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Scania Assistance: Celebrating 25 years

Scania Assistance: 25 years of delivering a silver service

Scania Assistance is 25 years old. Our own assistance service has constantly delivered a silver service to our valued customers during this time.


Back in 1998, there was only one support centre, based out of Scania’s head office in Södertälje, Sweden.


From that tiny office, the team would handle more than 5,000 distress calls per year.


Now there are 15 centres dealing with more than a quarter of a million calls per year, from customers in need of help across the world.


One of those locations is in Bradford, which is the home to a group of experienced service coordinators and technicians, who support customers across the UK, Europe, North America, New Zealand and Australia.


These heroes are our front line, providing the crucial link between our customers and Scania’s network of service centres. Regardless of where and when you contact Scania Assistance, they will respond quickly and efficiently – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


And each member of the Scania Assistance team isn’t just an expert in Scania’s trucks. They’re used to diagnosing and repairing all of Scania’s products, including our buses, coaches and our Power Solutions engines – which includes boats, rock crushers and power generators.


These knights in shining silver armour form an essential cornerstone of Scania’s promise to limit the amount of unplanned downtime our customers need to endure.


So next time you’re out and about, keep an eye out for our heroes’ of the road!

Did you know?

Here’s some fun facts about Scania Assistance that you may not have known:

  • There’s a total of 15 support centres
  • Covering more than 50 countries
  • Dealing with more than 250,000 distress calls per year
  • Run by 150 call handlers speaking 25 different languages
  • Connecting our customers to more than 2,000 Scania workshops

Hero of the Road

Not all heroes wear capes

To begin the celebrations, we introduced a 'Hero-of-the-Road' competition, giving all our employees the chance to vote for their chosen Scania Assistance technicians—those remarkable individuals who wholeheartedly dedicate countless hours to assisting our customers, often under challenging and demanding circumstances. 


We were delighted to see our employees actively engaged in the celebrations as we received an overwhelming amount of nominations for technicians from every corner of the country. 


The three highly deserving winners of the competition are: Elton Kellow, James Key and Simon Curtis. 

Elton Kellow is a Scania Assistance technician for Scania Avonmouth and has been an integral part of the team for 26 years. 


Elton Kellow is a Scania Assistance technician for Scania Avonmouth and has been an integral part of the team for 26 years. Starting his journey at Avonmouth, Elton underwent training to become a master technician before venturing into roadside assistance.


His work encompasses a wide array of products, ranging from routine call-outs to supporting diverse machinery such as gas engines, buses, and coaches. Each day brings fresh challenges as he seamlessly transitions between workshop tasks and callouts.

Elton maintains a customer-focused outlook, appreciating the importance of swift, high-quality service, and acknowledging the priorities of the customers.


He once faced a challenging situation when a customer's machine suffered engine failure, risking £10,000 in daily losses. Despite a tight deadline, Elton managed to complete the repair in three days. 


Independence and decision-making are Elton's favourite aspects of the job. He humbly views his dedication to customers as simply fulfilling his responsibilities to the best of his ability, ensuring they receive the service they deserve. Elton aspires to mentor future technicians and places great importance on fostering strong customer relationships.


Elton's colleagues have taken note of how he truly embodies the fundamental values of this service, consistently upholding an exceptional standard in every callout he undertakes.

James Key is a highly experienced Scania Assistance technician based at Scania Purfleet, with an impressive 18 years with Scania.

His journey started as an apprentice in the Purfleet workshop at the age of 16, but in 2005, he made the transition to the breakdown van. 


Although Purfleet already had two breakdown technicians at the time, the growing workload and demands led to someone recommending James for the third role. He embraced the opportunity and has never looked back, staying dedicated to the role ever since. 


James credits his progress to the invaluable guidance and support provided by Simon Curtis when he first started.- Now, the dynamic duo of James and Simon work seamlessly together, efficiently tackling all challenges that come their way. 


One memorable breakdown that left a lasting impact on James was when a truck broke down, and the driver's wife had just gone in to labour. Recognising the urgency, James swiftly replaced the starter motor, making it the fastest he had ever done. This experience reinforced the importance of understanding customers' priorities and going the extra mile to assist them during critical moments. 


When questioned about the challenges he has encountered, James emphasised that every breakdown presents its unique set of challenges. While he may have an initial sense of what needs to be done, he never takes it for granted, as circumstances can quickly change, requiring him to stay adaptable and avoid complacency.


Despite the demanding nature of the job, James finds pleasure in its diversity. The role encompasses a wide range of tasks, from handling vehicle damage to addressing unfortunate breakdowns, making each day a mix of different challenges and experiences. 


For James, the most rewarding aspect of his job is arriving at a breakdown and seeing the relief on the customer's face when they know help has arrived. Being able to fix the issue, witnessing their smile, and knowing they leave satisfied brings him immense joy, regardless of the time it takes to complete the job.

Meet Simon Curtis, a dedicated Scania Assistance technician employed at Scania Purfleet.

