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Volvo Introduces VHD and Factory-Installed Chassis Options to NTEA Members

Volvo took full advantage of the NTEA Truck Product Conference, September 18-20, to drive home their introduction of new chassis options and the VHD heavy-duty construction chassis. Volvo introduced the new VHD product line this past July but used the NTEA Truck Product Conference held in Dearborn, Michigan, to make body builders aware of the continued product strengthening going on at Volvo. While announcing the elimination of the 103-year-old Autocar nameplate, Volvo spoke to the body building community about the new VHD product.

Volvo Touts Factory Options The truck and vocational marketing group can take build-out requests and integrate them into the vehicle design, said Rick Beavan, a senior spokesperson for Volvo product development. "In general, items such as front-mount PTO, pusher- or tag-axle can be incorporated into the unit at the factory level and for one unit or several units."

"I want you to know that the truck and vocational marketing group will engineer items such as the factory installation of auxiliary axles, punching extra holes in the frame, multiple drop frame designs, inverted L-reinforcements or fish-plating, and installing electrical junction boxes in nonstandard locations," Beavan said. "The list of chassis modifications that Volvo can perform is extensive. Our desire is to let body builders understand that we can perform the engineering and build the chassis on the line without the waiting period that many manufacturers are facing."

A New Look at Available Options Beavan says that many of the body builders are familiar with the T-Ride suspension option; nevertheless, with the VHD's introduction, it becomes even more important to understand the suspensions capabilities. Rear suspensions upgrades to the Volvo proprietary T-Ride suspension now include a 40,000- to 52,000-lb tandem configuration aimed at the mixer, dump, refuse, and construction vocations. It has a cross-rod design combined with taper-leaf springs that are suitable for on/off, or off-highway applications. "The T-Ride has been a great success story for Volvo componentry," said Beavan. The suspension is now certified for use with both Eaton and Meritor rear axles.

"The introduction of the VHD to the body upfitting community is a new road for the builder of construction and vocational trucks," said Beavan. "This chassis is designed for the body builders to use for every heavy duty and extreme service challenge that they can build for. It will handle the applications that require long-term durability, easy on-site serviceability, maneuverability, and increased payload capacity."

"This chassis isn't a redesigned road tractor; it's designed for the vocational and construction truck customers that need strength in their chassis product," Beavan said. "We have included a totally new design for the truck, a 24/7 web-based Vocational Truck-Virtual Technician with online diagnostic trees, and a dealer supported program for vocational and construction truck user."

Beavan said that Volvo Trucks created the VHD package by leveraging Volvo Trucks North America's association with Volvo Construction Equipment and Volvo Finance groups. This has promoted the development of an extensive support package for the construction truck user.

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