Volvo redesigns auto hauler for maximum payload, modern look

Volvo VAH 600 auto haulerThe roll-out of the new Volvo Auto Hauler (VAH), a specialized solution for the auto transport industry, completes the design overhaul of the entire Volvo Trucks North America product portfolio.

Auto transport is a niche industry that presents unique demands on equipment and drivers. Volvo Trucks has responded with a comprehensive update to its VAH series which is now available to order. The new model is designed on the same heavy-duty platform and with many of the features and durable construction found in Volvo Trucks’ vocational VHD model, the OEM says.

The updated Volvo VAH model improves transport efficiencies for customers by providing enhanced loading flexibility and optimized carrying capacity. Deep-drop front axles, low-height Volvo Air Ride rear suspensions and reduced-height cab options create a lower overall roof height, allowing larger passenger vehicles such as pickup trucks, minivans and SUVs to be positioned above the cab while still allowing the loaded chassis to be below height and clearance regulations, Volvo says.

Another key feature of the new VAH model is that no structural changes outside of the roof modification are required on the cab, protecting Volvo Trucks’ front impact safety features and retaining the OEM first-time quality build and ride characteristics.

“Volvo Trucks is proud to roll out the most advanced auto hauler model in the trucking industry,” says Andy Hanson, product marketing manager, Volvo Trucks North America. “Behind the new, updated look are significant engineering innovations utilized in the other models in our impressive product portfolio. We’re excited to introduce this new VAH model, designed with Volvo Trucks’ core focus on safety, productivity and comfort for drivers.”

An updated Volvo Active Driver Assist (VADA) collision-avoidance system available on the new VAH features radar and automatic braking technology to monitor road hazards provide the ability to completely stop in certain emergency situations. Other engineering solutions include remote start, Volvo’s I-Shift automated manual transmission and the Position Perfect steering configuration, the company says.

A modern interior offers improved driver performance features and amenities including new LED lighting for increased visibility, cruise control and a symmetrical instrument cluster with a high-resolution, programmable LCD screen that conveys critical vehicle alerts and system settings. An optional infotainment system features a seven-inch color touch screen and integrated premium audio.

Volvo Trucks’ Remote Diagnostics platform — designed to maximize uptime with 24/7 monitoring of engine, transmission and aftertreatment systems — is standard on the new VAH. Enhanced proactive diagnostics enables a detailed analysis of critical fault codes for repair planning, immediate communication if actions are required and streamlined service procedures.

Remote Programming, as part of the Remote Diagnostics service bundle, also is available on the redesigned Volvo VAH. Remote Programming provides significant time savings as updates and parameter changes can be done in a matter of minutes over the air, without the customer having to visit a dealership, the company says.

“The technology behind the VADA system and our range of other driver productivity features built into the new Volvo VAH has progressed exponentially over the last several years,” says Hanson. “The advantages in vehicle and driver performance put these models into a category by themselves.”

Volvo says the new VAH will come in three variations offered through Fontaine Modification:

  • The VAH 300 day cab (Fontaine model 94 or 97) offers 11-vehicle capacity and a tight turning radius for easier maneuvering. The VAH 300 features a 113.6-in. BBC and is available with a 94.5- or 97.5-in. (unladen) roof height.
  • The VAH 400 sleeper (Fontaine model 97 or 102) provides a 42-in. interior cab height for comfortable overnight during extended regional deliveries. Along with maximum payload capacity, agility and driver amenities, the VAH 400 offers a 145.6-in. BBC and can be ordered with a 97.5- or 102.5-in. roof height.
  • The VAH 600 sleeper (Fontaine model 97 or 102) offers cab height of 61 inches for maximum comfort on long-haul routes requiring multiple nights on the road. The auto-hauling industry’s premium sleeper features a 36-in. wide mattress, ample storage space and refrigerator capacity. The VAH 600 has a 164.1- in. BBC and is available with a 97.5- or 102.5-in. roof height.
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