Volvo FM 380 con­struc­tion truck

Volvo is con­tin­u­ing to re­new its thrust on the con­struc­tion seg­ment with the in­tro­duc­tion of a new truck.

Commercial Vehicle - - WHAT'S INSIDE - Story by : Bhar­gav TS Pho­tos: Bhar­gav TS & Volvo Trucks

Hav­ing en­tered the con­struc­tion seg­ment in In­dia last year with the in­tro­duc­tion of FMX 460 with 22 cu. m. body, FMX 460 with 33 cu. m. body, FM 440 prime mover with tip trailer, and FM 460 6x4 puller, Volvo Trucks has re­newed its thrust by launch­ing a new FM 380 8x4 truck. Com­mand­ing close to 90 per cent of the heavy-duty min­ing truck seg­ment, the com­pany, with the launch of the FM 380 8x4 is look­ing at re­defin­ing the In­dian con­struc­tion seg­ment. Bet­ting on the gov­ern­ment push for in­fra­struc­ture, ba­sis the eco­nomic re­forms like GST, the Swedish CV ma­jor is tap­ping into its ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­per­tise. Well-verse with the global trends and prac­tices be­cause of its par­tic­i­pa­tion in most global con­struc­tion and min­ing truck mar­kets, Volvo is also ap­ply­ing its un­der­stand­ing

of the In­dian mar­ket where it has been present since 1996. En­ter­ing the In­dian mar­ket in 1996, Volvo has come a long way in un­der­stand­ing the lo­cal mar­ket dy­nam­ics with the help of its dis­trub­u­tor and part­ner (at the truck and en­gine level) Eicher. With high­way con­struc­tion projects ris­ing 70 per cent to an all-time an­nual high of 7,400 km (val­ued at Rs.1.2 tril­lion) in FY2017-18 when com­pared to projects worth 4,300 km (val­ued at Rs.59,000 crore) in FY2016-17, the com­pany has equipped the new FM 380 8x4 with a BSIV emis­sion com­pli­ant 13-litre en­gine and an I-Shift auto trans­mis­sion with 12 for­ward and four-re­verse gears.

Pro­duc­ing 380 hp at 1400-1900 rpm and a peak torque of 1900 Nm at 10001400 rpm, the FM 380 8x4 could be had with a 23 cu. m. U-body or a 19.5 cu. m. rock body as per the ap­pli­ca­tion need. Eye­ing var­i­ous ir­ri­gation projects, air­port projects, metro projects, and road con­struc­tion projects among oth­ers, Volvo Trucks, with the ad­di­tion of the FM 380 8x4 to its con­struc­tion trucks range is promis­ing world-class ma­chines that are ca­pa­ble of sup­port­ing the time-bound and speedy com­ple­tion of in­fra and con­struc­tion projects. Look­ing at the FM 380 8x4 play­ing a key role, Volvo is con­fi­dent that its con­struc­tion truck port­fo­lio is truly ver­sa­tile and re­sult-ori­ented. This, es­pe­cially in the wake of the lar­ge­sized projects be­ing awarded. Ex­pessed Vinod Ag­gar­wal, MD & CEO, VE Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles, “In the con­struc­tion seg­ment, the Cen­tre has been pay­ing a lot of at­ten­tion to large in­fra­struc­ture projects and their speedy com­ple­tion. With large-sized projects be­ing doled out, op­er­a­tors will need big­ger and more re­li­able trucks that can achieve higher up­time.” “Cus­tomers are in­creas­ingly be­com­ing con­scious about the cost per tonne, and about the to­tal cost of own­er­ship over its life­cy­cle,” he men­tioned

Bank­ing on the abil­ity of its con­struc­tion trucks to of­fer su­pe­rior per­for­mance, re­li­a­bil­ity and an abil­ity to clock the most up­time, Volvo Trucks is con­fi­dent of con­vinc­ing the cus­tomer against the ini­tial de­ter­rents like high ac­qui­si­tion cost. Con­fi­dent of con­vinc­ing the cus­tomer of what he stands to gain by opt­ing for a Volvo con­struc­tion truck, the com­pany is pulling out all the stops by aptly high­light­ing the ad­van­tages. With the trucks said to cost sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the ma­chines that have been used for the job un­til now, the ad­di­tion of the FM 380 8x4 to the con­struc­tion truck range Volvo of­fers, the op­er­a­tor stands to gain in terms of per­for­mance, safety, re­li­a­bil­ity and prof­itabil­ity. Mak­ing some of the best re­garded trucks the world over, Volvo Trucks, with the in­tro­duc­tion of the FM 380 8x4 in In­dia, is high­light­ing trucks that are ro­bust and re­li­able. Fea­tur­ing a strong chas­sis and the most mod­ern driv­e­line, the FM 380 is part of the com­pany’s global line-up. It is ca­pa­ble of meet­ing the de­mands of the cus­tomers as per their needs. Meet­ing the high­est qual­ity and safety stan­dards, the FM 380 8x4, ac­cord­ing to Di­nakar B, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent — Sales, Mar­ket­ing & Af­ter­mar­ket, Volvo Trucks In­dia, marks the flow of in­no­va­tions and a con­stant urge to go fur­ther. To de­liver ‘cus­tomer suc­cess’.

