Friday, November 15, 2013

Latest Volvo Truck Stunt Video Will Bring Tears to the Eyes of Any Road Haulage Aficionado

The Muscles from Brussels Spreads 'Em for Swedish Manufacturer (includes Video's)
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE – A little bit of Hollywood has come once again to Volvo Trucks with the latest instalment in a series of incredible stunts, this time to promote a new steering system the company hopes will improve any road haulage operators precision and stability in any driving condition. In a move that will make some ponder on why they can’t even stand upright with their eyes closed without falling over, the 53 year old ‘Muscles from Brussels’, Jean-Claude Van Damme performed one of his world-famous splits balanced between two Volvo FM trucks as they are driven in reverse.

The stunt, a world first, was only made possible by Volvo Dynamic Steering working through an electronically controlled electric motor that is adjusted around 2,000 times per second to create highly precise steering. Eve when driving in reverse, Volvo says that the system offers excellent control with minimal effort. At low speeds, it makes steering virtually effortless and improves manoeuvrability, while the electric motor also automatically regulates the steering and compensates for irregularities that feed through to the steering wheel, such as side winds or bumps in the road surface. As a result, the need to constantly make small adjustments to the steering is greatly reduced.

In the film ‘The Epic Split', the Volvo Dynamic Steering enables the two drivers to maintain the exact same distance and speed while travelling in reverse. Jean-Claude Van Damme's athleticism and the skill of the drivers are vital to the stunt's success, although some safety equipment was digitally removed from the video it’s still pretty impressive and, without Volvo Dynamic Steering, Volvo says the feat would not have been possible. Jan-Inge Svensson, Engineer at Volvo Trucks said:

"The film is the perfect demonstration of the directional stability Volvo Dynamic Steering can offer. The stability and control are so good that you can reverse a truck over a long distance with very high precision, which is exactly what we've had to do in this film. It had to be perfect - right down to the last centimetre.

"The capabilities of the system not only help make a great film - they are also very practical for truck drivers, especially in situations where a lot of steering input is needed, for example, reversing in tight areas or over rough terrain. When reversing with a trailer, small changes to the steering can make a big difference to the vehicle's direction and the effort required from the driver in an ordinary truck can be much higher. However, Volvo Dynamic Steering will help the driver maintain a straight line and provide far superior control of the truck."

‘The Epic Split' follows on from Volvo Trucks' previous viral video hits including ‘The Chase', ‘The Hamster Stunt', ‘The Hook' and ‘The Ballerina Stunt'.