This Volvo dump truck stands out for two reasons: it has the sleeper cab of the big FH-series and at the rear, the Terberg company worked on the factory tandem axle set-up. The Swedish truck maker does very well these days in the market for heavy on/off-road chassis.
Volvo offers a complete line of vehicles for the construction business, called the FMX-series. These are based on the FM-series, the mid-size Volvo truck model. Pictured an FMX 8×4 dump truck with a day cab.
The cab of the FH-series is clearly much bigger and roomier. The green ‘n yellow truck is used for hauling asphalt, which is a 24/7 job. Sleeper cabs are common in this work, as these are offering more comfort and convenience.
The truck is powered by Volvo’s 12.8 liter inline-six, maximum power output 469 DIN-hp. The same engine is also used by Renault and Mack (Volvo Trucks owns both Renault Trucks and Mack).
Now to the rear tandem. Terberg converted the factory tandem into a wide spread tandem by increasing the axle spacing from 137 cm to 182 cm. Furthermore, the company made the last axle steerable, using an electric-hydraulic steering system. Both drive axles -as usual with hub reduction- got a hydraulic suspension. Last but not least, there’s a horizontal levelling system at work when dumping.
By increasing the axle spacing, both drive axles have become two separate axles instead of a tandem, leading to 4,000 kg extra GVM. The truck’s legal maximum GVM is a rather mind blowing 43,000 kg (almost 95,000 lbs); unheard of anywhere else, as far as I know. Keep in mind we’re talking about a road legal, rigid truck chassis with four axles.
This picture shows how the Volvo sets itself around a corner. Thanks to the last steering axle, the turning radius got shorter, plus there’s less wear and tear on tires, chassis parts and pavement. (photo courtesy of Van Kessel Truckstyling)
Truck owner Ploegam drives for Dura Vermeer, a giant in the construction and infrastructure business with a 2018 revenue of € 1.337 billion.
Dura Vermeer at work, laying asphalt in the south of the Netherlands.
The AJK company from Belgium built the Volvo’s insulated dump bed.
Asphalt haulers are also frequently used to tow a low bed trailer, carrying road construction machinery. After all, a horse (let alone 469 of them) can tow more weight than it can carry on its back. (photo courtesy of Ploegam-De Klein)
On a related note, on the same sunny day I caught another heavy dude. A Case CX240 crawler excavator, owned by Mr. Van den Berg. No relation to rock guitarist & hairy dude Adrian.
CC Global: 2019 Ginaf X6 4243 S – Desperado, The Blazing Asphalt Hauler
That is a lot of weight on four axles, I drive various Isuzu tippers at the moment, all are 8 wheeler trucks pulling 8 wheel trailers max legal weight is 46,000kg thats 8 axles mind you the load is very different at the moment we are hauling sweetcorn so its more of a volume load and both units absolutely full go slightly over max gross legal weight so far nobody has been caught, I had factory waste on out bound on Friday anf grossed 48, 600kg on the weighbridge leaving the factory, with only 400 little Japanese horses under the cab it was a slow trip to the dairy farm to tip it off, dairy cows love corn waste and we are in drought so this stuff is quite prized several hundred tonnes of waste leave every day 70% of what we cart in actually.
But back to the FH Ovlov nice trucks to drive smooth and quiet and the ishift is the best auto shift truck transmission Ive encountered and Ive driven most of whats on the market,it shifts like a human driver would with a manual, not a fan of the way FH cabs sway around on the cab suspension its quite un-nerving when pushing a fully laden truck thru a turn and takes some getting used to and yes a lot of the newer Macks here are actually ‘Molvos’ with Volvo powertrains, Very technically complicated trucks now a breakdown in a Volvo is usually a tow away to the agent simply to have a computer fault rectified or reset, the largest fleet here would be Fonterras tanker fleet and its almost exclusively Volvo and they have evaluated almost every thing else available.
Brice, i just love your comments because I invariably learn something.
We’ve recently heard of the use of Ovlov name in Australia, and the US, and now Bryce uses it NZ as well. But I’d never heard of a Molvo. In a similar vein, are the US-market Volvo conventionals Wholvos? By the way, 8 wheeler dump trucks here in the US, at least the West, are seldom or perhaps never seen.
Thats what it says on them in my mirrors, Mack by Volvo was instantly Molvo here and everything is 8 wheeler here even tractor units, off road 8wheelers are a menace the weight is distributed too evenly meaning you lose traction very easily, not enough of the weight is over the drivers like on a six wheeler, but its kinder to whats left of our roads.
…”Thats what it says on them in my mirrors”…
“By the way, 8 wheeler dump trucks here in the US, at least the West, are seldom or perhaps never seen.”
Agreed, but when I visit family back East, I see frequently see trucks with 6 or 7 axles along the Michigan/Indian border. A quick Google search explains why:
Interesting that the dump truck doesn’t have mud flaps behind the tires, but one in the middle.
