Photo: Sean Kilcarr / Fleet Owner
Volvo Trucks just introduced a rebooted version of its VNX heavy-haul tractor model.

VTNA rolls out revitalized VNX tractor

March 14, 2018
OEM dubs it a “hybrid” serving both on-highway and off-road needs.

DUBLIN, VA. Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) introduced a rebooted version of its VNX heavy-haul tractor model, available in one daycab and two sleeper configurations with Cummins and its own Volvo-branded powertrains as options.

“The revitalization of our new VNX model shows we’re capable of handling heavy haul to support customers operating forestry and logging, heavy tanker operations, heavy flatbed and lowboy applications, and B-Trains,” said Chris Stadler, VTNA’s product marketing manager for regional haul. “Heavy haul is not a very big market but it is a very specialized market – there is no typical application or operation in heavy haul. There are different dilemmas and limitations to deal with. So our purpose [with the new VNX] is to bring more value to this market; to bring VNL features into the VNX and give customers more value than what they expect.”

The revitalized tractor is available in three cab configurations: the VNX 300 daycab; the VNX 400 flat-roof regional sleeper, with a 42-in. sleeper berth; and the VNX 740 with a 70-in. sleeper. Approved gross combination weight ratings (GCWR) range from 125,000 to 160,000 lbs., with ratings of up to 225,000 lbs. available with application approval and appropriate components.

There are range of optional steer axles, lift axles, tridem drive axles, and longer fifth-wheel slides available help meet a diverse range of weight distribution requirements, the OEM noted, including: 6x4 tandem, 8x4 tandem, and 8x6 tridem configurations; front axle ratings range from 16,000 to 20,000 lbs.; up to 445 tires to match front axle load capacity; rear axles ranging from 46,000 to 55,000 lbs.; and a “premium” rear heavy-haul suspension that ranges up to 52,000 lbs. Dual steering gears also help provide better maneuverability while under a heavy load, VTNA said.

The standard powertrain package for the retooled VNX is a Volvo D13 engine with 500 hp and 1,850 lb.-ft. of torque, paired with the 13- or 14-speed Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission (AMT) with crawler gears. The tractor can also be spec’d with the Cummins X15 Performance Series engines, with ratings of up to 605 hp and 2,050 lb.-ft. of torque, paired with either an Eaton Ultra Shift Plus AMT or Eaton manual gearbox.

The VNX comes standard with the Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology (VEST) electronic stability control system as well as automotive-quality LED [light emitting diode] headlights, with automatic lighting and rain-sensing wipers available as options.

Stadler said the VNX features a new hood design that is shared with the VNR regional and VNL long-haul models that will help improve both engine performance, due to improved airflow, as well as fuel economy due to its aerodynamic shape. He added that the VNX also shares a range on interiors features moved over from the VNL to help with driver retention – amenities Stadler said have rarely been offered in the heavy-haul segment.

“The new VNX is a heavy-haul work tool for demanding jobs, and it gives professional drivers a comfortable working environment for performing at their best,” he explained. “The workspace was designed for maximum comfort and productivity, while the sleeper was designed to offer drivers a calm, restful space for their hours off the road.”

The dashboard on the VNX has been redone in the VNL style to reduce distraction by displaying the critical information a professional driver needs at a quick glance and by grouping frequently used controls within easy reach. A configurable, five-inch color driver information display with improved graphics works with steering wheel-mounted controls providing key operating information, as well as the ability to choose your preferred diagnostic data. On top of that, a dash-top tray with multiple USB and 12-volt connections provides a “safe, convenient home” for a driver’s many gadgets, which can also be linked to the optional in-dash infotainment system.

VTNA noted that the retooled VNX goes into production this May.

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr | Editor in Chief

Sean previously reported and commented on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry. Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

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