A dandy ma­chine the FM 380 is. Re­sult­ing from Volvo’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in most global mar­kets with ac­cess to best prac­tices in on-road, longhaul, min­ing and con­struc­tion truck­ing seg­ments, the FM 380, like its FMX coun­ter­part,

looks bold and con­tem­po­rary. Claimed to be one of most ver­sa­tile Volvo trucks yet, the FM 380 sports aero­dy­namic lines and soft curves. Dis­tinc­tive look­ing, con­fi­dent, friendly, and ev­ery inch a Volvo, the FM 380 comes with a four-point sus­pended cab. Rid­ing on 12.00-20 tyres, the truck in­cor­po­rates a mod­ern in­te­rior that is wellengi­neered, and of­fers the driver the nec­es­sary com­fort. Well put to­gether and eco­nomic in na­ture, the cabin with large glass area is airy. Pre­sent­ing the driver with a good view of the sur­round­ing, it is the strate­gi­cally placed mir­rors, which en­sure min­imi­sa­tion of blind spots. En­gi­neered to work un­der ar­du­ous op­er­at­ing con­di­tions, and where large quan­ti­ties and heavy ma­te­rial han­dling is in­volved, the FM 380 with the rock body may prove to be just the right so­lu­tion. Built to swiftly, ef­fi­ciently trans­port large and heavy loads with­out get­ting bogged down, the FM 380, with the new higher ca­pac­ity rock body, is set to of­fer su­pe­rior op­er­a­tional prof­itabil­ity. The U-body FM 380, at the other end, of­fers su­pe­rior op­er­a­tional prof­itabil­ity in the area of soil move­ment. Averred Di­nakar B, “Ex­pec­ta­tions (of con­struc­tion truck op­er­a­tors) are high. There is al­ways a cu­rios­ity about what chal­lenge would come next. Look­ing at our

jour­ney, it is ap­par­ent that build­ing trucks is be­com­ing more and more com­plex.” Stat­ing that com­mit­ments grow, and also con­sid­er­a­tions, re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and re­quire­ments, Dinkar B averred, “At Volvo Trucks, we are ready to face the chal­lenges, and to over­come them.”

Claim­ing to raise the stan­dards of pro­duc­tiv­ity, ef­fi­ciency and re­li­a­bil­ity in the con­struc­tion seg­ment with the launch of FM 380 8x4 and the first-of-its-kind FMX 460 8x4 19.5 cu. m. gran­ite body, Volvo Trucks is as­sur­ing cus­tomers of higher op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency. Keen to get its truck op­er­a­tors to save more, and to sup­port timely com­ple­tion of projects, the com­pany is look­ing at op­por­tu­ni­ties in road con­struc­tion projects, hy­del projects, stone quar­ries, mar­ble quar­ries, gran­ite quar­ries and more. It is woo­ing cus­tomers with the prom­ise of low­est cost per tonne, and an abil­ity to carry more load per trip. Pack­ing the best tech in the field, ac­cord­ing to Dinkar B, the com­pany is also look­ing at large projects like the link­ing of rivers, smart cities and bor­der road de­vel­op­ment. Such projects, said Dinkar B, would need con­sid­er­able tech sup­port. Bank­ing on a com­pre­hen­sive af­ter sales ser­vice, the com­pany, opined Ag­gar­wal, is en­gag­ing with its cus­tomers. “At Volvo, we do

not stop af­ter pro­duc­ing high qual­ity, premium trucks,” he men­tioned. To en­sure that our cus­tomers get a high re­turn on their in­vest­ments, quipped Ag­gar­wal, we are pro­vid­ing ini­tia­tives like driver train­ing.

