Scania Trucks P 380

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Dave Cox joins APL Direct for a few days to take the reins of a Scania P 380 truck.

Scania Trucks P 380
The Scania P380 meets Euro 5 emission standards.
  • Smooth and pleasant ride thanks to four-point Scania Air suspension
  • Simple dash layout and easy steering wheel mounted controls
  • 12-speed Opticruise Scania gearbox
  • Five-stage retarder

Climbing into the driver's seat was easy, with the door opening wide. Steps were placed at good intervals and there were easy to reach grab handles. At 5am the interior light cast enough light for me to fill out my log book in my luxurious surrounds.

The driver's seat, which comes with a seat warmer, was adequate. The steering wheel felt very nice with sculptured hand grip positions and a silver metallic finish.

The dash layout and finish makes this working environment very nice, with "Colour Plus" instrument display. The long, curved-style instrument panel makes reaching all switches and controls easy and is ergonomically friendly. Centre dash is the computer menu, which gives you all the info you need as you scroll through the options by using the steering wheel-mounted controls. Even the gear change paddle is easily reached by extending the fingers and not having to take your hands from the steering wheel.

Storage on this Scania P380 is also impressive, with ample bins, overhead lockers and little compartments in the dash for things like calculators, pens, fuel cards, etc. Couple this with what Scania calls a rest bunk rather than a full sized sleeper and the feeling of space and room in this cab is excellent.

Performance and handling

Heading out of the depot and into the morning darkness, the APL Scania leaves nothing to chance, with the new Xenon headlamps lighting the road brilliantly.

The Automated Scania 12-speed Opticruise gearbox performs well in this application of work and I found leaving it in the Automated mode for much of the journey made driving effortless and refreshing.

Scania's 380hp engine just purrs along and meets Euro 5 emission standards with the Ad Blue technology (SCR).

The cab has four-point air suspension and the truck's front and rear suspension are Scania Air, which make for a comfortable ride. Part of what helps give this truck a superior ride and control is the fast-acting rear suspension electronic level control, which gives a quick response in the air bags as the weight distribution changes.

Slowing down or stopping is aided by the Scania integral retarder in conjunction with exhaust brake, and as always I am very impressed with the five-stage option giving the driver a huge choice to be able to get the right setting for every occasion. This definitely reduces the brake pedal applications and must give a good return on brake pad wear. The brakes are also hooked up to EBS and ABS in case of an emergency situation.

Overall vision from the cab is good and the big European mirrors, which are heated and both electronically controlled, don't pose a problem with any extra blind spots. But my pet hate is the convex glass, which I find hard to judge distance when backing into places. My ideal would be to leave the bottom smaller glass as convex to give wide angle vision and the main glass flat to give better judgement.

Cruise control, climate control, remote central locking, arm rests, monsoons…the list just goes on.

The body

The custom-built body APL commissioned on the Scania was designed with a fold-back roof which allows the truck to operate at its optimum performance, helping operations where a customer might only be able to unload the truck by way of gantry.

This truck body is designed to meet the needs of the driver and the job they have to do. A couple of other details have been added, like installing lights in the headboard for the times when loading and unloading is required in the dark.

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