His remarkable career spans 25 years, with the past 20 years dedicated to his role on the breakdown van. Before joining Scania, Simon worked for a haulage company, where he attended breakdowns spanning various locations in Europe.


Praised by a colleague for his unwavering dedication, Simon goes above and beyond to ensure vehicle repairs are promptly addressed on the roadside or devises solutions to keep customers on the move. This dedication was evident during a call-out Simon received for a coach filled with children that had broken down on the A2 roundabout by the M25. Unfortunately, the issue couldn't be resolved on the spot, as the vehicle's fuel pump had malfunctioned. Consequently, the coach needed to be towed to the nearest workshop, leaving the children stranded as they couldn't accompany the towed coach. Simon acted swiftly and managed to secure the assistance of another coach driver who met him at the breakdown location. The children were transferred from the disabled coach to the waiting one, ensuring they could continue with their trip without any further delays or disruptions. This act of resourcefulness and customer-oriented mindset truly exemplifies Simon's exceptional commitment to his role as a Scania Assistance technician. 


When questioned about his favourite aspect of the job, Simon highlighted that while it can be tiring, mainly due to being on the being on the road most of the time, there are significant rewards that make it all worthwhile. The most rewarding part is the freedom of being your own,  having the ability to think independently, confidently diagnose problems and find the best solutions to fix them. As well as the opportunity to build connections with customers, drivers, and the Assistance Centre. 


Simon also enjoys a close working relationship with his fellow Scania Assistance breakdown technician, James Key. Their bond has grown incredibly strong over time, and their teamwork makes the job much more manageable and enjoyable.


Simon has earned high praise from colleagues for possessing unmatched expertise, not only in technical matters but also in understanding our local customers and their vehicles. This exceptional knowledge creates a unique and personalised experience for our customers, instilling a sense of trust and confidence in our services.

Scania Family, Series 3

Introducing our latest Scania Family docu-series, a captivating journey into the world of Scania Assistance as we celebrate its 25th anniversary.


Through this series, we shine a spotlight on the extraordinary efforts of our dedicated team our Assistance Centre in Bradford, the esteemed "Heroes of the Road," who work tirelessly to ensure seamless assistance to our customers. We also delve into the modest beginnings of Scania Assistance, taking a nostalgic trip down memory lane, while also looking forward to the promising future that lies ahead.


Join us as we commemorate this momentous occasion and honor the inspiring story of Scania Assistance.


Episode 1

From modest beginnings

In the first episode, we reflect on Scania Assistance's modest beginnings and recognise the essential role the team play in providing exceptional support to our customers. 

Episode 2

Heroes Of The Road

In the second episode, we delve deep into the remarkable stories of our Heroes Of The Road. Discover more about their crucial roles, the challenges they have faced, and the extraordinary dedication that makes them true heroes.

Episode 3

Celebrating achievements

In the third and final episode, we celebrate the achievements of the past 25 years. We also envision the future of Scania Assistance and reveal what it may be like in years to come. 

It’s not all sun, sea and sand

Scania Assistance don’t just deal with breakdowns at the side of the road. There can sometimes be the odd breakdown that takes place in an idyllic location.


But no matter where our customers need us, Scania Assistance is always on hand to help – even if it means heading over to the Italian Riviera or Antigua.


As a crucial link between our customers and Scania, the team ensures the best help is sent out to resolve the issue. In this case it was a problem with two marine engines on a yacht.


After some consideration, two technicians from the UK were sent with the mission of fixing both engines as soon as possible.


On arriving, in the Caribbean, there was no time to take in the sun or the sea, both were on the boat getting down to business.


They started by stripping both engines down to find the faults. Eventually they discovered the root causes for the problem. One engine had a corroded head core plug, which meant it was leaking coolant, while the other had a blocked oil cooler core.


With the problem identified and all the tools, equipment and parts shipped to Antigua, the experienced technicians could finish the job, and get our customer’s pride and joy operational again.


As glamorous as it may seem, the pair had to work 12-hour long days in a swelteringly hot engine room, next to a generator running constantly. This meant they had to wear ear defenders all-day and communicate via sign language.


But this is Scania Assistance. Whenever our customers need us, we will be there no matter the circumstances.

Going for Gold at London 2012

As Olympic and Paralympic fever took hold across the UK in the summer of 2012, Scania Assistance was busy looking to win a gold of its own.


During almost 80 days of competition, with the world descending on the capital, including more than 8,500 athletes, the challenge was set to keep the UK’s logistics and transport sectors moving under intense pressure.


To support our customers during a chaotic period, and just like an athlete aiming for top spot on the podium, the Scania Assistance team limbered up by making preparations to be ready for when the Olympics arrived.


This included bringing in more call handlers and technicians and preparing them to hit the ground running. Also focusing on stocking up spare parts and adjusting the times our service centres were open.


No detail was left unchecked or to chance. And this due diligence was recognised by our customers, who awarded Scania Assistance gold for their Herculean efforts to keep London moving during this summer of sport.

Read our press release

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