the new generation of Volvo heavy-duty trucks should include F trucks in all weight segments.
Introducing the modern tilt-cab
The first Volvo truck to receive a modern tilt-cab was also the first European truck of this type ever to be made in significant numbers. The cab was designed by the Volvo truck design department in Gothenburg under supervision of Sigvard Forssell, in close cooperation with the Nyström Cab factory in Umeå in the north of Sweden (which would before long become the main Volvo cab factory).