When designers at Volvo Trucks started talking about the design of a new regional haul truck, discussions always turned to versatility.
"This is a whole new truck," says Wade Long, director of product marketing. "Volvo Trucks is the leader in giving customers adaptive solutions. We didn't build the new Volvo VNR to match competitors’ specs. We spec the trucks to meet the unique needs of each customer's operations."
Long points to the new Volvo VNR’s exterior, designed to provide greater maneuverability while improving aerodynamics and efficiency. And the interior, he says, can be configured to meet a range of application needs — including comfortable sleepers for overnight runs.
And, with a 113-inch bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) length, the Volvo VNR can haul longer trailers and still meet legal requirements. "With a short wheel base, shorter BBC, and smaller, lighter engines, the Volvo VNR is designed to help our customers maximize their payload while maintaining efficiency," Long explains.
The short wheel base also makes the Volvo VNR more maneuverable, allowing it to get into and out of more places.
We spec the Volvo VNR to meet each customer's unique needs.
Flyweight champion Reducing driveline weight is one reason the Volvo VNR is well suited for regional haul.
"Take Volvo’s 11-liter engine, which has been enhanced for Greenhouse Gas 2017 emission regulations," says John Moore, product marketing manager. "It is 350 pounds lighter than our 13-liter engine, and now delivers up to 425 horsepower, which puts it into a 13-liter class. That means regional haul customers can have weight saving options even when they want performance that might have them thinking about a D13."
Shifting for the future Customers will also notice enhancements to Volvo’s automated manual transmission, Long says. "We have improved the countershaft on the I-Shift for even faster and smoother shifting. Drivers will find it even more comfortable to drive, and fleets will appreciate the fuel efficiencies they can gain." New fuel efficiency packages offer an easy way to combine aerodynamics and powertrain options to optimize fuel efficiency and performance in a wide variety of applications.
Volvo’s eXtreme Efficiency (XE) powertrain packages have also evolved. "The XE Economy package features split torque curves in more gears now, something our competitors don’t do," Moore says.
The XE High-Torque package delivers higher torque in starting gears, so customers with heavier loads can more quickly and efficiently get up to speed.
Wearing many hats Two innovative solutions from Volvo allow one truck to work in multiple modes. Adaptive Loading software senses when the new Volvo VNR is running with no load. The truck automatically lifts an axle off the pavement to save fuel.
"Software automatically adjusts a liftable axle, making the truck a 6x4 when loaded and a 4x2 when light," Moore says. "The fuel savings are significant."
Adaptive Gearing locks out the overdrive gear in the I-Shift transmission on a fully-loaded truck, then opens it again when the truck is empty. This improves performance and drivability on the loaded truck, while creating fuel efficiency for the lighter, empty truck.
"These are powertrain solutions that only Volvo can offer," Long says. "On top of other efficiencies, we can improve mileage by up to one whole mpg just by getting customers into the right drivetrain setup for their application."