Volvo Trucks North America Reaches 200,000-Unit Connectivity Milestone, Continuing Leadership in the Industry
As a global leader in connectivity, Volvo Trucks is at the forefront of developing, testing and introducing commercially viable transport solutions equipped with state-of-the-art technologies. The company announced a milestone of reaching over 200,000 connected vehicles in North America on October 28, 2019 at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show in Atlanta, Georgia. This figure is part of more than 560,000 connected trucks globally in the Volvo Trucks family, and is part of the greater total recently reached of one million connected vehicles in Volvo Group worldwide.
“Over the past few years, marked improvements in connectivity have driven change and formed real-world opportunities in the trucking industry for safer, smarter and more sustainable operations,” said Ash Makki, product marketing manager, Volvo Trucks North America. “We are proud to reach this milestone, and will continue to expand and grow our connected solutions for our customers while driving the industry towards a more connected future.”
The Volvo Trucks Uptime Center is a key aspect of offering customers the best in connected services with 24/7 live support behind the technologies. Every dedicated professional at the Volvo Trucks Uptime Center is a well-trained Volvo Trucks employee. Real-time, seamless interaction between the expert personnel of Volvo Action Services and customer decision-makers and drivers optimize Volvo Trucks’ connectivity services.
Volvo Trucks continuously investigates new opportunities and technologies with a vision to connect the bigger picture for customers now and in the future. And the company has been on the leading edge of connectivity for years.
A Heritage of Innovation in Connectivity
As early as 2012, Volvo Trucks introduced Remote Diagnostics, which enables customers to reliably transmit information to and from their trucks and monitor fault codes in real-time, delivering assessments and solutions based on severity. This allows for faster and more comprehensive diagnostics and repairs, while also providing fleets with information on driving habits, fuel usage, truck performance and more.
The next advancement from Volvo Trucks was Remote Programming, which works hand-in-hand with Remote Diagnostics and allows for over-the-air software and parameter updates to be made in a matter of minutes when the truck is in a stationary position with cellular service. These solutions served as the foundation of Volvo Trucks’ future technologies that are now included in its industry-leading connectivity offerings.
Continuing forward, Volvo Trucks then announced the partnership with global analytics leader SAS, enhancing Remote Diagnostics with an advanced analytics platform and use of artificial intelligence for a more precise analysis of the truck. That same year, Volvo Trucks announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with transportation software leader Trimble Transportation Enterprise to develop transportation management and fleet maintenance products and services.
In the last year alone, Volvo Trucks has announced a number of new products and services further enhancing connectivity in its vehicles, including an expansion of parameter updates, its new Dynamic Maintenance service and Geotab Drive.
The Parameter Plus Package, allowing for up to 50 remote parameter updates annually per vehicle, was the first iteration of the innovative subscription package enabling customers to reach peak performance while maximizing uptime. Volvo Trucks then expanded upon this with a new series of updates, providing customers with over 250 parameters to choose from, complementing the Parameter Plus package.
Next, Volvo Trucks introduced Dynamic Maintenance, a connected vehicle maintenance service intended to improve fleet operations efficiency through proactive maintenance planning. This service was designed in partnership with Noregon Systems to enable customized service plans at an individual-vehicle level to improve fleet management for its customers.
And just recently, Volvo Trucks announced the introduction of Geotab Drive, a streamlined FMCSA-compliant Electronic Logging Device (ELD), developed in partnership with world-class telematics leader Geotab. The integrated, cloud-based system provides customers with a seamless solution to monitor and record accurate logs.
Continued Legacy of Leadership
Volvo Trucks continues to lead the industry regarding connectivity, using data gathered from existing technologies to uncover new ways to deliver value to its customers for more productive and efficient transport solutions.
“As we continue to demonstrate our leadership position in connectivity, we strive to offer our customers the most advanced technology as quickly as possible,” said Makki. “As amazing as cutting-edge advancements in connected technology can be, we know our customers will always be the most important factor in driving the industry forward, with the bigger picture in mind.”
CAPTION: Volvo Trucks’ connectivity services are now available in more than 200,000 commercial vehicles in North America. The company continues to drive the industry with more a more connected future.
Volvo Trucks North America Adds FlowBelow to Aerodynamic Offerings, Further Increasing Fuel Efficiency
Volvo Trucks introduces the FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit, which includes a system of wheel covers and fairings designed for improved aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, as a factory-installed option in Q2 2020. The announcement was made on October 28, 2019 at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show in Atlanta, Georgia.
