Volvo says that its FL truck series is highly suitable for urban deliveries and other tasks around the city. Its distinctive styling and V-shaped headlights instantly identify it as a Volvo, with all the efficiency and comfort drivers have come to expect.
The 10- to 18-tonne, two-axle FL comes in both platform and rigid truck form, as well as a 12- or 16-tonne road sweeper version. Two- and four-wheel drive models are available with either spring leaf or air front and rear suspensions. Wheelbases for the series range from 3,250 to 6,800 millimetres. Volvo builds the FL with chassis heights ranging from a low variant all the way up to an extra-extra high chassis 4x4. The latter offers a 25-degree approach angle and 320 mm of ground clearance for off-road duty.
The Volvo FL has two Euro 6 diesel engine options. The D5K four-cylinder ranges from 210 to 240 horsepower (154 to 177 kilowatts) and 800 to 900 newton-metres of torque. The larger D8K is a six-cylinder with 250 to 280 hp (184 to 206 kW) and 950 to 1,050 N-m of torque. Both engines use AdBlue diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) and are certified for synthetic diesel (hydrotreated vegetable oil, or HVO). One of the FL’s D8K 320 engine variants can operate on pure biodiesel (B100).
The FL uses a variety of six-speed automated transmissions or six- or nine-speed manual gearboxes. Volvo’s I-Sync transmission has both automatic and clutchless manual shifting modes. Available traction control and differential locks are activated by a switch on the dashboard. Models with the AL306 gearbox support a 400-kW, integrated hydraulic retarder for wear-free deceleration.
To extend the FL’s versatility and support applications such as a refrigeration unit or a modest-sized crane, the truck can include an engine-mounted PTO of either flange or pump style with standard or inverse rotation directions.
In The Driver’s Seat
Cabin options for the Volvo FL include a day cab, a short sleeper cab, and even a crew cab with seating for up to seven people. The width of each cab is 2,100 mm, while the length ranges from 1,600 to 2,980 mm. For driver comfort, the FL’s cab is suspended by rubber cushions in the front and coil springs and shock absorbers in the rear. Volvo calls it the Safety Cab because of its extra steel reinforcement, integrated seatbelt, and other protective features.
The FL’s seats are adjustable, as is the steering wheel. Volvo offers horn options including two roof-mounted air horns, as well as an optional electric or manual steel or glass roof hatch. Heated side mirrors are available, as are air conditioning and a radio with support for Bluetooth and USB devices, iPods, and tablets. An available aftermarket touchscreen display supports a reversing camera and Volvo’s Dynafleet fleet monitoring system. External options include a sun visor, rear side and auxiliary passenger door windows, and roof and side air deflectors.
As for safety features, the new Volvo FL is available with standard and optional technologies including Volvo’s Electronically controlled Brake System (EBS) and Electronic Stability Control. Its anti-lock pneumatic brakes feature ventilated disc rotors in both the front and rear. Volvo’s Brake Blending system dynamically emphasises some of the truck’s various deceleration mechanisms over others for more uniform braking and reduced tyre and wheel brake wear. For visibility to others on the road, the FL’s LED headlights and rear lights conform to Daytime Running Lights (DRL) regulations.
The Volvo FL Electric
Volvo also sells an electric version of the FL using components developed for its line of buses. The FL Electric is a 16-tonne day cab with a driving range of up to 186 miles (300 kilometers) and a recharge time of 1 to 1.5 hours (fast charging) or 6.5 to 10.5 hours (standard charging). The truck supports both AC and DC recharging sources. The expected lifespan of the FL Electric’s four or six battery packs is 8 to 10 years. They power a motor with 268 hp (200 kW) of peak power and 425 N-m of torque, which uses a two-speed gearbox to motivate the ecologically friendly truck down the road. The FL Electric includes a small or large PTO ranging from 50 kW of continuous power to 100 kW of peak power.