I spent some time earlier this month with Volvo in Utah and Idaho, where I had the chance to drive the company’s new 6×2 setup with Adaptive Loading. The configuration features a liftable pusher axle that is raised when empty or lightly loaded, allowing the truck to run in a more efficient 4×2 configuration.
Less rolling resistance results in improved fuel economy, reduced tire wear and also better handling, since it lengthens the wheelbase and optimally distributes the load, shifting weight to the steer axle without exceeding the legal limits.
In Heyburn, Idaio, we met with several customers that are using the system. I haven’t met such a happy bunch of customers. They raved about the system – especially its handling in poor weather. Pulling a light load in the rain, lifting the axle shifts more weight to the steer axle and lengthens the wheelbase and gives the driver a better handling truck. It also means there’s more weight on the four tires that are in contact with the road, resulting in less scuffing and promoting even wear.
Of course, there are some regulatory hurdles to this configuration in parts of Canada, namely Ontario, Quebec and B.C., so check with the local regulations before placing your order.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies