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admin 31.03.2015

Though the trucking needs of Europe and North America are very different, truckers on both sides of the pond (a trite euphemism for the Atlantic Ocean) share very similar desires as to vehicle performance expectations.
Right at the top these days is fuel economy – yet fuel economy improvements are demanded without sacrificing vehicle performance and power, while giving fleets trucks that allow even its most rookie drivers to gain maximum fuel efficiency. Those are tall orders for any truck OEM, regardless of which side of the pond they reside upon. One manufacturer in particular, Scania, is nailing the tricky combination of fuel economy, performance, and simplicity so well at the moment that it bagged Europe’s “International Truck of the Year” award for 2010 its redesigned R-Series line – a makeover Scania says focused on ways to drive fuel efficiency gains without skimping on power, performance, driver comfort, and other factors. One of the big reasons the R-Series garnered “truck of the year” honors wasn’t for slick styling, big engines, or other “iron related” features. SDS is system designed to give truck drivers real-time feedback and tips on ways to refine their driving style in order to improve both fuel economy and safety.
The goal of SDS is to encourage the driver to keep an eye on his style, making him aware of mistakes and potential improvements – allowing him or her to use the vehicle and its controls as safely and efficiently as possible. The system also provides “tips” to the driver, displaying a “score” continuously in percentages for each category, enabling the driver to monitor progress on the trip computer. Scania noted its SDS system is standard on all vehicles specified with an electronic braking system (EBS), range-splitter gearbox (12- or 12+2-speed manual or with Scania's automatic Opticruise tranny) and Scania's brake retarder. As noted in the quote at the start of this story, Scania calculates that when drivers use the SDS system, improvements in fuel consumption of up to 10% were noted immediately, with variations in fuel consumption reduced from 15%-20% to around 5%, indicating a much more consistent driving style.


Helping drivers of ALL skill ranges improve, especially in terms of obtaining to fuel economy across their working day, is critical to trucking fleets everywhere – especially when it comes down to controlling costs.
So, at the end of the day, the driver’s skills have a decisive influence on at least 40% of a fleet’s ongoing costs.
Yet a dashboard display with pretty colors and numbers can’t do it all – which is why Scania spent a lot of time and effort developing a new version of its Opticruise transmission that can achieve all the fuel economy gains fleets want, while allowing drivers to keep both hands on the wheel and their full attention on the road. The latest version of Scania’s Opticruise comes either fully automated or in manual format.
Scania believes an automated gearchanging system benefits drivers and operators in several ways. All of this technology – the modified Opticruise transmission and SDS system – all combines to give the driver better tools with which to achieve maximum efficiency, both in terms of fuel economy and vehicle safety. Scania packed a lot of other goodies into its retooled R-Series – new interior materials, new aerodynamic tractor side skits that improve fuel economy up to 0.6% compared to previous models, high-pressure headlamp cleaners, etc.
Trucks at Work: Sean Kilcarr comments on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry.
No, it’s the technology that caught the eyes of the judges – specifically the Scania Driver Support (SDS) system onboard these vehicles. It continually analyses data from various sensors on the vehicle to monitor driver performance based on parameters developed through information gathered from Scania’s vehicles operating in Europe, as well as on extensive field tests with operators.


The driver can choose to receive a total score or split the score into the four categories.
Scania believes that, in a truck driven 200,000 kilometres per year (nearly 125,000 miles), it can save a fleet some 6,000 Euros ($8,347) annually while cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 16 tonnes per year (due to reduced fuel consumption, largely). But it’s the fully automated version – using an electro-hydraulic clutch control for maximum precision – that offers maximum fuel savings. Besides improving comfort and eliminating the need to watch revolutions per minute (RPMs) and change gears, it enables the driver to devote more attention to handling the vehicle and to other traffic. After with four years of development, the concept of a standard mechanical gearbox remains, but the system has been extensively modified, said Scania, with improved mechanical components, entirely new software, and a fully automated clutch option.
Even an untrained driver can achieve substantial fuel savings compared to manual driving, the company stressed, while wear-and-tear is reduced on the clutch and other powertrain components, increasing service life.
The driver who does everything right will get an encouraging “Exemplary Driving” note in the display.



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