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Volvo FH12

Small model of a Volvo truck with a silo placing trailer. Features drive, steering, elevated silo bed, lights and custom stickers.


Completion date: 10/05/2014
Power: electric (Power Functions)
Dimensions: length 57 studs / width 14 studs / height 19 studs
Weight: 1.377 kg
Suspension: none
Propulsion: 1 x PF L motor geared 1.4:1
Motors: 2 x PF M, 1 x PF L

Volvo FH12 truck is well known and popular among LEGO builders. I never had an opportunity to build a Volvo truck before, and decided to give it a try with the classic Model Team wheels which imposed a rather small scale (two thirds of that of my usual trucks). I also wanted to build a truck with an actual windshield rather than just empty space between two posts.

It was clear from the beginning that the model would need a trailer, because the truck was very front-heavy and the rear axle’s traction was horrible. I’ve spent quite a while looking for an interesting, unusual trailer, until I finally found one that featured a silo placing unit. Since I wanted the trailer to be functional and remote-controlled, I decided to connect it to the truck permanently – this way it could be powered from its battery and controlled via PF IR receiver inside its cabin.

As for the looks of the model, my goal was to make it look as non-Technic as possible, by concealing every single bit of mechanic and electric elements. This included, among other things, orienting the PF IR receivers so that they poked out of the cabin’s rear wall rather than out of its roof. I spent a lot of time working on plenty of authentic details, but failed with some – most importantly, I was unable to make rear mudguards for the front wheels, because the ones I made were either too big or too fragile. I have also struggled with the custom see-through sticker on the front grille, which didn’t turn out so great, and in the end I think the model could have used a few more custom stickers.

Mechanically, the model was really simple and focused on using the sparse space available in the most efficient way. The truck had no body frame to speak of, for instance, but was literally held together by the PF L motor. The rear differential had no typical 5×7 frame around it because it was too big – instead, it was attached to the PF L motor with a few simple connectors. There was no PF Servo motor, just a PF Medium motor with a spring-loaded LEGO hockey connector for return-to-center steering. The cabin had the 8878 battery inside it, laid flat and with its top facing backwards, which allowed to put a simple on/off switch on the cabin’s rear wall. There were also two PF IR receivers facing upwards in the upper rear part of the cabin – this not only kept the roof clear, but also made sure their LEDs didn’t show behind the windshield. The cabin’s doors could be opened, but there was no interior whatsoever – just some free space behind the windshield, with wires crammed into it.

The model had a number of shortcomings – the silo, for instance, was about two-thirds of the correct size, but it was the largest size that allowed me to make it perfectly cylindrical. The front wheels were turned along a wide arc, because they were 2 studs away from their pivots. To move them closer, a more complex tie-rod would be required, and there would be no space for return-to-center function. This was an important issue, because fixing this would make the truck turn more smoothly and would allow to make the front mudguards tighter, so I may need to find a solution for it in the future. Finally, the rear axle had occasional traction issues even with the trailer attached , and the model was rather sluggish. Sadly, there was no space for any gearing between the differential and the PF L motor. Still, it was my first truck at such a demanding scale and it gave me some valuable experience.

Work in progress photos:

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Media coverage:

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Categories: Trucks Tags: , , ,
  1. Sariel
    November 29th, 2014 at 00:35 | #1

    @Old Man Jenkins
    There are two PF receivers in there. Enough to control four motors separately.

  2. Old Man Jenkins
    November 28th, 2014 at 20:51 | #2

    So how does the remote work? Does it have the L and the M motors as one and then the M motor in the back as a whole other function?

  3. Sariel
    November 28th, 2014 at 18:45 | #3

    @Old Man Jenkins
    It’s controlled by a PF M motor. There is 8878 battery in the lower half of the cabin.

  4. Old Man Jenkins
    November 28th, 2014 at 14:48 | #4

    Is the linear actuator controlled by a motor? If yes, what type? And where is the battery box?

  5. Sariel
    June 29th, 2014 at 15:46 | #5

    No, I didn’t.

