When I was 17 I purchased a 1981 244GL Volvo off my parents. Poo Brown, it was one of the many spectacular colours available at the time that also included sky blue, beige and urine yellow.
It was a marvellous car and fabulously safe; the envy of many a teen I am sure (or at least those that didn't own a car at the time...). European, it afforded me safe, reliable driving, offering a certain comfort in the sound it produced when you shut the doors.
So good were the aerodynamics of this model machine, that at speeds over 115km/h it felt as though it was beginning to float and would emit a high pitch whistle much like the tone created when boiling a brew in an older style kettle on a gas cooktop... It was a Very Odd Looking Vehicular Object. Not today however, they're luxurious, good looking and (even) sporty. Who would have ever thought...
While now run by different owners, the brand invariably evokes images that I'm sure management today (in both corporations) would prefer to be forgotten.
And so it is, we come to the Volvo R100E, Volvo Construction Equipment's (Volvo CE) 95 tonne flagship off-road dump truck that hails from the Terex TR-Series dump trucks following Volvo CE's purchase of Terex Trucks in 2014.
Sturdy as hell, with a loyal following in countries outside of Australia, the TR series trucks are known as solid workhorses and although amazingly safe, are terribly ugly with a very large pig nose at the front. Now sporting the Volvo brand, this truck is a frog turned princess and as far as heavy earthmoving equipment is concerned, a real head turner.
Manufactured in Scotland, these trucks have been developed for mining and quarrying applications that also include the smaller R45D, R60D and R70D size trucks. Squarely aimed at Cat and Komatsu's range of rigid haul dump trucks, these trucks are destined to garner loyal supporters globally and round out for Volvo CE a comprehensive range of artic and rigid haul dump trucks. Speak to any Volvo equipment owner and they will tell you there's nothing better, with the feedback on their excavators and wheel loaders always positive.
Powered by a Cummins QST30, it was launched earlier this year having undergone extensive testing in South Africa and Sweden, operating in both hot and cold climates as well as hard rock and coal environments. Excelling in sites with particularly steep grades, this truck leverages the heritage of Terex, with the respected experience and technology of Volvo. To the credit of Volvo CE, it is a compelling truck and a machine that will sell well in markets we're Terex and Volvo have established pedigree.
Here in Australia, I can't help but feel that the mining market will be a tough nut to crack and if the truck is to experience success here, may well be better positioned with quarrying clients that have the flexibility to choose and manage equipment outside of the big mining players. Albeit still being a Very Odd Looking Vehicular Object, this is a truck I'm sure many an owner will be proud to say that they own.
Merry Christmas, may you and your families have a safe, rejuvenating festive season; we've got a big 2019 ahead of us all.
This article was originally published by the Components Only team in the December 2018 issue of "@ The Coal Face" magazine.Published 21 December, 2018