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Volvo Trucks launches I-Shift with crawler gears

New version makes it possible to haul GCW of up to 325t

PHOTO: The I-Shift with crawler gears enables heavy trucks with automated transmission to regulate their speed when crawling slowly and reversing. Credit: Volvo Trucks

Volvo Trucks is launching a new version of its I-Shift automated transmission, the I-Shift with crawler gears, tailored for trucks carrying heavy loads in demanding situations.

The new system is entirely unique for series-produced heavy trucks, Volvo Trucks said in a statement.

The new version of the I-Shift makes it possible to add up to two new crawler gears, which means that the truck can move off from standstill and transport a gross combination weight (GCW) of up to 325t.

“I-Shift with crawler gears offers an entirely new scope for heavy trucks with automated transmission to regulate their speed when crawling slowly and reversing,” said Peter Hardin, product manager FM and FMX, Volvo Trucks. “The driver can haul a heavy load without worrying about getting into situations that may lead to costly standstills.” 

With the new crawler gears, the truck can drive at speeds as low as 0.5-2 km/h, which can be helpful during precision manoeuvres such as in construction and maintenance tasks.

The improved driveability and startability with the new crawler gears makes it easier to operate in difficult terrain or slippery surfaces with heavy loads, such as on construction sites, in mines or in forests, Hardin said. “The heavier the transport operation and the poorer the surface or the terrain, the more the driver gains from a truck with crawler gears.”

For haulage firms carrying out regular highway driving as well as heavy transport operations on demanding surfaces, crawler gears also offer more flexibility and the possibility of enhanced fuel economy.

“The I-Shift with crawler gears makes it possible to start off from standstill in extreme situations. Combining them with a suitable rear axle ratio that optimises engine revs at high speeds results in lower fuel consumption on the highway. This is a significant benefit to haulage firms doing this kind of work,” Hardin said.

Depending on the application area, the I-Shift is available with one or two forward crawler gears, and with or without two reverse crawler gears. Reverse crawler gears make it possible to reverse extremely slowly, which is an advantage when reversing manoeuvres require high precision.

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