The LXL acronym on this worthy combination stands for an ‘L’ (low roof) on the ‘XL’ (Globetrotter cab). For drivers who like their creature comforts, there can be fewer used cabs around with better specs. A hop up two steps will bring you into this capacious interior, which when fitted out with ‘Driver Plus’ and ‘Sleeper’ packages is all the more alluring. The two seats are impressively high-backed and upholstered in quality leather. Behind these top-notch furnishings is a comfortable wide bunk and above it there are three roller door lockers, one of which conceals a fridge.
High-wear areas such as the floor, dash and seats are finished in a dark trim, which means they tend to look less worn –
an ideal feature on a used truck. All of the switchgear and instrumentation has the solid, quality finish we have come to expect from Volvo and again this bodes well for a used truck. The driver’s office in general has been well thought out. A curved dash provides the home for a good, logical layout of switches, with sensible touches such as the parking brake lever being located behind the indicator stalk. A small pedal above the accelerator releases the steering wheel to allow the driver to quickly and easily find the most comfortable set-up.
With 430hp on tap in this 44 tonner, the Volvo FM430 LXL 6×2 tractor has 9.77hp per tonne to play with, slightly less than the 10hp-per-tonne rule of thumb. How does this engine cope? Actually, remarkably well. This D11B unit is a six-cylinder turbocharged power plant using SCR to deliver Euro 5 conformance. The 11-litre engine shares the same bore and stroke ratio as its lauded big brother, the D13. This no doubt contributes to its performance. It produces its maximum 430hp between 1,800 and 1,900rpm and gives over 2,100Nm of torque between 1,100 and 1,300rpm.
It is an economical engine too and if you stay in the green, economical band between 1,050 and 1,500rpm, it will match pretty much any 44-tonner for mileage. Helping these figures is the fact that the D11 is a full 140kg lighter than the D13. The smoothness and economy of this engine is further aided by the automatic I-Shift V24 12AT gearbox. This intelligent unit can be left completely to its own devices and can be trusted to quickly select the right cog 100% of the time. The I-Roll system also pitches in to help maximise your fuel economy, disengaging the gearbox and allowing the momentum of the truck to carry it forward when power is not needed.
Suspension comes by way of four ECAS airbags, shockers and anti-roll bar on the rear axles, while the front axle has the usual steel springs along with those shock absorbers and anti-roll bar. Steering is accurate and nimble, contributing an eager feel to the performance of the engine. Stopping power is provided by electronically operated discs all around and this system is boosted by ABS, ASR and Volvo’s Engine Brake.
This combination of exceptional economy and engineering will impress the bean counters at bigger fleets, while owner-operators can add the comfort of that big cab to their checklist of reasons to buy a used Volvo FM430 LXL 6×2 tractor.