Excellent Driving Environment

excellent driving environment

The feeling inside the cabin is always relaxed and quiet. This road test saw PowerTorque taking a full loaded B-double from Sydney to Melbourne pulled by a Scania R770 extended cab prime mover.

The R model cabin doesn’t have a flat floor floor, but we are close enough with this design and similar ones from other brands, to be satisfied with this kind of layout. In this instance the small step up does mean the dirt etc, which gets into the cabin on the drivers feet does not end up all over the floor and remains in the footwell.

Scania is always ultra conservative and hasn’t gone down the route of having the screen in front of the driver as one big electronic screen. There’s a relatively small screen which has got all the data the driver needs. Then there’s an analog speedometer, and in the middle of it is a digital speedometer and odometer. Around this are the usual analog dials the driver needs.

The basic shape for the curved dash has changed little since the old Scania 3 Series, but what’s on there has changed and it’s still ergonomically correct. Anything that a driver actually needs to touch on a regular basis is within my within touching range.

excellent driving environment

The number of buttons on the top of the driver’s door still holds the record, with 16 by my count. This is because the light controls also live there, in an easily viewable position.

This cabin has got the high roof with a lot of big lockers in it, three at the front and three in the back up to the ceiling height. Underneath there’s the larger than usual bed, you wouldn’t think 270mm would make so much difference. It just adds the sensation of space, you don’t feel cramped in any way.

The way Scania have gained the 270mm is by replacing the rear wall of the cab with one which balloons out that extra 270mm all across the rear of the cabin. The extra space is noticeable, it’s got got two under bunk fridges, a fridge and a freezer. 

Scania reckons its decision to offer extended cabs, built in small volumes was based on a persistent demand from several markets, notably Australia. Known as the CR23 cab variant, the larger cabin is produced by Scania’s subsidiary Laxå Special Vehicles, which also builds its other speciality vehicles like fire engines.

The extra room means the bed which can be pulled out to one metre wide, now no longer needs to be retracted to move the seats back into their driving position. Scania reckon the adaptation represents an increase of more than 13 per cent in internal cabin dimension.

excellent driving environment

Australia’s love of the big cabin is demonstrated by the fact that this bigger cabin is selling more in Australia than in any other truck market in the world.

The other ‘Scania’ aspect is the nice little touches in the design. The small desk which folds out in front of the passenger seat which is well designed and neat. The pedal on the inboard side of the seats releases them, so you can slide them as far forward or backwards as you can, freeing up some space. The sun visors are substantial and solid with big handles on them.

At the end of the trip, the run down the Hume felt like a walk in the park. The truck had taken away a lot of the hard work from the driver and the experience of the drive enabled me to trust the automated systems more, as I realised how smart it was without my interference. I could have intervened more and may have shaved seconds off the trip time, but I am certain I would not have done the trip using less fuel.

From my point of view, as a truck driver for well over 40 years, if you were trying to sell this truck to me, the 770 wouldn’t hook me in, but the wider bunk would be much more likely to get me over the line.


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