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Safety

The world’s safest Volvo

Focusing on safety, says director of product management Fred Whitt, has been a part of Volvo Trucks’ mindset since the outset. And its effects ripple outward. “From a humanitarian perspective, it’s the right thing to do,” Whitt says. “It’s not just about protecting the driver, it’s about protecting everybody else on the road as well.”

 In the new Volvo VNL, safety is not a collection of features. It’s a design imperative, built from the inside out. “We set the standard for safety, so we can’t compromise. We can’t take shortcuts,” says Whitt. “We have always held ourselves to a higher standard because it’s been part of our makeup from the very beginning.”

Safety 

The one and only “Volvo is the only…” When you talk about safety with the people at Volvo Trucks’ Greensboro, NC, headquarters, you hear a lot of sentences start that way.

The Volvo VNL is the only longhaul truck with a warning that displays on the windshield. Volvo trucks are the only trucks with standard driver-side airbags.

A fortress at the center But it starts at the heart of things—the cab. Fortified more than ever before, the Volvo VNL cab exceeds the new, tougher ECE29 standards.

“Nobody tests their cabs like we do,” Whitt says. “Our competitors like to say they ‘meet or exceed’ crash standards, which means they meet them. We exceed them.”

The Volvo VNL is the only longhaul cabs built from highstrength steel. Which is why the Volvo VNL is the only longhaul truck that exceeds both of the globally acknowledged crash safety tests.

We set the standard for safety, so we can't compromise

Safely seated When Volvo Trucks put new, more comfortable seats in the Volvo VNL, they offered a rollover bag that was integrated in the driver’s seat.

Their advanced seats also allow more relaxed driving and improves visibility over the front of the truck, further decreasing blind spots. And every seat is sled-tested to meet the company’s rigid standards

Active measures Core strength protects drivers in a crash, but the new VNL has technology to actively avoid accidents.

One option: advanced front-end collision avoidance that senses when a vehicle is rapidly slowing or stopped on the highway and begins actively braking. Another available system senses when the trailer is in danger of rolling or jackknifing and applies brakes to individual wheels to stabilize the truck.

“Not only do these technologies protect drivers, they cut costs,” brand development director Rob Simpson says. “Instead of a devastating rollover that causes injury, totals the truck and damages the load, you might end up with minor property damage.”

Finding another gear Even when you’re talking about features that don’t seem to be primarily about safety, it finds its way into the conversation. The Volvo VNL is the only longhaul truck with I-Shift… and fleets that switch to I-Shift have reported 22% fewer accidents.

“With I-Shift drivers don’t have to worry about catching a gear if they’re pulling out of a parking lot on grade,” Simpson says. “They can pull in and out of traffic in a safe, controlled way.”

Safety is not just part of the Volvo product, Simpson says. “Safety is in the Volvo DNA.”

Safety Highlights

Wave Piston

Catching the wave

A new, patented piston design uses a wave-shaped tab inside the piston. The injector sprays fuel directly onto the tab, which deflects the fuel back to the center of the cylinder for a cleaner burn. The wave tab eliminates wet spots on the cylinder walls and reduces soot. “Engineers in Hagerstown found a 90% reduction in soot because of this piston,” says Brett Pope.

Fuel Efficiency Packages

Squeezing more from every drop

The XE engine package creates efficiencies. I-Shift transmission with overdrive and I-See predictive cruise control create savings both in heavy traffic and on the open road. Packages include low rolling resistance tires for even more fuel savings.

Engine Design

Safety in (smaller) numbers

Because they’re smaller — and don’t require the cooling package of a larger engine — the new D11 and D13 engines allowed Volvo designers to shrink hood lengths and tuck fenders tighter. The result? Increased visibility. And the quieter, smoother engine means less driver fatigue, another safety plus.

Common Rail Fuel Delivery

Special delivery

A common rail fuel delivery system allows for an assembled camshaft, which saves 21 pounds of weight. Common rail also allows the engine to run more smoothly, cutting noise and vibrations to the cab. The results? A noticeably quieter engine, fuel savings, less wear and tear on the camshaft and longer engine life—plus calmer, more relaxed drivers.