The test truck has been equipped with hydraulic front-wheel drive which can be engaged when the truck is driving on slippery tracks, on slopes with poor grip and in tight turnarounds. The truck, Volvo FH16-660 with link and trailer, is testing if it is viable to move the wood directly from the forest to sawmills or other industrial users.
“This test gives us unique scope for seeing how best to optimize hydraulic front-wheel drive for different driving conditions,” says Lena Larsson, Volvo’s manager for the ‘One More Pile’ project. “The extra-high gross combination weight is providing us with a huge amount of information and experience on how best to exploit hydraulic drive.”
The rig uses not one but two hydraulic motors, one for each wheel, that are integrated in the wheel hubs and driven by a hydraulic pump that is coupled to the engine’s power take-off.
“In this way we get the possibility of driving the front wheels independently of the gearbox and can maintain drive to the front wheels even during gear-changes or when the gearbox is in neutral,” said Larsson. “We will continue our analysis throughout the duration of the project until 2012 and follow it up by examining how we can use this technology for optimum drivability,” she explained.