The day after tomorrow: Volvo's vision for future wheeled loaders

15 April 2008

Volvo Construction Equipment's (VCE) stand at Bauma will feature a “new technology” area where options being considered for future machines will be demonstrated and discussed. Star of the show will undoubtedly be VCE's latest design concept - the Gryphin, an extreme concept wheel loader… of the 2020s. Following the success of the SfinX excavator design study in 2004, VCE's designers have imagined how wheel loaders will develop in the medium term future.

The Gryphin undoubtedly looks futuristic, but is still recognisably a Volvo. Using an electric hybrid power source, Gryphin emits almost no emissions. Instead of heavy transmissions, drivelines and axles, Gryphin uses electrical motors inside each wheel, allowing much higher underbody ground clearance and a super quiet machine.

Views from the driver's seat are excellent in all directions thanks to all-round glazing and lattice see-through pillars. The glass in the cab is intelligent: heating up in cold weather and becoming darker in bright sunlight to act as giant sunglasses!

A solid, yet light, centre boom improves lifting performance and reduces torsional stresses, while the absence of traditional front boom linkages allows a much better view of the work area.

The lack of a traditional driveline and axles allows the adoption of intelligent independent suspension. This not only offers a more comfortable ride for the operator, with fewer vibrations entering the cab, but also allows for variable ride height. The frame can be lowered for high speed haul cycles, reducing the centre ofgravity and allowing higher speeds than currently possible with no lost of comfort or stability. The frame can also be raised; increasing ground clearance over rough ground and offering greater dump heights while maintaining stability.

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