Volvo Construction Equipment (CE), the company responsible for producing half of all the articulated haulers ever made, has passed another internal milestone: the production of its 75,000th hauler.
Volvo CE developed the concept of the articulated hauler over half a century ago to 1966, when the company rolled out its first machine, the DDR631 or ‘Gravel Charlie’, in Braås, Sweden.
The 75,000th machine – one of the new generation A45G full suspension models – rolled off the production line in late June at the same factory where that first DDR631 model was produced.
The true testament to Volvo CE’s strength in the segment, however, is the fact that out of the 75,000 haulers it has produced, a staggering 50,000 of the machines are still in regular use around the world.
“There’s not many companies can say that they are still the market leaders half a century after they invented a concept,” says Håkan Ask, business platform leader for Trucks at Volvo CE.
“Having made 75,000 machines we are still showing the way, building more productive and fuel-efficient machines that are the envy of the industry.”
Volvo’s 50 years’ of experience in the segment is now reflected in a host of advantageous features built into every machine, including high ground clearance, hydro-mechanical steering and automatic switching between 6X4 and 6X6 drive – to meet the conditions with minimal wear and maximum fuel efficiency.
Esbjörn Fritzell, VP of Volvo CE’s trucks business platform, notes: “There’s no question that we have the best product. The fact that so many of our haulers are still working around the world is a testament to their usefulness and durability – it’s almost impossible to kill a Volvo articulated hauler!”
Over the last 51 years, the models have also increased in size and sophistication. The first 15 tonne capacity machine built in 1966 can sit inside into the haul body of the A60H – Volvo flagship 55 tonne articulated hauler.
Volvo CE’s A60H is the largest on the market, and can deliver 40% more productivity than Volvo’s previous largest machine – the A40G – with hardly any increase in the ongoing cost of ownership.
Market demand is in general driving a trend for larger machines, and the most recently introduced Volvo machine was the A45G: another large, 41 tonne class machine.
While it took a while for the world to fully appreciate the benefits of articulated haulers, the machines are now more in demand than ever before – finding work as production machines in mines and on all types of infrastructure projects.