Clutch on Demand

Clutch on Demand

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. 

It’s been developed following requests from some customers for a third pedal and the biggest challenge has been how to give a pedal that’s sending an electrical signal the same ‘feel’ as a manually-operated clutch. Based on our experience reversing with CoD, it works extremely well, and has an excellent feedback. When you’ve finished using it, Opticruise reverts back to full auto mode, including when stopping and starting. 

Seven Litre Scania 

It might say Scania on the rocker cover but the DC07 is actually based on Cummins’ 6.7-litre B-Series block, albeit developed extensively by Scania with the Swedes’ own ECU engine management system, throttle and fly-wheel housing developed for Opticruise. It has a Holset fixed-geometry, waste-gate turbo and Bosch/Cummins fuelling system but with the injectors meeting Scania’s own specification. 

The emissions control system is SCR-only. DC07 offers a number of advantages over its nine-litre DC09 stablemate, not least a 360g weight-saving and fuel-savings of between four and seven per cent vs the latest updated nine-litre, and up to 10 per cent over the previous generation engine. It will be cheaper than a nine-litre too. While DC07 is currently only available on the P-series it’s expected to become available on the low-entry L-Series before too long.

 

Clutch on Demand
Scania P 220

 

Using the functionality of the electric parking brake, both L and P-series chassis can be equipped with an automatic park brake which operates when the driver releases their safety belt or opens the door. Having tried it we can confirm it’s a useful safety intervention against an accidental vehicle roll-away, especially for those drivers hopping into and out of the cab several times a day.

The L Series’ standard air-suspended front-axle can also be ordered with an optional kneeling function which lowers the entry-step to 438mm off the ground on a one-step version, or just 150mm on the two-step arrangement. Having tried the single-step variant, its ease-of-entry seemed more than adequate to us.

Once again, used in conjunction with the automatic park-brake, when the truck either comes to halt, or neutral is selected on Opticruise, or as soon as the driver removes their seatbelt or opens the door the kneeling function automatically activates. Pulling away from rest, the cab rises 95mm back to the normal driving position when you reach 30km/h.

Not surprisingly, the coach-like forward seating position and air-suspended front-axle delivers an extremely comfortable ride on L-series, (though we certainly had no complaints with the P-series four-wheeler). Both models exhibited Scania’s trademark ‘soft-but-never-sloppy’ ride and extremely positive steering. We continue to be impressed too by the change-quality of the current Allison six-speed in conjunction with the 320hp nine-litre DC09. 

So what’s our verdict on the new P and L-series urban rigids? With no-less than 11 cab options (including crew cabs), seven and nine-litre engines, six transmissions and a multiplicity of axle configurations and chassis options, plus alternative fuel choices, all backed-up by great drivability, we can’t see middleweight truck buyers having difficulty finding a model to suit their own inner-city mission.

 

European brands are known for a comfortable ride