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Volvo unveils automatic all-wheel drive truck tech


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Construction Week / May 12, 2015

Volvo Trucks has unveiled its automatic all-wheel drive technology.

The Swedish automaker claims to be the first manufacturer in the world to offer automatic engagement of all-wheel drive construction trucks.

Developed for tough environments, Volvo Automatic Traction Control, which is already used on Volvo Construction Equipment’s articulated haulers, is now standard on the Volvo FMX vocational range.

“Many drivers connect front-wheel drive or differential lock in good time before a difficult section of terrain, in order to avoid getting stuck,” commented Jonas Odermalm, construction segment manager at Volvo Trucks.

“Volvo Automatic Traction Control engages the front-wheel drive when in motion, and only for the short time that it is really needed,” he explained.

The system consists of software connected to the wheels’ speed sensors, which detects and controls wheel drive. When a rear wheel starts to slip, power is transferred automatically to the front wheels without the truck losing torque or speed. A dog clutch activates the front-wheel drive in just half a second.

The technology, according to the manufacturer, offers drivers improved manoeuvrability, and fleet owners the added benefits of lower fuel consumption and decreased wear and tear. Volvo Trucks contends the system ensures that the optimal drive combination is always enabled, removing the decision from the driver.

“[Volvo Automatic Traction Control] is yet another example of how innovative technology can make things easier and smarter than before,” said Ricard Fritz, vice president of the brand. “Just like the Volvo I-Shift revolutionised the gearbox, we are confident that this new development will do the same for the driven front axle.”

Volvo Automatic Traction control is now standard on the Volvo FMX, in versions 4x4, 6x6, and 8x6. The system will be offered along with the complete engine programme for Euro 3, 4, 5, and 6 models.

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This is a new twist on the “AddiDrive” hydraulically-actuated steer axle drive system developed by French hydrostatic transmission maker Poclain Hydraulics.





MAN began offering the AddiDrive under the name "HydroDrive" in 2005.

Later in 2010, Renault began offering the feature on the Premium Lander under the "OptiTrack" name.

Mercedes-Benz (HAD) and Terberg (X-Track) also offer the Poclain system, while GINAF uses a similar system from Bosch-Rexroth called "HydroAxle".

In the US market, Poclain partnered with Tuthill Drive Systems (TDS), offering a system for medium and heavy trucks utilizing Poclain drive motors. (http://eztracaxle.com/)

Volvo contemplated offering the Poclain system on Mack brand trucks but passed.

Here’s a a 10x6 Volvo-Mack with Simard twin-steer front axles and the EZ Trac (Poclain) hydraulic front drive system.


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