Questionnaire For Volvo Truckers

Topic 32368 | Page 1

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David H.'s Comment
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Hello everyone! I’m an industrial designer working on redesigning a steering wheel for Volvo Trucks, and I wanted to reach out to some truckers for some insight! I’ve got some questions for people to chime in on below, so if you’ve got some good answers/opinions/general insight, please feel free to chime in! Thanks!

1. What is the most important data to keep track of/monitor while trucking? 2. What are some multitasking routines that trucking requires? 3. What are some of the buttons/switches that you press the most while trucking? 4. What do you like the most/least about the interior layout of your truck? 5. What do you like the most/least about the interior features of your truck? 6. What is the most comfortable hand position for holding the wheel when trucking long distances (10 and 2, 9 and 3, etc.) 7. Have you driven with a brodie/suicide knob before? Is it something you prefer in tight spaces? 8. Does the steering wheel in your truck have buttons that maybe shouldn’t be there/could be located somewhere else? 9. Do you prefer a thicker/thinner steering wheel? 10. Would interchangeability of buttons/button layouts on the steering wheel be beneficial to you? 11. What are some features that you would like to see incorporated into your steering wheel?

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
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Hello everyone! I’m an industrial designer working on redesigning a steering wheel for Volvo Trucks, and I wanted to reach out to some truckers for some insight! I’ve got some questions for people to chime in on below, so if you’ve got some good answers/opinions/general insight, please feel free to chime in! Thanks!

  • 1. What is the most important data to keep track of/monitor while trucking?
  • 2. What are some multitasking routines that trucking requires?
  • 3. What are some of the buttons/switches that you press the most while trucking?
  • 4. What do you like the most/least about the interior layout of your truck?
  • 5. What do you like the most/least about the interior features of your truck?
  • 6. What is the most comfortable hand position for holding the wheel when trucking long distances (10 and 2, 9 and 3, etc.)
  • 7. Have you driven with a brodie/suicide knob before? Is it something you prefer in tight spaces?
  • 8. Does the steering wheel in your truck have buttons that maybe shouldn’t be there/could be located somewhere else?
  • 9. Do you prefer a thicker/thinner steering wheel?
  • 10. Would interchangeability of buttons/button layouts on the steering wheel be beneficial to you?
  • 11. What are some features that you would like to see incorporated into your steering wheel?

Please keep in mind in case I had failed to mention, the preferences I've requested above are for the furtherance of a Volvo project. Input from drivers of ALL makes/models/years, et al ., would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time!

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar
Hello everyone! I’m an industrial designer working on redesigning a steering wheel for Volvo Trucks, and I wanted to reach out to some truckers for some insight! I’ve got some questions for people to chime in on below, so if you’ve got some good answers/opinions/general insight, please feel free to chime in! Thanks!

Fixed it for you above, David. It's not common knowledge that in HTML, you need to double space to get line items separated with a space. Using an ordered (or non) list, even organizes it more; just helps make it easier for our members to view.

Another thing, David. Oftentimes, the owner and moderators of this site do not mind such posts/surveys; it's moreso appreciated if signed accordingly, either in the post itself, or in your profile.

I hope some of our folks pitch in; we just had a steering wheel thread going on not long ago, about leather covers and how to secure them. PackRat, I believe, had the best solution(s.)

Let us know more about you and your project, David; perhaps in the bio within your profile. We've got a great group of folks in here, many million miles and years of driving, combined.

Sincerely hope this forum helps, we'd love to see your progress; as well as the end result of our contributaries!

Best forward, hope we can help;

~ Anne & Tom ~

ps: If you get a moment, check out the Owner/Designer of this website's free (and published) book:

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving. Paperbacks and Hardcovers available, as well.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Ive driven a few of the Volvos at our company, They are fleet level tractors for perspective.

The complaint that I have with the steering wheel buttons is this: The audio controls should be on one side entirely, preferably left, and the cruise should be on the other, right. At present some of the cruise functions on the models Ive operated are on the left side along with audio, and some on the right. It creates confusion and is counter intuitive to operate.

Below is a list of other issues I found if you have anyone else working on other areas of the cabin:

Driver side visor opens backwards, is difficult to access while driving. Side visor and main visor do not adequately cover upper corner of windshield.

Lack of head room throughout the cabin for drivers 6'0" or taller, particularly front cabinets above driver, routinely impacted head on cabinets daily.

Engine braking is inconsistent and weak in comparison to similarly equipped tractors.

