Having developed the articulated hauler approach in the 1960s, Volvo has a philosophy of consistent evolution and refinement of the hauler concept.
The new F-Series articulated haulers from Volvo Construction Equipment not only meet the demanding standards set by the Tier IVi (U.S.) and Stage IIIB (Europe) emissions legislation, but also feature a package of improvements in functionality, design, and maintenance. The F-Series ranges from the 26.5 ton (24 t) A25F up to the 43 ton (39 t) A40F, each model maneuvering, traveling and dumping in the most efficient and safe way.
Having developed the articulated hauler approach in the 1960s, Volvo has a philosophy of consistent evolution and refinement of the hauler concept. Central to this is the articulated steering system, which gives operators enhanced control of the machine through both its high steering force in tough off road conditions (e.g. deep mud) and also its accurate, safe operation at high hauling speeds. The self-compensating hydro-mechanical system also affords exceptionally short turning circles; useful in confined loading and dumping areas and on tightly turning haul roads, according to the manufacturer.
Heavy Duty for Heavy Duties
Heavy duty front and rear frames have been designed for severe off road operation and long service life. The load body also is heavy duty, made from HB400 steel, and its design, high dump clearance and tipping angle all promote good material ejection. A powerful, load sensing “closed centre” hydraulic system and double acting, single stage hoist cylinders raise the body even on steep downhill gradients. The system allows for precise, controllable dumping — shortening cycle times and aiding safety. A load and dump brake is applied by pressing a button in the cab that applies the service brakes and shifts the transmission to neutral, further increasing safety and reducing operator fatigue.
All machines also feature new dumping functions — detent body lowering and the adjustable tipping angle. Using the onboard Contronics system, operators can set the maximum tipping angle and, therefore, overall height of the body, ensuring safety when working under electrical wires, in tunnels or underground, for example.
The new F-Series haulers meet the requirements of Stage IIIB (in Europe) and Tier IVi (in the U.S.) emissions legislation. Electronically controlled, six cylinder turbo charged Volvo V-ACT diesel engines feature high torque at low engine speeds, resulting in good fuel efficiency, high performance, quicker engine response and less wear, i.e. long service life. Purpose built by Volvo, they are designed to exactly match the Volvo drive train, ensuring the best use of power and torque, even in tough working conditions. The engine in the drivetrain is matched to a torque converter with built in lock-up function and fitted with a fully automatic fast adaptive transmission. Its shafts, planetary gears and bearings are all reinforced to cope with the higher torque produced by the increased capacity engines.
The new F-Series also is more fuel efficient than the E-Series machines — by up to 4 percent.
The drivetrain features a standard automatic traction control (ATC) system, which prevents operators leaving their haulers permanently set in all-wheel drive mode, even when not needed, for example on good or paved roads, when only 6X4 drive is required. This leads to higher than necessary fuel consumption, tire and mechanical wear. ATC automatically disengages the rear axle when not needed; eliminating tire skid when cornering and reducing tire wear. However, when ATC system does sense slippage, the longitudinal differential lock and the 6X6 clutch are engaged together: this gives the hauler the optimum traction in all conditions according to the manufacturer.
The F-Series is fitted with four “dog clutch” differential locks — one longitudinal in the drop box and three transversal in the axles, which help maximize grip in difficult conditions. When applied in combination, they ensure all wheels rotate at the same speed, maximizing traction in severe operating conditions, e.g. deep mud. The drive mode with all differential locks engaged can be turned on or off, by pressing a convenient floor mounted button while the vehicle is moving, for greater ease of use and productivity.
A three point bogie beam design allows the rear wheels to move independently, ensuring good ground contact, traction, stability and minimizing strain on the frame. The high positioned rotating hitch (close to the load’s center of gravity) is maintenance free and features permanently greased tapered roller bearings. Now available across the range, it ensures high ground clearance for off road mobility and improves stability when hauling at high speeds. On the A25F and A30F models, hauling speeds are increased due to soft, progressive gas-hydraulic front suspension, which minimizes vibrations to the operator, reducing fatigue and enhancing productivity.
The full suspension (FS) version of the F-Series is fitted with a fully hydraulic front and rear suspension. This, together with an automatic leveling system and stabilizer, maximizes hauling speeds of both loaded and unloaded machines, according to the manufacturer.
The A25F and A30F are fitted with fully hydraulic brakes and dry discs on all wheels, while the bigger A35F and A40F are fitted with oil cooled wet discs. Additionally, all machines feature retarders. The A25F and A30F feature a hydraulic retarder and Volvo engine brake (VEB) — the latter consisting of a compression brake and exhaust retarder. The larger A35F and A40F also feature VEB, but instead of a hydraulic retarder use the wheel brakes. The retarder function helps to control speed while hauling downhill, before curves or crossroads, reducing the need of service brake use and minimizing their wear.
A Nice Place to Work
As with all Volvo CE equipment, the new F-Series machines are fitted with a modern operator environment — the ROPS/FOPS protected Care Cab. Good all round visibility is assisted by a centrally positioned operator station, sloping hood, large rear-view mirrors, a wide front windshield and a full-length glass door. A spacious, low noise, climate controlled interior and controls that fall easily to hand all combine to make the new F-Series a low stress environment. This, coupled with easier-to-read Contronics information, allows the operator more time to concentrate on what is going on outside the cab, improving safety. And due to a smoother ride, operators experience less fatigue, remaining more alert and productive throughout their working shifts.
Maintenance is assisted by a swing-down front grille with integrated steps, which acts as a service platform. Additionally, the hood tips 90 degrees, giving easy access to the engine compartment. All grease points and remote mounted drains are accessible from ground level or non-slip platforms. Also, there is no daily or weekly greasing needed.
The new F-Series is fitted with CareTrack as standard, Volvo’s telematics system that enables remote monitoring of a wide range of machine functions (e.g. location, fuel consumption, service reminders etc.), optimizing customer operations. These machines also are supported by a global network of Volvo dealers, where trained technicians use Volvo’s diagnostic tools and techniques, and fit only genuine Volvo parts. The F-Series is available with a complete package of customer support agreements (CSA).
For more information, visit www.volvo.com.