Volvo Trucks FH4: what you need to know...
The Volvo Trucks FH4 is the latest in a line that marks its 25th anniversary in 2018 and has become a firm fleet favourite.
Its combination of dependability and driver comfort has set the Volvo FH4 apart ever since the new FH launched in 2013 – so what do you need to know about this HGV hero?
The original Volvo FH
The Volvo FH series dates back to 1993 and the launch of the first generation FH12 and FH16 models, which were named after their 12-litre and 16-litre engines.
This generation lasted for five years in production, followed by the so-called ‘Version 2’ which was produced from 1998 to 2002.
Next came the officially designated ‘Version 3’ for over a decade until 2013, before the current crop was introduced, officially FH13 with a 13-litre engine, but known to many simply as the Volvo FH4.
What does FH mean?
FH stands for Forward control, High entry, and the name tells you what you need to know about the roominess of the cab and the ergonomic driver position.
The extra space in an FH cab acts as a safety feature too, effectively creating a cocoon around the driver in the event of a crash so there is further to travel before you make any kind of contact with the cab itself.
In the FH13 this safety and sense of space is even better, with a lowered engine and raised A-pillars combining to give the driver even more personal space and practical storage capacity too.
How’s it handle?
There’s a reason why everyone who drives a Volvo FH falls in love with it, and that reason – or reasons – are the handling and performance.
Mighty engines offer over 500 horsepower, with seamless gear changes for a smooth ride for both the driver and any goods being hauled.
Volvo Trucks have tested the FH in some pretty unusual ways in the past, showing that it’s capable of keeping to a fast enough speed to keep a paraglider airborne, and is roughly half as fast as a Koenigsegg supercar around a race circuit – which is no mean feat.
What about efficiency?
Drive smoothly and your fuel efficiency will thank you, and those seamless gear changes really come into their own when eking out a few extra miles over the course of a full tank.
In fact, you’re never likely to need to run a Volvo FH4 flat out, with plenty enough acceleration available before the pedal hits the metal and to keep you cruising at the speed limit.
Thanks to all of this, you won’t have to suffer supercar-like fuel consumption, meaning you can run for longer between pit stops (just remember to take the legal requirement of rest breaks!).
Keep on trucking
You could drive to the moon and back in a typical Volvo FH4 and it would still have plenty of miles left on the clock – they’re not just a driver’s dream, they’re a fleet manager’s dream too when maintenance budgets are under pressure.
Across the board, this is a true crowd-pleasing truck, so get behind the wheel of a Volvo Trucks FH4 for a test drive next time you get the chance, and you’ll soon be a convert too.