Equipment Type

Volvo Trucks Launches I-Shift Transmission for Severe-Duty Applications

Volvo's transmission technology expands with the introduction of I-Shift for severe-duty applications

March 18, 2015

This version of the Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission features hardened gears and other hardware to improve durability in tough on- and off-road applications requiring frequent shifting.


Volvo's transmission technology expands with the introduction of I-Shift for severe-duty applications. The I-Shift SD is available on VHD models powered by the Volvo D11 and D13 engines and is standard on VHD models at a certain weight rating. Seventy-five percent of Volvo trucks sold in 2014 were spec'd with an I-Shift transmission.

Engineered for a range of vocational applications like construction, oil field, logging, snow plow or heavy haul, the Volvo VHD offers a customizable chassis. The VHD family includes the VHD 200 day cab and VHD 430 with a 42-inch flat roof sleeper, and both models are available in axle forward and axle back configurations.

Gears and other hardware in the severe-duty I-Shift have been hardened to withstand frequent shifting in a rugged operating environment. In addition to the hardened gears, this version features a high-range hardened cone, improved split synchronizer components and main box parts fashioned from reinforced material.

The I-Shift SD uses high-viscosity oil that allows for operation at a higher ambient temperature, and it features a new transmission cooler mounted to the transmission. Reduced oil line length and quick disconnect fittings improve serviceability since there is no need to drain oil in order to service or remove the transmission.

“The heavier loads, uneven terrain and frequent shifting typical of heavy-duty vocational duty cycles require a more rugged transmission,” said Chris Stadler, Volvo Trucks regional haul marketing manager. “The reinforced components and improved serviceability of the I-Shift for severe-duty applications translate to lower maintenance costs and more time on the worksite producing revenue. The transmission also offers customers a broader payload range.”

The reinforced I-Shift will be standard on VHD models with heavier weight ratings – straight trucks rated at 66,000 lbs. GVWR or higher and tractors rated at 125,000 lbs. GCWR or higher. For lighter-weight applications, VHD customers can select this version of the I-Shift SD as an option.

Mack, Volvo’s sister company, announced its version, the mDrive HD, at the World of Concrete show in February. The beefed-up automated transmission is standard on Granite and Titan vocational models.

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