Revolution rocks

Revolution rocks

The new and improved range of Volvo FMX construction trucks ups the ante for the segment.

You might have already seen the YouTube video in which Volvo Trucks president Claes Nilsson stands on the front bumper of a new Volvo FMX, suspended above the water in Gothenburg harbour, Sweden, only by its front towing hook. No? Do yourself a favour and look it up …

The point of the video (and others in the series) is to demonstrate the sheer strength of the new FMX range, which has been tested according to the world’s most stringent safety norms. All components in the front structure have been redesigned in order to boost robustness and durability. The cab, for example, is made of high-tensile steel. The towing hook is made of cast iron and has been designed to handle a massive 32 tonnes.

“The new FMX bases its personality on its honest, capable image. What you see is exactly what you get. A fully equipped tool, one hundred percent ready for hard work. This construction truck is like a genuine action hero – it just looks better and better after it’s been hard at work,” says design director Rikard Orell.

Hard at work, though, comes easy. The vehicle’s new cab is positioned low relative to the chassis and offers a convenient entry and exit as well as superior close-up visibility. This reduces the risk of vehicle damage and improves safety for people working in close proximity to the truck.

Up front, the bumper is now a three-piece unit with the upturned middle section flanked by two separate, robust corners that are made of three-millimetre thick steel. The middle section (with integrated step) is made of elastic, non-cracking material that is designed to handle low-speed impacts. The redesigned headlamps, with their distinctive, angled lines, are also even sturdier and offer enhanced lighting. The overall design is clearly Volvo.

The interior of the cab, too, is a revelation. Completely redesigned, with a focus on giving the driver a comfortable and ergonomic workplace; adding more space and more storage options over the old model. The new driver’s seat can be tilted forward another four degrees and the backrest is 10 mm slimmer than before.

The steering wheel is equipped with multi-function control buttons for functions such as cruise control, phone and navigation. The new all-black instrument panel is now angled even further towards the driver and the large integrated information display is positioned for easy accessibility. The climate control system has been made more efficient and features an improved defroster and a versatile module that can accommodate various other controls is also fitted.

“This gives the driver a well laid out, logical working environment with all the buttons, controls and functions within easy reach,” says Gary Spowart, product manager at Volvo Trucks South Africa.

It might be a rough and rugged construction truck, but the new FMX is also rather high-tech. Drivers can download a new mobile application, called My Truck, that allows one to survey and operate some of the truck’s functions from a distance. The app includes remote operation of the heater as well as the possibility to check the alarm, door locks and fluid level statuses.

The best news is, however, that South African buyers can lay their hands on the new FMX range from December. The vehicles will be fitted with a range of Euro-3 engines (due to current legislation) and features like dynamic steering will be avilable.

We do suggest, though, that owners taking delivery of their new FMX test the capabilities of its towing hook in a slightly more conventional manner …

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