In 2010, the Volvo FMX was introduced by Volvo Trucks as a truck specifically developed for the demanding construction industry. The FMX was built to withstand tough conditions, and over the years has evolved to offer many innovative features. After a decade of slogging in dirt and mud, it has built a solid reputation as one of the toughest construction trucks in the market.
Prior to the FMX, different variants of the Volvo FM and Volvo FH trucks were used in the construction industry. In 2010, many years’ worth of feedback from customers led to the successful launch of a Volvo truck developed specifically for construction work.
The Volvo FMX was introduced to the Malaysian market in 2014. Since then, it has been the top-selling model not just for the construction segment but also for the logging, mining and agriculture (CPO tanker) sectors. The FMX gained popularity in these sectors for its ability to handle the tough operating conditions and demanding transport assignments. The Volvo FMX 6×4 is the most sought-after model after the Volvo FM series.
“The Volvo FMX was a game changer and it soon became very popular among both haulage operators and drivers for its powerful performance and versatility in handling rough road conditions,” said Mitch Peden, Managing Director of Volvo Trucks Malaysia.
Designed For Rough Road Conditions
The robust and modern exterior of the first Volvo FMX was a feature that attracted many. The solid exterior gave inkling of the truck’s relationship with Volvo Construction Equipment machines. The functionality of the Volvo FMX included a strong towing eye, headlamp protection, new anti-slip steps and a handy ladder. With a three-piece steel bumper, corners made from 3-mm-thick steel, a solid crankcase protection plate and a protective bullbar, this was a sturdy construction truck.
The Tough Got Tougher After Three Years
Just three years into its life, Volvo Trucks released a new version of the FMX. Launched in 2013, the new updated truck was an even more robust solution for challenging construction environments. This new version is the one introduced to the Malaysian market.
The new cab was modified, with all the components in the front structure redesigned. A set of new air suspension also gave an increased ground clearance of 300 mm. Further, the towing eye of the updated truck could now tow up to 32 tons.
I-Shift Gearbox For Heavy Loads
The Volvo I-Shift gearbox maximises performance and efficiency by monitoring and responding to vehicle mass, road inclination, speed and acceleration. The I-Shift gearbox allows the Volvo FMX to handle tough and hilly terrain with high levels of productivity and driver comfort. Coupled to a Volvo diesel engine, it can reduce fuel consumption by up to 5% when compared to a manual gearbox.
The Volvo FMX with hub reduction can support a maximum axle load of 33 tons and a combination weight of 120 tons. The truck is fitted with reduction gears in each hub. The hub reduction gears reduce loads on the driveline so that tractive effort can be transferred to the ground without wheel slip, giving excellent grip and very low tyre wear.
“The hub reduction is perfect for construction work. It provides good grip when the surface is slippery, which result in higher truck productivity,” Peden commented.
Tandem Axle Lift
In 2018, Kotamas Oil Sdn Bhd, a specialist in petroleum haulage from Sabah, added 15 units of the custom-made Volvo FMX 6×4 with tandem axle lift feature to its fleet. Tandem Axle Lift is designed for operations where the driver drives heavily loaded in one direction and empty in the other.
With the push of a button on the dashboard, the driver can disengage and raise the drive axle to improve fuel efficiency by up to 4% on average. As soon as the truck is loaded, the drive axle automatically lowers and engages to ensure maximum traction and driveability. Kotamas was the first in Malaysia to incorporate this technology into the Volvo FMX to address the demanding hilly and rough road condition in Sabah. By doing this, it has noted a remarkable improvement in fuel consumption by 15% to 20%.
“The Tandem Axle Lift is a perfect fit for customers who travel regularly on rough terrain. This is especially true for customers based in East Malaysia where roads are riddled with pot holes and sometimes not tarred, uneven and hilly. It provides better traction, and helps to reduce tyre wear and tear and more importantly, saves cost,” Peden explained.
Below are a few very cool Volvo Trucks commercials featuring the FMX and FM. And also not forgetting a hamster, and some guy named Jean-Claude Van Damme: