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Volvo Adds Aerodynamic, Safety Features to VN 780

Mon December 03, 2007 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Volvo Trucks North America recently added several new options and features to its trucks to further enhance their productivity, increase uptime and increase fuel economy.

Volvo VNs are equipped to meet the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program for tractors.

Volvo customers are able to specify a SmartWay-eligible tractor component package when ordering their trucks. The required components are identified in Volvo’s truck ordering system so that carriers participating in the SmartWay program can ensure their new trucks qualify for EPA’s public designation.

Aerodynamic Fairings

for Mid-Roof Tractors

One of the SmartWay requirements is for full-height roof fairings, for smooth and efficient airflow over the top of the sleeper to the trailer. The VN 780’s aerodynamic roof design accomplishes this while at the same time providing a huge living space in the sleeper.

The mid-roof VN 730 meets the SmartWay requirement with Volvo’s new fairing for mid-roof tractors. The fairing provides aerodynamic performance for pulling full-height trailers, while retaining the lighter weight of a mid-roof tractor.

The new fairing also is available for the Volvo VT 830.

The fairing is removable and can be retrofitted to existing VN 730 and VT 830 tractors.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Safety, driver uptime and reduced operating costs are critical for all customers. Volvo’s factory-installed tire pressure monitoring system will be available as an option for all Volvo highway tractors beginning in the fourth quarter of 2007. The system constantly monitors each wheel using remote sensors and displays real-time tire pressures and temperatures through Volvo’s Driver Information Display. Drivers receive alerts for individual tires notifying them of over- or under-inflated tires (more than 10 percent outside set pressure), high temperatures, sudden leaks or loss of pressure, and loss of sensor or missing data.

Correct tire inflation is an important factor for obtaining maximum fuel economy and tire life, since rolling resistance accounts for more than 30 percent of a vehicle’s fuel efficiency at 65 mph (104.6 kmh). Tires under-inflated by only 10 PSI can reduce fuel economy by up to 1 percent.

At the same time, incorrect inflation also is a leading cause of premature tire failure, yet industry surveys have found that fewer than 8 percent of truck drivers check tire pressures with a tire gauge before each trip.

LED Side Repeater

and Marker Lamps

Volvo recently changed from incandescent bulbs. to LED (light-emitting diodes) on all Volvo VN, VT and VHD tractors and trucks for marker lamps and side turn signal repeater lamps. LEDs are now standard for these lamps on all Volvo trucks. LEDs have several advantages compared to incandescent bulbs, including longer life, improved reliability, and reduced service and replacement costs.

The LED marker lamps are used in all external sunvisors, as well as the hood air intakes and bumpers of Volvo VT tractors, and have a clear lens with amber LEDs. The side repeaters are mounted on the side of the cab to alert other drivers alongside the truck to an active turn signal. The repeaters have black bezels, clear lenses and amber LEDs.

Mirror and Integrated Turn Signal

Increased visibility to other drivers is the goal of another new component. Mirrors with integrated high-intensity LED turn signals display a flashing red arrow at the bottom of the mirror surface when the turn signal is activated by the driver. The signal has two light levels, for day and night driving, and has a 70-degree viewing angle. It is visible to the driver, as well as to other drivers who may be blocked from seeing other turn signals at the back or side of the truck. The mirror with integrated turn signal is now available for the Volvo VN, VT and VHD.

For more information, visit

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