New Ways to Buy a Truck

New Ways to Buy a Truck

New ways to buy a truck are being investigated in Europe, Diesel News talked to Scania’s global sales and marketing boss to get his thoughts on the process.

New Ways to Buy a Truck
Christian Levin, Global Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Scania.


Sitting in the well-appointed headquarters building at the centre of the Scania Trucks operation in Södertälje in Sweden feels a million miles away from the reality of owning and running trucks in the real world. However, it is one of the tasks of Christian Levin, Scania’s Global Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, to get some real-world feedback and come up with new offerings to the truck owner of the future.


“It might sound silly, but using our products and services to give our customers improved profitability has not been the focus previously, not just for us, but all of the manufacturers,” says Christian. “All of us have been manufacturing our products for the average user. We have talked about market segments, but have not really gone down into what makes sense if you are in something like the cold chain. What is the difference?


“We have been using our modular manufacturing system, so our customers have been picking and choosing from our toolbox to create a tailor-made truck for their application. Over the last five or six years in the development process of the new trucks, we have been thinking about cold chain, what about wood chip, what about timber, what about general goods? Where can we really contribute to our customers’ earnings, by developing components to give them something more practicable?


“Our development starts from specific customer needs. Of course, addressing the shortcomings we knew we had, but also going much further, to really understand what it is the customer needs in each application. Now, with our new trucks with bigger cabins and the higher horsepower, which would once have been called long haul, it’s now eleven different applications, covering lots of different industries.”


Within each broad application set, there is a broad spread of different specifications to customise the truck for task. This is a refinement of the modular system to widen choice further for the operator.


A similar process has been worked through by Scania on the services which are supplied alongside the hardware of the truck itself. The process has seen the development of the services on offer to be as modular as the hardware is.


“For each chosen hardware combination there is a service package and this service package can be tailored to the specific product being supplied,” says Christian. “The most beautiful example is maintenance with flexible plans. What it means is, for the specific hardware specification, plus the way the customer is using the vehicle, taking into account topography, temperature range, dust levels and driver behaviour gleaned from customer history, we tailor the offering.


“We use connectivity, we already have 211,000 connected vehicles in our portal. We can help the specific customer. We can say, ‘here are similar usages of the vehicles’ from anywhere around the world and let them choose the perfect maintenance contract, do we change the oil filter, the air filter, the retarder oil all at the exact point it is needed.


“Then you may get a very strange maintenance scheme, because the perfect point to change oil filter might be after 73,000km, but the perfect moment to change the air filter might be after 78,000km. Then you have to have a discussion with the customer about what makes the most sense to their operation. Is it to make two stops to optimise the life of the filter and gain some costs or whether to bundle them together? Which would make sense.”


This kind of precise targeting of service needs down to the minute is now possible under the new system being used by Scania in Europe. The data collected from all of the connected vehicles is enabling the kind of precision Scania are offering. Then the discussion with the operator can ensure the package fits the operation.


The program is using service intervals all of the way from 23,000km up to 15,0000km for some customers, because the connectivity data has given Scania a much better base of knowledge with which to work.


“We took 70,000 vehicles into a study and looked at how we maintained them,” says Christian. “We found that on around 15 per cent we were doing too little maintenance, risking the quality of the hardware. On a few of the vehicles we were doing the right amount of maintenance, but on a large majority, we were doing too much. Which is waste, from a cost viewpoint.”

Linfox Appointment, VW/Navistar, Tesla, TMC, Hydrogen Trucks and a New Scania Team

The latest from Diesel News this week includes a Linfox Appointment, VW/Navistar, Tesla, TMC, Hydrogen Trucks and a New Scania Team, plus 3D Printing and Strong Truck Sales.

Terry Quinnell has been appointed Linfox President – Retail after 40 years’ experience in the logistics industry. Quinnell began his career as a Linfox driver in 1978, and has managed some of Linfox’s largest customers as Vice President – Retail, plus spent nine years as General Manager – Woolworths. He recently led the development and implementation of Linfox’s new subcontractor management system FOXLink. Read more

Truck Show Snapshots

Last week was Brisbane Truck Show, here are the Diesel News’ Truck Show Snapshots, if you couldn’t make to the event.There were unveilings by Scania, UD Trucks, Mercedes Benz, International and Hino. Crowds surged around the new Kenworth T610 and the old school limited edition T900 on the Paccar stand. Freightliner harked back over the 75 years since the founding of the company with a rare 1950 A64-800 ‘Bubblenose’ truck. Read more

Irish Trucking

Diesel News is not quite sure what is going on here, but it looks like truckies in Ireland are having a great time. This video is made by someone called Marty Mone and the words to the song seem to be about the trucking life in the Emerald Isle. One thing is clear, the Irish love the Swedish trucks, which seem to feature throughout. Experience of trucking in Ireland, leads us to think the cowboy culture is strong and mass/fatigue laws are regarded as advisory, rather than compulsory.


One question. Surely, a big bonneted T Series Scania  pulling a 43 foot fridge is going to be well over the Euro length limit of 16.5 metres?


Another song by Mr Mone accompanied by a slide show of impressive Irish trucks

Secret spy Scania shots?

A couple of spy photos have been published by European truck magazines purporting to be the shape of things to come from Scania. The images show a disguised truck in wintry conditions on Scandinavian roads.



The consensus seems to believe the new cabin is a Scania design but the shape seems more reminiscent of an Iveco. Scania are probably due a new cabin design as the current model is an evolution from an original design from the early nineties. Two of their main rivals, Mercedes Benz and Volvo have both unveiled brand new cabin designs in the past couple of years, Daf and Iveco have redesigned their existing cabin, Scania don’t want to be left behind. Another truck manufacturer in Europe is also due a new cab design, MAN. Coincidentally, both MAN and Scania are owned by Volkswagen, a common cab for the two brands? We doubt it, but you never know.



