Press Room

Composite case study – Construction truck in the UK

A solo operator takes pride in upgrading to an 8×4 with the new 370 Euro 6 engine. 

Melvin Smith lives in Swinton just west of Manchester in North West England. Mel has been driving trucks since he was 25, now he’s approaching 50 and has been working on his own for more than 15 years. He started in distribution but moved to construction trucks quite quickly and driver-owned trucks have always been popular in the construction sector. Mel likes his job, even though it can be quite challenging, he thinks his firm is going well; he has no employees and almost always gets a decent amount of jobs. He is mostly employed as a subcontractor for major construction jobs, often on routes heavy with traffic in and around Manchester.

Direct to Euro 6

Over the past year he’s thought a lot about getting a new truck. He has been driving his old one a year longer than he normally does, all because of the Euro 6 legis­lation. Like many other smaller carriers Mel is of two minds: get a new truck before the new rules come into play but drive Euro 5 for the next four years? Or go directly to Euro 6, despite rumours of more advanced technology?

In the end, he decided – he was going to go for another Scania, this time an 8×4 with the new 370 engine that meets Euro 6 requirements, a CG16 cab and a tipper body from one of the big English body builders. What was it that influenced his decision?

Latest environmental technology

“I’ve been in this business a long time and felt that this time I wanted to think again,” says Smith. “Many hauliers around here still run manually and are generally sceptical of “modernity”. But myself, I think it’s smart to embrace new technologies and new ways of working. So I went for the latest environmental technology and Scania Opticruise for the new truck.

But why Euro 6? He could have hurried and purchased a 360 Euro 5?

“It is true, but there were both rational and emotional reasons to choose the latest technology,” says Smith. “It’s about the stricter environmental rules about who can drive in built-up areas and given that I often run in the town, I don’t want to end up with the wrong truck. Both the local city environment and various construction companies – or rather their clients – set various environmental requirements. With this truck, I’m not worried. Also, I can’t deny that it’s fun to have the latest, which an old haulier like me isn’t used to really. To be honest, it’s really good to know that I have done my bit to minimise pollution between the red lights in the city.”

More torque than many larger engines

That it come down to  the inline 6 in the 370 version was not obvious. Smith considered engine choice carefully, and was considering for a while going up to a 410 with higher gearing, an engine he had read positive reviews about in the trade press.

“Most drivers around here have just under 400 hp, no matter which brand they drive”, he explains. “The decisive factor for me was the price and the fact that Scania 370 class with its 1,900 Nm has more torque than many much larger engines from other manufacturers. With the kind of jobs I get the truck is frequently empty on one leg of the journey. On the other hand, it’s not unusual to have 20 tonnes on the truck and do lots of starts and stops. This seems like a sensible compromise between load capacity, fuel consumption and drivability. So far it has worked exactly as advertised by the Scania dealer.”

If Smith made the right choice only time will tell, so far, he is more than happy with his new truck and is particularly fond of how efficient the engine is with Scania Opticruise.

Specification:
Scania G 370 8×4
Cab type: CG16 day-cab
Engine type: DC13 116/370 hp Euro 6
Axle weight front: 2 x 7,500 kg. Bogie weight: 21,000 kg (10500 + 10500)
Gearbox: GRS905R. Scania Opticruise with automatic clutch (2-pedal)
Back axle type: RB662 + RB660
Retarder: R4100
Chassis height: high
Other: –