Dump truck range redefines articulated hauler market

Volvo first developed the articulated hauler in the 1960s. Core to this concept is the articulated steering system, giving operators control of the machine through high steering force in tough off-road conditions (eg deep mud) and accurate, safe operation at high hauling speeds. The self-compensating hydro-mechanical system affords short turning circles in confined loading and dumping areas and on tightly turning haul roads.

For the F-series of articulated haulers, heavy-duty front and rear frames have been designed for severe off-road operation and long service life. The load body is also 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 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, increasing safety and reducing operator fatigue. All machines feature new dumping functions, including detent body lowering and adjustable tipping angle. Using the onboard Contronics system, operators can set the maximum tipping angle and overall height of the body, ensuring safety on the work site.

The new F-Series haulers have electronically controlled, six-cylinder turbocharged Volvo diesel engines and feature high torque at low engine speeds, resulting in good fuel efficiency, high performance, quicker engine response and less wear, that is, long service life. Built by Volvo, they are designed to exactly match the Volvo drivetrain, 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 is not only more environ?mentally friendly, but more fuel efficient than the E-Series machines.

The drivetrain features as standard an Automatic Traction Control (ATC) system, preventing operators leaving their haulers permanently set in all-wheel-drive mode, for example on good or paved roads, when only 6 x 4 drive is required. This leads to higher than necessary fuel consumption, tyre and mechanical wear. ATC automatically disengages the rear axle when not needed, eliminating tyre skid when cornering and reducing tyre wear. However, when the ATC system senses slippage, the longitudinal differential lock and the 6 x 6 clutch are engaged together, giving the hauler the optimum traction in all conditions.

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 maximise grip in difficult conditions. When applied in combination, they ensure all wheels rotate at the same speed, maximising traction in severe operating conditions, eg 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 minimising strain on the frame. The high-positioned rotating hitch is maintenance free and features permanently greased tapered roller bearings. Now available across the range, it ensures high ground clearance for excellent off-road mobility and improves stability when hauling at high speeds. On the A25F and A30F models, hauling speeds are increased thanks to soft, progressive gas-hydraulic front suspension, which minimises vibrations to the operator, reducing fatigue and enhancing productivity. The unique Full Suspension (FS) version of the F-Series is fitted with a fully hydraulic front and rear suspension. With an automatic leveling system and stabiliser, it maximises hauling speeds of loaded and unloaded machines.

The A25F and A30F are fitted with fully hydraulic brakes and dry discs on all wheels, while the bigger A35F and A40F are fitted withoil-cooled wet discs. Additionally, all machinesfeature 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 ahydraulic retarder use the wheel brakes. Theretarder function helps to control speed whilehauling downhill before curves or crossroads.

The new F-Series machine is fitted with the ROPS 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, a full length glass door, a spacious, low noise, climate-controlled interior and easy to hand controls.

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.

The new F-Series is fitted with Volvo?s CareTrack telematics system that enables remote monitoring of a wide range of machinefunctions (eg location, fuel consumption, service reminders, etc), optimising customer operations. These machines are also supportedby a global network of Volvo dealers. The F-Series is available with a complete package of customer support agreements.

Source: CJD Equipment/Volvo Construction Equipment

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