Volvo reviews or opinions

Discussion in 'Trucks [ Eighteen Wheelers ]' started by EmersonSC, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. EmersonSC

    EmersonSC Light Load Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Taylor, MI
    Looking into geting a 06-09 Volvo 780 with a D12/D13 engine. Is there any current or past driver of a Volvo 680/780 that can give an honest review/opinion of their experience with these trucks?

    PLEASE no fan boys. If you own/drive a pete/freight/anything else and think i should to, please dont bother posting. Thats not what im looking for.
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  2. Cowpie1

    Cowpie1 Road Train Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Kellogg, IA
    When I was a company driver, I was put into a Volvo for about 200,000 miles. I never really was a fan of the Volvo's. Sure, it was a comfortable, quiet truck, but, from an O/O standpoint, it doesn't appeal to me as well. Some of the design features are a real pain from a maintenance standpoint... like, if the windshield wiper assembly breaks a connecting arm, you have to replace the ENTIRE windshield wiper assembly. Can't get just replacement individual parts (unless you took parts off a junk yard truck). There are a number of components in them that are similar in that you have to replace an entire component assembly and not just a portion. The Steering assembly comes to mind. If you lose the u-joint (which is non greasable and is subject to salt corrosion) in the steering column, you have to replace the entire steering column shaft. The Volvos are just not that O/O friendly from a maintenance standpoint. Parts has been one of Volvo's weaknesses for some time. Some of the dealers are getting better at stocking parts since Volvo has addressed the issue. I would get some kind of grill guard installed. The Volvo's don't seem to deal with a deer hit very well from what I have seen. The CAC and tubing, Radiator, etc are very vulnerable and usually, they have to be replaced all as one assembly. The Volvo air suspension front axle may be an issue. If it comes out of the factory aligned correctly, you probably will not have a problem. But I have talked with several alignment shops that really have fits with the Volvo air ride front end keeping them aligned properly.

    Regarding the engine, I have not heard much positive about the Volvo engines. I would recommend, if you are going to get a Volvo, you try and get one with a Cummins. I have heard that Volvo has improved the engines in the last couple of years, but I have heard nothing good about them before that.

    I know that some will disagree with what I have stated here, but I have not seen any advantage to having a Volvo, they are ok fleet trucks I guess, but I have no desire to spend money on one. I prefer a 70" or 72" sleeper so the 730 or 780 would be a good choice if I were to buy one. I prefer a midroof as opposed to a condo sleeper so I would side with the 730. Easier to sell when the time comes and it takes less to heat and cool it and you still have plenty of headroom and sleeper length. They are a little harder to come by though.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
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  3. EmersonSC

    EmersonSC Light Load Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Taylor, MI
    Well the reason why i ask is i have my 1 year in, and I have been counting down the day i can finally leave Prime. One of the companies i was looking at going to was Hill Brothers out of Omaha. They have 780s and have a real good lease program. I was also looking at JCT, but i would need 1.5yrs (they just recently upped the exp. requirement). JCT has classic trucks, which i love, but from an o/o stand point they no longer make sense as they are #### on fuel milage. They also have T660s and Pro Stars. Hill Brothers has volvos, with the nice roomy 81" sleepers. I have been inside them and i really like the work station and the size of the fridge. They also pay for more stuff compared to JCT, and their payments are slightly lower.
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  4. MedicineMan

    MedicineMan Road Train Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Woodville, TX
    sounds to me like you just want someone to praise your decision for you.

    You don't want opinions unless they are what you want to hear. Did you ever think that mabey someone ownes something other then a volvo because they mabey know something?? Fortunatly for you I don't care what opinions you want to hear I'll give mine anyways. lol

    as stated the problem with the volvo's is they are maintenance nightmares. Almost nothing you can do yourself and everything is very complicated which means it's very expensive to have repaired. Volvo dealer networks suck, there just isn't enough of them. When your truck goes down odds are they won't have the parts and even if they do your lucky if they can get it into the shop within 3 or 4 days. that's almost a week of downtime on top of the repair.
    volvo motors are pretty decent actually. the big problem once again is expense. for example, they have not one but TWO egr valves. and they cost almost $4k to replace. And egr valves are one of those things that it's not a matter of if, but WHEN it's going to go out.

    even the big companies like swift got rid of them and got into the internationals. That's why there are so many on the lots for sale and in my opinion they are still overpriced.

