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Steering the future: Volvo Trucks develops new dynamic steering technology

Written by Steve Gursten Posted April 10th, 2013

Preventing semi truck accidents through dynamic steering technology, contemporary hydraulic technology, and an electric motor make semi-trucks safer

Volvo trucks steering technologyRoundtable lawyer co-founder Joe Fried started his legal career with product liability cases, which later  evolved into trucking crash litigation. Even now, improper maintenance and outdated technology play a role in so many trucking crash cases, and all of the Roundtable lawyers  follow new developments in truck technology because many are making the commercial vehicles on our roads safer and easier to drive.

Volvo Trucks recently introduced a new innovative steering technology that looks like a promising development for safer commercial motor vehicles. The aim of the new dynamic steering technology is to make steering a large commercial truck easier.  This could help make a very difficult job much easier, and it makes everyone safer on our highways.

The Volvo steering system is so advanced, it even detects flaws in the highway, like cracks or potholes, and filters out vibrations or other interference from traveling up through the steering wheel. Volvo claims the new technology will benefit truck drivers in all operating conditions.

So, how does this work?

It’s really a smart device.  Dynamic steering combines conventional hydraulic power steering with an electronic motor that’s actually fitted into the steering gear.  Combining the two into one apparatus, dynamic steering produces more precision, and better control under all conditions, all while putting less physical strain on the truck driver.

Volvo maintains that there are four main benefits to dynamic steering system:

  1. Helps turn the truck with more ease: An 80,000 pound truck is very difficult to turn at low speeds; even with conventional power steering technologies.  Truck drivers must exert a lot of physical force and put a lot of strain on their body turning these heavy trucks.  The electric motor built into the dynamic steering system takes over much of the work and the truck driver need only put forward minimal physical efforts to successfully turn the truck, and can concentrate on watching for hazards.
  2. Filters out road irregularities: As previously touched upon, irregularities in the road are filtered out and dampened. This eliminates a potential distraction and allows truck drivers to focus on the road. Beyond that, Volvo says this will give the truck driver better control over the truck, because the driver will no longer have to compensate for the constant minor adjustments that occur when a truck hits an inconsistent portion of the road.
  3. Provides directional stability in steering wheel: The precision control provides increased directional stability, and will eliminate minor movements in the steering wheel.
  4. Detects road imperfections and high winds: The system which detects imperfections in the road surface also detects side winds which can push the truck, making it very difficult to control.  High winds are very dangerous, and are often significant factors in truck accidents, like this one, where a storm blew over a truck in Maryland. When dynamic steering detects a sudden shift caused by high wind, it automatically compensates for the gust, assisting the driver.

This is an innovative and bold new technology.  It will make truck driving easier on the drivers’ bodies, and more importantly, because of the superior control over the truck, it will make the roads safer for all users.

Related information:

Why driving a truck is more complicated

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About Steve Gursten

Attorney Steven Gursten is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association and past president of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. He has been named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leader in the Law" for his efforts to prevent truck accidents and promote national truck safety. Steve was also a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Lawyer of the Year" for a record settlement in a truck accident case. He has received the top reported truck accident jury verdict and top reported truck accident settlement in Michigan for multiple years, according to published year-end compilations of all jury verdicts and personal injury settlements by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He has been named a "Top 50 Super Lawyer," by SuperLawyers, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and has been awarded an AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics. Steve speaks to lawyers throughout the country on truck accident litigation. He is a founding member of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable, head of Michigan Auto Law, and has dedicated his legal career to making our roads safer.
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