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The New Volvo VNR: An Improved Short-Haul Truck for the Future

New Volvo VNR

This last spring, Volvo demonstrated their new Volvo VNR at ExpoCam in Montreal, which brought considerable excitement about their popular short-haul truck. The VNR is a huge improvement from Volvo's old VNM trucks that became a major mainstay in trucking for well over two decades.

So what makes the VNR stand out from the classic VNM? It's already being described as the future of regional hauling. Much of this comes in bringing more productivity, efficiency, quality, and unique amenities.

The VNR's Exterior

It's the exterior of the new VNR that's truly turning heads. While the new truck has a lot on the interior, the exterior denotes an attention to aesthetics as much as features.

This has new dynamic contours to help with air flow when driving at high speeds and on challenging highways. Plus, it integrates new LED lighting for more cost savings and improving visibility on the road.

Take a look at the VNR website to see more details about how state-of-the-art the interior now is. Here's some things you'll want to know:

  • Volvo redesigned the hood for a slight slope to allow better visibility through complex terrain.
  • Headlights are now reinvented thanks to the LED lighting above. The LED lights apply to the turn, marker, and parking lamps as well.
  • For improved maneuverability in urban areas, a new wheel cut of up to 50 degrees and BBC of 113 inches helps immensely.

The Interior With Driver Comfort In Mind

Everything from seating to controls have become more refined in the new VNR, and they're all things keeping the driver's comfort at the forefront.

After all, if the driver can't stay comfortable, it only makes their jobs all the tougher. Volvo elaborates on this by enhancing a few things:

  • Thanks to a three-way neck tilt on the steering wheel, the driver can adjust the steering to their exact height.
  • The seating is also superior and had its design based on extensive ergonomic research. 
  • LCD controls truly stand out. With these, any driver can easily read metrics on their routes, as well as make the LCD screen completely configurable.
  • Volvo even added an infotainment system with a seven-inch touch screen and premium audio system.

For truckers that need to sleep in their trucks during long hauls, you'll find a comfortable and efficient sleeper section. With a 36-inch wide bed alone, this is something that stands above most other short-haul trucks on the market.


The New I-See Predictive Cruise Control from Volvo Trucks

Volvo Group acquired Mack back in 2000, and since then they have had a significant share of the 18-wheeler market. Volvo Trucks is working to bring new innovations and technology to the trucking market to improve safety and performance. Available this year is the new I-See Predictive Cruise Control. The developer of I-See, Anders Eriksson explains that using this technology, "The truck knows the gradients of the road ahead, so it tells the engine and the I-Shift transmission how to maximize the truck’s kinetic energy, save fuel and reduce CO2."

I-See is designed to strategically use the truck's kinetic energy; the predictive cruise control helps drivers obtain better fuel consumption and performance. Volvo's director of product marketing Wade Long says that I-See works with the truck's GPS unit to map up to 4,500 routes. As the truck approaches a hill, I-See downloads information about the road topography from a shared database. I-See takes specific measurements of every hill, and the next time that hill is encountered it will instruct the truck to accelerate and gain momentum. It will also assist in coasting, called Eco Rolling, and engine breaking after the hillcrest. Once the route is mapped I-See will work even when GPS is not available. When used with the truck's regular cruise control, I-See can increase fuel economy by 5%. It works best when coupled with Volvo's improved automated manual I-Shift transmission, which is now used in 83% of the trucks sold.

I-See uses GPRS/3G technology to download data about the hills on your route. If you approach a hill that is not already in the database, or in I-See's working memory, information about the hill will be recorded and then the data will be uploaded and made available to other I-See users. This collective knowledge makes it possible to maximize fuel savings even on a new run.

Volvo is also working on other improvements including Eco-Roll, which disengages the driveline just before the start of the downhill gradient to let the truck roll for the optimum period to save energy. According to Allison Athey, Volvo product marketing manager – transmissions, "Volvo Eco-Roll and the intelligent Volvo Engine Brake (VEB) work seamlessly together to minimize the need for braking, reducing driver fatigue and brake wear. The driver is more productive, and the vehicle is more efficient." Volvo is also utilizing down speeding, which uses gearing to take advantage of peak torque at lower RPM resulting in better fuel consumption. Another example is the implementation of turbo compounding, which adds 50 horsepower by recapturing waste heat. Compared to other versions of Volvo’s D13 engine, it can save 6.5 percent on fuel consumption.

Volvo Trucks VNL630 i-see

All of Volvo's new innovations in trucking technology are designed to increase efficiency and safety while increasing usability and helping the driver be more productive. These improvements are tangible for the driver and will create a better driving experience.

At Surgenor Automotive Group, we are dedicated to providing you the highest quality at the best prices. We are your Volvo Trucks experts; please contact us today for more information.