It takes a special kind of truck to transport over 50 tonnes of timber from a felling site to the sawmill along a hilly forest road – especially with a crane with a 10-metre boom in tow. That’s why Aurélien Rancon of Transports Rancon has invested in a Scania R 650 V8 specially adapted to his needs.
High in the hills of the Haute-Loire in southern France, Aurélien Rancon, director of Transports Rancon, is delicately picking up 16-metre logs one at a time, and stacking them onto the trailer of his Scania R650. The whole process is apparently painless – like any job when carried out with the right tools. And Rancon is more than satisfied with his truck and Palforet crane; for his 22-tonne V8 is strong and reliable, the crane has a grappling hook that means business, and both obey his every command.
Powerful, stable and safe, the truck has no problem overcoming pitfalls on the road and can negotiate an 18 percent incline with ease, but Rancon still approaches every forest road with caution. “For us loggers, the first three miles are the most dangerous,” he says. “These roads are not built for a 57-tonner!”
Sometimes his skills are tested to the limit by the snow, ruts and narrowness of road, as well as the weight and length of the load. Thanks to the second wheel which controls his Faymonville three-axle trailer, he feels confident: “It is absolutely essential for narrow bends or manoeuvring in the forest. I have a control screen that shows me everything happening behind.”
Rancon will need to transport this batch of timber to the Celle sawmill about 12 miles from away: one of many of the runs he will be doing for them this week.
Transports Rancon known for a timely delivery
Simon Guironnet, timber buyer at the mill, says: “Transports Rancon are punctual and serious about the job. They understand that a reliable truck guarantees delivery of the timber.”
With an annual turnover of EUR 700,000, Transports Rancon employs three members of staff including two drivers, and operates four trainers and four vehicles including three Scania trucks.
Originally tailor-made for an exhibition, Transports Rancon’s latest Scania truck was adapted to their particular requirements. “To perform the work, we need power and torque,” says Rancon.
Julien Sauron, Commercial Manager, Trucks Services and Distribution, and a Scania distributor says: “This is the ideal model for extreme conditions with balanced power, performance and fuel consumption, which is really low for a V8. The V8 Euro 6 engine is remarkable for its simplicity, and it meets the levels of reliability that Aurélien requires perfectly.”
The pair know each other well because this is not the first Scania that Rancon has purchased.
But this latest truck displays exceptional character including the dual chassis, enhanced braking system, the most powerful hydraulic retarder in the range (R4100), without forgetting the V8 engine. With a front axle capacity of 10 tonnes and two rear axles of 13 tonnes each, the vehicle has been approved for a gross combination weight rating of 70 tonnes and for carrying 57 tonnes of round timber.
“It’s quite exceptional, even on board.” says Rancon. “And the visibility is astonishing.”
Following an industrial accident that kept him off the road for several months, driving comfort is particularly important to Rancon, he appreciates the ergonomics of his next-generation cab. “In the new Scania, I no longer feel any back pain,” he says.
It was this accident that led the young business owner to a strategic turning point: “Being bed-ridden, I only had the internet to keep me occupied. I started looking at new markets. The large Belgian and German sawmills were starting to invest in the French market because of its fuel diversity and the abundance of raw materials. I seized this opportunity and started to develop with them.”
Sauron on Scania’s services
Since a vehicle out of action represents a loss in earnings, “When a logger phones you, you know that you have to act immediately,” says Sauron. After-sales care is the key. “There’s no room for error! The vehicles are so specific, we cannot provide a courtesy vehicle if one is out of action so anticipating a breakdown is essential. A part ordered before 4pm will be delivered the next morning, which means we can act quickly.
Racon appreciates this proactive approach to after sales: “I know I can count on Julien.”