The vocational truck market is highly competitive as the manufacturers try to continuously improve their models in order to keep the truckers satisfied. But apart from the engines, chassis and payloads which play a major role in the trucking industry, there is one thing that is more important than anything else. And that’s the vehicle’s reliability.
Volvo was always appreciated for two things, namely the safety and reliability of its vehicles. This is why the company continues to play a major role on the vocational market as its VHD model is one of the most appreciated and strong built trucks in its segment.
The truck is available in two versions including the VHD Standard and the VHD 430 which is available with both Day and Sleeper cab configurations.
Volvo’s VN lineup was already pretty versatile, but the company has also introduced a natural gas-powered version of the truck at Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.
Compared to the diesel models, the new CNG version doesn’t have any exterior or interior modifications and shares the same features as its siblings.
The natural gas-powered trucks represent a very efficient option for fleet owners and truckers who want to lower the fuel costs and this technology has already started to be seen with very good eyes in the commercial vehicles segment.
Ron Huibers, president, Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing said, “The addition of the Volvo natural gas-powered VNL daycab is just the most recent example of our longstanding commitment to offering products that positively impact the ROI of our customers. Developing fuel-efficient technology, whether through natural gas, diesel or hybrid, is a priority for Volvo Trucks. We were the first commercial vehicle manufacturer to offer EPA 2010-certified engines with no credits, and we’ve continued that legacy by focusing our efforts on offering fleets solutions that reduce their fuel costs.”
At Mid-America Trucking Show Volvo presented the innovative ‘Mean Green’ which is the world’s fastest hybrid truck ever built. On April 27th will attempt to break it last year record and to reach a top speed of 260 km/h (165 mph) at Wendover Airfield in Utah, USA. Last year the Volvo Mean Green was driven by Boije Ovebrink and managed to set the world’s speed record in the standing 500 metre, standing kilometre and flying kilometre.
The Volvo Mean Green uses a modified aerodynamic VN cab and develops a massive 2,100 horsepower and nearly 5,000 lb-ft (6779 Nm) of torque – of which 200 horsepower and 885 lb-ft (1200 Nm) of torque come from the electric motor.
“Technology and innovation are at the core of our business,” said Ron Huibers, president, Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing. “’Mean Green’ is a prime example of Volvo’s technical capabilities and our continued focus on emerging technologies. Our engineers developed the world’s fastest hybrid truck utilising the same Volvo hybrid drive system powering hundreds of Volvo buses throughout the world - including London’s double-decker buses.”
Volvo’s team of hybrid technology experts adapted Volvo’s hybrid driveline to the chassis requirements of a world-class truck built for speed. Engineers then outfitted ‘Mean Green’ with a highly-tuned Volvo D16 engine and a modified version of Volvo’s automated I-Shift gearbox, which interacts with the hybrid’s electric motor.
“The result is a lightning-speed boost from start-off without any of the customary diesel-engine delay,” said Boije Ovebrink, ‘Mean Green’s owner and driver. “It’s like a champagne cork, but without the sound effects. For the first couple of seconds the truck just makes a slight whistle until the diesel engine, which runs on renewable liquid rosin diesel, starts delivering with an explosive force.”