Challenging roads requires the power of the V8
31 MAY 2017
With the company motto “Punktlighet er vårt varemerke” (“Punctuality is our brand”) stamped in large letters on its vehicles, it’s no wonder that Ørland Transport was the first transport company in Norway to order and take delivery of a fleet of Scania S 730 trucks. In one of the world’s most challenging topographies for heavy transport, the power and technology of V8 engines are a must.
Kjell Haugland is the owner and Managing Director of Ørland Transport, one of the oldest and largest transport companies in Norway’s Stavanger region. But he still regularly joins his 130 drivers on the Norwegian roads in one of the company’s new generation Scania S 730 V8 trucks.
“I started in this company as a driver and I think it’s important to remember where you come from,” he says. “Not only that, it’s demanding to run a business as big and competitive as this, and driving is my way to calm down and feel good.”
Haugland says he can’t think of a better way to relax and unwind than to take a transport assignment with one of the company’s new S 730s.
As a veteran of the road, he has come to know every hairpin bend, steep slope and narrow tunnel along the E39 – the region’s main transport artery.
Haugland loves the luxury feeling he gets from the new cab while moving a heavy load up and down the rugged mountains, with the stormy North Sea at his back. “That’s hard to beat,” he says.
“For our business, the V8 engines from Scania are often a must”
Today, in two S 730s, he and fellow driver Jan Høiland load 50 tonnes each of prefabricated concrete foundations at a building contractor in Sandnes, destined for the construction of a new school in Kristiansand, 220 kilometres to the south-east along this wild coast.
The journey starts by hugging the North Sea coastline and moving through flat farmland, before beginning the serious business of climbing up narrow, winding roads through mountain passes made treacherously slippery by snow and ice. Then it’s downhill along serpentine roads, only to have to negotiate the road through another narrow fjord.
The vehicles’ performance is key to managing a mission like this.
“For our business, the V8 engines from Scania are often a must,” Haugland explains. “The volume of traffic and average speed on these narrow, steep roads is constantly increasing, and heavy transport missions like ours must have the capacity to follow that flow in a reasonably good way. Very often the power and torque of a V8 engine is a prerequisite.”
As a transport operator, Haugland doesn’t talk about “making money” but “saving money”. And that requires discipline when it comes to service and maintenance of the vehicles. By managing the fleet meticulously, Ørland Transport can reduce fuel consumption – and save more money.
“Every vehicle in our fleet has its time, down to the minute, for when it has to be maintained and serviced,” he says. “No well-paid extra assignments can change that. Working this way, our vehicles never fail – and they earn more money!”
Ørland Transport’s objective is to reduce the fleet’s overall fuel consumption by 10 percent in a year. If they manage this, the employees will share a windfall of NOK 1 million (EUR 114,000).
“If we can reduce the idle fuel consumption from 18.9 percent to 6 percent, we are already there,” he says. “And if we also manage to reduce the average speed a bit, we will do even better. That’s earning us even more money!”
Some of the vehicles in the fleet of Ørland Transport run assignments in the northern parts of Norway.
“With those distances and our country’s rugged topography these trucks can be away for months,” Haugland says. “Then it’s great to have Scania’s extensive network of workshops to rely on.” He slips into an impassioned explanation of the partnership he feels he and the company have with Scania.
“As an example,” Haugland says, “we never discuss price with Scania any longer when buying new vehicles. Never! We know that we get exactly the perfect trucks for our operations. We know how much money we can earn from each of them. And we know the resale value is high when we change them for new ones. It’s very much about trust. That’s partnership for me!”
What's a fjord?
Fjords are long, narrow sea inlets created by giant glacier tongues that cut through the Norwegian landscape over a very long time indeed.
When is a fjord not a fjord? When the strip of water is wider than it is long then it is not a fjord but a bay or a cove.
Synnøve Finden, the famous Norwegian cheese maker, was born in Finnafjord, the smallest of Norway’s fjords.
Norway’s biggest fjord is Sognefjord. The largest fjord in the world is Scoresby Sund, in Greenland.