The vertical door handles are advanced by some as a clue to the truck coming from Sodertalje, Scania’s headquarters just outside Stockholm. Also the side panels and roof line do look a little Scania-ish.

Big victory for Australia winning Scania Top Team 2013

The winning Southern Stars team comprises, front row, Michael Farrell, Phil Sage (Team Captain), and Graham Andrews. Back row: Benn Jeffery, Brett Tingwell (Mentor), Logan Hoser and Jason Grech (Mentor)
The winning Southern Stars team comprises, front row, Michael Farrell, Phil Sage (Team Captain), and Graham Andrews.
Back row: Benn Jeffery, Brett Tingwell (Mentor), Logan Hoser and Jason Grech (Mentor)

Team Southern Stars from the Scania workshop in Sydney, Australia, has earned the title of the world’s best Scania service team.

The winners defeated skilled service teams from New Zealand and Finland in the Scania Top Team 2013 world finals.

On 21 and 22 November, the world’s 10 most skilled Scania service teams participated in the Scania Top Team 2013 world finals in Södertalje, Sweden.

Teams from Australia, Finland and New Zealand scored highest in the semi-finals to merit a spot in the final knock-out round, with Team Southern Stars from Australia eventually taking the top spot.

“Unbelievable,” says team leader Phillip Sage of the Australian team’s victory.

“It’s the best experience ever.”

Strong teamwork, determination and enduring self-confidence paved the way to the victory for the Southern Stars.

“We had great teamwork,” says Sage. “We said to each other, ‘Never give up!’ We never got stressed. We knew we could do it.”

The finals were closely followed by 400 on-site spectators, including the finalists from Argentina, Austria, Germany, Italy, Peru, Slovakia and Switzerland.

The Australian team was crowned the winner, but truck owners around the world know they can rely on very skilled service technicians to take care of their Scania trucks.

Harald Cederberg, Director Technical Training at Scania Academy, has followed Top Team for many years: “As more and more countries take part in Scania Top Team, training hours increase,” he says.

“As a result, the organisation develops and the service staff’s proficiency grows.”

Cederberg also points out that the teams that have made it all the way to the finals work in a more structured way than they did before.

“The teams have only gotten better over the years,” he says.

“We may have just crowned a winner for 2013, but Top Team continues to be a process aimed at improving our workshop services globally.”

The world’s most-skilled Scania service teams
1st place, Australia: Team Southern Stars from Preston, Sydney. Team members: Phillip Sage, Graham Andrews, Michael Farrell, Logan Hoser and Benn Jeffery.
2nd place, New Zealand: Team Kiwis from Whangarei. Team members: Scott Cann, Michael Adams, Gavin Brindle, John Burhenne and Shane Parker.
3rd place, Finland: Team Kirkkopuiston Sissit from Lahtis. Team members: Janne Murtoniemi, Saul Ala-Akkala, Jari Korhola, Petri Levonen and Teemu Tiihonen.
Watch the final knock-out round here:

Scania scores a 55 truck order from Linfox

Scania Linfox VIP Group handover
(L-R) Ray Gamble, Peter Fox, Roger McCarthy and Steven Alberse

Scania Australia has started the delivery of the first of 55 new Scania 440 hp SCR prime movers to Linfox, which will be split between the company’s Victorian and New South Wales operations.

The deal is the biggest Scania has concluded with the logistics leader for many years.

“We are very pleased to be delivering such a significant order of fuel-efficient and safe vehicles to Linfox for use with some of their very high profile clients,” says Roger McCarthy, Scania Australia’s Managing Director.

“We signed the order late last year, and the factory was able to paint the trucks in the iconic Linfox red and yellow as part of the production process.

“The vehicles will be maintained by Scania workshops on a scheduled servicing and repair programme that offers Linfox a known cost-per-km for the duration of the contract. This is an example of how the Scania Total Transport Solution concept works to provide efficient whole-of-life running costs for Linfox.”

Scania was successful in winning the Linfox business for a variety of reasons, according to Scania National Fleet Sales Manager, Steven Alberse.

“Good fuel economy and low cab entry played key roles, plus the cab-over configuration for easy access to tight loading docks,” he says.

In keeping with the Scania philosophy of providing a Total Transport Solution, Scania has deployed its Master Driver Trainers to train the Linfox driver trainers regarding the full range of Scania driver support functions inside the cabs.

“The vehicles are equipped with the new Scania Fully Automated Opticruise gear-changing system, as well as the Scania Retarder, and Scania Driver Support, all of which enable the driver to reduce consumption and emissions, while at the same time maintaining safe and efficient work practices.”

Linfox President Fleet and Procurement Ray Gamble says, “Linfox is pleased to add Scania’s new prime movers to our growing fleet of more than 5,000 vehicles.”

“The Euro5 vehicles adhere to Linfox’s on-going commitment to the safety of our drivers and the sustainability and reliability of our operations,” he says.

The Scania P 440 SCR engine is the most powerful six-cylinder engine available under the P-series cab, and offers 440 hp (324 kW) and 2,300 Nm of torque between 1,000 and 1,300 rpm.

The 6×4 configuration prime movers use the fully automated Scania Opticruise, which makes them easy to drive and reduces driver fatigue. The vehicles are fitted with ABS and traction control and are compatible with trailer Electronic Braking Systems, enhancing safety and control.

The all-steel cabs are impact-tested to ensure they exceed European and Swedish safety standards in order to be able to offer the best possible occupant protection.