By Jack Roberts
Volvo’s new VNX heavy-haul tractor blends the company’s cutting edge tech with tough equipment. Photo: Jack Roberts
For all the technology coming into trucking today, the trucks themselves still lead hard lives and have to be built tough. And no truck has it harder than those special machines destined for heavy-haul and other severe-service applications.
Volvo’s new VNX heavy-haul tractor is a perfect example of the trend to blend cutting edge tech with tough. It’s a truck that leverages all of Volvo’s latest technologies, such as advanced telematics and over-the-air powertrain updates, with an incredibly robust frame, high-horsepower diesel engines, and a whopping 125,000 GCWR.
The new VNX is the last of a trio of new truck launches that Volvo began last year with the rollout of the VNR regional-haul tractor, followed closely by the VNL long-haul tractor. The VNX clearly shares the same design DNA as its two stablemates — both inside and out — but in a beefier, more robust package. It’s a truck with modern, aerodynamic lines that is as home on a sloppy jobsite as it is hauling a fully laden B-train up a steep, twisting mountain highway.
The VNX is being offered initially as a tractor only, in 3 different models: a day cab, a flat-roof, and a mid-roof/sleeper configuration. The official VNX launch took place on March 14 at Volvo’s new Customer Center in Dublin, Virginia, on the heels of a freak snowstorm followed hard by a brutal cold snap. All of the trucks were decked out in a deliciously malicious black-on-black paint scheme that really popped against the deep snowbanks flanking the test track looping around the back portion of theVolvo Customer Center property.
Thanks to the sharply slanted nose and the aerodynamic lines it shares with its stablemates, the truck doesn’t