After careful scrutiny, a Scania R 730 proves to be the perfect update for a mid-sized haulage company.
Karl-Oskar Nilsson owns a haulage company in central Sweden. He has been in the trade for more than 20 years. Today Karl-Oskar runs a company with ten timber trucks, but he still likes to take occasional stints behind the wheel when his drivers are out sick or on vacation. In fact, he still takes pleasure in driving his trucks, and teaming up with the guys at the felling sites and sawmills.
Thousands of kilometres
One of his old Scania’s, a mint green 4-series 6×2 from 2002, with a 480 hp V8, is now coming close to retirement, after having clocked up some 1,240,000 km during extensive work on and off forest roads. Karl-Oskar knows that it still does its job, but is well aware that not all of his drivers appreciate “the mean green V8” nowadays; they favour the newer Scania trucks with the latest Opticruise features and more powerful engines. Fact is, quite often he’s the one who drives the oldest truck.
Specifying a new timber truck is not an easy task, not even for someone with all the experience of Karl-Oskar. A lot of people have strong opinions about what’s right and wrong and favour different solutions. And on top of everything lies of course the financial aspects; a new vehicle is a huge investment and Karl-Oskar never puts his money into anything he doesn’t believe will contribute to the bottom line. Margins are slim and hauling timber has never been a game for the faint-hearted.
Euro 6 decision-making
But after consulting his employees, his father and, not least, his contact at the local Scania dealer, he finally found it easy to make up his mind. Nilsson Skogsbil AB signed an order for a Scania R 730 6×4 with a rear-mounted timber crane, along with a four-axle trailer with air suspension and super single tyres. Here are the reasons why Karl-Oskar Nilsson in the end found it easy to decide:
“The simple answer is that I looked ahead,” says Nilsson. “Sweden, like many other markets, is constantly striving to find methods to increase road transport efficiency. And the natural way to do this in our sector is to raise the weight limits. With GWTs
of 76 tonnes or more pending, a 730 hp V8 is the given choice for me with all the torque and the driveability it delivers. And also with ’only’ 60 tonnes the performance you get from 16 litres is very useful. At the dealership they told me that the Euro 6 Scania 730 has an even broader power band compared to the Euro 5 version.”
High residual value
“Why a Euro 6 then? Well, the new truck is of course not a back-to-back replacement for the one we are retiring. The new R 730 will be the flagship in our fleet, the truck we assign for the toughest tasks in the worst conditions and with the highest demands on short cycle times. The forest roads in this area are pretty rough and hilly, yet we are expected to deliver in all conditions. For me it is natural that our top-of-the-line vehicle has all the latest technology, even when it comes to emission control. And I know from experience that it will give us a higher residual value as well when that day finally comes.”
“But to be honest, all the technology in the world can’t replace the three things that are always dearest to me: uptime, uptime and uptime. We have operated Scania V8s in the company for at least 25 years and their most distinguishing feature has always been the remarkable durability. Sure, they are lean on fuel and wonderful to drive, but at the end of the day, the reliability is what really counts for me. We run a couple of six-cylinder Scania trucks as well for lighter tasks and they do a good job. But whenever there are rational reasons for any of the V8s, they are my choice.”
Time will tell whether the new Scania R 730, in Streamline guise and with a full air deflector kit, is capable of meeting Karl-Oskar Nilsson’s expectations also in the long run. It will definitely be confronted with hostile conditions deep in the Swedish woods.
“So far so good, and I’m not worried,” Nilsson declares. “It won’t let us down when it comes to plain durability, even though I know it will have to deal with challenges like GTWs of 74 tonnes and starting repeatedly on steep hills. And by the way – people keep asking me about Euro 6 and regeneration of the diesel particulate filter, if it’s hard to cope with and so on. Truth is, I don’t even notice when the filter is regenerated, the truck take care of it automatically.”
Scania R 730 6×4
Cab type: CR19
Engine type: DC16 103/730 hp Euro 6
Axle weight front: 9000 kg. Bogie weight: 21000 kg (10500 + 10500)
Gearbox: GRSO905R. Scania Opticruise with CCAP (Scania Active Prediction)
Axle type: RBP735 + RP735, hub reduction axle
Chassis height: Normal
Suspension: Air front and rear
Other: full Scania Streamline air deflector kit