When asked the question: What makes Volvo trucks so safe? MTD Product Engineer, Jamie Bell doesn’t hesitate. “Volvo always goes one step further with safety, looking beyond mandated standards. Take the cab for starters – it’s fully steel with no fibreglass, tested not only to European ECE cab strength standards but also the Swedish cab test. This isn’t a requirement, but Volvo still puts its products through this test – it’s a lot more stringent than the mandated checks.”
Volvo innovation around safety is always one step ahead of the pack, with many safety features now replicated in other truck brands. When asked what differentiates Volvo trucks as we move into the 2020’s, Jamie pointed to the Volvo frontal under-run protection system (FUPS) and dynamic steering.
FUPS is mandated in Europe and Australia to stop vehicles from going under the front of trucks in the event of an accident. On other truck brands, the FUPS pushes the oncoming vehicle out of the way. Volvo FUPS is designed to crumple, absorbing the impact and giving the other driver a better chance of survival. This design also helps to safeguard Volvo customers’ investment by protecting the truck steering system and front axle.
On New Zealand’s undulating roads, another key safety feature helps truck drivers to fight fatigue. Jamie explains: “No other truck brand has the equivalent of Volvo dynamic steering. In New Zealand, our roads are designed so that water drains away quickly from the surface, but you feel every dip. In a Volvo truck, an electric motor on top of the steering box provides variable power steering and removes harsh feedback from the road. This makes it much easier to keep the truck moving along in a straight line without the driver making constant adjustments to the steering wheel.”
“A Volvo is a Volvo from bumper to bumper,” he concludes. “All of our components are designed and engineered to work together, delivering far superior handling and driveability. Just ask any Volvo truck driver.”