Volvo I-Shift with crawler gears put to test

How much weight can a Volvo FH16 750 pull? With the world’s strongest man behind the wheel of the world’s strongest series-produced truck, it is up to the new I-Shift with crawler gears to prove what it can do. On April 12, the answer will be revealed on Volvo Trucks’ YouTube channel.
On March 15 Volvo Trucks launched the new I-Shift with crawler gears. The new crawler ratios make it possible to start and drive with a gross combination weight of up to 325 tonnes, reported to be unique for a series-produced truck.
But just how much weight can the transmission really handle? Volvo Trucks’ forthcoming test of ultimate strength will reveal the answer. In the challenge, Magnus Samuelsson, former winner of the ‘World’s Strongest Man’ competition, and truck journalist Brian Weatherley will go head-to-head with the laws of physics and subject I-Shift with crawler gears to their toughest test.
“We already know that I-Shift with crawler gears can haul really heavy loads. With this challenge, we want to demonstrate the transmission’s immense capacity and show what the new crawler ratios can accomplish,” says Peter Hardin, product manager, FM and FMX, Volvo Trucks.
In this challenge, which takes place at the Port of Gothenburg, the truck has to pull an extremely heavy container train.
Weatherley says, “Attempting to move off from standstill with such a heavy load is an immensely tough challenge for a regular series-produced truck with automated transmission. In my 30 years as a trucking journalist, I’ve never witnessed anything like it.”
On April 12, the film in which Samuelsson teams up with the I-Shift with crawler gears will premiere on Volvo Trucks’ YouTube channel.
I-Shift with crawler gears is a further development of Volvo’s I-Shift automatic transmission. The new version of I-Shift has been developed for excellent starting traction and to handle driving at ultra-low speeds: I-Shift with crawler gears can drive as slowly as 0,5 to 2 km/h and can start from standstill while hauling 325 tonnes, a unique achievement for series-produced trucks with automatic transmission.
The transmission is available in a choice of direct drive and overdrive, with one or two crawler ratios. It is also possible to specify two extra reverse crawler gears.
The crawler gears are added to a regular I-Shift gearbox. In order to handle the high loads involved, several components are made from high-strength materials. The gearbox is 12 cm longer than a regular I-Shift unit.
I-Shift with crawler gears is available with Volvo Trucks’ 13- and 16-litre engines on the Volvo FM, Volvo FMX, Volvo FH and Volvo FH16.