Volvo Trucks says it has developed new tuning for its I-Shift automated manual transmission that allows certain selections to be made for smoother operations during road paving. The company also added a Body Builder portal to its website to ease design and fabrication work for upfitters.
Called Paver Assist, the I-Shift feature eliminates the driver having to apply a truck’s service brakes to shift from Neutral to Drive. This avoids bumping between a paving machine and a dump truck that it’s pushing while spreading asphalt, explained Allison Athey, product marketing manager, transmissions, for Volvo.
The feature also includes an Auto Neutral function where the transmission automatically shifts into neutral when the driver sets the parking brake, she said. This prevents sudden movement of the truck when he later releases the park brake, and thus adds safety to the job site.
Paver Assist is available on new Volvo trucks, including the VHD vocational model, and can be programmed into existing I-Shift transmissions.
Also new from Volvo is a Remote Start feature that lets an operator restart a truck’s engine during work with a crane, bucket lift or other specialized equipment. The starter switch is mounted on the equipment’s console so the operator needn’t climb or power down and hop back into the cab to effect the restart.
A periodic restart is needed to run a hydraulic pump or alternator to run the equipment, and is useful instead of fast-idling the engine during periods when power isn’t needed, Athey said. Shutting down the engine reduces noise and exhaust emissions on a job site.
The Body Builder portal allows upfitter technicians to quickly learn details of chassis and electrical systems so a body can easily be built and wired, said Volvo spokesman Brandon Borgna. A technician can avoid guesswork and avoid cutting into wiring to try to get power to a body system.
“It’s about making the Volvo chassis more friendly to upfitters,” he said, “and making Volvos usable in more applications.” The Body Builder portal is accessed from Volvo Trucks’ website by clicking through intuitive buttons. The full address is www.volvotrucks.us/parts-and-services/service/body-builder/.