Fleet level seats are stiff, extremely uncomfortable and cause severe fatigue to driver

Wiper stalk is located directly in front of the Engine brake stalk, very counter intuitive to operate

Transmission controls located on the dashboard are difficult for driver to access during operation, and dangerous to use manual mode due to location, recommend placing conventional stalk on RH side of steering column as most manufacturers

TV mount is located in front of microwave cabinet, presents danger to head impact and restricts use of all but the smallest microwave ovens.

cabinet shelves in some models lack front lip and edge to prevent spilling of contents during driving.

ambient air temperature sensors give false readings and thus climate control and idle control based on temp settings are invalid and inaccurate. Recommend placing a single ambient sensor in location of bottom driver side mirror housing

Software does not support PassSmart technology

Side mirror frames prone to slipping and causes loss of adjustment, upper mirror frame member causes blind spot.

support for mattress is weak, causes mattress to dish, also mattress area seems cramped for taller occupants.

Ryan B.'s Comment
member avatar

For context, I drive a 2020 Volvo VNL 860.

Speed and cruise speed setting are the most important things to be able to see at any given time. Everything else has some sort of application, but being able to monitor speed is critical to being safe and protecting our licenses.

Multitasking is done, but it is really a form of distracted driving. I am not sure there are any necessary multitasking functions that can't be done before or after driving, with sufficient planning.

Applying cruise and raising/lowering cruise speed are the buttons I use most often while driving.

I don't like where the city horn is located on the steering wheel. Too easy to press it when grabbing the lower part of the steering wheel. I agree with Davy that the volume control buttons should be in a different place. They are of significantly less importance than just about every other button on the steering wheel, so they would do well to be tucked out of the way somewhere.

I have small hands, so the steering wheel size is fine as is.

Most comfortable hand position for me is 9-3. I do employ variable hand position to avoid muscle strain and fatigue.

As technology advances, being able to customize the mapping of buttons on the steering wheel would be a really nice touch. A similar application, for example, is the way that side buttons on phones can be mapped for various functions according to user preference.

I would like to see placement of AC outlets in more accessible places. It's great to have them, but they are all in the most difficult places to reach.

More securement devices, e.g. straps, bungee cords, clamps, etc would be great for securing belongings.

The refrigerator builds up ice really fast. Also, I have not found a way to thaw out ice buildup in freezer compartment without it resulting in floor beneath refrigerator getting wet.

More cup holders within sleeper area, and dispersed to different parts, would be a nice perk.

General issues to point out:

I agree with Davy on the issue of side mirrors, both the positional stability and the blind spot creation.

Engine brake often feels like it is doing nothing but running at higher RPMs. I try to use it often to avoid overusing service brakes, but I often find myself having to repeatedly slow myself down with service brake while engine brake is applied.

Thermometer for ambient air temp is never accurate. It's not reliably off, either, i.e. it's not a matter of always off by however many degrees up or down. Best comparison is that it's like the thermometer is guessing the ambient air temperature instead of measuring it.

Collision avoidance system is generally very good and accurate, but sometimes it picks up on things it shouldn't and overreacts with severe braking. Ex: Approaching an overpass with a small descent before going under. Collision avoidance will react to that overpass and sometimes brake violently.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

I agree with Davy about the audio. Audio and phone controls should be together and the transmission controls, at least for manual control could be mounted on the stalk with the engine brake. Hand position while driving has become more 9 and 3 with the airbag integration (I really don’t feel like pinching myself in both eyes in the event of deployment). Personally, I think engineers would be better served by spending a month in a truck. You’d have a much better grasp on the living conditions and needs of drivers.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Dragon breaths The Fire of Wisdom…

Personally, I think engineers would be better served by spending a month in a truck. You’d have a much better grasp on the living conditions and needs of drivers.

Totally agree… hard to study ergonomics second hand. Spot-on Robert.

David H.'s Comment
member avatar

Some really great feedback here everyone, I really appreciate you all taking the time to reply. I'm only working on a steering wheel redesign, but the other concerns about the interior space are greatly appreciated as well as everything in the interiors of the trucks is meant to work in one cohesive package.

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Some really great feedback here everyone, I really appreciate you all taking the time to reply. I'm only working on a steering wheel redesign, but the other concerns about the interior space are greatly appreciated as well as everything in the interiors of the trucks is meant to work in one cohesive package.

David;

Didn't know if you'd even stop back, LoL . . . we get a few 'researchers' we never hear back from.

PackRat has some excellent steering wheel 'designs' by him, in one of his posts . . . how he 'does' his up.

Maybe he will stop back ? If not, you are welcome to search his posts. Anyone's, for that matter.

Best wishes; come ride along! Oh yeah, we don't know who to send for ya, don't have your state!

~ Anne ~

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Don't put me in with the Volvo group.

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