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For Norway only, Volvo has launched the Globetrotter XXL – a special-sized cab – because the country has its own special length regulations for heavy goods vehicles. Initially available only on the FH16 tractor unit, this special cab was originally designed for the Australian market, where it has been a success for a number of years.

“We perhaps owe our thanks to our Transport Minister who persuaded Brussels that Norway’s special winter driving conditions, combined with narrow roads, made it necessary for Norway to have three-axle tractor units without affecting loading limits,” states Volvo Norway’s Marketing Director, Erik Engelien.

Liv Signe Navarsete, Norway’s Transport Minister, took on Brussels in late 2006, armed with a wide range of documentation from The Norwegian Haulier’s Association. There she argued that safety and navigability would be compromised during the wintertime in Norway if the EU’s length regulations were introduced. If the Norwegian Transport Minister had not won the case, Norwegian transport companies would have had to convert their existing vehicles at a cost of millions of kroner. While most other European markets have a limit of 16.5 metres for a semi-trailer combination, a total length of 17.5 metres is permitted in Norway. In addition, whilst an articulated rig cannot exceed 18.75 metres in Europe, the maximum permitted length in Norway is 19.50 metres.

“When Norway won its breakthrough for its own length regulations, we realised that we could use a special cab which had been specially designed for the Australian market. We would still be able to achieve the increased safety inherent in 3-axle tractor units, so we worked on producing the cab for Norway as well. However, in 2007 our production capacity for the cab was fully booked as Australia was taking all the cabs they could get. Last year, we saw a way to bring the special cab to Norway, and we are delighted to be able to present it now for the Norwegian market,” adds Erik Engelien.

Working environment

The new cab is known as the Globetrotter XXL and it is 245 mm longer than the Globetrotter XL. The extra length gives a totally different feeling of spaciousness inside.

“The increased length creates a better working environment for the driver. A larger cab also means better sleeping accommodation - something that is very important to drivers who spend most nights of their working week in their trucks. The bed in this cab is over one metre wide, which is naturally of great benefit to its occupant!” explains Engelien.

All Volvo cabs for the FH models are produced at Volvo’s cab factory in Umeå, in northern Sweden. Cabs for export to Australia are sent in containers together with all the other components needed for local assembly. The cabs being sent to Norway are transported from Umeå to the Volvo heavy vehicle plant in Gothenburg, where they are fitted to the chassis just like all other cabs, and from there they are then transported to Norway.

Considerable interest

“There is considerable interest in the new model, which we are proud to be able to introduce in Norway. At a time when there is so much focus on the downturn in the market and the difficult economic situation in general, being able to launch such a special and attractive product as this is a real ‘good-news’ story. The fact that Volvo is introducing a long cab in Norway has also attracted international interest and we have received a number of enquiries from customers in other countries who can use this type of tractor unit. The long version can be used on other markets for special transports, where dispensation from the length regulations can be sought,” concludes Engelien.

The longer vehicle is intended to meet the Norwegian special length regulations, but since Sweden also permits longer heavy goods vehicles, it can also be used there. The model now being introduced by Volvo will be totally unique on the Norwegian market.






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