The unique focus on the driver and its truly revolutionary cabin laid the foundation for the instant success of the Volvo FH when it was launched in 1993. It was also the most technically advanced truck of its time. A quarter of a century later, it continues to be an innovative leader, especially in those areas where it directly benefits drivers, such as safety.
Add to this the many revolutionary solutions aimed at protecting the environment and improving productivity, it is clear that the Volvo FH has changed the world of trucks. And there is still more to do!
Claes nilsson, President of Volvo Trucks, believes that the Volvo FH is the backbone of Volvo Trucks both in terms of image and generating profitability for customers. “We were coming out of a recession period, but we decided to make a big gamble, which later proved to be a great success. We launched the FH at the right time and we had the most attractive product when the economy and the transport market were beginning to recover. "Nilsson recalled.
The first version was based on a new chassis whose dynamic design facilitated flexible solutions for different transport applications. Everything had a clear business focus, including fuel-saving aerodynamics, the revolutionary powertrain and Volvo Engine Brake.
However, it was the new cabin that really made the Volvo FH look something special. From the outset, Volvo Trucks decided to focus on the driver and more than 1.500 drivers took part in numerous tests. The end result was a safer and more comfortable cabin offering a totally new driving and rest experience.
Between 1993 and 2008 there were three cabin upgrades; while in 2012 the new Volvo FH was launched, with an exceptional level of comfort thanks to a completely new cabin and an integrated air conditioning system called I-Park Cool. In 2013, functions such as Volvo's Dynamic Steering were added, which have made driving easier, safer, more stable and more precise, while reducing stress injuries.
Since its launch, the Volvo FH has been a forerunner in safety. It has not only excelled in the field of passive safety, where Volvo Trucks was the first truck brand to offer airbags (1995), but also presented the frontal intrusion protection system o FUPS (Front Underrun Protection System) in 1996, ten years before it became a legal requirement throughout the European Union. This progress continues today and the truck is also equipped with the latest active safety systems.
During development, the truck underwent thousands of simulated crash tests and more than XNUMX real crash tests. Both the doors and the collision-absorbing profiles are made of double-phase steel and the panels are made of the strongest steel available.
Among its many innovations are the revolutionary automated I-Shift gearbox (2001). It is currently a benchmark in the sector and has evolved to respond to different demands and needs. It allows starting with the vehicle stationary with loads of up to 325 tonnes and driving at speeds of up to 0,5 km per hour, which is a great help when performing precision maneuvers in difficult terrain.
Environmental protection is one of Volvo Trucks' core values and, year after year, Volvo FH has reduced its emissions and fuel consumption. In 2017, Volvo took a major leap forward with the launch of the Volvo FH LNG in Europe. This gas-powered truck offers the same performance as other Volvo FH trucks and can be used both with biogas, which reduces CO2 emissions by up to 100%, and with liquefied natural gas, which reduces CO2 emissions by 20 % compared to diesel.
The Volvo FH is the only model to have been named "Truck of the Year" three times (1994, 2000 and 2014) and nearly a million units have been sold. When it was launched in 1993, Volvo Trucks announced that the future was in that truck. A quarter of a century later, the company confirms that it is still the truck of the future.