New hauler suspension awarded Volvo Technology Award

Volvo Construction Equipment introduced the world’s first articulated haulers in 1966. Another major technological step has now been taken through the introduction of a comfortable hydraulic suspension feature that sharply increases the productivity of these machines. The development work was conducted within Volvo CE and the result has been awarded the 2008 Volvo Technology Award.

The award is presented today, April 9, by Volvo CEO Leif Johansson at the Annual General Meeting of AB Volvo.

Hydraulic suspension in Volvo’s articulated haulers is a major technological advancement that not only increases the efficiency of the machines under favorable conditions by as much as 40%, but also exposes operators to significantly reduced vibrations and enables them to feel better when the workday is done.

Until now, articulated haulers have been equipped with simple mechanical suspension, but only in the front of the machines. The hydraulic suspension applies to all six wheels, with the added feature of double cylinders on all four rear wheels. The hydraulic arrangement has advanced electronic control that enables the machine to perform the same, regardless of whether it’s empty or full, and when driven slowly or at maximum speed.

During road testing on a certain surface, the driver of an old machine did not dare to drive faster than 16 km/hour, while the same vehicle with the new hydraulics could be driven at 52 km/hour with no problems.

It is easy to understand how much greater efficiency the machine can offer during relatively long transports of materials for road construction projects, for example. If the driver does not experience any problems with vibrations and reduced road handling at 50 km/hour, the driver comfort factor – obviously – is also very much improved.

Machines with hydraulic suspension easily meet requirements concerning worksite vibrations that were introduced recently in the EU. The new suspension system can also be used in other machines, such as wheel loaders, motor graders and forklifts.

“We are the first manufacturer to develop an advanced hydraulic suspension for construction equipment,” says Leif Johansson. “The increased comfort for drivers strengthens our image as the company that safeguards and protects our customers and users, while the increased productivity factor significantly strengthens our competitiveness.”

The Volvo Technology Award was established in 1988 and is being awarded this year for 21st time. The award is an expression of appreciation for particularly prominent technical achievements within the Volvo Group that contribute to the technological profiling of the Volvo Group and stimulate efforts that further advance the Group’s technical skills and expertise.

Winners of the 2008 Volvo Technology Award

The hydraulic hauler suspension was developed by engineers at the Hauler and Loader Division of Volvo Construction Equipment in Braås and Volvo CE Components in Eskilstuna.

The five winners are:
Göran Eliasson, Krister Vernersson, Mikael Petersson, Heikki Illerhag and Lars Bolin.

April 9, 2008

For reporters who want more information, please contact Mårten Wikforss, +46 31 66 11 27 or +46 705 59 11 49