Home Truck News Volvo’s new VNL keeps drivers comfortable and safe - Truck News

Volvo’s new VNL keeps drivers comfortable and safe – Truck News

Trucking companies need drivers to fill seats in their trucks, and those drivers prefer operating comfortable equipment.  

Truckers want good visibility, seat comfort, climate control, a comfortable bunk and plenty of storage. The new Volvo VNL is designed to keep drivers both comfortable and safe.

While driving the VNL 860, VNL 840 and VNL 660 models at the Volvo Customer Center’s test track in Dublin, Va., it felt like driving a car while hauling close to 80,000 pounds down the road.

Picture of a VNL 840
The VNL 840 at Volvo Trucks Customer Centre in Dublin, Virginia. (Photo: Leo Barros)

In keeping with the car mindset, a key fob unlocks the truck, sets climate control and even gets the lights going for a pre-trip inspection. Imagine returning to a cool cab on a hot summer’s day or a heated one in the dead of winter after a shower at truck stop when you have parked at the back of the lot. The car feeling is enhanced with a push-button ignition.

Depending on the trim level and seat chosen, a driver can do their job very comfortably with lumbar support, heating, ventilation and memory options.

Picture of the VNL cab
(Photo: Leo Barros)

The ride is smoother since the suspension has longer, softer springs and the stabilizer bar is enhanced. The engine is fitted with improved, repositioned bushings to reduce vibrations and noise that would otherwise travel through the driver’s body.

In the cab, wider stance shocks provide improved stability. A global rear air suspension, which is non-torque reactive (preventing the cab from rearing up from a stop while pulling a loaded trailer) and vertical shocks soften blows from the road.

Increased hood slope

Enjoying the view while working is a job perk that drivers enjoy. The repositioned pillars and increased hood slope provide a lot of real estate for a driver to peer through. Clear sightlines boost visibility around the cab.

The Volvo’s fitted with five camera systems, including a backup camera, and an additional back-of-trailer analog camera.

Picture of a VNL 660
The VNL 660. (Photo: Leo Barros)

A camera monitoring system can replace traditional side mirrors, offering a tool for safer lane changes with infrared technology for nighttime operations. Red, yellow and green reference lines on the screens provide drivers with information on space availability around their equipment. Backing into docks is made safer and easier.

Drivers spend a lot of time in the cab. An air quality and carbon monitor keep the working and living environment fresh and safe.

Volvo’s dynamic steering with active assist and oversteer assistance helps reduce fatigue and enhance road safety. The gear stalk shifter does away with the need to reach out to the dash. The engine brake can be engaged with a flick of a finger.

Picture of the dinette bunk option in the Volvo VNL
(Photo: Leo Barros)

Hopping into the bunk is the highlight after hours of driving and the VNL offers three options – flat, reclining and dinette. There’s plenty of storage options and a decent sized fridge for food. Parking heater options can keep either the bunk or the entire cab warm and toasty.

A lot of thought has gone into safety features. The active driver assist offers long-range forward pedestrian detection, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go that reengages cruise if stopped for less than two seconds, and automatic emergency braking.

The side detection system covers the vehicle from the bumper to the back of the trailer. It recognizes pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles and provides an alert if they are in a blind spot when a blinker is activated.  

Volvo Active Driver Assist Plus

Volvo Active Driver Assist Plus improvements include lane keep support, pilot assist to center the vehicle in a lane, and Volvo Dynamic System with oversteer guidance.

Road sign detection recognizes most common signs and displays up to three at a time on the dashboard, along with an audible beep.

Driving in low light conditions and at night is part and parcel of the job. The VNL offers automatic high beams and cornering lights that automatically engage for low-speed turns and reversing. This will help traverse dark parking lots and yards while making a delivery or picking up freight.

Side curtain airbag

Drivers are also kept safe with a side curtain airbag in a cab made with 33% additional ultra-high-strength steel. A flared frame rail helps drop the engine down and protect a driver in the event of an impact. In case of a rollover, the engine shuts down, hazard lights come on, the emergency parking brake is engaged, and the door lock is released. An automatic 911 call is activated with any air bag deployment or rollover.

A happy driver stays with their employer. Recruiting and retaining drivers is an expensive proposition. Volvo says it costs fleets almost US$10,000 per driver. The new VNL models will help keep these drivers working at the same carrier.

Credit: Source link


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