Heading out of Cairns early morning to avoid what passes for a rush hour in the north Queensland city, we were out on the road with the new Scanias. We have now reached a point where it is a no-brainer to let the truck drive itself as much as possible. The driver simply needs to handle the steering and, occasionally, take over on the accelerator and the brake. They can use all of their attention to look at what’s going on and make sure everybody in the truck and around the truck are safe and travelling as efficiently as possible.
The testing program for a new generation autonomous transport system at Rio Tinto’s Dampier Salt operations in Western Australia is using Scania’s first autonomous truck in Australia. The first phase of the trial started in August 2018 and involves a Scania XT 8×4 autonomous tipper truck working separately from Dampier’s active operations.
Driving the latest Scania models on a trek across country Queensland gives us a picture of the future of trucking, from the driver’s point of view. Diesel News leaves most of the decision-making to the truck’s computer and gets a result.
A couple of months back Diesel News looked at the conventional contenders, we turn to the cabover contenders in the B-double prime mover segment and a couple of brands on the up. We look at brands trying to make a mark in their particular segments competing up against the dominating brands in their sector.
The XT range of the New Truck Generation are the latest Scania mining and construction models unveiled at Melbourne’s International Mining and Resources Conference. The all-new XT is designed to handle a wide variety of applications, and can be configured to an operator’s requirements, utilising one of three available cab sizes.
Ever since it was unveiled last year, we’ve been keen to try Scania’s optional clutch on demand (available on all models) which adds a clutch-pedal to the normal two-pedal Opticruise system. For low-speed manoeuvring or reversing you simply press the reinstated clutch pedal down, whereupon CoD activates an electrically-operated screw actuator to feed in the clutch—in other words, the driver effectively overrides the Opticruise auto by opening the clutch themselves.
As we’ve said before ‘man cannot live on prime-mover sales alone’ and it’s the bread and butter trucks lower down the weight-range that deliver the goods, in more ways than one. In Europe, as is true in Australia, top-weight prime movers have long been the ‘Glamour Boys’ of the truck world, and ever since Scania’s ‘New Generation’ R and S-series appeared in 2016 they’ve attracted plenty of attention.
Scania’s New Generation R and S-series may have more charisma, but its latest P and L-series have the qualities to deliver on the urban warriors’ inner-city drivability, safety and economy, according to Diesel’s European Correspondent, Brian Weatherley.
As a result of credible improved fuel consumption claims, Scania trucks started to appear, in recent years, in the big fleets and market share has grown substantially, hitting the heady heights of 8.3 per cent market share in 2017, selling 1,003 trucks.
Here’s a short video Diesel News captured heading outback with a Scania B-triple. Filmed soon after dawn on the road from Charleville to Cunnamulla in South West Queensland, the Scania was pulling over 70 tonnes GCM.