CC Global: 2007 Scania R500 Topline 6×2 Tractor – 2015 GS Meppel Semi-Trailer

What a Long Nose Peterbilt is to an American trucker, is a Scania V8 to a European driver; you can’t get higher in the gear jammers’ pecking order anymore once you’re driving one. This brightly colored Scania R-series 6×2 tractor with a liftable tag axle is a very fine example.

There’s a gloriously hammering 500 hp 15.6 liter V8 under its tall Topline cab. The Scania V8 engine dates back to 1969, originally it had a displacement of 14 liter and a maximum power output of 350 hp. Throughout the years it evolved into the current 16.4 liter V8, 730 hp for the most powerful version.

Besides all engines, the Swedish truck maker also develops and builds its own transmissions and axles.

The semi-trailer is a 2015 GS Meppel with a rolloader crane. This kind of rigs is typically used for hauling bricks, tiles, concrete sewer pipes and such. The legal maximum GVM is 50 metric ton (110,000 lbs), fully loaded about 55 to 60 ton is closer to daily practice though.

Still a low sun on a bright day in March, somewhat later in the afternoon…

The semi-trailer’s first axle is liftable, the second and third are steering axles. The maximum axle load is 10,000 kg (22,000 lbs) per axle.

I shot this similar combination last year. Unlike the dual wheels on the GS Meppel, this Kennis semi-trailer has super singles. And the Volvo FH tractor has a steering pusher axle with single wheels.

Here’s how the steering axles on the semi-trailer work. When the tractor makes a turn, the semi-trailer swings to the outside of the corner. No corner-cutting here, which is a big plus on narrow roads with tight corners. Other advantages are less tire- and asphalt wear and tear. Especially on hot days…

Back to the King Of The Road, last year Scania introduced the all-new R- and S-series. With a more square cab, it’s still Hammertime underneath though. The last V8 man standing, since all other manufacturers of highway trucks have fully embraced the inline-6. Pecking order status quo it is.