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Scania’s “Black Amber” V-8 Tractors make an impression in Australia


kscarbel2
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Diesel News / October 31, 2013

Scania’s limited edition “Black Amber” R-series V-8 tractors are bringing a golden glow to the roads of Western Australia.

Perth-based Scania customers have purchased both the R730 and R620 V8-powered Black Amber tractors imported into Australia for their debut at the Brisbane and Perth truck shows this year.

Greg Goodchild from Greg’s Meat Transport bought the R730, and David Edghill from Express Freezer Transport purchased the R620.

Greg’s Meat Transport runs a mixed fleet of more than 50 trucks, six of which are Scanias. Greg has added two R560 V-8 6x4s and the Black Amber V-8 this year, with two P360 8×2 rigids scheduled for delivery in 2014.

“I have been in the transport industry for 36 years and the Black Amber is the best vehicle I have ever seen,” Greg says.

“I have always wanted a truck like this, and as soon as I saw it at the Perth Truck Show and looked inside it, I knew I had to have one.

“The truck is already on the road, being driven by Greg Howard, one of my long-time drivers. He is fanatical about keeping it clean. His SUV even carries a water-filled tank that he uses to wash the truck. He’s got towels all over the inside to keep it pristine.”

Although Greg’s Meat Transport specializes in the refrigerated transport of a wide range of meat products, the Black Amber is hooked up to B-double containing supermarket groceries. Each day it plies the Forrest Highway to Bunbury and back, from the company’s base in Jandakot, Perth.

“We are getting excellent fuel from the truck, better performance than we expected, in fact,” Greg says.

“The response from other drivers on the road, and just anyone who sees it is phenomenal. It has been a great image-builder for our business, too, and I reckon it will help us attract good drivers in the future,” Greg says.

“We started buying Scanias because we had a good recommendation from another transport operator who has run them. We really like the quality of build and the backup from Scania, because you’re dealing with the factory. The team at Scania Bunbury is particularly good, and so I will have the Black Amber serviced by them. They’re always on the ball,” he says.

Express Freezer Transport (EFT) has 10 trucks – eight of which are Scanias. Their trucks are also used in the distribution of fresh produce for supermarkets. EFT has purchased three new Scanias this year: a P440 6×2 tractor, the R620 V-8 Black Amber, and a soon-to-be-delivered R480 6×2 tractor.

“The first truck I bought was a Scania, a second-hand 82M rigid, and my first new truck was a Scania a 4-series, a 94 310 hp 4×2,” David says.

The Express Freezer Transport R620 V-8 Black Amber is pulling a sharp new 49 ft. jumbo slider-side single refrigerated trailer that complements its stunning looks.

“That’s my truck,” David says definitively, when asked about the new Black Amber.

“I drive it most of the time and when I don’t, the driver who gets the text message that says he’ll be driving it the next day has a very big smile.

“It’s a beautiful truck to go to work in everyday,” David says.

“In the first week of driving Black Amber, three guys came up and offered to come to work for me, just because we had it on the fleet. I reckon the Black Amber definitely elevates our profile. It says something positive about you as a transport operator.

“The Black Amber is such a distinctive truck, wherever we go not only do the fork lift drivers and dispatchers stop work to look at it, and pop their heads inside, but the office girls come out to see what all the fuss is about too.

“It’s like dating a movie star. I expected other drivers would be interested in it, but everyone wants to look at it,” he says.

David is not only a long-time Scania owner, he is also sold on Scania Maintenance and Repair Programs, which means his trucks will always be in prime condition.

“All our trucks work six or seven days a week, but cover only around 80,000 km a year because we are delivering around the metro area. But they are hard kilometers, which is why I have these three new trucks on the Scania Maintenance and Repair Program.

“It’s a no brainer for me because to be successful as a transport operator you have to know your costs as accurately as possible and control them.

“You need to be able to keep to your budget or know when you are not, so you can take action and adjust your prices to be in line with your costs.

“It’s about managing risk, so with the Maintenance and Repair Program, the risk is carried by Scania over 1,000 trucks, rather than my business across my 10 trucks,” he says.

The Scania Black Amber Limited Edition trucks were created by Svempa, one of Scania’s long-time collaborators in the production of eye-catching trucks.

In addition to the Black Amber metallic paint that really glows in direct sunlight, there are carbon-fiber look flames racing up the side of the vehicle, complementing the bold Black Amber name badge adorning the front of the Highline Cab.

The special truck has black and chrome highlight wheels and plenty of piano black gloss trim, and inside the luxury continues with premium, perforated leather upholstery, a wood-and-leather-rimmed steering wheel and special carpets, while a large wooden commemorative plaque is fixed to the back wall.

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Edited by kscarbel2
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Scania has a marine industrial network in the US why not offer the V8 as an option for trucks. This would be a premium engine for any manufacturer.

No doubt the Scania V-8 is a premium product. But a US truckmaker would have to make a firm commitment to Scania in order for the company to justify the expense of re-engineering their Euro-6 engines over to EPA2010. Certainly, Scania would welcome the interest.

This all comes back to the lingering question: Why doesn't the US join the rest of the world and use the Euro emissions standards? It's a costly nightmare for engine makers to have to design and build both EPA2010 and Euro spec engines. Just about every nation in the world has seen the good sense to standardize with the Euro emissions levels.

Navistar has their MAN 11L and 13L engines, with the Cummins ISX now as their heavy hitter.

Paccar is using their 12.9L DAF MX engine, again with the Cummins ISX now as a heavy hitter option (Is the DD15 and DD16 even offered by Paccar?)

And that's about it. Volvo Group's Volvo and Mack brand trucks run Volvo engines, and Daimler's Freightliner and Western Star brands run Benz (DD) engines. So Scania would only have a real chance at possibly getting in the door with Navistar or Paccar, as Volvo and Daimler are bitter rivals.

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