Volvo Trucks Customer Center triples demonstration track size

by Today's Trucking

Volvo Trucks’ Customer Center has completed upgrades to the facility’s customer experience track in Dublin, Va., tripling the size of the three-mile (4.8-km) custom-designed course.

This includes two super-elevations demonstrating radius and grade change, as well as extending the track to include a one-mile (1.6-km) straightaway, according to a news release.

Safety features of the Volvo Dynamic Steering (VDS) system can be demonstrated to understand how it handles high speed, incline acceleration, descent braking, and curve steering mobility. Visitors are paired with certified commercial driver’s licence (CDL) operators to guide them through the expanded track. 

Picture of a truck testing track
(Photo: Volvo Trucks North America)

“The Volvo Customer Center illustrates further investment in Volvo Trucks’ footprint in North America where customers can demo entire product lines of our new battery-electric truck models and vocational vehicles while being safely guided by our team of skilled CDL drivers,” said Rob Simpson, director of the Volvo Trucks Customer Center.

“VDS is transforming how drivers operate by eliminating much of the work behind the wheel, while reducing strain for better comfort and enabling safer and easier steering. Customers can test all the safety and driver comfort features on the customer experience track designed with new S-curves and concrete curb drops that simulate a real-world truck driving experience.”     

Grade changes and tighter S-curves

The enhanced customer experience track includes grade changes with a 6-7% increase at its steepest points with tighter S-curves to pilot the VDS system and maneuverability through three miles of highway track with a one-mile straightaway where drivers can accelerate to highway speed levels.

The track also features an 8-inch concrete curb drop build-out used to simulate certain hazards drivers might experience on real-world routes, enabling customers to experience how the VDS system takes effect. The VDS system allows drivers to maintain control when encountering potential threats by uneven roads, ditches, and tire blow outs, helping the truck to arrive at a safe stopping point. 

Vocational vehicles, including the VHD 300 dump truck, can be maneuvered on a gravel off-road section of the course designed for customers to experience the VDS system in action for applications that require an extremely tight turning radius.

The vehicles are tested on a designated three-quarter mile-section (1.2 km) with two steep 27% grades to experience Rock Free, an extreme I-Shift mobility function that lets the driver rock the truck back and forth to by pumping the accelerator if the truck gets stuck in mud or sand. 

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