Volvo says the FM is probably its most versatile truck model. It’s capable of long-distance hauls as well as urban deliveries. It’s also well-suited to container, bulk, and construction applications. The manufacturer has recently redesigned the FM to focus on the driver’s experience, as well as safety and productivity.
The FM comes in both tractor and rigid truck variants, and in extra low to high chassis. Axle configurations range from a 4x2 with single front and rear axles up to a 10x4 with dual front axles, a tandem drive bogie, and a steered tag axle. A pusher axle is available on several variants in between.
Up top is your choice of a day cab or low day cab, a sleeper cab or low sleeper cab, a crew cab, or the two-person, high-roof Globetrotter sleeper.
Volvo offers the FM with two Euro 6 diesel engine options, the D11K (available in four variants) and D13K (available in three variants), ranging from 330 to 500 horsepower (246 to 373 kilowatts). The truck is also available with one of two Euro 6-compliant G13C liquid natural gas engine variants with similar efficiency and performance of 420 and 460 hp (313 and 343 kW). It reduces CO2 emissions by up to 20% compared to diesel, the company says, or by up to 100% when fueled by biogas.
The FM uses Volvo’s I-Shift transmission with electronic control software tailored to the application. Dual clutches and overdrive are available.
The most obvious upgrade to the FM is its new exterior, but the real action is in its brand-new cab. Bigger windows, new mirrors, a lowered door line, and an optional passenger-corner camera give drivers improved visibility and awareness of their surroundings. Volvo also added an extra cubic metre of space in the cab via raised A-pillars, reasoning that drivers spend a great deal of time working and sleeping there according to the requirements of their jobs. Better thermal and sound insulation improves the comfort level inside the cabin, as does a new sensor-regulated climate control with a carbon air filter.
In the dash area, the new FM now shares several of the instrument display functions found in larger trucks from Volvo. The driver can control the fully digital instrument panel by voice commands or by using the 305- and 227-millimetre displays close at hand. Buttons on the steering wheel offer yet another way to control many functions; the wheel also comes with a new neck tilt function for ergonomic adjustment. Interior storage space has been improved under a higher bottom bunk in the sleeper cab and with a new, illuminated, 40-litre rear storage compartment in the day cab.
As for safety features, the new Volvo FM has the latest standard and optional technologies. Included with the truck is the Electronically controlled Brake System (EBS), which underpins the Collision Warning with Emergency Brake and Electronic Stability Control features; a road sign recognition system that displays the signs on the instrument panel; descent control for maintaining steady downhill speeds; and an enhanced version of Volvo’s Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Options include Volvo Dynamic Steering, Lane Keeping Assist, and Stability Assist.