Design changes for the new generation of the Volvo VN heavy-duty truck have significantly reduced standard repair times (SRT) for a number of common service procedures, according to a study released by Volvo Trucks North America at the annual meeting of ATA's Technology and Maintenance Council. SRTs form the basis for repair charges and warranty reimbursements.

The company says it implemented changes in 500 areas when developing the new VN as part of its design objectives to simplify VN maintenance and service. The study found that on average, SRTs in those 500 areas were reduced by 5% to 8%, according to Dwight McAlexander, N.A. director for reliability, quality and warrantee customer satisfaction. Some areas showed time savings of over 70%, he said.

For example, clutch replacement time was cut by nearly 50%, from 7 hours for the previous VN to 3.8 hours for the new model. Design changes implemented to achieve that reduction included making side fairing easier to remove, repositioning the air tank so it would not have to be removed, and a new engine mounting system. Fan belt replacement dropped 70%, from one hour to just six minutes as the result of design changes.

Other major SRT reductions were seen in cab wiring harness replacement (8.1 hours to 5.5 hours), hood removal and replacement (3.3 hours to 1.4 hours), and turbocharger replacement on a Volvo diesel (1.9 hours to 1.4 hours).

Many of the SRT reductions were also found with the new Volvo VHD vocational truck, according to the study.