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A punishing field test in Mato Grosso, Brazil

30 NOVEMBER 2019

Scania’s new truck generation tested in brutal conditions of rugged Mato Grosso state.

The muddy, potholed roads of Brazil’s Mato Grosso state are unforgiving and seemingly endless, which makes them an ideal testing ground for Scania’s new truck generation. A popular refrain in the state says: “Where does Mato Grosso’s agricultural production end? Always 200 kilometres after the asphalt does.”

The Bissoni family has been farming the rich lands of Mato Grosso state, one of the world’s largest producers of soya beans, maize, cotton and beef, since the 1990s. Starting with a modest acreage, the descendants of Italian immigrants have gradually expanded the business to a very substantial holding and this year the family expects a bumper crop.

Why Botuverá chooses Scania

The challenge for all farmers in this remote north-western state is shipping the millions of tonnes of produce to ports and processing plants. Before investing in land, the Bissoni family operated a transport business and the rationale of combining farming with trucking was obvious. The fleet presently comprises 180 trucks, of which most are Scania.

With its long association with Scania, the family company Botuverá was selected to test the new generation Scania R 500 over two arduous years. “The consequences of operating trucks under these difficult conditions are early wear of the truck as a whole, necessitating rigorous and regular maintenance” says Botuverá’s Commercial and Logistics Manager Adriano Bissoni.

The field tests also gives Botuverá a unique insight into the suitability of Scania’s new product range. “By participating in Scania’s vehicle testing we get to know a new product and suggest improvements. It strengthens mutual bonds and the more attention we give to testing, the more we contribute to Scania and the better the product we will be able to buy in future,” says Bissoni.

Botuverá usually renews its trucks after six years and in 2018 placed orders for 20 new Scania trucks. “We trust the brand since the trucks are operationally very cost-effective.”

Fernando and Isabela, a love story

With more than ten years’ experience behind the wheel, driver Fernando Bachi has been entrusted with carrying out field tests with a Scania R 500 named Isabela. He, like anyone else, appreciates driving on nice paved roads, but working in Mato Grasso means spending many jumpy hours delicately manoeuvring along rugged dirt tracks. “These dirty and muddy roads are always very difficult because of the weather. You just have to like driving in these conditions and even find it enjoyable.”

Three months on the road with Isabela has solidified the bond between Bachi and the truck: “This truck is like my second home and I take care of Isabella as if she were mine. Every time I unload, I clean it. And you can only enter the cab wearing socks, shoes stay outside.

“Leaving Isabella and going back to the old truck would feel like a really big loss; like a divorce.”