GREENSBORO, N.C. — Volvo Trucks North America’s flagship, the iconic VNL model, will reach a milestone 25th anniversary this year. Since 1996, the VNL has been assembled at Volvo’s New River Valley manufacturing plant in Virginia, and the truck has become the manufacturer’s most popular model.
“Volvo Trucks first revolutionized the North American trucking industry by introducing the first fully integrated sleeper compartment, raising the bar and changing perceptions about truck driving as a professional career,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “The introduction of the Volvo VNL in 1996 continued that legacy of innovation and influence, bringing breakthroughs in design and technology that have reshaped standards of excellence for our customers, their drivers and our industry for 25 years, and will continue to do so for years to come.”
When the VNL model first hit the highways of the U.S. a quarter-century ago, the aerodynamic shape, which dramatically improved airflow and fuel efficiency, turned heads. In 1997, the VNL debuted the dinette — a workstation that converts to a bunk — changing the standard for long-haul cabin interiors.
Safety features, such as a high-strength steel cab and driver-side airbag, are standard on Volvo’s VNL models. In 2005, Volvo made the first fully electronic stability control system for heavy-duty on-highway trucks a standard feature on the VNL.
In 2007, the Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission was made available on the VNL; by 2013, the I-Shift was standard on all models. According to Volvo, the I-Shift transmission improves fuel economy, increases driver comfort and safety, reduces driveline wear and extends transmission life.
Remote diagnostics became standard on the VNL in 2012; today, drivers have 24/7 access to real-time in-house support from the Volvo Uptime Center.
To help increase safety and comfort, in 2019 Volvo added dynamic steering as an option for the VNL. This tech monitors road and environmental inputs; then adds torque to the steering column to reduce strain.
Just this year, Volvo Trucks’ next-generation D13 turbo compound engine, first launched in the Volvo VNL in 2019, was made standard in the Volvo VNL 740, 760 and 860 models, providing optimized performance and efficiency for a wide range of applications and delivering up to 6% fuel economy improvements over the Volvo D13 VGT engine.
“On highways across North America, the design and performance of the Volvo VNL has been turning heads and positively impacting our customers’ businesses for 25 years,” said Allison Athey, product marketing manager for Volvo Trucks North America. “We look forward to what technological advancements and customer benefits the next 25 years will bring.”
As part of the VNL 25th anniversary celebration, all Volvo VNL models coming off the production line in 2021 will have special commemorative badges affixed to the exterior door panels. Customers interested in decals for their VNL models can obtain artwork by contacting their dealer or corporate sales representative.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.