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Success for the Volvo FMX in the construction segment

The Volvo FMX has made a major impact on the construction truck market. Since its launch in April last year, almost 5,000 units have been sold. The new construction truck is now being put to the test in extreme working conditions throughout Europe.
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“Sales of the Volvo FMX have far exceeded our expectations. After just two months, we had already sold half the forecast total for 2011. This huge demand is confirmation that we have succeeded in meeting our customers’ needs and adapting to their often very tough and demanding working environments,” says Claes Nilsson, president of Volvo Trucks’ European division.

The world’s longest tunnel is under construction on the border between Switzerland and Italy. When completed it will be 57 kilometres in length. Here Danni drives a new Volvo FMX on roads with gradients of up to 22 percent, and he thoroughly enjoys his new workplace.

“I’m thrilled with my FMX. It’s perfect for this type of tough construction operation. I appreciate the in-cab comfort and, in particular, the truck’s excellent visibility thanks to the new type of rear-view mirrors,” he says.

The tunnel, which is only designed for rail traffic, will be an important part of the transport chain linking the railway networks of northern and southern Europe and the large ports of Rotterdam and Genoa. Construction started in the late 1990s, and the tunnel will be opened to traffic in 2017. About 300 high-speed trains a day will use the tunnel.

The tunnel has been bored through the mountain at a speed of up to 25 metres a day. One of the project’s major challenges is removing the 13.3 million cubic metres of rubble that is drilled out of the bedrock. Some of it is taken from the tunnel and deposited in terraces for subsequent creation of new mountain contours that will blend in smoothly with the surrounding alpine landscape.

During construction of the longest section, a distance of 20 kilometres between Camorino and Vezia, transportation of the rubble is in the capable hands of Beffa Trasporti and its 32 employees. The company is using its entire fleet of 22 Volvo trucks for the task, and has also hired trucks from suppliers. It is here that the Volvo FMX (6X4) gets to show its mettle.

“We had to decide ten years ago what trucks to use for this tough assignment. After careful consideration, we chose Volvo,” says Renato Beffa, owner of Beffa Trasporti. “Volvo’s construction trucks have a robust structure built around a strong frame. We’re particularly happy with the new FMX, which has an excellent cab. Its comfort is tiptop, and it’s easy to reach the new gear lever and all the other important controls.”

The truck operates in two shifts along a 40 kilometre route between the tunnel and the unloading site, encompassing public roads and tough construction sites. This means very demanding operating conditions where the truck’s capacity is exploited to the maximum for most of the day. Up to 2,200 tonnes of crushed stone is transported per shift. With almost 40 tonnes on the load platform, it is vital to be able to handle steep gradients on muddy surfaces when rain and snow make transport operations even more difficult.

Renato Beffa has already ordered another Volvo FMX, and he is not the only haulage operator to do so in Switzerland. The Volvo FMX already accounts for more than 15 percent of total truck sales in the country.

See a film about the tunnel’s construction

March 21, 2011

For further information, please contact:
Per Nilsson, Media Relations Europe, phone +46 31 323 3349, e-mail
per.nilsson.pr@volvo.com

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