On March 15 Volvo Trucks launched the new I-Shift with crawler gears. The new crawler ratios make it possible to start and drive with a gross combination weight of up to 325 tonnes – which is unique for a series-produced truck. But just how much weight can the transmission really handle? Volvo Trucks’ forthcoming test of ultimate strength will reveal the answer. In the challenge, Magnus Samuelsson, former winner of the “World’s Strongest Man” competition, and truck journalist Brian Weatherley will go head-to-head with the laws of physics and subject I-Shift with crawler gears to its toughest test.
“We already know that I-Shift with crawler gears can haul really heavy loads. With this challenge, we want to demonstrate the transmission’s immense capacity and show what the new crawler ratios can accomplish,” says Peter Hardin, Product Manager FM and FMX, Volvo Trucks.
“Attempting to move off from standstill with such a heavy load, like we’re doing here, is an immensely tough challenge for a regular series-produced truck with automated transmission. In my 30 years as a trucking journalist, I’ve never witnessed anything like it,” says Brian Weatherley.
On April 12, the film in which Magnus Samuelsson teams up with the I-Shift with crawler gears will premiere on Volvo Trucks’ YouTube channel.
Facts I-Shift with crawler gears
- I-Shift with crawler gears is a further development of Volvo Trucks’ I-Shift automatic transmission.
- The new version of I-Shift has been specially developed for excellent starting traction and to handle driving at ultra-low speeds.
- I-Shift with crawler gears can drive as slowly as 0.5-2 km/h and can start off from standstill while hauling 325 tonnes, a unique achievement for series-produced trucks with automatic transmission.
- The transmission is available in a choice of direct drive and overdrive, with one or two crawler ratios. It is also possible to specify two extra reverse crawler gears.
- The crawler gears are added to a regular I-Shift gearbox. In order to handle the high loads involved, several components are made from high-strength materials. The gearbox is 12 cm longer than a regular I-Shift unit.
- I-Shift with crawler gears is available with Volvo Trucks’ 13- and 16-litre engines on the Volvo FM, Volvo FMX, Volvo FH and Volvo FH16.
Facts Brian Weatherley
Freelance trucking journalist from the UK. Former editor in chief of Commercial Motor/Truck & Drive and jury member of the International Truck of The Year. Host for Volvo Trucks’ web TV series “Brian’s Truck Report”.
Facts Magnus Samuelsson
The only Swede ever to have won the title of “World’s Strongest Man” (Morocco, 1998) he has stood on the prize-winners’ podium five times. He later participated in a number of Swedish TV programmes and films, but declined a role in silver-screen blockbuster “Gladiator” in 2000.