07/11/2013

Years of testing behind top class urban driving



Volvo Trucks’ new Volvo FE and Volvo FL are easier to drive in urban environments than ever before. This promise is based on years of testing and product development. To guarantee efficiency and maximum driver comfort, everything has been tested – from steering wheel and mirror vibration to engine noise levels.

One of the most important parameters in the development of the new Volvo FE and Volvo FL has been to facilitate the driver's work situation by creating a truck that is both easy to drive and comfortable.
"We want to offer our customers high-quality products. It is just as important for trucks to overcome the purely physical challenges as it is for them to comply with customer needs and expectations," says Hayder Wokil, Quality Director at Volvo Trucks.

Field tests at customers
Karli Walter, who has been driving distribution trucks for the Swiss haulage company, Gabriel, for 14 years, has tested the new Volvo FL for seven months.
"The best features in the new Volvo FL are its overall accessibility and its excellent manoeuvrability. When I need to drive through narrow streets and tight spaces, it's sensational. This new model is more powerful, it has a larger payload and it's fun to drive," he says.
Of all the tests Volvo Trucks conducts, field tests are some of the most important. They are used to secure that the advanced product development is match real-life conditions.
"The feedback from test drivers is extremely valuable for us. It's the confirmation of everything we do. At the end of the day, it's a question of one self-evident factor: quite simply, meeting our customers' expectations," says Hayder Wokil.

Low noise level optimised for city driving
One of the most important factors when it comes to driver comfort is low noise levels in the cab. For this reason, every single detail - from mirror, seat and steering wheel vibration to the sound made by the engine and windows - has been thoroughly studied and evaluated. Thanks to the totally new Euro 6 engines, the engine noise registered in the cab has been significantly reduced.
"The new engines have a lower engine speed, making them quieter and more optimised for driving in city environments. The greatest advantage when it comes to a quieter cab is that the driver is less tired. An alert driver is also more attentive and safe," says Tobias Bergman, Product Manager FE and FL trucks at Volvo Trucks.

Verification of total service life of the truck
Another important part in the improvement of the driver's work environment is comfort tests on uneven roads, over bumps and potholes. The vibrations in the trucks are measured and they can then be reproduced right down to the lowest level of shaking in a laboratory.
After thorough testing in laboratory rigs, the trucks - including new Euro 6 engines and the automatic I-Shift transmission - have covered lap after lap on the Volvo Trucks test track. The capacity of the transmission has been tested when starting on hills with gradients of up to 25%.
"We have then conducted accelerated endurance tests on the complete vehicle. These are some of our most comprehensive tests in which the total service life of the truck is verified. In all, these new models are driven 12,000 kilometres on the challenging test track and open roads, which corresponds to 500,000 km - or the service life of a truck - in normal driving conditions," says Hayder Wokil.

Facts relating to the new Volvo FE and Volvo FL
The new Volvo FE and Volvo FL are optimised for easy driving in urban environments. The most important new features include the new Euro 6 engines - the D5 and D8 - which offer improved driving characteristics and greater productivity as a result of more rapid torque development. The new Volvo FE is now also available with I-Shift, making life easier for the driver, as he is not obliged to change gear manually in stressful situations. The new Volvo FL is also available with a lower entrance, improved visibility and is easy to load, with a 500 kg increase in payload capacity. Both models are quieter and have been updated, with more ergonomic and safer seats and an improved instrument panel.


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7 November 2013

For further information, please contact: Agneta Malmcrona, media relations Volvo Trucks, phone +46 31 322 0707, e-mail agneta.malmcrona@volvo.com

Evaluating the cab. “The greatest advantage when it comes to a quieter cab is that the driver is less tired and is therefore able to drive for longer. An alert driver is also more attentive and safe,” says Tobias Bergman, Product Manager at Volvo Trucks. image/pjpeg 223.8 KB
Incline. One important part of the development process has involved rigorously testing components that are completely new. These include the new engines and the automatic I-Shift transmission in the new Volvo FE. Foto: Pontus Johansson3960.jpg image/pjpeg 304.6 KB
Karli Walter driving in Zürich. One of the key objectives in the development of the new Volvo FE and Volvo FL has been to facilitate the driver’s work by creating trucks that are easier to drive and more comfortable. Foto: Pontus Johansson image/pjpeg 264.6 KB
Volvo FE/Volvo FL – Easy to Drive. Acoustic bench. Reducing noise in the cab was something Volvo Trucks’ engineers strived for in developing the new Volvo FE and Volvo FL. Foto: Pontus Johansson3140.jpg image/pjpeg 274.4 KB
Volvo FE/Volvo FL – Easy to Drive. On Volvo Trucks testing ground. The new Volvo FE and Volvo FL have been subjected to comprehensive tests over a period of several years. Foto: Pontus Johansson4294.jpg image/pjpeg 259.5 KB
Volvo FE/Volvo FL – Easy to Drive. Comfort test. Comfort tests on uneven roads, over bumps and potholes, were another important part of the development work designed to improve the driver’s work environment. Foto: Pontus Johansson4180.jpg image/pjpeg 342.7 KB
Volvo FE/Volvo FL – Easy to Drive. Karli Walter. “The best features in the new Volvo FL are its overall accessibility and its excellent manoeuvrability,” says Karli Walter, who has test-driven the new Volvo FL for seven months. Foto: Pontus Johansson image/pjpeg 277.4 KB
Volvo FE/Volvo FL – Easy to Drive. Speed ring. The new Euro 6 engines have been tested in the lab, as well as being driven lap after lap on the Volvo Trucks test track. Foto: Pontus Johansson3780.jpg image/pjpeg 262.1 KB
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