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Volvo debuts ‘rugged yet refined’ new VNX series for heavy-haul applications

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The new Volvo VNX series is available in three cab sizes — daycab, 42inch sleeper and 70-inch sleeper. The VNX 740 (above) features a 70-inch sleeper with all of Volvo’s latest interior enhancements, providing premium accommodations when heavy hauls stretch over long distances, company spokesmen said. (Courtesy: VOLVO TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Volvo Trucks has debuted what it calls a “rugged, yet refined” new VNX series built specifically for the needs of heavy-haul trucking operations.

Available with up to 605 horsepower and 2,050 lb.-ft. of torque, the VNX provides the power and performance demanded for heavy-haul applications such as logging, heavy equipment transport, and long combination vehicles, according to Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America, who said the new VNX series is the latest step in Volvo’s revitalization of its North American product range, complementing the new VNR series for regional haul and the new VNL series for long-haul operations, both introduced mid-2017.

“We’re excited to bring the new VNX to the heavy-haul market and we know that it will live up to the expectations of those doing heavy, hard jobs,” Nyberg said. “Volvo Trucks in part built its reputation as a global heavy-duty leader by knowing how to deliver heavy loads in far less than ideal road and weather conditions.”

The Volvo VNX series is available in three cab configurations.

“The VNX 300 day cab provides muscle and maneuverability for local heavy-haul applications,” Nyberg said. “The VNX 400 flat-roof regional sleeper is built for occasional overnights. The new VNX 740 features a 70-inch sleeper and all of Volvo’s latest interior enhancements, making it the perfect tool for heavy hauls over long distances.”

Approved gross combination weight ratings (GCWR) span from 125,000 to 160,000 pounds. Ratings of up to 225,000 pounds are available with application approval and appropriate components. Optional steer axles, lift axles, tridem drive axles, and longer fifth-wheel slides help meet a diverse range of weight distribution requirements.

“The new VNX is the ultimate blend of Volvo’s modern, aerodynamic design and pure purpose-built performance,” said Chris Stadler, Volvo Trucks North America product marketing manager, regional haul. “From end-to-end, every feature of the VNX is built to stand up to any heavy-haul job you throw at it. Improvements are easy to see throughout the VNX including the bumper, axles, suspensions, braking, powertrain, and more.”

Available in 6×4 tandem, 8×4 tandem and 8×6 tridem configurations, the Volvo VNX offers a wide range of heavy-haul components to ensure it’s properly spec’d for the job, Stadler said. Front axle ratings range from 16,000 to 20,000 pounds with parabolic springs. The VNX is available with up to 445 tires to match front axle load capacity. Available rear axles range from 46,000 to 55,000 pounds and the premium rear heavy-haul suspension ranges up to 52,000 pounds. Dual steering gears provide excellent maneuverability while under a heavy load. The imposing VNX provides an increased ride height to accommodate more articulation and front ramp angle, while the VNX bumper features a heavy-duty tow pin and center tow frame that equalizes forces to the chassis.

The standard powertrain package for the Volvo VNX is a Volvo D13 engine with 500 horsepower and 1,850 lb.-ft. of torque, paired with the 13- or 14-speed Volvo I-Shift with Crawler Gears automated manual transmission.

“The performance and reliability of the Volvo D13 engine has been proven through billions of miles and on jobsites all around the world,” said John Moore, Volvo Trucks North America product marketing manager – powertrain. “The Volvo D13 engine with 500 horsepower, 1,850 lb.-ft. of torque is a beast and the perfect pair with the Volvo IShift with Crawler Gears for serious heavy-haul jobs.”

Volvo’s VNX series is also available with up to 605 horsepower and 2,050 lb.-ft. of torque, provided by the Cummins X15 Performance Series engine and paired with an Eaton Ultra Shift Plus or manual transmission.

Like all Volvo models, the new VNX series cab is built with high-strength steel and exceeds both the Volvo Swedish Cab Safety Test and ECE R-29 rollover requirements. The industry’s only standard driver’s side airbag is now joined by an integrated, seat-mounted rollover airbag on the driver’s side.

