Volvo truck, FL7 and FL10 - 1980

FL7 and FL10

When Volvo introduced both the FL6 and the FL7/FL10 family of heavy-duty trucks in the summer of 1985 it was a demonstration of strength. Both families of trucks were completely new and had leading characteristics compared with other competitor-made trucks in the same segments.

Light-weight and very powerful
The FL7/FL10 trucks constituted a completely new class of truck, combining the efficiency and light weight of their predecessor, the F7, with the option of a very powerful 10-litre engine with engine output of up to 318 bhp. The driveline components were identical to the driveline components of the F10 truck, which meant that the FL10 trucks (the most powerful of the two new trucks) were very suitable not only for heavy-duty distribution but also for construction-site operation.

They were also suitable for regional transport or long-distance transport where the low roof of the FL7/FL10 or a low maximum height for the complete truck was of importance.

Steps towards increased driver care
Traditionally, long-distance high-built heavy-duty trucks have been the subject of advanced design while distribution trucks and trucks with lower GVW have not been as good ergonomically when it comes to aspects such as driver comfort, sound insulation, cab suspension etc. In this respect the FL7/FL10 meant a radical step towards driver care for this class of vehicles as well.

Very sophisticated cab suspension, even more efficient than on the F10/F12, was the most important factor behind the exceptional comfort provided for the driver and his passenger. Another factor, which contributed in this respect, was the dashboard, which was designed to have all instruments and handles within sight and easy reach of the driver.

The art of multi-purpose
The most obvious new feature of the new FL7/FL10 trucks was, of course, the completely new cab, which was extremely spacious for a low-built truck of this type, not least due to the fact that the new cab had a full-width of 250 cm (in contrast to the F7, which had a width of 230 cm).

The new family of low-built trucks were true multi-purpose trucks like their predecessor F7 so it was natural for Volvo to offer a full range of cabs, including a short day cab for maximum payload and load area within a given overall length, a spacious sleeper cab with a full length single bunk, and also a crew cab for community service vehicles such as fire trucks.

Advanced chassis specifications
Efficiency (together with improved ergonomics) was the key word for the new range of vehicles. That was the reason for the very advanced chassis specification, which could be supplied in a large number of models, including two, three and four-axle vehicles. These could be driven on one, two or three axles, with numerous suspension alternatives including full air suspension on all axles, which contributed not only to extremely good cushioning for the payload and comfort for the driver, but also to very fast exchanges of different load carriers.

The FL7 and the FL10 became very popular in a large number of countries. In some countries, e.g. Great Britain, it became by far the most popular of all Volvo trucks.