The asphalt paver has a roller at the front to push against the truck’s rear tires, so no flaps there. I’d say the big and long center flap is mainly there to keep the truck’s rear axle and suspension components as clean as possible when feeding the paver.
Do you ever see any 8×6’s or 8×8’s? I know there are a lot of 4×4’s and 6×6’s used in Florida because of the sandy terrain, even though it is pretty flat.
Yes, anything from 4×4 to 10×10 goes (and anything inbetween, like 8×6 or 10×6 / 10×8).
Tatra (using a DAF cab and engine) is the only manufacturer that offers a 10×10, a few of them have been sold here recently. I hope to spot one sometime.
Now it makes sense that planetary reduction axles are the norm, the prevalence of steering driven axles. Less torque at the u-joint or CV joint needed to allow steering. Since it is so common understandably you want a matching non-steer axle and commonality across their product lines.
Hub reduction has been very common on anything with a twin-drive tandem for many decades, that is way before the steering rear drive axles arrived, mainly for on-/off road, logging and heavy haulage jobs (both trucks and tractors). Apart from the twin-drive tandems, hub reduction was / is also offered on single drive axles (like on a 4×2 tractor).
Increasing the axle spacing and making the last drive axle steerable is a typical Dutch aftermarket job, done by specialists like Ginaf, Terberg, Wierda Voertuig Techniek and others.
For most other countries, any factory 8×4 (like the Volvo FMX in the article) will do, simply because their legal maximum GVM for heavy trucks is not even close to ours. The standard product already goes beyond their legislation.
The factory Volvo FH 8×4, given the 10-tons front axles it has, would be 39 metric tons GVM in the Netherlands. Terberg’s work resulted in a registered maximum GVM of 43 metric tons.
Well it would make sense that a single screw rear axle would be the same as the rear axle in a tandem, so no surprise there.
However I thought I had finally found a sound engineering reason for hub reduction axles on such low weight classes. Yes there are benefits to a hub reduction system, you can make the pinion gear larger which makes it less expensive to make stronger, the ring gear gets smaller decreasing its weight and cost of materials and time to mfg, more so than the increase in mass and cost of the pinion. So a net benefit there. Smaller and thus lighter and cheaper axle shafts, oh wait now you have to spline the outer portion of the shaft, so much for cheaper there. Then you get to the wheel end where all the extra parts add cost, weight and more important today than ever a lot more friction add up quickly to negate any savings up stream.
…just another difference between daily heavy trucking practice in the new and the old world then, I guess.
I was a bit surprised to learn that hub reduction is seen as unusual. As long as I can remember, and that’s close to 50 years by now, dump trucks, concrete mixer trucks and such have come with a twin-drive tandem with hub reduction. Back then, mostly German made by MAN, Mercedes-Benz and Magirus-Deutz.
Example below, 1971 Magirus-Deutz.
I’ve occasionally wondered about asphalt trucks with sleeper cabs — it’s something that I see a good bit of here in the US. I suppose the reason isn’t so much for overnight sleeping, but more to give the operator greater room, and a nicer environment for waiting around at construction sites? These trucks seem to do a good bit of idling and waiting in line when on big jobs, so I suppose a bigger cab is viewed as an advantage in such situations.
This is a great-looking truck, and I enjoyed the video too.
Are these semi tractors and trailers, as they usually are in the US? Then it’s because they’re used tractors, formerly over-the-road units. The large trucking firms have very clearly defined mileage limits as to when they sell off their used tractors, and many end up in the hands of small local firms like asphalt haulers, which of course is often a seasonal undertaking. Nobody want to tie up the capital for a new tractor that’s not going to be used constantly.
Now that I think about it, I’m not sure… maybe they are tractor-trailer combinations I’m thinking of I’ll have to check next time I see one — I just remember seeing them occasionally and thinking it odd… sort of like gasoline tankers with sleeper cabs, which I assume are, in fact, used tractors.
A sleeper cab rigid dump truck is essentially unheard of in the US. I’ve never seen one ever. It makes no sense whatsoever. It would just waste precious length and weight on a rigid dump truck.
But nowadays all sorts of local semi trailers are being hauled by former over-the-road sleeper tractors. Cheap wheels.
Well some tankers do make long hauls. If it was a used truck then they would probably do some retrofitting for gasoline tanker use. Back when I worked in a station in the 80’s the delivery trucks had air starters so that there weren’t sparks from brushes.
US built day cabs are too small, I drove a day cab T610 KW and could not get a comfortable normal for me seat position the seat back hit the rear wall of the cab, the cabover sleeper K200s were better with more room, the Japanese Isuzus I’m in at the moment are barely big enough.
…”I suppose the reason isn’t so much for overnight sleeping, but more to give the operator greater room, and a nicer environment for waiting around at construction sites? These trucks seem to do a good bit of idling and waiting in line when on big jobs, so I suppose a bigger cab is viewed as an advantage in such situations”…
Correct, see also comment further down.