 

Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology (VEST), an electronic stability control system, is standard on all Volvo VNX models. By continually monitoring operating parameters, VEST detects imminent loss of control, jackknife, or rollover events. The system automatically reduces engine torque and selectively applies braking to help the driver keep the truck on course

The Volvo VNX series is equipped with automotive-quality LED headlights that produce abundant bright light to improve visibility. Automatic lighting and rain-sensing wipers are also available to improve safety.

“The VNX is a heavy-haul work tool for demanding jobs, and it gives professional drivers a comfortable working environment for performing at their best,” Stadler said. “The workspace was designed for maximum comfort and productivity, while the sleeper was designed to offer drivers a calm, restful space for their hours off the road.”

The dashboard on the VNX has been optimized to reduce distraction by displaying the critical information a professional driver needs at a quick glance and by grouping frequently used controls within easy reach. A configurable, five-inch color driver information display with improved graphics works with steering wheel-mounted controls providing key operating information, as well as the ability to choose your preferred diagnostic data.

A dash-top tray with multiple USB and 12V connections provides a safe, convenient home for a driver’s many gadgets, which can also be linked to the optional in-dash infotainment system. Always in view, the instrument cluster’s clean, symmetrical layout and diffused, light-green backlighting makes it easy to read, reducing eyestrain and fatigue.

All Volvo VNX models come standard with Volvo’s factory-installed connectivity hardware for access to Remote Diagnostics, which provides proactive diagnostics and monitoring of critical engine, transmission and aftertreatment trouble codes. The same hardware also allows customers to perform software and parameter updates over-the-air with Remote Programming, which helps improve uptime and vehicle efficiency, while reducing downtime costs.

Support for Volvo trucks is provided by Volvo Action Service (VAS), a dedicated team of professionals available around the clock at Volvo’s world-class Uptime Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. VAS agents monitor critical vehicle codes and go beyond diagnostic technology to deliver actionable solutions. If an issue is detected, VAS agents will assess the severity and provide the vehicle’s designated contact with actionable information to determine whether to keep operating the truck or take it for immediate service. All details from the service process are captured and tracked through ASIST, Volvo’s online service management and communication platform. This gives the driver, customer contact and dealer real-time visibility to case status, repair scheduling, and parts and service bay availability. Remote Programming updates are also facilitated by VAS agents.

 

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Equipment

Great Dane manufacturing facility produces 125,000th trailer

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The 125,000th trailer to come off the line at the Wayne plant was a new Everest Single-Temp reefer designed exclusively for Schuster Company of Le Mars, Iowa, a customer of Great Dane’s since 1988.
(Courtesy: GREAT DANE)

WAYNE, Neb. — Great Dane’s Wayne, Nebraska, manufacturing facility revealed the production of its 125,000th refrigerated trailer during a commemorative celebration held at the plant.

Attendees of the celebration included Wayne’s Mayor Cale Geise, Schuster Company President Steve Schuster and Jim Hawk Truck Trailers President Jim Hawk III.

Great Dane’s President Dean Engelage, along with representatives from the Wayne facility and the company’s corporate offices in Chicago, Illinois, and Savannah, Georgia, were also in attendance.

The 125,000th trailer to come off the line at the Wayne plant was a new Everest Single-Temp reefer designed exclusively for Schuster Company of Le Mars, Iowa, a customer of Great Dane’s since 1988.

“We’re extremely proud to reach this historic milestone here in Wayne,” said Lee Byers, plant manager. “It’s a clear testament to the high quality of the product we produce and to the spirit of the hundreds of hard-working craftsmen who build these best-in-class trailers for our valued customers.”

The Wayne manufacturing facility produces Great Dane’s premier Everest Single-Temp refrigerated trailers, which are primarily used for long-haul truckload operations.

This 257,000-square-foot, 83-acre facility began operations in 1986 with two production lines and has since undergone five building additions.

