DUBLIN, Va. – Buyers who want to test drive trucks conditions that mimic working environments now have a place to go.
As originally reported last year, Volvo Trucks North America decided to build a combination road course and vocational track at its New River truck plant in Dublin, Virginia. Begun as a bit of an under-the-radar skunkworks project, the 1.1 mile customer experience track quickly gained approval and the official go-ahead from Olof Persson, Volvo’s global president and CEO.
The Volvo customer experience track.
Gӧran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North American sales and marketing understands why, and feels the track will become a valuable tool for fleet managers looking to evaluate equipment.
“The customer experience track is built to simulate real-world driving conditions and provide our visitors with the opportunity to experience first-hand the quality and performance of Volvo trucks,” he said.
Now, potential Volvo buyers are able to experience the paved road course and off-highway area to themselves, as the manufacturer has officially opened the track to the public.
The road portion of the track has been designed with banked corners, allowing drivers to achieve highway speeds. Inside of the road course, the off-highway area has been built with varying grades and surfaces.
Truck News’ own James Menzies had an opportunity to take a Volvo VHD dump truck over the off-road course last year, and reported that it offered the conditions necessary to put the VHD through its paces.
Since the customer experience track is (as the commercials say) a closed road (on private property), a CDL is not required to get behind the wheel.
Buyers can try out trucks in both highway and off-road settings.
According to the man in charge of the project, Lars Blomberg, vice-president and general manager of the New River plant, Volvo factory employees were entirely responsible for designing and building the track.
“The employees who built the track are both dedicated and passionate about the work they do, which is evident by their commitment to quality and their desire to develop this track. I commend all of our employees for the work that they do.”