  6. Mikko
    June 29th, 2014 at 08:23 | #6

    Did you try the model with a solid rear axle instead of a differential? Should have helped at least a little with the traction. In my experience, models with the model team tires usually perform better without differentials because of the very little available grip.

  7. Sariel
    June 15th, 2014 at 13:20 | #7

    The new Volvo has the best selection of motors.

  8. Franek
    June 15th, 2014 at 13:19 | #8

    Sorry for bothering you again , but wich set would you buy the mobile crane mk2 ,the Unimog or the new Volvo

    Thank you , Franek

  9. Sariel
    May 31st, 2014 at 12:45 | #9

    I’m using white Eneloops and they last for hours.

  10. Franek
    May 31st, 2014 at 12:10 | #10

    How long do the bateries in Your rc unit last with 2 motors . And what. Sort are they
    Thanks (:

  11. Franek
    May 27th, 2014 at 21:19 | #11

    Thanks any way@Sariel

  12. Sariel
    May 27th, 2014 at 15:42 | #12

    No, I don’t.

  13. Franek
    May 27th, 2014 at 15:25 | #13

    Do you have any ideas for replacing the standard lego wheel hubs that you used in the trophy truck with costom ones.

    Thank you, Franek

  14. Sariel
    May 20th, 2014 at 00:27 | #14

    @Tobias Stanisfugl
    Because it’s comfortable for some models.

  15. Tobias Stanisfugl
    May 19th, 2014 at 23:44 | #15

    Nice little truck with convincing visuals but as you say a small silo. Bigger rectangular with rounded edges?

    Though I like the design with the static integration of the L motor as a part of the chassis, redistribution of volumes with sideways shifted motor, allowing for a gear, and maybe beneath sideways the battery box instead of the tank, alongside with simple pendular front axle would increase traction a lot, and free the cabin’s inside. But this maybe would need a minimum width of 13 for the bodyand more technic parts…

    Since I do not see any backwards steering finding the bond in the video, the question arises:
    Why do you like return to center for driving?
    Greets, T. S.

  16. Sariel
    May 14th, 2014 at 16:27 | #16

    I keep the rare pieces in drawers. Only the common ones are on the table.

  17. EV3fan
    May 14th, 2014 at 16:21 | #17

    I’ve got many many unsorted LEGO bricks all thrown together and I always thought that really professional builders like you, Sheepo,Nico71, Jennifer Clark or others(there are many) all have their bricks well-sorted by colour or size but now I know that you do put some rare bricks in drawers but you keep most of them just in a big pile on your table. But I think I dont have as much as 100.000 anyway!

  18. Sariel
    May 13th, 2014 at 17:47 | #18

    The red light is simply coupled with the motor that elevates the silo. When the motor is turned off, it goes off with it.
    I mostly get pieces from Bricklink. And I recommend: http://sariel.pl/faq/

  19. EV3fan
    May 13th, 2014 at 16:11 | #19

    In some of your videos I’ve seen many many boxes with lego bricks in the background and obviously you build with them. So my questionis? Where did you get all those bricks from?do you constantly buy bricks since all the years you started building?And do you j
    ust buy sets to get some or do you buy special bricks on the internet?

  20. EV3fan
    May 13th, 2014 at 16:05 | #20

    The little red light goes off when the silo is in full horizontal position – how did you do that?
    Is there a swith or something? Great model, the detail at that scale and with all the PF in it is astonishing! Must be great fun to play with!

  21. Sariel
    May 11th, 2014 at 18:02 | #21

    @David Luders
    Yes, it is.

    I won’t do the building instructions for the truck.

  22. Tenessy
    May 11th, 2014 at 17:59 | #22

    hello sariel i want to know when do you do the building instruction for the truck please

  23. David Luders
    May 11th, 2014 at 15:24 | #23

    It looks and functions very nicely — is that a new Hamster starring in the video?

  24. May 11th, 2014 at 12:55 | #24


  25. EV3fan
    May 11th, 2014 at 10:14 | #25

    Wow it’s so small and looks and works so great!

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