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This Scania driver scores 100 percent on Driver Support system

23 AUGUST 2018

Tim Mason, a driver for haulier Visy Logistics, is one of Australia’s best and safest drivers, and that’s no idle boast. Mason, who drives a Scania P 360, has been clocking up 100 percent scores on the Scania Driver Support system on such a regular basis that anything less is a surprise. “I’m never below 99 percent,” he says with quiet pride.

His achievement is remarkable – most drivers average scores of 70 to 75 percent – but Mason can call upon 40 years as a professional driver, mainly in the United Kingdom. He started with Visy soon after he moved to Australia ten years ago.

“Anticipation is the key”

Visy Logistics ordered 59 new Scania trucks in 2017 for its operations across Australia, attracted by positives such as the fuel economy (with low emissions), Scania Driver Support and Scania Fleet Management systems. Mason’s new Scania P 360 is a 4×2 tractor unit pulling a trailer full of palletised aluminium beer cans. He makes four or five deliveries a day from the Visy Logistics recycling plant to a brewery in Adelaide. But the job never becomes tedious, especially now he has his perfect driving score to preserve.

“Anticipation is the key,” he says. “You need to read the road. I was taught that driving consists of three parts: seeing, planning and action. If you get your anticipation right, everything else falls into place, and you shouldn’t need to use the service brakes, just the retarder.”

Scania’s safety strengths

Mason started off driving Japanese and American trucks for Visy, “But the Scania has Opticruise gearchanging and the retarder and one of the benefits is that at the end of the day you do feel fresher. You can’t help feeling an aching for a Scania. I know lots of guys here in Australia that drive American trucks. Once they’ve tried my Scania, they’re converted.”

Mason praises the P 340’s comfort and quiet inside the cab, but he highlights the safety features such as the visibility. “If you can see where you are and where the traffic is, you’re going to be safer,” he says.

The Scania Driver Support system helps too. “If you’re not paying attention and have to brake sharply, the system prompts you to anticipate better next time. This has a big impact on the driver score, so you have to work hard to regain the percentage. To get a good score you must pay attention all the time.”