A childhood spent around Scania trucks inspired Irish truck enthusiast to build a scaled-down S 730. Now it’s a social media hit, sparking huge customer interest.
If you’re someone who views nostalgia as just a thing of the past, then think again. Wayne Auchmuty, an Irish truck enthusiast and design engineer, can tell you otherwise.
Auchmuty’s childhood memories of doing his homework in his father’s Scania trucks led him to design an electric-powered, scaled-down S 730. It’s a child-friendly, ride-on version that has proved to be an instant hit on social media, with 600,000 Facebook views within 48 hours of the initial posting of promotional photos and films. Orders are already coming in from across Europe.
“I grew up loving trucks”
“I grew up with trucks and I grew up loving trucks,” explains Auchmuty. “My dad had Scania trucks when we were kids. His first one was a 111 in the early ‘80s, then he had a 141, a 142 and then a 143. My siblings and I spent a lot of our childhood being driven around Ireland on general haulage jobs sitting behind him in the back of the truck.
“My dad used to pick us up from school and we’d go off in the evening and do our homework in the back of the truck while he drove. And when we’d come home at night, he’d carry us out asleep from the truck to our beds, before we went to school the next morning again.”
Nowadays, Auchmuty is a partner in Athlone-based Lakeside Engineering Design, which specialises in manufacturing whole or parts of farming and quarrying machinery. However, his childhood experiences, coupled with being a father himself, made him consider the possibility of a new sideline to address a gap in the market by building the scaled-down Scania truck.
“Three years of late nights”
Our nostalgic designer knew to approach Scania before he got started, and after some initial encouragement from the company’s brand manager, Auchmuty was ecstatic to get a licence to make the truck. “Scania has been so helpful”, he says.
There was still a long road ahead, but the designer and his team, now called Scaled Rigs, received the invaluable assistance of Irish distributor Westward Scania, which obtained 2-D images of the S 730 for them, after the designers had originally started drawing an R-series.
“It’s been three years of late nights trying to get it right, but we’re happy with how it turned out,” he says. Now, mini trailers, tankers and even T-cabs are in their thoughts, subject to Scania approval.
A torque that’s equal to a mobility scooter
Auchmuty’s five-year-old daughter Lola is currently enjoying testing the prototype around the farm where his Scaled Rigs is based. The trucks are being made to order but these miniature marvels are not cheap: a fully-finished, spray-painted Scania model will retail at more than 3,000 euros.
But perhaps that’s understandable, what with a 24-volt electric battery power that gives four-and-a-half hours of operation per charge, plus a torque that’s equivalent to a mobility scooter. And for all you Peter Pans out there: it takes an adult’s weight too!
The price tag hasn’t put people off. “We’ve had a lot of interest from truck company owners,” says Auchmuty. Which just goes to show: never underestimate the power, or value, of nostalgia.