Volvo's new FL truck takes part in bull run
Volvo shows off FL distribution truck's manoeuvrability in bull run
The new Volvo FL has been chased by a herd of marauding bulls through Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain. The location – a small cathedral city in the province of Salamanca – was specifically selected by Volvo chiefs to show off their new distribution truck’s improved manoeuvrability.
In Volvo Trucks’ new film “The Chase”, the 12-tonne vehicle is pursued by bulls in a race through the city’s narrow medieval streets. The film is intended to show potential customers how easily the truck can be manoeuvred through demanding urban environments.
The unenviable task of outrunning a herd of bulls across a 2km course through Ciudad Rodrigo’s congested streets fell to precision driver Rob Hunt. The Volvo FL had to maintain a minimum speed of 30km/h simply to keep out of the bulls’ path.
“The town is old, the streets are narrow and we drive on slippery cobblestones,” explained Hunt. “To be chased by bulls on top of that is a real challenge.”
Indeed, some sections of the street course were so narrow that Hunt was forced to tuck in his rear-view mirrors.
“The bulls maintained a consistently high speed and were really close sometimes, but the truck handled the corners very well, so it was just a matter of driving,” Hunt said. “There was a whole lot happening, but the truck helped me the whole way.”
The design of the Volvo FL has been tailored to cope with the challenges posed by unforgiving urban environments. Smaller wheels, for example, lower the cab by 5cm, offering the driver improved all-round visibility. Of course, this also makes entering and exiting the cab less demanding.
Despite the adrenaline-filled nature of “The Chase”, participants’ safety – both human and bovine –remained the Volvo team’s number-one priority.
“The biggest risk was that we were in a town,” explained Hunt. “It was live and we had to make sure that it was safe for both people and animals. With the big rear mirrors, I had a good view of the bulls and the bull runners behind me, so I could keep a good safe distance. And the automated gearbox made it easy for me to focus on the driving.”