Scania optimises already impressive R Series

We had the chance to spend three days on the road with the updated R Series Streamline

Scania optimises already impressive R Series
Scania optimises already impressive R Series
By Matt Wood | September 16, 2013

Following our drive of the Scania Streamline range at Mt Cotton in Queensland recently, we had the chance to spend three days on the road with the updated R Series Streamline.

Our 2,000km road trip from Brisbane to Melbourne via outback New South Wales proved to be a good opportunity to showcase one of the big Scania’s strengths: horsepower.

Our fleet of three Scanias consisted of the R480-equipped with a six-cylinder selective catalytic reduction (SCR) engine, an R620 V8 SCR and the flagship R730 V8 SCR.

Our drive took us from the Brisbane suburb of Richlands to Scania head office in Campbellfield, Victoria.

With high productivity vehicles (HPV) slowly gaining traction among some transport operators, the future of B-triple combinations seems assured.

The Hume Highway is now duplicated for the entire distance between Melbourne and Sydney, leaving the route ripe for HPV trials.

With this in mind we took the opportunity to hook the R730 Streamline up as an 80-tonne gross B-triple and head west from Gilgandra to Cobar in the west of NSW before bringing the combination back to Hillston and reverting to B-doubles.

This kind of combination really plays to the performance of the hefty 16.4 litre V8.

As a B-double both of the V8 trucks are strong performers, while the baby 480 dragged the chain a bit at 58-tonne gross.

While climbing Cunninghams Gap on the way out of Brisbane in the R730 as a 58-tonne B-double, I found myself actually catching a loaded T904 Kenworth that was towing a single trailer!

The New England Highway showed off the benefits of the Scania retarder and the performance of the 12-speed Opticruise automated transmission.
The undulating route also showed off the ride and comfort of the R-Series.

But it was the chance to open up the big 730hp (537kW) of power and the meaty 2581lb/ft (3,500Nm) of torque.

The R Series has traditionally been adept at straddling the line between driver comfort and road handling, and our drive on some of the more beaten up rural roads highlighted this Scania characteristic.

What did become apparent was the need to adapt my driving style to the very torquey Scania power plants and the Opticruise automated transmission.

This isn’t a pedal to the floor and go like hell vehicle; this is a vehicle that rewards an eye on the terrain ahead and considered throttle use.

At a gross weight of nearly 80 tonne, I managed a quite respectable 1.45km/l on the undulating stretch between the hamlet of Nevertire and Cobar in the B-triple R730.

While The Streamline hasn’t reinvented the R Series it has certainly optimised an already impressive high horsepower package.

A more comprehensive run down of the drive can be found in an upcoming issue of ATN.

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