Woman at the wheel in Volvo’s latest jaw-dropping video

Bodil Alexanderson (Volvo photo:Markus Wikstrom)Bodil Alexanderson (Volvo photo:Markus Wikstrom)

Volvo Trucks has a history of producing attention-grabbing videos to show off their heavy-duty trucks. In its latest one, there is a woman at the wheel of the most important truck.

This is the company that gave the world action star Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the splits with one foot each on two moving trucks. They also had one of its trucks towing a paraglider, let a 4-year-old girl drive one of their trucks by remote control through a gravel pit filled with obstacles (that she obliterated), and showed truckers get radical adjustments from a chiropractor.  They also had a high-wire walker on a cable between two trucks speeding down the highway and showed off one of its trucks racing a Koenigsegg One:1 supercar.

The newest Volvo video shows off four new models, including the FMX. The video, appropriately called The Tower, features four Volvo trucks stacked on top of one another, with company President Roger Alm standing on the top one. It’s all very dramatic what with thunder, lightning, rain, prowling wolves, powerful music, and Alm, arms outstretched and trench coat flapping in the wind, looking like a figurehead on the prow of a ship plowing through heavy seas.

While Alm may have had a show-stopping role in The Tower, it was the woman at the wheel of the bottom truck that made it happen and happen safely.

That woman driver at the wheel of the bottom truck is Bodil Alexanderson. She has been driving for Volvo for about 11 years. Normally she hauls gravel or heavy equipment. In this case, she was driving a 50-foot-tall tower of four trucks weighing 58 tons. And, she needed to do so with a steady hand; the tower of trucks could not deviate from the course any more than an inch or so.

Bodil AlexandersonBodil Alexanderson

“When I drove the tower for the first time, it didn’t feel wobbly like I thought it would, “said Alexanderson.

The company explains the video this way:

“It took about a month to design and build the tower and make sure it was safe to drive. Essentially, this was made possible thanks to the sturdy construction truck, the Volvo FMX, and its new 38-tonne bogie being able to carry the weight of the others. But it also required a steady speed and course, accomplished by the Volvo Dynamic Steering technology and a skilled truck driver,” said Markus Wikström, engineer at Volvo Trucks and part of the engineering team behind the tower.

Here’s The Tower and the company’s video about what it took to make the film.