“The aerodynamics of our trucks have a significant impact on fuel efficiency and our customers’ bottom line,” said Allison Athey, product marketing manager, Volvo Trucks North America. “The new FlowBelow package offers our customers an enhanced aerodynamic option, providing up to an additional 1% increase in fuel efficiency when combined with our most aerodynamic truck spec including the Xceed fuel efficiency package, and a dry van with trailer skirts, further reducing environmental footprints.”
The FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit is a complete system designed to minimize turbulence and improve aerodynamics by surrounding the drive wheels to better manage the air that moves around the tractor while in motion. The system consists of wheel covers, a center fairing between the wheels and a rear fairing behind the wheels. These pieces work together to maintain control of the airflow from end to end, keeping the air running along the side of the truck and around the wheels. The air is then funneled out when it reaches the back of the truck, jumping the gap between truck and trailer.
“Heavy-duty trucks experience a great deal of turbulence and drag due to their sheer size and speed at which they travel down the road,” said Josh Butler, president and founder, FlowBelow Aero, Inc. “The FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit significantly decreases the impact of those factors, optimizing the surface along the side of the truck to make it more aerodynamic, leading to better fuel mileage and real savings for customers.”
Not only does the FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit improve the efficiency of the truck, it provides a variety of styling options with wheel covers available in black, white and chrome, and fairings available in black and white. The wheel covers and fairings are both durable and flexible, enabling them to better withstand road conditions, debris and contaminants while also providing easy access for drivers and mechanics.
Volvo Trucks will begin offering factory-installed FlowBelow wheel covers and fairings separately, as well as the full FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit included with its Xceed fuel efficiency package as a customer option for truck orders in 4×2, 6×2, and 6×4 axle configurations by the end of 2019. Volvo Trucks will offer factory installation of the FlowBelow system for all VNL and VNR models in Q2 2020.
CAPTION: Volvo Trucks adds FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit as factory-installed option for improved aerodynamics and increased fuel efficiency.
Volvo Trucks North America Customers Participate in 2019 Run on Less Regional Initiative in Volvo VNR Truck Models
C&S Wholesale Grocers, the largest wholesale grocery distributor in the United States, and Ploger Transportation, a leading regional carrier based in Norwalk, Ohio, participated in the 2019 Run on Less Regional initiative driving Volvo VNRs. The initiative culminated at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) show.
The roadshow included 10 regional-haul fleets from across the industry seeking to demonstrate how increased fuel economy and transport efficiency is achievable in the regional-haul segment. The professional drivers were measured in real-time along their routes by a number of factors including miles traveled, fuel consumed, elevation changes, environmental factors, pickups and deliveries, vehicle speed and more.
“We selected the fleets for the 2019 Run on Less Regional initiative based on their history of efficiency and use of technology. We worked with them on routes, payload, and other considerations that represent the nature of regional hauling,” said Mike Roeth, executive director, North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE). “The results from this year’s program can be used to educate the industry with real-world data, enabling other regional-haul companies and their drivers to increase efficiency and ultimately be more profitable.”
The Run on Less Regional initiative featured a diverse group of carriers from across the country, driving truck models from various OEMs, tailored for their specific applications. C&S Wholesale Grocers driver Louis Scaruffi ran out-and-back deliveries to grocery stores across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida in a 2019 Volvo VNR 300 day cab with a Volvo D13 engine and 6×4 configuration. Ploger Transportation driver Travis Lauer ran similar routes, making out-and-back deliveries to various stores from Norwalk, Ohio to Dunkirk, New York with additional stops in Michigan in a 2018 Volvo VNR 640 sleeper with a Volvo D11 engine and a 6×2 adaptive loading configuration.
Scaruffi has driven over three million miles during his 42 years as a professional driver, spending 38 of those years with C&S. The veteran driver is fuel-efficiency conscious, using his long-term experiences on the road to efficiently navigate traffic and make calculated and proactive decisions on braking and accelerating. His driving skills, combined with the aerodynamic design of the Volvo VNR, Active Cruise Control (ACC) and 12-speed Volvo I-Shift transmission enables him to maximize efficiency. Scaruffi’s 2019 Volvo VNR 300 also features a roof fairing, trailer skirts, fuel tank skirts, cab side extenders and a FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit for improved aerodynamics and fuel economy.
“C&S continuously evaluates our assets to determine how to add the most value to our operations, considering truck performance, efficiency, driver feedback and many other factors,” said Chris Trajkovski, vice president, Transportation, Fleet Maintenance & Assets, Safety & Compliance at C&S Wholesale Grocers, which runs a fleet of approximately 85% Volvo trucks. “Data and feedback from Louis and other drivers, and the results of the Run on Less Regional initiative show Volvo trucks provide the ideal balance of performance and efficiency, using an appropriate amount of torque while optimizing for fuel economy.”
