Volvo marks quarter century of aerodynamics

Sept. 1, 2008
Twenty five years ago in June 1983, Volvo White Truck Corporation (now known as Volvo Trucks North America) introduced the first aerodynamically styled heavy-duty conventional trucks

Twenty five years ago in June 1983, Volvo White Truck Corporation (now known as Volvo Trucks North America) introduced the first aerodynamically styled heavy-duty conventional trucks.

The trucks' design integrated a number of fuel-saving features that have become commonplace today, but were boldly different from traditional trucks in an era when diesel cost around $1 a gallon.

Volvo's focus on aerodynamics included wind-defeating devices such as a bullet-shaped, full-length roof fairing (the first to be applied to a conventional truck), cab side extenders, fairing extenders, and trim tabs. These devices were designed to move the airflow smoothly to the trailer from the cab.

The trucks Volvo introduced in a quarter century ago also included the original integral sleeper model - a truck with a unified cab and sleeper compartment. The trucks also had a hood that was six inches narrower and six inches lower at the front than at the cowl, to minimize wind resistance.

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