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Construction vehicles where every load is a payload

Scania now presents the new heavy construction vehicles in the 4-series - a segment where customers value reliability, load capacity and mobility, and where Scania is determined to raise its market share. The launch takes place at the truck show in Geneva, where all 4-series trucks launched so far are being exhibited.

"In construction, every single load has to be profitable," says Scania’s President and CEO Leif Östling. ”Reliability and payload are therefore the most important considerations, followed by mobility, comfort and performance. Our new construction range includes products for all purposes, from demanding off-road operation and heavy specialised transport to lighter gravel tippers operating to and from building sites.

"The annual construction market in Europe in Scania’s segment is between 20,000 and 25,000 units," continues Mr Östling. The volume varies considerably between peak and slump years. Besides western Europe, the market potential is large in countries where the infrastructure is under development, for example central and eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Scania’s ambition is to capture at least as large a share of the construction market as we currently have in long-haulage.

"Our up-grading of the manufacturing capacity and the new work methods we have introduced in production in recent years give us high volume flexibility. This will also benefit the construction segment. The new construction vehicles will be built in the normal flow at our production units."

New shape offers practical and economical advantages

Scania has worked with Bertone in Italy on the styling of the 4-series cabs. This has given all the models a characteristic look with unmistakeable Scania traits. The upright windscreen and large-radius corners provide ample interior space, high comfort, good close-range vision and manoeuvrability. The new thinking in the styling also lowers the air resistance, contributing to better fuel consumption and a lower environmental impact. Two new day cabs are launched together with the new construction vehicles. The low P cab offers maximum space for the bodywork and low boarding height. The short version of the high and more spacious R cab is also new.

The vehicles are powered by Scania’s new six-cylinder 12-litre engine with 400 hp and four-valve technology, as well as the well-known 14-litre V8, which has been extensively modified in recent years, now rated at 460 or 530 hp. The engines are highly fuel-efficient and help lower the environmental impact of transportation.

Refined modularisation

Scania’s modular concept has been further developed with the 4-series. This ”building-block” principle has for many decades formed the basis of Scania’s specification and production systems. Within the scope of normal production, vehicles can now be even further adapted to individual customer needs and operations.

Trucks in the 4-series are classified according to application. Construction vehicles belong to the C-class. Included here are the Scania P124 C with low cab (P) and R124 C with a high cab (R), both fitted with the 12-litre engine. The Scania R144 C features the high cab (R) and the 14-litre engine. Configurations include two, three or four axles and in some cases all-wheel drive. Production will start gradually during the year.

Stronger frames, easier body-building

A new frame and suspension design gives the 4-series very safe and stable used, which means that the service life of these components has been doubled in practical operation. The chassis layout provides a high ground clearance and good service accessibility.

4-series trucks are prepared for all normal types of bodywork, including the more complex types often seen on construction vehicles. One of the main objectives has been to cut lead times for the customer. Complete tractor units can be supplied exfactory. Simple types of rigid bodywork can be fitted by bodybuilders within one working day. During the latter part of 1995, Scania specialists produced extensive bodywork manuals and held seminars for Europe’s leading bodybuilders.

L-class The first 4-series models – in the L-class – were introduced in October 1995. The L-class is intended for heavy long-haulage on normal roads. The Scania R144 L is fitted with Scania’s 14-litre V8 and the R124 L has Scania’s new 12-litre engine. These long-haul models are already in production, fitted with Scania’s R-type sleeper cab. Crowning the range is the Topline, an extra-high and very spacious cab with full standing height.

”Scania’s 3,500-million kronor investment in the 4-series is designed to offer the customer the best possible combination of operational economy, reliability and environmental properties,” concludes Scania’s President and CEO Leif Östling. ”When the 4-series has been phased into our European production in late 1996, our customers will have access to twice as many models as in the 3-series.”

The 4-series models released so far

Technical innovation for minimum environmental impact

Environmental consideration was one of the foremost design parameters of the 4-series. The engineering brief was to minimise the environmental load exerted by the products from design, choice of material and manufacture, via use, service and repairs, to scrapping, recycling and reuse.

About 85% of the environmental burden imposed by a heavy truck during its lifetime arises during use. Many of the engineering solutions adopted on the 4-series aim specifically at reducing the effect on the environment. Scania engines utilise the very latest breakthroughs in combustion technology, and all other powertrain components are optimised to provide the most economical operation possible. Enhanced aerodynamics further contribute to fuel savings, and the net result is that good environmental performance has been able to be combined with excellent running economy.

The remaining 15% stems primarily from the production and scrapping processes. Materials are selected and production processes designed to ensure the very highest quality and lowest possible environmental burden during both production and subsequent scrapping and recycling. One example is that the frame components are painted using powder-paint or water-based paint, while the cabs are coated with a powder-based primer paint so as to minimise emissions of solvents from the production process. Another example is that all plastic components are marked to aid recycling and reuse. This over-riding environmental perspective also includes Scania's suppliers, who work to the same rules.

New range of seats with integrated seat belts

The driver and passenger seats are available in a range of specifications: unsprung or with air suspension, the latter with a choice of mechanical or electronic height adjustment. There is also an air-suspended luxury seat with a high, multi-jointed backrest and electronic height adjustment. All the seats feature electrical heating.

All Scania seats are fitted with an integrated seat belt as standard. It offers far better protection since it is always positioned correctly across the wearer's body. It is also more comfortable than a belt attached to the cab wall since it follows the movements of the seat and the driver.

Since 1990, Scania has been conducting tests with airbags as a supplement to the seat belt. Scania's engineers are not entirely satisfied with the safety level offered by airbags. One difficulty in this context is to get the system to deploy at exactly the right moment, because the accident sequence in a truck is far slower than that in a passenger car. If the airbag deploys too early, the driver may lose control over the vehicle. Development is continuing, and an airbag will be made available on forthcoming versions of the 4-series.