Streamline in focus for the press

Streamline in focus for the press

Dozens of international truck journalists journeyed to the Scania DemoCentre in Södertälje during May to check out the company’s new range of Streamline trucks for themselves.

Take eight Scania Streamline test trucks, add 140 curious journalists and what do you get? A major international media event where Europe’s truck press could experience the 2013 Scania Streamline range.

As part of the launch activities, journalists from Europe including Russia were invited to the Scania DemoCentre in Södertälje, Sweden, beginning 7 May. Typically arriving in groups of between 5 and 15 and completing a half day’s worth of vehicle testing before flying home, the journalists were given the chance to drive a variety of Streamline variants.

Seven Scania Streamline trucks were available for the journalists to drive, all in Ocean Blue launch livery.

Seven Scania Streamline trucks were available for the journalists to drive, all in Ocean Blue launch livery.

Of course, they also received comprehensive briefings on the range’s features, including its Euro 6 V8 engines, second-generation Euro 6 inline engines. Improved aerodynamics and an enhanced Scania Opticruise system with four performance modes, as well as Scania Active Prediction, the GPS-based cruise control system that adapts the speed to the topography of the road ahead.

Essential for journalists

Guy Beyens, an editor with Belgian transport magazines De Lloyd and Transport Echo, was part of the media contingent during the first week of testing. In between test drives, he said such events were essential for journalists to be able to assess new vehicles effectively.

“The best way to get a good impression of a new truck is to get behind the wheel,” he said. “Driving it, you have the handling, the feeling. You can get a better impression of what are the positive and less positive sides, to explain them to your readers.”

Typically two groups of journalists were introduced to the Scania vehicles on each day of the two-week testing programme. Members of the media first received a formal presentation on the Streamline range before having the chance to examine the vehicles up close and take photographs.

Experiencing the complete atmosphere of the truck

Peder Nordgren from Scania demonstrating Scania Fleet Management to journalists from the Benelux countries.

Peder Nordgren from Scania demonstrating Scania Fleet Management to journalists from the Benelux countries.

Iep van der Meer, from Dutch transport websites including trailertotaal.nl and truckblog.nl, said he was looking at a range of factors in assessing the Streamline trucks.

“It’s the entry, it’s the seating position, it’s the dashboard, the switches and gauges, where is everything,” he said. “It’s the complete atmosphere of the truck that you have to feel. You can’t see that in a picture.”

Wide range of trucks

Next came the chance to test drive the vehicles, which ranged from European 40-tonne semitrailer combinations with inline six-cylinder engines between 410 and 490 hp and the two new 520 and  580 hp Euro 6 V8s, to a Nordic 25.25-metre 60-tonne combination with a 490 hp engine.

Journalists were paired up and assigned a Scania co-driver who brought them up to speed with the features of each vehicle. Driving in shifts, they then completed a 70-kilometre road circuit around Södertälje, taking in both highway and country road conditions. The course provided 14 opportunities to see the Scania Active Prediction cruise-control system in action. The system uses GPS and topographical data to anticipate hills and implement the most efficient speed and gear ratio.

Journalists were also able to take vehicles on shorter trips around the custom-built, 2.8-kilometre test track at the Scania DemoCentre. At a field workshop, they were able to talk to Scania experts and see demonstrations of the Remote Diagnostics system.

The journalists’ verdicts

Hendrik De Spiegelaere

Hendrik De Spiegelaere, MMM Business Media, Belgium. Drove a G 450:
“The difference between the first generation and the second generation of Euro 6 is really big. It’s not only the engine. The Streamline cab is very nice, enormously quiet – even quieter than the first generation. It’s nice to drive. You can concentrate on the road and let the vehicle do the work for you.”

Jan Voet

Jan Voet, Transporama, Belgium. Drove the V8 R 580:
“Opticruise is a very good system that supports drivers to as achieve the best fuel consumption. When I started as a journalist, fuel was 15 to 20 percent of the total cost of doing business in the transport business. Now it’s a third or more. It’s quickly gaining interest and becoming more and more important.”

Nancy Van den Eynde

Nancy Van den Eynde, Transpo, Belgium. Drove one of the V8s:
“It’s impressive. It’s very quiet. You hear so little of the engine that you hear a bit more of the wind. The cab is very nice, you have lots of space to put your things. It’s comfortable, and the new seats are ventilated, so I had a good impression.”

Arjen van Vliet

Arjen van Vliet, Truckstar, Holland. Drove an R 490 and a G 450:
“I was mainly focusing on the Active Prediction and the different modes and what it’s doing in the modes. You keep speed without doing anything with your foot. One hill I went one minute and three seconds without touching the gas, keeping at the speed between 65 and 69 km/h. It’s the most important way for a transport company to influence costs via their drivers.”