Front wheel drive for timber trucks

In Sweden, Volvo is testing a system which drives the front wheels hydraulically to improve the performance of trucks working in the forestry industry. The front wheel drive has been fitted to a 74 tonne Volvo FH 16 660 used for hauling timber out of forests on slippery roads and in difficult conditions.

Two separate hydraulic motors have been fitted in each front wheel. They are integrated into the wheel hubs and driven by an hydraulic pump coupled to the truck’s PTO. Drivers are reporting a clearly noticeable improvement in drivability. The truck is able to reach areas where they would normally be unable to drive.

“We’ve only just started the test but have already noted considerable potential,” said Volvo Project Manager, Lena 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.”

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