Volvo CE launches LEGO articulated hauler model with fully automatic transmission, app-controlled operation
Volvo Construction Equipment was the first to popularize the articulated hauler concept in 1966 with the birth of the 10-ton payload DR631 - fondly known as ‘Gravel Charlie'. Today, the company is still transporting earth, gravel and a host of other materials over rough, muddy, slippery, steep or otherwise impassable terrain.
In a case of art reflecting reality, the LEGO Technic 6X6 articulated hauler Volvo A60H model is also a work of engineering. Inside its box are 2,193 pieces, including six large tires and heavy-duty motors. And just like the real thing, it is a technological tour-de-force, featuring app-controlled operation and a fully automatic transmission - a first for the LEGO Technic brand.
The 55 tonne (60 ton) capacity A60H (the real one, that is) is designed for heavy hauling in severe off-road operations, including quarries, opencast mines and large earth-moving operations. And the engineers from both LEGO Technic and Volvo CE wanted the new model to reflect the reliability and durability of the real thing. The model measures 200mm (7in.) high, 200mm (7in.) wide and 600mm (23in.) long. It is also packed with clever features, not least the complex internal gear system - which is fully automatic and motorized - just like the real thing.
The motors are well integrated and hidden under the hauler body and the cab - and the Bluetooth for the control hub is turned on by rotating the A60's cab-top beacon. Much like all the electronic machine control systems on the real machine, the model's Technic Control+ hub and the mobile phone application that goes with it control the model, allowing it to move forwards and backwards, steer side-to-side and elevate and lower the dumper's hauler body. Control+ also extends the play value by setting users a number of challenges that highlight features of the machine, such as moving uphill, going through the gears and tipping the load.
"More than 50 years after we showed the world what an articulated hauler can do, we are still innovating and developing the concept," says Volvo CE's Mats Bredborg. "LEGO Technic and Volvo CE engineers have done an amazing job of replicating the A60H in miniature. It doesn't just look like our A60H, it also follows its philosophy of innovative engineering and clever design. The Control+ mobile app and the automatic transmission are both incredible. Even the safety features - a key element of all Volvo machines - are all present and correct."
"This is one of the more complex LEGO Technic sets of recent years," says Niels Henrik Horsted, Marketing Director, Product & Marketing Development at the LEGO Group. "The clever design is a great challenge during the build process, and the new LEGO Technic Control+ app allows the machine's functions to be remotely controlled - and the fun continues long after the build is complete, with the app challenges."