Archive, Features

Video: Volvo CE’s history on display

The Munktell Museum in Eskilstuna, Sweden, chronicles the 183 years of Volvo Construction Equipment’s history, and this video takes us behind the scenes where a team of volunteers — many of them retired Volvo workers — work to restore the equipment on display and, if possible, put them back in full working order.


Johan Theofron Munktell founded a workshop on the site in 1832, taking steam technology from Britain and developing a horse-drawn steam engine used to run threshing machines at harvest-time.

Munktells Mekaniska Verkstads Aktiebolag merged with the Bolinder company in 1932 to become Bolinder-Munktell, which was, in turn, bought by AB Volvo in 1950. The company changed its name to Volvo BM AB in 1973 and then, in 1995, to Volvo Construction Equipment.

Among the displays at the Munktell Museum is Sweden’s first mechanical tractor, a behemoth of a thing weighing in at 8 tonnes that was able to do the work of 16 horses.

In fact, all the forerunners of Volvo’s modern construction equipment are here, including: the first Swedish-built road grader dating back to 1924, which the museum’s former curator saved from a scrapyard; an H10 wheel loader (really a back-to-front tractor), still running smoothly after 60 years; and one of Volvo CE’s stars — the world’s first series manufactured articulated hauler “Gravel Charlie”, which made its debut in 1966.

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