Equipment Type

Improved VHD to Seek More Vocational Sales

Volvo Trucks’ VHD model should be selling better to operators of dump, mixer and other construction-oriented vehicles, according to John Felder, the company’s vocational segment manager.

January 31, 2018
Volvo VHD trucks should be selling better to operators of construction-oriented vehicles

Volvo Trucks’ VHD model should be selling better to operators of dump, mixer and other construction-oriented vehicles, according to John Felder, the company’s vocational segment manager. A new interior and LED headlamps make it a more desirable choice, and there’ll be a renewed emphasis on marketing the vehicle, he said.

LED headlamps, announced last week during the World of Concrete show in Las Vegas, provide more forward illumination for drivers, part of Volvo’s long-standing safety-first tradition. LEDs use less energy and last longer than older-style halogens and incandescent bulbs, he said. LEDs will also better resist vibration experienced by vocational trucks.

Because LEDs – light-emitting diodes -- generate little heat, they don’t melt winter snow and ice that accumulates on them, “and that’s a drawback,” Felder said. So product planners are seeking versions wired to heat up glass under such conditions.

The interior has a new overall design, including gauges, switches, larger color display screens, and a multi adjustable steering column. Taken from the recently refreshed VN highway tractors, the interiors were laid out with input from 2,000 professional drivers who were interviewed as part of the design process, Felder said.

The VHD’s gauges are larger and have more legible faces than before; a driver information screen between the speedometer and tachometer is now a 5-inch color liquid crystal display, while an optional 7-inch infotainment screen is on the right side of the dashboard; control switches are closer to the driver, while additional switches are on the steering wheel’s rims. And seats are better contoured and easier to adjust.

The tilt-telescoping column and steering wheel continue, and another tilt mechanism now allows further adjustment of the column just below the wheel. Volvo calls it the Position Perfect wheel.   

Vocational trucks have long been the specialty of Mack, a sister company under Volvo Group, while the VN highway series is Volvo’s strong point. Especially with the improvements, Felder believes there’s no reason the VHD can’t do better in the vocational market, especially with the improvements.

“It’s a great truck,” Felder said while standing in the shadow of a VHD dumper in Volvo’s booth at World of Concrete. ”It’s just not noticed. We’re going to change that.”

 

 

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