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Field test of Scania 7-litre truck records big fuel savings

18 DECEMBER 2018

Caxias do Sul-based Rápido ABC uses 12 percent less fuel operating Scania’s new, smaller Engine.

Foresighted truck driver Agostinho Rech some 30 years ago realised the need for transport of harvested crops from southern Brazil to the populous São Paulo area and founded Rápido ABC. Consequently, his son Rafael grew up with trucks and started working at the family company at age of 15.

Seven years later, Rafael was appointed managing director, working alongside his father. Now, at the age of 35, he has gradually expanded operations with two other branches and manages a fleet of 44 vehicles, of which all heavy trucks are Scania. “There has been a need for trucks, and the business has grown with the city as it has become a major industrial hub,” says Rech.

With his close association to Scania, he was asked to field test Scania’s new 7-litre distribution truck, named Kenya. The haulier operates its box trucks on delivery routes of up to 2,400 km, such as between Caxias do Sul and São Paulo.

Distribution trucks more profitable
“We have lately increased the share of box trucks. They save on fuel, which is our largest expenditure. Since they’re lighter with fewer axles, we also save on road tolls. So, for light cargo, distribution trucks are a lot more profitable because of the lower operational costs. In addition, distribution trucks travel faster truck and, consequently, are more efficient for these types of deliveries.”

The new 7-litre distribution truck has added further fuel savings of 12 percent  compared to the previous trucks but is also proving its worth in nearly every other aspect. Rech, who still occasionally drives his trucks, is full of praise:

“The first thing you notice is the good ergonomics – everything is within reach. You realise that Scania has meticulously examined ergonomics that achieve these improvements. You have a wide view with no blind spots. When driving, the comfort is amazing. I can compare this truck to a passenger car and it’s more comfortable, especially for long distances. With the engine’s performance, it doesn’t feel like driving a loaded truck.”

‘Fits every driver’s needs’
Rápido ABC driver Alison Salvador, who has been entrusted with Kenya for more than a year, echoes Rech’s sentiments. “It’s exceeded my expectations. It’s a truck without blind spots, with very good ergonomics and great drivability. You don’t get tired from driving it. I drive Kenya loaded at the maximum gross weight without any problems. It drives uphill without any loss of power. In short, it’s a truck that fits every driver’s needs.”

Rech has welcomed the opportunity to preview Kenya. “It’s a rewarding and really interesting experience for us to test this truck. We get to know a product that hasn’t been released yet, and, even more satisfactory, to see all the advantages of this new product.”

Sad farewell to family
Driver Salvador does not look forward to the day when he must part ways with Kenya. “When the test is over, I’ll be very sad. For us drivers, the truck is like family and we spend more time there that at home. It’s like saying goodbye to someone you care about.”

Fortunately, in all likelihood Salvador can look forward to driving Kenya’s siblings. With first-hand experience of the new truck, Rech has no hesitation in adding the P 280 to his fleet. “Not only will I buy the product but also recommend the truck to friends, acquaintances and people in the transportation industry. Many know that I’m testing this truck and ask me about my impressions. It’s simply impossible to not recommend the truck.”