    Don't make a blanket statement sch as a classic can't get #### for fuel milage. You don't know what your talking about obviously as there is so many variables. for example, if your running reefer through the rockies your heavy all the time and running as fast as you can to make your appointments. I don't care what truck you got, it's not getting good fuel mileage. Secondly you have to lok at the emission equipment. Right now I own an 05 columbia with a 14L EGR detroit. pulling reefer west coast I have to try pretty hard to get 5mpg out of it. When I was leased to landstar runing regionally around the midwest and south with nice light loads I was getting upwards of 7. Now the last company truck I drove was a freightliner CLASSIC with a 500hp non emissions motor, pulling reefer. I was getting 7 to 7.5mpg with that truck.
    For what I'm doing now i'd much rather have a classic. WHY? because I liek them and it just doesn't matter what I do i'm not getting good mileage. However you really can't go wrong with a freightliner for they are the exact opposit of the volvo. they are easy to work on, there is great prats interchangability and parts are as cheap as your going to find in any truck. I have literally bought the same fan solinoid from freightliner and from KW. same part number. Freightliner was $100 and KW was $160
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  5. johnn5272000

    johnn5272000 Light Load Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Bloomington in
    First of all the Volvo 780 is my favorite truck. That being said Volvo is going to get out of the big truck business in The United States, so what that will mean for getting service done etc is anybody's guess but it won't be good. Go with Cummins for sure. I have Volvo's in my fleet with Cummins power and they are some of the highest fuel mileage trucks we have. One of the Volvo' is out on lease purchase to a team and I spent 18,000 dollars on maintenance on it last year it is 3 years old. they ran 231000 miles last year. so there is some factual info you can use if you desire. 7.8 miles per gallon of course they have very little idle time.
  6. EmersonSC

    EmersonSC Light Load Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Taylor, MI
    Really? I i stated i dont want a fan boy on here who has ONLY driving a pete who has NO real life experience with the truck im asking about. I'm looking for educated real life experience examples of dealings with this truck. I'm looking to hear from those who can tell me what their honest opinion of the truck is, and how it worked out for them, not what they heard from billy joe trucker at the t/a buffet line who heard from Johnny Ray who heard from his cousins mothers neighbors best friends step father twice removed.

    I want to hear the truth so I can make an educated decision on what to do.

    I stated my reasoning for going with a volvo over the other makes. I want to hear facts. If the general consensus is the engine is unreliable and the trucks have many issues, look like ill be going into a different make/model.

    Also, the company i would be going for IS reefer. I didnt just base the fuel milage statement on nothing, I based in on what i've heard from OWNERS of those trucks. They are less aerodynamic. They naturaly get a lower MPG. I am ALSO looking into the future, so I want something WITH the 2007/2010 emissions equipment, so down the road, i dont have to spend thousands of dollars upgrading the emissions.

    I currently run with a Cummins, and LOVE the engine. I used to drive a Detroit 60 and a DD-15 and hated them. They were less effecient, underpowered, and the jakes sucked compared to this Cummins ISX i have now. I do like the Cascadia, just dont like the space and storage configuration. I love the ride and the steering. How ever, because im stuck getting what a company gives me, or whats in their lease program, i have to sticl to their configurations. I'm looking into a truck that i will be living in for most of the year, so space is a big deal to me. I wish Freightliner would have more than one option for their sleeper sizes.

    I have heard from most people that Volvo engines are a maintenence nightmere, but then again, those were 2nd and 3rd hand statements. The fact that you got offended by me asking for information from owners or people who have actually spent some time is, to me, ignorant.

    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  7. losttrucker

    losttrucker Road Train Member

    Mar 9, 2008
    Medicine Man is very wise and has been around trucks a long time, he may of not told you what you wanted to hear but he usually gives great advice.

  8. EmersonSC

    EmersonSC Light Load Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Taylor, MI
    Where have to read this information about Volvo dropping out of the North American market? Everything I've read thus far has said the opposite, but then again, i could be wrong. I follow their Facebook and they seem optomistic.

    I agree with you 100% on Cummins. I have a 09' Pete 387 with a Cummins ISX. Prime has neutered the engine, but even with it turned down, it still pulls like a champ, and the jake is amazing.

    Hill Brothers has most of their trucks set up with the Volvo engine paired to a 13speed. They have a few Cummins, but they are mated to a Cummins Auto trans (according to their spec sheets). I'm not sure I'd want an Auto, and to me, it seems an Auto is more expensive to maintain.

    If I was able to go and get a truck on my own, i would. Like i stated before, I am in this industry because I lost my job, along with my house, car, and credit rating. I'm trying to make the best of my situation, and make some money to support my family. I appreciate your information. I'm hearing more and more that the Volvos are $$ to maintain, and I really hope that if they continue to do business in this country, they start thinking of the owner as far as parts and design goes, or they will go under real quick.

    It's a bummer. I DO want to hear good things about Volvo because they are great looking trucks, with great ride, and tons of space and storage. I guess you cant win in every category.

    I DO like the classics. I'd love to have a classic Pete 379 or a KW W900L with the studio, but I not only have the option to be that specific, I also want something more fuel efficient, even if its half a mile a gallon.

  9. Big John

    Big John Road Train Member

    Oct 7, 2006
    I had a bad experince with a Volvo one time and it was called RE-SALE VALUE, their wasn't one.
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  10. The Challenger

    The Challenger Kinghunter

    Dec 22, 2007
    East Central FL
    I agree with Losttrucker. MM is a very talented individual who knows a lot about trucking and the business that goes with it. He is not a fan boy at all; he is entrepreneur who has a lot of experience in this business. He went from almost losing a house to getting his own business off the ground.

    My advice is call your mechanic and get their opinion, as well as Volvo owners.

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