As part of the driver ini­tia­tives at Volvo Trucks in In­dia, each and ev­ery driver of a Volvo truck is trained at the com­pany’s train­ing in­sti­tute at Ben­galuru. He is trained to ex­tract the best ef­fi­ciency from the ma­chine. He is also trained to com­mu­ni­cate with the ma­chine, which has an amount of elec­tron­ics on board. The driver is trained to sched­ule main­te­nance, read er­rors, do pre­lim­i­nary diagnostics from be­hind the wheel, and con­duct var­i­ous other ac­tiv­i­ties. To fa­cil­i­tate safe and com­fort­able op­er­a­tion, the cabin of the FM 380, apart from be­ing airy and well-en­gi­neered, is er­gonom­i­cally spot-on. Pro­vid­ing an am­bi­ence that is no sec­ond to a lux­ury to a lux­ury car, the cabin of the truck makes for a good

work­ing en­vi­ron­ment. There’s a pleas­ant use of colours. The dash is well laid out. The in­stru­ments that pro­vide vi­tal in­for­ma­tion are easy to read. The cus­tomis­able switches en­sure that the driver does not wear out quickly. The sus­pended seat of­fers ex­cel­lent sup­port, range and legroom. It can be ad­justed for for­ward and back­ward move­ment. It is also ad­justable for height.

The I-Shift trans­mis­sion as stan­dard pro­vides the driver the con­ve­nience of clutch­less drive. De­signed to save fuel and min­imise fric­tional loses, the trans­mis­sion times ev­ery gear change pre­cisely. A com­bi­na­tion of me­chan­i­cal and elec­tronic wiz­ardy, the trans­mis­sion in com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the en­gine through CAN-bus and Volvo EMS en­sures a com­bi­na­tion of per­for­mance and econ­omy that no amount of driver skill could achieve. Not con­sis­tently, and over a long op­er­at­ing cy­cle. The sys­tem en­sures that the en­gine works at its most ef­fi­cient rpm, whether in the econ­omy or per­for­mance mode. Trav­el­ling down­hill, the I-Roll dis­en­gages the en­gine and leads to a fuel sav­ing of up to two-per cent. Based on a ‘clas­sic’ un­syn­chro­nised man­ual gear­box (has low in­ter­nal losses and a com­pact de­sign there­fore), the I-Shift trans­mis­sion takes into con­sid­er­a­tion in­for­ma­tion such as speed, weight, road grade and torque de­mand. Men­tioned Dinkar B, “Ev­ery Volvo truck we sell, is with an I-Shift gear­box. With I-Shift, cus­tomers ex­pe­ri­ence bet­ter pro­duc­tiv­ity, ease of driv­ing, and bet­ter ef­fi­ciency.”

A brief drive of the FM 380 on the com­pany’s test track at Ban­ga­lore was an eye opener. The truck smoothly moves away from stand still. With small in­cre­ments in speed, the trans­mis­sion seam­lessly shifts ups, indi­cat­ing a travel through the cogs on the dig­i­tal read­out of the in­stru­ment con­sole. The Volvo dy­namic steer­ing aids ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity, and the I-Shift makes easy work of driv­ing the truck. Both re­flect the tech­no­log­i­cal prow­ess of the truck. They also sig­nal the ad­van­tage the truck of­fers in terms of su­pe­rior drive­abil­ity, per­for­mance, safety, com­fort, and ef­fi­ciency. Point­ing at prof­itable truck­ing, al­beit be­yond the ini­tial de­ter­rents, the FM 380 8x4 is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the strat­egy Volvo Trucks is qui­etly and firmly driv­ing in place, in In­dia. It is do­ing so in the wake of the op­por­tu­ni­ties it is iden­tiy­ing. Bank­ing on the gov­ern­ment thrust for in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, Volvo Trucks stands to gain from hav­ing Group en­ti­ties like Volvo CE.

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2 1. Most mod­ern, com­fort­able and safest cabin keep­ing driver pro­duc­tive through­out the op­er­a­tion. 2. I-Shift. 3. To suite the con­struc­tion needs, FM 380 is fit­ted with 12.00-20 tyres. 4. FM 380 comes with 23 Cu.m U-body.

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à (L to R) Deepak Agar­wal, Deputy Gen­eral Man­ager Sales, Con­struc­tion & In­fra Seg­ment, Vinod Ag­gar­wal, MD & CEO, VE Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles and Di­nakar B, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent — Sales, Mar­ket­ing & Af­ter­mar­ket, Volvo Trucks In­dia.

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