Charlie the hamster – Volvo Trucks’ new test driver
Following the viral success of last year’s Ballerina Stunt, Volvo Trucks has now let a pet hamster take the wheel of its latest new truck, the Volvo FMX. In this stunt, Charlie the hamster steers the truck up and out of a hazardous quarry – demonstrating how easy it is to manoeuvre the 15-tonne construction vehicle. Shot in Spain, the film is directed by Jamie Rafn, known for his one-take spot Walk.
Vice president Lars Terling says the stunt films are part of a live-test strategy to dramatise the technical innovations of Volvo Trucks. The focus of this spot is Volvo Dynamic Steering, a revolutionary new idea to take the strain out of turning the wheel for drivers all over the world. Terling reveals there could be more live-tests to come.
Charlie is a specially trained hamster from the UK. The truck he has to steer is a new Volvo FMX. These are used in mining, construction and other tough conditions.
The supporting role is played by precision driver Seon Rogers, who has his feet on the pedals and a carrot to keep Charlie from driving them over the edge.
The film was shot in a closed-off quarry at Los Tres Cunados, Spain.
Lars Terling, Vice President Marketing Communications, Volvo Trucks:
“We were highly sceptical to begin with, but at the same time we could see it was a fun way to show how easy it is to steer with Volvo Dynamic Steering.’’
“I know it’s hard to believe a hamster could drive a truck, but Charlie the hamster did it. What you see in the film is the real thing.’’
“It’s a completely new type of steering that will change the lives of truck drivers everywhere – it’s going to save a lot of backs.’’