Safe, frugal and quiet: Why Scania’s 7.0-litre is winning hearts in the medium-duty market
Scania’s move into the medium-duty 7.0-litre market with a heavy-duty truck may have taken some in the industry by surprise, but the benefits to operators remain easy to grasp.
The Scania P-series cab that sits atop the Euro-6 compliant 6.7-litre six-cylinder engine that produces 280 hp and 1200 Nm of torque is identical to that used with Scania’s bigger five- and six-cylinder engines with outputs up to 450 hp, so drivers enjoy all the same quiet, comfortable and fatigue-reducing working environment as inter-and intra-state drivers pulling far bigger loads. The 7.0-litre is mated to a direct drive 12-speed gearbox featuring Scania’s two-pedal automated Opticruise gear-changing, relieving the driver of changing gear manually several thousand times per week.
The Scania 7.0-litre is not only great on fuel, offering around 4.0km per litre performance even when loaded, but it has exceptional steering and braking performance, and the lack of noise, vibration and harshness reaching the drivers makes for a far less tiring shift behind the wheel. The smaller engine also allows for a lower engine tunnel making it easier to traverse the cab. Scania’s full suite of safety features are also standard across the P-cab range of engines, so 7.0-litre drivers benefit from a steering wheel-mounted airbag, side curtain airbags, advanced emergency braking (AEB), and lane departure warning (LDW).
“The Scania 7.0-litre brings all the benefits of a much larger truck’s engineering, safety features and driving comfort to a smaller class of truck than we have offered in recent times,” says Scania Australia’s Product Manager, Benjamin Nye. “In an industry where securing competent and reliable drivers is a constant concern for managers, offering a more comfortable and a safer working environment will give Scania operators an edge. “Our fuel consumption is up to 25% better than traditionally popular trucks in this engine class, and that equates to a significant saving on operating costs. Any operator that says it is not interested in reducing its fuel costs by that sort of margin isn’t likely to remain in business much longer,” he says.
“Then there’s the significantly improved driveability of the Scania compared with its rivals, with disc brakes all round for greater safety, excellent steering and ride quality and a higher degree of chassis rigidity leading to reduced NVH in the cabin. This directly reduces driver fatigue, leading to safer outcomes on the road for everyone. “Our active and passive safety systems also help to reduce the potential for accidents or injuries, warning the driver of an impending impact, while the all-steel structure of the cab and our rigorous crash testing prove that in the event of an impact, a Scania cab will protect the driver and passenger like no other,” Benjamin says.
“Scania also offers a 360-degree bird’s-eye view camera that displays on a tablet screen on the dashboard a full image of the area surrounding the vehicle. This helps to minimise the potential for impacts with vehicles, loading docks as well as pedestrians or work colleagues. “We have recently upgraded the engine braking performance, which will reduce wear and tear on the service brakes, cutting total operating costs of the vehicle even further,” Benjamin says. “Plus Scania 7.0-litre operators have access to all the same fleet monitoring, driver training and service and maintenance contracts that are offered to customers of our larger trucks, adding greater benefits and efficiencies to their business and positively impacting on their total operating economy.”
Furniture removers Lincoln and Donna Davis operate DMAC Backloading, a small Gold Coast-based business, and took delivery of the first customer Scania 7.0-litre truck in September 2019. Two years on, and their truck has clocked up 280,000 km and is averaging 4.0 km per litre, an improvement on the 3.8 km/l that so delighted them early on in the truck’s life. Their truck is fitted with a 61 m3 Pantech body by Hamilton Bodyworks and has been busier than ever due to the vast numbers of people in Queensland buying and selling houses, not to mention moving inter- and intrastate during the past two years. “It’s still very comfortable and quiet, and it still drives well. It doesn’t feel like a truck with almost 300,000 km on it at all,” Lincoln says.