Hang tight – the new Volvo FMX
Claes Nilsson is President of Volvo Trucks and he does not hesitate to stand on a truck dangling more than 20 metres up in the air as he stars in a film where Volvo’s new construction truck is put to the test.
“Well, I have to admit I had butterflies in my tummy and I certainly did wonder more than once about what I’d let myself in for. I’m no mountain-climber and I don’t like heights. But I’d promised to do the stunt so I couldn’t very well back out,” says Claes Nilsson.
He had to spend almost two hours standing on the front panel of a Volvo FMX construction truck that had been hoisted more than 20 metres above the water in Gothenburg harbour.
“Of course there were many retakes and filming is a time-consuming process. It was fairly cold – about 8 degrees above zero – and the wind was blowing about 10 metres a second, so my hands got pretty cold after a while. But it all went very well. Safety was 100 per cent all the way, so I was never really afraid,” continues Claes Nilsson.
“The idea behind the film – called “The Hook” – is that we wanted to show that the truck’s front towing hook is dimensioned to handle far greater stresses than those to which it is normally subjected. It’s all about spotlighting the strength and quality of our construction trucks. And you can’t do that more clearly than by hoisting the 15 tonne truck up into the air via its own towing hook,” explains Claes Nilsson.
The film was shot from a helicopter. Everything had been prepared in advance down to the tiniest detail.
“The difficulty is to shoot the entire film in one take from a helicopter. I’m really impressed by Claes Nilsson, who stayed cool and focused throughout the two hours while hanging 20 metres up in the air. I tried it myself, but just for 15 minutes. It was pretty scary I can tell you,” says Filip Nilsson of Folke Film, who directed the film.
This is not the first time Volvo Trucks has filmed spectacular tests featuring their trucks. “The Ballerina Stunt” was a viral success the world over when it appeared on the Internet in August last year. Nowadays 7 million people have seen the film on YouTube in which Faith Dickey balances on a slackline between two trucks driving at full speed. The aim in that film was to demonstrate the improved stability and steering of Volvo’s new long-haul truck.
“Since then we’ve introduced another four truck models. Our plan is to subject them to a variety of tests in the upcoming months, all with the aim of demonstrating the improved characteristics of each model. These are not any run-of-the-mill tests we’re doing – I can assure you that nobody in the truck world has ever done anything like this before,” concludes Claes Nilsson.
This year has seen the most extensive launch of new models within the Volvo Group’s history, with four new models from Volvo Trucks, including the FMX, as well as a completely new range from Renault Trucks and UD Trucks.