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Construction’s extra-tough champ!

Whether a hard-working tipper, flexible skip loader, robust concrete mixer or rough-road hauler, the type of application for which a vehicle is best-suited elicits different challenges and requirements – which is where tailored solutions offered by Scania’s heavy-duty XT range fit perfectly 

South Africa’s construction industry faces increasing demands for sustainable, cost-effective production. With a powerful, next-generation XT line-up ready to undertake the toughest of tasks, Swedish truck manufacturer Scania appears well prepared to meet the sector’s rigorous transport needs.

“We have the right products, the right services and the right skills in place to meet the industry’s most stringent requirements, tailoring features in our heavy-duty XT range with a view to maximising uptime and conquering slim margins,” says Theuns Naude, Scania SA’s segment manager for construction, public and special vehicles.

The first thing to know is that Scania’s XT trucks – which use as their platforms P- and G-series derivatives – have been specially developed to offer extra durability and flexibility. While the line-up’s attractive, muscular looks aim at endorsing the XT badge’s long-standing reputation for efficiency, the authoritative features represent more than simply sleek embellishment – every aspect of every derivative has been designed, engineered and tested to meet the construction industry’s toughest challenges.

Across the range, a sturdy, high-level, one-piece bumper with a 150-mm extension in a horizontal direction helps to protect the front of the vehicle, while an associated skid plate shields the radiator. Manufactured from four-millimetre-thick high-strength steel, the bumper incorporates a footstep as well as an integrated towing unit with a capacity of 40 t – billed as the strongest on the market. Also, there are headlamp-protection housings and robust mirror casings and, under the skin, a choice of powertrain, chassis and axle combinations that can be matched to best meet the specific needs of particular applications.

In addition, there’s improved visibility from the cab thanks to a new, aerodynamically influenced design, which not only helps to enhance driveability and comfort factors, but which also aids fuel economy. “Choosing a next-generation XT derivative means choosing a business partner that’s reliable, robust, durable, efficient and ready to cope with the toughest challenges that come with any construction operation,” says Naude.

With advanced combustion technology, an extremely efficient cooling system and state-of-the-art fuel injection technology, Scania’s engines have been developed to provide exceptional performance with high torque and low emissions. What’s more, they can be coupled with a range of drivetrain options, with transmission through a choice of eight or 12-speed Opticruise gearboxes, each of which can be fitted with a Scania Retarder for optimum downhill braking performance.

Incidentally, Opticruise – which represents one of the first automated gear-changing systems on the market – has been refined over the years, and is now regarded one of the smoothest and smartest transmissions available. In its latest guise it features Clutch on Demand – which incorporates an extra clutch pedal in the cabin – to help a driver maintain precise control when manoeuvring in tight spaces.

In terms of safety, the cabs of XT models – which are hewn from high-tensile steel – exceed by far Sweden’s stringent crash test standards. And, in a first for the truck industry, side curtain airbags have been incorporated to help to protect cabin occupants in the event of a roll-over.

“All of Scania’s vehicles have an undisputed reputation for world-class handling and manoeuvrability,” says Naude. “In our next-generation range, this aspect has been improved even further. The new XT’s steering design and robust, heavy-duty cab suspension help to provide better responses and more directional stability than was achieved previously.”

Naude adds that while the construction industry is characterised by diversity, everyone working within the sector shares the pressure of narrow margins. “In order to maximise uptime, meet sustainable requirements and increase productivity, one cannot settle for a one-size-fits all vehicle. That is why Scania tailors its solutions based on specific customer needs instead of compromising to suit the industry as a whole,” he says.

Whether a hard-working tipper or flexible skip loader, a robust concrete mixer or rough road hauler, the choice of application brings with it a host of different challenges and requirements. “Inevitably, undertaking a transport task in the construction industry using a vehicle that’s tailored to do the job is sure to be more successful than attempting a similar assignment in a vehicle that’s compromised. With the choice of solutions offered by its XT range, I believe Scania can provide the right answers.”

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.

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