The Maneuverability Volvo Trucks offer and how it’s Accomplished
Would you like to try something unbelievably difficult?
Hop in an eighteen wheel rig and try to shoehorn it into all the places that a heavy truck driver has to fit his or her rig on any given day! Whether truckers are trying to maneuver a fully loaded heavy rig in highway traffic, city traffic, through parking lots, near loading zones or any of the other places truckers have to drive these beasts, it is at best a difficult thing to accomplish. The fact of the matter is that as any truck driver will tell you, on any given day, truckers can find themselves needing to navigate in or around places many people wouldn’t even try navigating in regular sized cars!
Because of this, Volvo Trucks has made improved maneuverability a priority in their VNL lineup.
So how did they accomplish this?
Volvo started this by developing an exceptional turning radius in their VNR rigs. The bumper-to-back-of-cab distance of one hundred and thirteen inches combined with up to a fifty degree wheel cut lets Volvos turn much tighter. So much so that Volvo VNR rigs can make a complete left to right turn with just two and a half rotations of the steering wheel! On top of this, Volvo rigs are also designed to have incredible visibility. This was done by having the VNR built around the drivers perspective. Improving the drivers visibility was a key consideration for the vehicles right from their initial design stages. The goal was to reduce hood and bumper volume to open up more lines of sight on the rig. The hood slope, tightened hood corners and tapered front bumpers all offer exceptional ground visibility.
Even the driver’s seat and steering wheels were designed to position the driver in a more ergonomically correct and upright position, while at the same time the drivers placement in the rig was carefully positioned to help reduce blind spots.
But Volvo didn’t stop with improved turning radius and visibility. When you take those two elements and combine them with Volvos’ I-Shift automatic transmission, which allows the driver to drive without any gear shifting or clutch work, as well as make faster and smoother shifts what you end up with is a rig that is simply amazing to drive in tight (or wide open) spaces. And perhaps if all of this isn’t proof enough, it is a recognized fact that at truck driving rodeos, where lines of sight, maneuverability and ease of driving is key, Volvo trucks are always well represented!