I-Shift’s journey from upstart challenger to world champion

    This year we are celebrating 15 years of I-Shift – the crown jewel in Volvo Trucks’ unique powertrain. Thanks to continuous development, Volvo Trucks today has the widest range of automated manual transmissions in the industry.

    When I-Shift was introduced in 2001, it was met with scepticism. Automated manual transmissions and heavy trucks were considered a very difficult combination, and it looked to be a tough uphill road for Volvo Trucks to dare to venture on.

    The automated upstart needed to convince drivers, owners and sales representatives that it was at least as reliable as its manual alternative. Even the most optimistic advocates were reserved in their forecasts. Perhaps 25 per cent of future Volvo trucks would be equipped with automatic transmission, they reasoned. 

    Fast-forward to today and the intelligent gearbox has gone from a promising upstart to the absolute industry benchmark. Over 92 per cent of all new Volvo trucks globally, are now equipped with I-Shift. With its positive impact on fuel consumption and excellent performance, the intelligent gearbox is indispensable for truck drivers and hauliers.

    Volvo Trucks’ continuous improvement efforts have also resulted in industry unique I-Shift versions for all situations, which demonstrated its reliability in very extreme conditions lately.

    I-Shift with Crawler Gears can start from standstill with up to 325 tonnes in severe situations, and even managed to pull 750 tonnes in the Gothenburg port earlier this year. I-Shift Dual Clutch retains the high torque between shifts, and is part of the Iron Knight that has set two FIA world-records this summer; over 500 and 1,000 metres from a standing start.

    The I-Shift may have had a testing start. However, 15 years later, there is no doubt about it. I-Shift is here to stay, and more improvements will follow from Volvo Trucks’ strive to continously drive progress.

    Text Jimmy Håkansson  Photo Pontus Johansson, Arne Edström

    Volvo FH16, Volvo FH, Volvo FE, Volvo FL, Volvo FM, Volvo FMX, Trucks & technology, Fuel efficiency, Distribution, Refuse handling, Construction
    Driveline Evolution, I-Shift, I-Shift Dual Clutch, I-Shift with crawler gears, gearboxes