Volvo Trucks: A Trucker's Pride

Abstract

The North American trucking industry is in decline. By 2014, the United States is projected to be short 110,000 drivers (Wikipedia). The hardest hit segment is the long-haul sector, due to the difficult
lifestyle of the long-haul trucker. Drivers experience long periods of time away from home, mediocre pay, and “miserable” working conditions. In order to revive the struggling industry and refresh the lifeblood of our civilization, the long-haul trucker lifestyle must be made more appealing.

This project is a study into how to make the North American Long-Haul trucker lifestyle appealing to future trucker generations through both interior and exterior design.

Inspiration and Method

In-depth research found that emotional needs of American long-haul truckers are not being met. Emotional needs are directly linked to the concept of “quality of life”. Therefore, increasing the trucker’s quality of life would help truckers meet their emotional needs and thus help revive the North American trucking industry.

Through interviews and questionnaires, pride was determined to be the key emotional need of the American Trucker. These interviews revealed that the best method to appeal to this key emotional need was to rethink the exterior form. It was decided that a design sculpture should be used to illustrate the concept of emotionally appealing transportation.

For the interior design, research showed that trucker’s fundamental human needs were not being met aboard the truck. Expanding the living space on-board, and providing truckers access to their basic human needs allow people to truly live life on the road.

Result

The Volvo VLH helps future truckers take pride in themselves and their lifestyles. Pride comes from the aesthetics of assertive strength and the confident stance of the vehicle. A higher seating position gives drivers a commanding view of the road and the use of noble materials helps drivers feel they live in a quality environment.

On board, the Volvo VLH maximizes interior space, providing enough room for a trucker to live life on the road. To meet basic human needs, the truck has a shower and toilet onboard, along with a kitchen complete with stove and sink. The lofted bedroom offers feelings of exclusivity and expands upward when the vehicle is parked. This unique expanding space is accessed via a spiral staircase, which stores neatly away when not in use.

The Volvo VLH meets the emotional needs of the American long-haul trucker, making the lifestyle appealing to future generations.