Scania V8 driver secures professional award in Tasmania
The driver of the longest Scania truck in Tasmania has just been presented with the NTI Professional Driver of the Year Award.
Scania R 620 V8 driver Kym Lawrence, who works for Australian recycling business Recycal, was recognised for his exceptional driving performance, as rated by the Scania onboard Driver Support System, as well as being nominated by his colleagues for being a safe and efficient driver.
“I was surprised and honoured to be presented with this award,” Kym says. “I knew I had been nominated but didn’t expect to win. It is nice to be recognised for the job you do, day-in and day-out.
“The new Scania R 620 we have on a permit to operate at 35 m runs between Launceston and Hobart daily, and pulls up to 85-tonnes. According to the onboard readout I’m getting high 90% scores on average, which requires good anticipation, reading the road and the traffic around you.
“The combination is speed limited to 90 km/h so I’m on the radio a lot calling trucks past me. When they are alongside, they often comment about how much longer this combination is at 35 m but you can’t tell that from behind.”
The truck and two TEFCO trailers run from Derwent Park to Rocherlea, where Recycal operates a shredder for recycling materials. Kym says that the benefit of the longer combination means there’s one less truck on the road every day, saving the company fuel and reducing overall emissions.
“When Recycal said they would be doing the 35 m combination I said I would be keen to give it a go,” Kym says. “It took a bit of getting used to. In the mirrors, it looks a lot smaller than it does when you’re standing next to it. I had to figure out my lines through the turns, but now I have been doing the run for a couple of months, it’s just like driving any other B-double.”
The Scania R 620 V8 puts its 3000 Nm of torque to good use on the several decent hills on the way from Launceston to Hobart, yet still manages to return good fuel numbers.
“Even at 85-tonnes we’re getting 1.25 km per litre or around 80 litres per 100 km, using 310-litres per round trip. Even on the empty return trip the truck and trailers weigh 44-tonnes,” Kym says.
“I drove bonneted American trucks before getting into this Scania, and the 620 is a very comfortable truck.”
Kym has trucking in his genes, as the grandson of a truck driver. He joined the industry at 19 driving medium rigids for a removalist. When he graduated to heavy combinations, he delivered precast concrete panels in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and drove interstate between Brisbane and Sydney, before moving to Tasmania, joining Recycal around four years ago. Recycal is based in Melbourne with operations around Australia and currently has 30 Scania trucks in its fleet.