Introducing the more dynamic Volvo FH seriesPOSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 21 April 2017
Recording a growing market share in the 2016 financial year, Volvo Trucks Malaysia introduced the new FH series to ensure its continuing dominance. Designed to withstand the heaviest and the most demanding of operations, but with the driver in mind, the new Volvo FH series pushes the boundaries in safety, quality and fuel efficiency for heavy duty trucks.
At the recent launch, the new Volvo FH is offered in the form of the FH13 and FH16, with the latter being the most powerful. It’s safe to say that the newly-launched FH is the first all-new FH to be released since the series’ introduction in 1993.
Managing director of Volvo Malaysia SdnBhd Mats Nilsson said, “The Volvo FH series is our latest premium flagship product that we believe will deliver exceptional benefits to our Malaysian customers. We have a long history in Malaysia and the addition of the Volvo FH to the product line not only strengthens our current leading position, but also puts us in a good place to take advantage of future opportunities in long-haul transport.”
Similar to its passenger cars, Volvo applies Scandinavian design philosophy to the new Volvo FH. Dominating the truck’s front fascia is the new elongated and larger grille, forcing the brand’s logo to be displayed on the panel below the windscreen, as opposed to the previous-generation FH that bore its logo on the grille.
The cab’s A-pillars are also said to have been moved slightly further forward to provide the best possible protection for the driver. The floor structure and the doors are all redesigned, while the skylight – which floods the cab with natural light – also doubles as an escape hatch in the event of an accident.
The wing mirrors are uniquely-designed, boasting a simplistic and elegant look. Aesthetics aside, the wing mirrors still give the best visibility, thus making the FH one of the world’s safest trucks.
Built with the driver in mind, the Volvo FH prioritises ergonomics to ensure that the driver can work as efficiently as possible. Volvo has increased the degree of seat adjustability to fit a wider range of driver’s size. The steering wheel with neck-tilt can now be adjusted by up to 20 degrees.
The Volvo FH series also gets a redesigned dashboard, which now appears curvier to ensure all key controls are within good and comfortable reach of the driver. Volvo added around 300 litres of storage consisting of spacious front, under-bunk and rear compartments that can also be tailored to the customer’s needs.
Since trucks in Malaysia tend to run idle for a prolonged time – according to Volvo Truck’s product director Ian Sinclair – which results to poorer fuel economy, Volvo has equipped the new FH series trucks with i-Park Cool. The built-in parking cooler lets the cabin cool without the need to turn on the engine by working with the truck’s climate control.
Sitting under the cabin floor of the new FH13 truck is a D13A440 six-cylinder inter-cooled turbocharged engine mated to a 12-speed electronically-controlled splitter and range-change automatic transmission. The engine produces 440hp from 1,400rpm to 1,800rpmand 2,200Nm of torque from 1,050rpm to 1,400rpm.
Meanwhile, the range-topping FH16 is propelled by a D16C610 six-cylinder inter-cooled turbocharged engine that makes 610hp from 1,600rpm to 1,700rpm and a massive 2,800Nm of torque from 1,000rpm to 1,500rpm. The engine is paired to a 14-speed electronically-controlled splitter and range-change automatic transmission.
Each transmission in the new FH series is an I-Shift unit with ultra-low crawler function. It has been specially-developed for excellent starting traction and to handle driving at ultra-low speeds.
The chassis of the new FH series trucks can be widely-configured to suit different customer needs, loading type, loading capacity as well as operating environments. The parabolic springs with stabiliser and anti-roll bar is the basic setup for the entire FH variants. However, the FH13 and FH16 can be differentiated with a 2-leaf setup on the former and a 3-leaf with hydraulic shock absorber for the latter.
As for the rear suspension, the new FH can be fitted with a variety of setups which include eight-bellow suspension with stabiliser and electronic levelling, five-parabolic leaf springs as well as multi-leaf with nine leaf springs.
A key safety feature on the new Volvo FH trucks is the company’s patented Volvo Dynamic Steering (VDS), which combines conventional hydraulic power steering with an electric motor fitted to the steering gears. Processing input from different sensors, the ECU (electrical control unit) works out where the truck is going and the driver’s intention. In a nutshell, the VDS allows for a more precise steering, reducing bump-steer and reducing energy required to operate the steering.
In addition, the FH receives Volvo Engine Brake (VEB), Additional Road Speed Limiter (ARSL), improved ABS, electronic stability program (ESP), electric parking brake with electronic brake system (EBS), active cornering lights, dynamic bending lights, red seat belts, Bi-Xenon headlights and LED tail lights with integrated functions.
For more information about the new Volvo FH series trucks, visit www.volvotrucks.my.