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If you haven't checked out the latest Volvo Trucks' advert you might be in for a treat. Following in the tradition of Volvo's penchant for great stunts, their latest commercial is something that needs to be seen to be believed.
Why has Volvo stacked four trucks on top of one another?
Volvo Trucks has just released a new advert featuring four trucks stacked on top of one another. Not only that but also Volvo's President, Roger Alm, can be seen standing on top.
It is part of an advertising campaign to highlight the launch of not one, but four new iterations of some of their cab-over trucks; the Volvo FH, Volvo FH16, Volvo FM, and Volvo FMX. These trucks are Volvo's most popular ranges and account for around two-thirds of the company's sales.
The new video was created to demonstrate the sheer power and strength of their latest trucks. By stacking four trucks to form a 15-meter, 58-tonne truck tower, the new video certainly is a testament to Volvo's engineering.
"The unusual film is set in the dead of night and starts by showing the truck tower as a huge monolith glowing in the distance. As it moves forward, we see wolves in the foreground and catch a glimpse of a female driver.
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As the film reaches its climax, complete with smoke and lightning, we see that the man standing on top of the truck tower is actually Volvo Trucks’ president, Roger Alm.
The video will be available a day before the official release of their revamped cab-over range of trucks in Europe. Make sure you check out their social media sites to watch it for yourself.
"This is our biggest launch ever at Volvo Trucks. They will have a huge impact on our customers’ profitability and ability to compete both for business and the best drivers.
I´m used to be on top of things, but for me, shooting the truck tower was definitely an unusual day at work. And let’s just say I have a certain respect for heights. I´m a down to earth guy”, said Roger Alm, president of Volvo Trucks.
Is the Volvo truck stack real or CGI?
Volvo's latest PR stunt was shot in late 2019 at their testing ground just outside Volvo's hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden. Amazingly, the vast majority of the advert is real with only some of the visual effects created in post-production.
The truck tower, smoke, and lighting and other visual effects are all very much real. The behind-the-scenes film explains how they accomplished this amazing feat.
"It took about a month to design and build the tower and make sure it was safe to drive. Essentially, this was made possible thanks to the sturdy construction truck, Volvo FMX, and its new 38-tonne bogie being able to carry the weight of the others.
But it also required a steady speed and course, accomplished by the Volvo Dynamic Steering technology and a skilled truck driver,” said Markus Wikström, an engineer at Volvo Trucks and part of the engineering team behind the tower.
Volvo has a history of using great stunts in their commercials
The latest truck-tower stunt is nothing unusual for Volvo. In fact, they've made quite a name for themselves with great stunts in their commercials in the past.
One of the most famous examples, as you may well remember, was that Jean-Claude van Damme split stunt between two reversing Volvo FH's. Titled "Epic Split," the video is one of the best automotive commercials ever created.
Set to Enya's "Only Time," the commercial was a huge success for Volvo. The advert was created to demonstrate the precision and directional stability of Volvo Dynamic Steering; a world-first technology that makes the Volvo FM easier to drive.
It was filmed in Spain on a closed-off landing field at sunrise in, amazingly, one take.
You may also remember that other great Volvo truck-stunt advert with the four-year-old girl remote controlling a Volvo FMX through an obstacle course. Filled with many hazards that would write-off a less robust truck, the Volvo FMX is really pushed to its limits by the toddler.
She crashes it through buildings, accidentally rolls it down a slope and generally operates it without due care and attention -- to say the very least. This advert was created to showcase the sturdiness and mobility of the Volvo FMX.
As this truck has a unique cage construction, cast-iron front plus corners and skidplate of high-grade steel it is a very tough truck indeed. The robustness of the Volvo FMX is surely why Volvo chose to place it at the bottom of the truck tower.
"Thanks to Automatic Traction Control – a revolutionary new feature that automatically engages the front axle when you need it – you won’t get stuck." - Volvo Trucks.
Volvo is also doing their part for the trucking industry
Trucks are vitally important for the modern world, especially with the nearly exponential growth of e-commerce. But, the industry is facing something of a crisis.
According to recent surveys, most of the existing drivers are currently nearing retirement. In Germany alone, 40% of the current drivers believe they will be retired within the next 10 to 15 years.
Sadly, younger generations also appear to be hesitant to pursue a career as a truck driver. But that is only part of the problems facing the industry.
"In a recent survey commissioned by Volvo Trucks, they asked 300 haulers across Europe what factors are most important when trying to attract or keep good drivers. Not surprisingly, the number one factor was the pay.
But just after that, 93% said that driver environment and comfort was important to attract or keep the professional drivers they are so dependent on. Adding to that, 78% stated that the performance of the trucks was important for the same reasons," - Volvo.
While Volvo can't help attract new truck driver talent or influence their pay, they can provide existing and future truckers with some of the most comfortable, high-performance machines on the market.
For the most part, advertising in the truck industry can be, put it bluntly, bland. But, Volvo Truck through its series of globally renowned films, is working hard to change the way people look at trucks and the industry in general.
Volvo Trucks, with the launch of their new trucks, are doing their part to help change the perception of truck driving for the good. This is a long-term commitment from the Swedish truck brand and the results, to date, have been outstanding.