When mud or sand have swallowed the road, the only way to stay out of trouble is to keep moving. This is where the highly controllable driven front axle in the Volvo FMX is hard to beat. And even harder to beat now that it is completely redesigned to increase ground clearance and give the truck a real off-road approach angle.
It’s hard to believe the construction segment manager in his clean white shirt has just come home from a mud bath in Brazil. Until he starts talking about the new 8×6 and the redesigned front axle.
Commonly known as the Oh Shit!-button
“The 8×6 has been available for some time, but now it is part of our standard offer, which means shorter delivery times for customers. Strictly speaking, it’s a six-wheel-drive with an extra axle for in-creased load capacity. But with the new front axle it’s becoming a very useful vehicle in borderline conditions – as is the 6×6 and 4×4,” says Jonas Odermalm.
Lower fuel consumption
While permanent all-wheel-drive is the common solution for construction trucks, Volvo prefers to let the driver engage it – as and when needed. Jonas Odermalm recalls from research carried out in the desert: “It’s really only needed between two and five percent of the time. This means that 95 percent of the time All-Wheel-Drive is a waste of fuel – unless it’s an FMX and the driver can choose when to apply it.”
With a switch on the dashboard the driver can revert to rear-wheel-drive when conditions allow. This means direct transfer between the engine and rear drive axle, so the other wheels are free rolling – and consuming less fuel. On top of this, there is less wear and tear on the front axle.