Today, the Wayne plant employs nearly 700 people and builds 5,000 trailers per year for some of the nation’s largest fleets, including Schuster, Walmart, IWX, JFI, Marten Transport, Decker, Freymiller, Van Wyk, Interide, California Overland, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Sargento and more.

For more information. Visit Great Dane online at www.greatdane.com.

 

 

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Coalition again pushing for 33-foot twin trailers, sends letter to infrastructure panel members

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FedEx is a member of the Americans for Modern Transportation Coalition and has long been a proponent of twin 33-foot trailers. (Associated Press: JUSTIN KASE CONDER)

WASHINGTON — The Americans for Modern Transportation Coalition is continuing its effort to allow twin 33-foot trailers on the nation’s highways.

The standard for tandems currently is twin 28-foot trailers.

In a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Ranking Member Sam Graves, D-Mo., the coalition identified longer trailers as a way policy makers can leverage technologies and efficiencies developed by the private sector to create “the infrastructure system of the future.”

In the letter, coalition Executive Director Randy Mullett said years of underinvestment and a lack of attention to the nation’s infrastructure has left American families in harm’s way, spurred economic inefficiencies, and put undue stress on the environment.

“At no cost to taxpayers, Congress can act to modernize trucking equipment and increase the national twin trailer standard from 28 feet to 33 feet,” Mullett said.

He listed what he called “immediate and meaningful improvements” such as:

  • Reduced congestion because gains from twin 33-foot trailers would mean fewer trucks on the road and 53.2 million hours saved due to less congestion
  • Improved safety because twin 33s “perform better than many other truck configurations on four critical safety measures, including stability and rollover.” Research shows that the adoption of twin 33-foot trailers would result in 4,500 fewer truck accidents annually, Mullett maintains.
  • Economic benefits because 33-foot trailers can move the same amount of freight with 18 percent fewer truck trips, allowing consumers and businesses to realize $2.6 billion annually in lower shipping costs and quicker delivery times
  • Longer life cycles for roads and bridges because use of the longer trailers would result in 3.1 billion fewer truck miles traveled each year, and
  • Environmental gains because these trailers would equate to 255 million fewer gallons of fuel and 2.9 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions.

“The private sector continues to make investments in our workforce, new technologies, and existing equipment to ensure that our fleets are as efficient, sustainable, and safe as possible,” Mullett wrote.

“We need the same forward-looking effort from our partners in federal, state and local governments so that all Americans have access to the full promise enabled by a modern transportation system. We look forward to working with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to seize this opportunity to usher the country into a new era of safety

and infrastructure investment.”

Among the members of the coalition are FedEx and UPS, two companies that have vigorously fought to get Congressional approval of the longer trailers.

 

 

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ACT Research says preliminary January trailer orders show 7% drop from December

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An ACT Research executive said with backlogs extending through the year for dry vans and reefers, OEMs would likely need to quickly open 2020 orderbooks to allow for further backlog growth in the near-term. (Courtesy: GREAT DANE)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — ACT’s preliminary estimate for January 2019 net trailer orders is 25,800 units.

Final volume will be available later this month.

ACT said its methodology allows it to generate a preliminary estimate of the market that should be within +/- 3 percent of the final order tally.

“While the industry had the weakest January order volume since 2016, it was still sufficient enough to generate very minor orderboard growth,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s Director of CV transportation analysis and research. “January net orders were off 7 percent versus December and 35 percent down year-over-year. Slower dry van and reefer trailer volume contributed to the declines. Indications are lower orders were not the result of weak fleet demand, as some OEMs report unwillingness to accept additional orders that would extend orderboards that, according to some reports, already fill available 2019 build slots.”

Maly also noted that the slight gain in the orderboard means that January was the third consecutive month that the industry posted an all-time record backlog, although the pace of improvement is beginning to wane.

“With backlogs extending through the year for dry vans and reefers, OEMs would likely need to quickly open 2020 orderbooks to allow for further backlog growth in the near-term,” he said. “Also, although the industry reported the highest monthly cancellations since August 2016, the rate of cancellations versus the orderboard remains well within acceptable limits.”

ACT Research is a leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies.

More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

 

 

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