Volvo FH trucks were introduced to the world in 1993. From there onwards, FH has evolved to become the backbone of Volvo trucks. A unique driver focus and a truly revolutionary cab paved the way for the instant success of the Volvo FH. Even after a quarter of a century later it remains an innovative leader, not the least within areas that directly benefit drivers, such as safety and driver care.
Claes Nilsson, President Volvo Trucks, sees the Volvo FH as the backbone of Volvo Trucks when it comes to image as well as creating profitability for the customers and offer a state of the art workplace for the drivers. He recalls how the bold introduction in 1993 marked the start of a very successful time for Volvo Trucks. “We were coming towards the end of a recession but decided to make a big push. This proved a real success. We launched the FH at the right time and had the most attractive product when the economy and transport market turned upwards again,” says Claes Nilsson.
The first ever Volvo FH was based on a new chassis whose dynamic design facilitated flexible solutions for different transport applications. Everything had a clear business focus, including the fuel-saving aerodynamics, groundbreaking driveline and the Volvo Engine Brake. Volvo Trucks early on decided to put the driver at center stage and over 1,500 drivers took part in extensive clinics. The end-result – a safer and comfortable cab that created a whole new driving, resting and sleeping experience. “Volvo Trucks has always been driving progress. Introducing the FH was a bigger step than before, one that really shows the drive of our engineers to use new technologies to add value to our customers and their drivers,” says Claes Nilsson.
However, apart from driving comfort, Volvos are best known for their safety standards. Safety has been the guiding star when designing the cab. During the development, the truck was subjected to thousands of simulated collision tests and around a hundred real crash tests. Collision-absorbing beams and doors are made of dual-phase steel and the body paneling is made from the strongest available steel. In short, every detail of the exterior and interior design work together to make the Volvo FH the safest truck to date from Volvo Trucks.
Furthermore, Volvo FH trucks were also part of some groundbreaking innovations. The revolutionary gearbox I-Shift (2001) was the prominent one. The I-Shift Dual Clutch is especially beneficial for regional and long haul transports on hilly and curvy routes. All gear-changes are precisely timed without loss of power or torque, which improves driver comfort and allows higher average speed. Environmental care is one of Volvo Trucks’ core values, and year by year the Volvo FH has reduced its emissions and fuel consumption. A major leap came in 2017 with the launch of Volvo FH LNG. This gas-powered truck delivers the same performance as other Volvo FH trucks, it can be run on either biogas, which cuts CO2 by up to 100 per cent, or natural gas which reduces CO2 emissions by 20 per cent compared with diesel.
The Volvo FH is the only model to be named truck of the year three times – 1994, 2000 and 2014 – and almost one million units of the model has been sold. Moreover, it will deliver more in the future days as well.