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.
My Gawd!..Hope this beast has a 4 cyl auxiliary generator just to power all the lights!
OEM Alternator on my 2001 Mack CH is 160A. That seems to be the norm on most Class 8 trucks in the US. Some of the large car guys with big old school Petes and KW running a will upgrade to 300A or run two.
Last weekend I saw 2 trucks with an oversized load of concrete beams on the side of the road near downtown Jacksonville. I’m just guessing but it looked like the drivers were afraid the very long load could not negotiate the off-ramps curves but the real obstacle was less than a mile ahead: the interstate has a lot of construction at I-10/I-95 with a few “S” curves. If they could have had this truck’s opposite steering trailer it would have gone down that stretch easily.
The U.S. lags behind Europe, not just in cars but also trucks….I guess.
Have seen “super singles” on a small handful of trucks, can’t imagine how they price versus 2 “regular” truck tires.
Super singles started to become popular in the seventies, initially only on semi-trailers. Later on trailers too, meanwhile they also have become common on the steering axle(s) of a truck or tractor. Heavy-duty steering axles, that is, up to 9,000 kg axle load.
I have yet to see them though on the rear drive axle(s) of an on-highway truck or tractor. Dual wheels are still the norm in that case.
Steering axles on semi-trailers have also been around for many decades. Then again, our roads are often quite narrow, combined with a lot of -or constant- cornering. And not only in the cities.
By the way, you’ve got super singles and SUPER singles…This is clearly not an on-highway truck though. (Photo courtesy of Tolkamp Agri Service)
Typically the move to super singles is for cost savings. IE one larger wheel and tire do cost less than 2 smaller tires. The other reason is fuel economy, the super single weighs less and has lower rolling resistance since the number of sidewalls that flex with each revolution is cut in half.
The draw back is that if you loose one that axle will not be supported. If one of the duals fails the remaining tire will still hold up that end of that axle, at least long enough to get the truck safely to the side of the road.
I remember how it all started in the seventies. Standard semi-trailers, for example for international transport, had 2 axles (wide-spread setup, mostly) with dual wheels. Gradually the norm became 3 axles with super singles, still the case now.
At the DAF Museum Days last year there was a new Kenworth on-highway tractor with super singles on the tandem. Like I said above, so far I haven’t seen that on Euro on-highway trucks and tractors yet.
I’m seeing more and more super singles on the drive axles of tractors on I-5, the major N-S freeway on the West Coast. it has taken a long time, as I remember reading about the inherent advantages of them too. I suspect the frequency rate of flats has become very low, like on cars.
It depends on the fleet and the application. There was a big wave of US fleets pushing them for fuel economy and tare weight savings about a decade ago.
I know the Intermodal side of Schneider and JB Hunt went back to duals after suffering too much downtime, many railyards are full of old spikes, bolt seals, banding and other metal debris that just shreds tires.
The downside is when you get a flat or other tire failure with a supersingle you’re pretty much stuck where you are waiting for the tire service truck to come to you. With duals you can usually limp it down the road to the next service point.
The smaller contact patch also works aginst you in severe winter conditions on western passes such as Donner, Ashland or Snoqualmie.
According to an owner-op I spoke to, was that even though super singles cost more, they will pay for themselves with fuel savings, by the time they need replaced. I am not sure if he was talking new or recaps on the drive axle. I know I hated mounting them, as apposed to duals. Much more labor intensive with hammer and bars. A tire machine should be mandatory for mounting these PITA tires.
Scanias are quite nice to drive, my only real gripe is they all seem to have autoshift transmissions.
Most likely this one has a 12 speed manual (Scania transmission).
That’s a great, tough looking truck. I imagine that big V8 emits a big growl when it revs up.
That it certainly does!
Here’s a nice short video from its homeland Sweden. Featured are typical Swedish 60 metric ton rigs:
Twenty-one front lights (counting only road illumination devices, not signal or warning lights)…now that’s my kinda truck, that is!
The spotlights in the sun visor were my favourites. they really light up the road.Only the built ins are standard though,
Nothing sounds like a Scania V8, unmistakeable. Especially if it’s singing through twin stacks as it should. And the power is absolutely effortless.
I’m waiting for them to make my dream truck and put a Scania V8 into a Volvo FH, leaving the Volvo transmission in place.
Scania’s opticruise auto box is a p.o.s in my opinion.