Southwest Times Writer
Motorists recently traveling Cougar Trail past Volvo’s New River Valley assembly plant in Dublin have observed heavy earth-moving machinery at work near the Norfolk Southern rail lines.
Dirt has been moved, cuts made in solid rock as work on the company’s Customer Experience Track, set to open in the third quarter of 2014.
Recently Volvo NRV officials welcomed Volvo Truck dealers and fleet representatives for a sneak-peek at the track that will feature a 1.1-mlie paved road course and an off-highway area.
The facility will allow Volvo to showcase its entire Class 8 lineup during customer tours and other events.
“Customers visit our plant nearly every day to see their trucks being built and experience the passion and care that goes into the vehicles we manufacture,” said Goran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North American Sales and Marketing.
He added, “Providing a hands-on opportunity is an important extension of that experience, and we believe it will foster an even deeper appreciation of the design, manufacturing and performance of Volvo products.”
The paved road course is designed with banked corners, making highway speeds available. Inside the road course will be an off-highway areas with a variety of surfaces and grades to simulated the most demanding of work environments.
An interesting aspect of the project, which included excavation of top soil, deeper dirt, an abundance of rock that required deep cuts, which is visible as motorist approach the Volvo facility from the Pulaski County High School side, the workers who did that work.
Rather than relying on outside resources for track design and construction, Volvo turned to a team of experienced employees skilled in design, excavation and operation of heavy machinery necessary for the project.
Company officials said that with the help of rented Volvo construction equipment, the team is tacking all aspects of the project – blueprints to bulldozing.
Lars Blomberg, vice president and NRV general manager, said,
“Employee engagement and project ownership is very important to us, and I commend our team for the excellent work they’re doing.”
“This new track is an investment in our future, and we look forward to delivering an even greater experience for all who visit the plant and have an opportunity to get in the driver’s seat.” Blomberg said.