2020 International LTs vs. Volvos

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Schnoodledorfer, Oct 24, 2020.

  1. Schnoodledorfer

    Schnoodledorfer Bobtail Member

    Apr 26, 2020
    When I started with my company, it had mostly 5 year old Volvos with manual transmission, but also a few newer Volvo automatics. It got rid of the older Volvos and replaced them with 2020 International LTs. (These are all day cabs.) I was surprised at how much I hate the Internationals and am wondering if it's just me over-reacting. Is it normal for people to have very strong preferences for one truck over another? Is there that much difference between truck brands and how they drive? And if it makes such a difference to me, why don't the differences show up in any truck reviews? It's all stuff that drivers care about but fleet managers don't?

    I much prefer the steering of the Volvos. I was bouncing off the lines like a ping-pong ball the first time I got an International up to Interstate speeds and although I got more used to the steering, I still feel like I have to fight the steering more than with the Volvos.

    Our Internationals have Endurant 12-speed transmissions that run off air pressure somehow. If you have to go backwards and forwards too much, you run out of transmission air pressure and can't move until the air pressure builds back up. The truck takes a long time to shift gears and partially because of that, the truck is a dog at low speeds. If you set the cruise control at 53 MPH on level ground (faster if you are running into the wind), the truck keeps cycling between 11th and 12 gears because the truck slows down too each time it tries to upshift and has to downshift back to 11th. The transmissions has a couple of kludgy ways to keep from rolling backwards when you start going forward, but sometimes they don't work, so sometime you wind up rolling backwards, then the truck won't try to go into gear until you stop the backwards motion (hopefully without hitting something). I don't understand how you can sell a truck like this, yet there are a bunch of them out on the roads. Is this normal?

    I hate several things about how the cruise control works. Trying to set the speed faster or slower often sets the target to your current speed. When you use the resume button, the truck slows down first before speeding up. If you are in a curve, the truck waits until the wheels are straight before trying to resume to the set speed. etc. etc.

    If the sun is overhead, the shape of the hood reflects the sun right into your eyes. The work light and catwalk are far worse than with the Volvos.

    Don't even get me started on the wingman system.

    So am I just overreacting here, or what?
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  3. Dave_in_AZ

    Dave_in_AZ Road Train Member

    May 4, 2015
  4. Brettj3876

    Brettj3876 Road Train Member

    Nah it's not just you. Quality goes out the window, production goes up
    truckdriver31 Thanks this.
  5. daf105paccar

    daf105paccar Road Train Member

    Apr 15, 2012
    This passage tells me you are not a very experienced driver.
    Explains most off your rant.
    Muskie, kemosabi49 and truckdriver31 Thank this.
  6. Brettj3876

    Brettj3876 Road Train Member

    The 93 ch i drive and my uncle's classic with 1.5M on the clock ride better than any of the new throw away trucks I've been in
    truckdriver31 and AModelCat Thank this.
  7. Brandt

    Brandt Road Train Member

    Sep 17, 2012
    International trucks are build cheaper. The problem with the transmission is probably because the engine and transmission don't talk to each other. Volvo and Freightliner the engine and transmission work together as one. The truck could spec wrong for making transmission keep shifting.
  8. McUzi

    McUzi Road Train Member

    Jan 14, 2018
    You're not off your rocker. In my experience, the Volvos are built far better than the Internationals and are generally better engineered to providing creature comforts for drivers.
    Schnoodledorfer and Truckermania Thank this.
  9. tarmadilo

    tarmadilo Medium Load Member

    Dec 12, 2018
    I drive a 2019 LT with an X-15 and a 10-speed Eaton, and I like it.
  10. Muskie

    Muskie Medium Load Member

    Feb 27, 2019
    I'm driving that same International as the op and I like it. Other than the headlights, which I like better on the Freightliners, there really isn't much difference. The International has some minor tech features I like better. Most of the ops complaints have nothing to do with getting from point A to point B, safely. Just takes a little bit to get used to the power steering.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
    magoo68 Thanks this.
  11. magoo68

    magoo68 Road Train Member

    Jun 11, 2011
    st malo mb canada
    A lot of the issues the op has is they way the company set it up . Also new trucks need a alignment after a few miles . I’ve driven many that I disliked until the first alignment was done .
    Muskie Thanks this.
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