If that is a genuine sleeper, then perhaps it’s just incidental. And here’s why: the bed for the asphalt is so heavy when full, that there’s no way a shorter wheelbase would have been possible on this particular truck. It’s already on the shortest wheelbase available for an 8×4. Its weight distribution is the driving factor here.
Do you get my point? If the bed were shallower and longer, like the construction tipper, then a shorter cab could have been used. But in this case, if a shorter cab was used, it would have resulted in an empty gap. The bed determines the weight distribution, and is thus the determining factor.
All of this is just my best shot at explaining it; I might be wrong.
Yes, that’s the Volvo FH sleeper cab, with the standard roof height (usually sleeper cabs for international transport come with a much taller roof).
Asphalt drivers are given the comfort of a bigger / roomier cab to take a decent rest or nap, many shifts are during night hours.
The MAN 10×4 in the Terberg-link (see article) and the Ginaf 8×4 (link at the bottom of the article) are also asphalt haulers and also have a sleeper cab, like the article’s Volvo.
While asphalt trucks often come with a sleeper cab, I have yet to see a top model sleeper cab (Volvo FH-series, DAF XF-series cab on the Ginaf) on a dump truck that is only used to haul sand / soil / clay / debris etc.
Also, the day cabs on such dump trucks come from the mid-size truck model, like the Volvo FM and the DAF CF.
You simply can’t buy a Volvo FH or DAF XF, so the top models, with a day cab.
The axles have been moved, if they really didn’t want the sleeper they could have adjusted the axle locations and had that much more weight for payload. It is because driving asphalt is very much a waiting game. You have to get it hot and it can’t set on your truck for long. So once you’ve dumped a load you sit at the plant until they know you won’t be sitting with hot mix at the job. Laying down asphalt is a carefully choreographed dance. A former neighbor of mine did a few years driving for an asphalt company.
Only the rear tandem has been converted. The front steering axles kept the factory axle spacing, you can’t go beyond the 10 metric tons axle load (per dead steering axle) they already have.
If this truck had the day cab of the smaller FM-series, the legal maximum GVM would have been exactly the same. The weight difference between the big and the small cab would be extra payload capacity, but no need to adjust the axle locations any further for reasons of extra payload.
Paul’s point was balance of the load so each axle was carrying the proper amount and proposes that the sleeper cab only exists to take up space. My point is that it isn’t there just to fill the space. It is taking up payload and if they really wanted a regular cab they would adjust things as required.
Of course when I look at a lot of the trucks you post I seriously wonder how they load them so that they weight is properly distributed so that no axle is overloaded.
And my whole point is that the driver is given extra comfort and room at the expense of some payload capacity (never mind the higher price for the top model cab).
Keep your drivers happy and loyal, and all that. It’s damn hard to find -and keep- good and experienced drivers you know. Many of them will retire in the upcoming years anyway.
I worry that all the ginormous trucks Johannes reports on are possibly the reason Holland is below sea level (those heavy trucks just weigh it down). Another thing to worry about…
…but then again, it was already below sea level in the days of the animal-type of horsepower.
Johannes, once again you’ve found some very unusual lights!
The small rectangular yellow lights under the front bumper of the green Dura Vermeer truck look like fog lamps, but they aren’t; they’re a very old kind of daytime running lights. These on the truck are made in Finland by Hella; pic attached. They’re sized and configured much like add-on rectangular fog lamps, but they take a standard 21-watt incandescent bulb and the yellow plastic lens has pillow optics; technically it’s basically a yellow version of a brake light.
There is a DAF part number for them, and I guess there might well be a Volvo part number, given this what we see in these pics. What makes them so unusual to see in action is that they’re thoroughly obsolete and largely forgotten. They meet the old 1970s Swedish specification for daytime running lights—white or preferably yellow, 300 to 800 candela—not the pan-European (now worldwide except US/Canada) spec of white, 400 to 1,200 candela.
Lights like these are now virtually unknown, but in the 1970s-’80s were marketed in the Nordic countries as aftermarket retrofits by Hella, Bosch, and several other companies—there’s a pic of such a retrofit pack in the Wikipedia article.
(another lighting oddity: the front end-outline marker lights, those are the small round ones just outboard of the DRLs, on black plastic stalks, are amber. So are the auxiliary front position lights in the upper grille. For European type-approval the front end-outline markers have to be white and those auxiliary front position lamps would not be allowed; the only amber front-facing lights allowed are the front turn signals. and only one front position light is allowed on each side. Neither would the US-style trio of identification lights above the windshield, but as (we’ve discussed in your previous posts) the standardisation provided by the UN Regulations just means every signatory country has to allow vehicles conforming to those regs; they’re still free to permit other lights and specifications as long as they don’t violate the relevant 1968 Geneva Convention, which is pretty basic and permissive about lights.
(Oliver…you out there? 😉 )
Wonderful. Leave it to Mr. Stern to zoom in on these small lights so thoroughly.
Oliver…now that you mention him, I haven’t read anything from him for quite some time now.