Volvo Trucks pioneers automatic all-wheel drive
It might be called Automatic Traction Control, but it’s not the electronic vehicle-stabilisation device we’ve come to know and rely on to keep our vehicles out of the hedgerows. The new Automatic Traction Control from Volvo Trucks activates drive to the front axle automatically when in motion, if a truck is at risk of getting stuck.
Volvo Trucks is the first truck manufacturer in the world to offer this automatic engagement of all-wheel drive on construction trucks. The function activates the front-wheel drive when the rear wheels lose traction on slippery or soft ground.
The driver enjoys improved manoeuvrability, and the owner benefits from lower fuel consumption and less wear and tear on the truck.
“Many drivers connect front-wheel drive or differential locks in good time before a difficult section of terrain, in order to avoid getting stuck. Volvo Automatic Traction Control engages the front-wheel drive when in motion, and only for the short time that it is really needed,” says Jonas Odermalm, construction segment manager at Volvo Trucks.
The Volvo Automatic Traction Control is already used by Volvo Construction Equipment articulated haulers and has now become standard on Volvo FMX models with driven front axles running Euro-3 to Euro-6 engines (in Europe).
The solution consists of software connected to the wheel speed sensors, which detect and control wheel drive. When a rear wheel starts to slip, the power moves automatically to the front wheels without the truck losing torque or speed.
A dog clutch activates the front-wheel drive in just half a second. If the driver encounters particularly rough ground, then it is possible to manually lock the other differentials at both front and rear.
The driver also avoids extra fuel consumption and wear on the vehicle’s driveline and tyres, which can result from the constant engagement of front-wheel drive.