Volvo celebrates FH's 25th birthday


The Volvo FH has been around for 25 years, and the manufacturer says the best is yet to come

Volvo celebrates FH's 25th birthday
Happy Birthday - the Volvo FH is turning 25.

 

Volvo is celebrating the 25th birthday of its FH model, and despite all the time that has passed, the company says that it is still the truck of the future.

Named truck of the year three times, in 1994, 2000 and 2014, and with almost one million units sold, Volvo Trucks president Claes Nilsson says the FH is the backbone of Volvo’s image – reminiscing that its introduction marked the start of a very successful period for the company.

"We were coming towards the end of a recession (in 1993) but decided to make a big push. This proved a real success," he says.

"We launched the FH at the right time and had the most attractive product when the economy and transport market turned upwards again."

The key to the model’s success, he said, was a new chassis featuring fuel-saving aerodynamics and a groundbreaking driveline, and in the driver-focused design of the cab – put together after a series of clinics in which over 1,500 drivers participated.

The cab had at least three facelifts between 1993 and 2008 before the launch of an all new Volvo FH in 2012, featuring a redesigned cab and an integrated climate system, while dynamic steering was added in 2013.

Volvo Trucks was also the first truck brand to offer airbags, in 1995, and introduced Front Underrun Protection Systems (FUPS) in 1996 – which helps a truck recoil backwards in case of a head-on collision with a car.

The company’s I-Shift transmission system, which it says was the first built for automatic gear changing for trucks, also deserves a special mention for the way it has evolved to meet different demands and needs.

Volvo says the I-Shift Dual Clutch helps regional and long haul transports on hilly and curvy routes, with gear-changes precisely timed without loss of power or torque – a move which also helps reduce the truck footprint.

The launch of the Volvo FH LNG last year adds to this tradition, Nilsson says – with the vehicle providing the same performance as other Volvo FH trucks whether running on biogas or natural gas.

 "We have had a really impressive journey with the FH, and there are many thrilling news coming up. Given the new technologies, we are really excited to continue on our successful journey together with our customers and their drivers," he says.

"Without revealing too much, it's safe to say that the coming years will be even more exciting than the first twenty-five."

 

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