The technologically advanced Volvo VN 770 that will lead the Overdrive 40th Anniversary Tour this summer does not sacrifice roominess and amenities for the sake of operational gadgetry.
Truckers who inspect the truck during its stops at Petro and TravelCenters of America facilities will notice that it has one of the largest sleepers in the industry, 77 inches deep and 98 inches tall.
Customers can specify a table-and-chairs setup in the sleeper that folds into the bottom half of a double bunk.
“I’ve seen a man sit at the table with a Stetson hat on, and he was able to sit up straight under the top bunk,” says Ed Saxman, manager of sales, engineering and product information.
“In a lot of trucks, when you stand up from the driver’s seat, you have to hunch over as you move to the sleeper,” says Saxman. “You don’t have to do that in the VN 770. You can stand straight up, and there are 30.5 inches of clearance between the front seats.”
Engineering outside the cab also enhances driver comfort. The truck features standard 59-inch front springs and a standard air suspension for the rear axle, which utilizes four large air bags.
The cab also has its own air suspension, mounted outside the frame rails. “That’s a better setup than a system mounted inside the rails, and it uses four shock absorbers to ease the boat feel you might get in a truck this size,” says Volvo’s Kurt Hollinger. Volvo has paid close attention to the suspension and aerodynamic package, including weather seals, to make sure they provide a quiet ride. “Volvo uses 1-inch-thick insulation throughout the truck and double door seals, which eliminate rattling and decrease air noise,” says Hollinger. “Many people compare it to a luxury car.”
Volvo installs a premium audio package in the VN 770, which includes a six-disc CD changer with remote control. To power in-cab electronic devices, Volvo offers the option of a trace inverter provided by Fontaine. Volvo’s Shore Power kit allows operators to plug their trucks directly into electrical outlets available at some truck stops.
Volvo is also developing a seat massager that will provide a relaxing back rub and work with Volvo’s lane tracking system, which is also in development. If the truck drifts from its lane, the seat vibrates to alert the driver. Customers can specify premium seats by Isringhausen, which is developing an internal heating and cooling system.
Volvo also provides a cooling system for the sleeper. While the truck must idle for the AC compressor to function, reserve batteries are sufficient to power a portable fan overnight.