The great shift

Volvo Trucks product marketing manager Allison Athey drives a truck. “I learned on a manual and it was painful,” Athey says. “Every day I’d go home wiped out from shifting all day. Then I went on a trip driving an I-Shift and I was amazed by how much more relaxed I was, how much more I could focus on the road and my trailer safety.”

 Ten years ago, the I-Shift was something entirely new to trucking. Last year customers wanted I-Shift transmissions in 83% of the Volvo trucks sold. Recently, the 100,000th I-Shift — all of which are manufactured at Volvo Trucks’ Hagerstown, Md., facility — was sold to a dealer fleet in Missoula, Montana.

VNR IShift

Shifting forward And this year, Volvo Trucks is introducing a new version. With it comes a host of improvements meant to make the transmission smoother, more durable and efficient.

Customers who understand the nuts and bolts of trucks will understand that a larger spring pack on the clutch absorbs more vibration, which eases wear and tear all the way down the driveline and reduces noise to the cab. They’ll see enhanced countershaft brakes, new engaging sleeves and shift fork configuration all making the I-Shift even smoother and faster under heavier stress and repeated shifting.

But mostly they’ll see a great recruiting tool made even more attractive to drivers.

“We have very good shifting performance already, probably the best out here,” Athey says, “But we’ve improved it further. Everybody can be a good driver in a Volvo truck with I-Shift truck. And it makes an excellent driver even better.”

This transmission changed the industry. We’re proud to make it even better

Easy on the driver The I-Shift literally lifts the burden of shifting from drivers’ shoulders. It’s easier on their bodies and less stressful. Because drivers can keep two hands on the wheel, it’s also safer.

“The I-Shift helps to get more drivers into trucks,” Athey says, “and it extend the careers of veteran drivers.”

More efficient memories Another thing dealers and drivers will like in the new I-Shift is predictive cruise control software called I-See, which takes advantage of the truck’s momentum in an intelligent manner to save fuel.

I-See geo-locates and memorizes hills on frequently traveled routes. As the truck approaches a familiar hill, the cruise control software combines load weight with the grade and length of the hill to shift the transmission in the most efficient way possible.

On a recognized downhill, the transmission will disengage the driveline so the truck can coast — or Eco-Roll — to save even more fuel.

Connections, connections And the I-Shift is now part of the connected vehicle. It allows Volvo Trucks to be the only manufacturer providing remote diagnostics for the transmission.

“The Volvo engine and Volvo I-Shift are literally tuned and built and tested together and mated and made to work together,” Athey says. “Drivers can feel that difference in the truck.”

I-Shift Highlights

Collision Avoidance System

High tech hero

Scans the road ahead for rapidly slowing or stopped vehicles or other objects. Actively applies brakes while alerting driver audibly and visually with windshield display. Enhanced stability system warns driver and applies active braking when trailer is approaching roll-over.

LED Lights

Even brighter, even quicker

One of the greatest contributors to driver fatigue is the inability to see clearly. LED lights can be aimed and shaped much more accurately. They shine farther down the road, giving drivers far greater reaction time. “You can really put the light where you need it to be,” says Rob Simpson.

Rollover air bag

Rollover air bag

The Volvo VNR adds the option of a side rollover airbag for the driver. Built into the seat, this airbag deploys in case of a rollover to help prevent contact with the side of the cab. This bag complements the standard steering wheel-mounted driver-side airbag.

Safety Packages

Make the safest even safer

Safety is not optional, but Volvo Active Driver Assist, electric backup alarm plus a park brake alarm and fire extinguisher comprise the Safety+ package. Add the Volvo Active Driver Assist with Lane Change Support, Lane Departure Warning, a security immobilizer system and a Rolltek driver seat with air bag and you give your drivers the safest Volvo truck ever built.