OPERATOR CORNER: All Volvo machines sold are fully tested by professionals
by Patricia Kelly
Just about every machine operator in the world has someone like Johan Agnehamn to thank for keeping them safe. Agnehamn, 32, a mechanic in the development workshop of Volvo CE’s articulated hauler facility in Braås, southern Sweden, has the enviable task of test-driving Volvo’s articulated haulers. “It’s better that we test them and break them than our customers,” he says with a self-effacing shrug.
After spending many hours behind the wheel of Volvo CE’s new A60H articulated hauler, the largest of any brand on the market, Agnehamn says he thinks the machine will definitely prove a popular choice with operators.
Having helped put together the first A60H prototype for the purposes of internal research and development, Agnehamn has been operating the new machine right from the start. “The A60H is the most mature prototype I have driven,” he says. “What makes it different is that it is bigger and we have full suspension on the tractor part. It’s comfortable for the driver and I think it moves faster compared to the A40 – of course it does because it has more torque and horsepower – but if you look at it loaded compared to a loaded A40 I think it has more power.”
With a centrally-positioned seat, superior steering, excellent suspension, and ample space and visibility, Volvo articulated haulers are renowned for providing some of the most comfortable and productive operator environments in the industry. The industry-leading Volvo Care Cab system ensures operators feel safe and in control. The system’s features meet all international standards and go even further with lower noise and vibration levels, and a market-leading cab climate-control and air-filter system.
Developing what amounts to a world first comes with its responsibilities – Agnehamn says his opinion about the new machine’s performance when he puts it through its paces is valued by Volvo CE and taken seriously by the company.
“As a test-driver you are influential in the development. I’ve been involved with plenty of testing of the transmission and the gearbox and a lot of my feedback has gone into the software, so I think my part matters,” he says. “It is quite remarkable to have the opportunity to test-drive it and give your opinion to construction and management so that we can give our customers the best options and possibilities. I am very happy and pleased with the job we have done so far.”
Agnehamn started his career with Volvo CE in assembly ten years ago and then moved to the control section. “Every hauler that leaves here has a scheduled drive for an hour or maybe two so I have checked many haulers before they were shipped out,” he explains.
Five years ago, he moved to the development section. “That was when we developed the G model range – A25G to A40G. Before that I had a chance to drive a mock-up for the E model and then I drove the prototypes for the F and then the G models and now the A60H – we do a lot of testing,” he says.
Volvo CE developed the new hauler in response to a growing demand for haulers with larger payloads.
“We have seen the need for a bigger machine for some time and now we will give the world what it wants,” says Agnehamn. And his recommendation? “Buy it!”