Ploger driver Lauer, who started driving professionally at age 18 for the U.S. Army, has four years of experience driving heavy-duty trucks and has proven himself to be a savvy driver, utilizing technologies available in Volvo trucks such as the 12-speed Volvo I-Shift transmission with Eco-Roll and ACC to maximize fuel efficiency. Lauer’s 2018 Volvo VNR 640 also features an automatic tire inflation system and PedalCoach MPG tool, which presents visual cues to optimize driving for improved efficiency. These factors, in addition to the Volvo D11 engine and 6×2 adaptive loading configuration, combine to optimize fuel economy on every run.
“It’s hard to train people to drive as well as Travis does, but Volvo trucks make it easier for any driver to run more efficiently,” said Shane Sattler, fleet maintenance manager, Ploger Transportation. “The trucks are already efficient before we put anyone in the driver’s seat, but when you have someone as skilled as Travis behind the wheel, it improves efficiency even more and ultimately reduces overhead costs for our company.”
“Volvo Trucks is thrilled to have our long-time customers C&S Wholesale Grocers and Ploger Transportation participate in the Run on Less Regional event in our regional Volvo VNR models,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “Both fleets have an excellent reputation for innovation, utilizing the latest available technologies, and their participation in this initiative is a testament to their commitment to furthering the best driving practices and efficiency. Additionally, the Run on Less Regional initiative highlights safe and experienced drivers, and with the reduced fuel usage, increases the sustainability efforts of our customers and positively impacts the environment.”
CAPTION: Louis Scaruffi of C&S Wholesale Grocers (top) and Travis Lauer of Ploger Transportation (bottom) participated in the Run on Less Regional initiative in Volvo VNR models, showcasing superior fuel efficiency in regional-haul applications.
Volvo Trucks’ New VNR 660 Model Offers Lighter-Weight, Shorter-Length Solutions for Regional-Haul Customers with a new High-Roof Sleeper for Added Space and Comfort
Volvo Trucks North America introduces the new Volvo VNR 660 truck model, expanding its offerings for regional-haul applications with specs related to length, weight and driver comfort. The new VNR 660 will be available for order in the first quarter of 2020. The announcement was made on October 28, 2019 at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show in Atlanta, Georgia.
In the trucking industry, transport companies need to adjust their operations to accommodate regulations such as federal or state bridge laws, length laws or weight limitations. The new Volvo VNR 660 offers customers a way to increase payload capacity while still satisfying certain length and weight requirements, and also features a sleeper cab; a unique feature for truck models optimized for regional haul.
“The new VNR 660 truck model addresses the needs of regional-haul customers looking for ways to increase payloads by decreasing the weight of the vehicle and enabling the use of longer trailer sizes without sacrificing efficiency,” said Chris Stadler, product marketing manager at Volvo Trucks North America. “This new model also offers the comfort and extra space of a high-roof sleeper, increasing driver comfort.”
The new Volvo VNR 660 features a shorter, 164” bumper to back-of-cab length that offers both weight savings from decreasing the overall size of the truck and the option to use more versatile tractor-trailer combinations for increased cargo capacity.
As an extension of the Volvo VNR product line, the new Volvo VNR 660 combines a high-roof configuration with a 61-inch sleeper that will comfortably accommodate an extra person for an overnight stop, making it ideal for local and regional routes that utilize team drivers. There is ample room for a refrigerator, microwave and television with storage above the driver and passenger seats. The new VNR 660 is available with the Volvo Premier Trim package, which includes wood-grain trim for the dash and cabinetry.
Other advantages of the new Volvo VNR 660 include the shorter hood design of the VNR product line, providing optimized visibility for the driver and excellent maneuverability in urban areas and easy docking in tight spaces. The new truck model comes standard with the Volvo D11 engine, the Volvo I-Shift transmission and Volvo Active Driver Assist (VADA) 2.0, the recently updated comprehensive collision mitigation system.
“At Volvo Trucks, it’s critical for us to understand our customers’ businesses and deliver solutions that increase their operational efficiency,” said Stadler. “In addition to a truck that meets application-specific needs, our regional-haul customers want improved living environments inside the cab to attract and maintain professional drivers. The new VNR 660 certainly accomplishes those objectives.”
CAPTION: Volvo Trucks’ new Volvo VNR 660 is designed for regional customers looking to meet length requirements, increase payload capacity and improve driver comfort.