Scania Trucks R 480

By: Dave Cox

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Dave Cox takes a look at a custom-built Scania R480 L.B 8x4 with a four-axle Roadmaster trailer.

Scania Trucks R 480
Brett Horrobin's custom-built Scania R 480 is an exceptionally well balanced truck that is perfectly suited for running coal and cement betweem Marsden Point and Portland Cement.
  • Good cab layout
  • Lightweight steering
  • Excellent retardation
  • All-wheel disc brakes
  • Computer technology

The versatile Scania R480 L.B 8x4, with its four-axle Roadmaster trailer, looks like a very balanced and well thought-out package, turned out by Brett Horrobin from Winstones Aggregates, Roadmaster Trailers and Cable Price.

The task

Two units are needed to run coal from Marsden Point to Portland Cement, then load palletised bagged cement for the return journey to Marsden Point, which has to be done in a curtainsider.

Brett wanted to design units that could be used in the everyday running of the Winstones business, and also tough enough to carry bulk aggregates like sealing chip for roading or sand and metal for concrete manufacture.

Also taken into consideration is that the Scanias can still jack-knife their trailers and fit into the mainstream Winstones operation alongside the other truck and trailer units.

Another factor behind Winstones' decision to have such versatile trucks is that figuring out a way to backload palletised cement in a bulk tipper meant that there was huge savings in regards to carbon tonnes per litres of fuel used.

The truck and trailers are designed with alloy floors and alloy tail doors, with three-ply curtains to contain the bulk loads that they will carry. The three-ply is able to withstand the weight of the coal against the sides, but a small sacrifice means its extra thickness is fairly stiff and a wee bit harder to work with, ie, sliding the curtain back and forth.

The units have new rollover covers, designed to fit into all aspects of the bulk tipping work. This means they can be loaded over the sides by a wheel loader in any quarry operation.

Also as a bit of forward thinking, the Scanias have been built with the 50-53-tonne draft in mind if ever the law does go in that direction.

The drive

Access to the cab is effortless, with wide opening doors, good grab handles and steps placed at easy intervals.

The cab interior is excellent and in true Scania fashion never fails to impress. The cab is described as a day cab, which still affords the driver a good amount of work space, and room enough to have a rest bunk behind the seats. The small bunk behind the seats has been taken out, which makes the cab look roomier.

The dash is a Colour Plus Dash, which is a standard fitment in New Zealand and is able to be programmed by the driver to show whichever features he/she would like to monitor during operation of the vehicle. This is part of the engine management kit and can range from fuel consumption to air tank pressures. On this particular Scania there are approximately 22 computers controlling the running and management of the vehicle and all are designed to make life easier for the driver and the vehicle more efficient.

Sitting with both hands on the wheel means the driver is within finger-tip reach of virtually all controls and switches. The Scania Opticruise, Scania retarder and cruise control are all incorporated in the steering wheel or steering column.

The steering is light and responsive, which makes manoeuvrability excellent.

Stopping power

The Scania unit has EBS and ABS with brake fade warnings as part of the protection package, but being fitted with the very efficient Scania five-stage retarder and disc brakes on all wheels I can't see how brake fade would ever be an issue.

There is a switch on the steering wheel for downhill speed control, which enables the driver to control the retarder from the foot brake. If you were to come over the top of a hill, the driver can place his foot on the foot brake to pull back to the desired speed to descend the hill (40ks maybe), and then let the retarder take over and the truck will descend at 40ks being managed by the retarder.

Another feature is brake blending in conjunction with the EBS. This can happen because the retarder is a very effective hydraulic, which means it will come on more and more until pressure on the brake pedal is no longer needed.

Another feature, the gear change kick-down, is activated by easing off the accelerator pedal. A quick tap on the floor retarder switch will alert the computer and snap down the appropriate gears in the Scania 14-speed Opticruise.

Another switch is the Hill Hold switch. Once this was activated in the on position, when we came up to a slight rise that we had to stop on we could comfortably accelerate away without any fears of rolling backwards. Leave this on and you have the perfect hill-start every time.

This truck comes with lots of standard features - electric mirrors on the left side, heated mirrors, air bag suspension, climate control and plenty of storage space.

The Scania also feature fully controlled Electronic Injection timing for better fuel management, and the 13L engine meets Euro 5 emission standards.

This truck is suited to…

  • Line-haul work
  • Heavy duty applications
  • Bulk tippers
  • Freight delivery
  • Company fleet trucks
  • Truck hire or lease

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