This time we sat in the passenger seat of a Scania 540 S truck with a built-in six-cylinder, which has 397 kilowatts and despite a fully loaded trailer and a total weight of just under 40 tons on the ride from Ljubljana to Kozina consumes only 28 liters per 100 kilometers. Although we are talking about a six-cylinder, the average fuel consumption is one of the most important elements, especially for large fleet customers, where they can save several million euros per year with a few liters lower average consumption.
Although a real fan club has been created around the eight-cylinder engine, which will not look to the smaller engine at any cost, the Swedes have taken a good bite out of the development of smaller engines. The savings in a particular driving style are huge, and the driving experience is taken to a new level by a new gearbox and advanced operating system. This time we sat in the passenger seat and drove from Ljubljana to Kozina (and back) in the company of the Swedish driver Michael.
Forty tons at 850 rpm
Even before the driver and I most escaped the file on Dolgi, he was already talking about the new 13-speed automatic transmission. Although it is not a new truck model and this engine is offered for half a year, the new transmission plays an important role in the connection of the whole package.
It shares almost no parts with the old automatic. The aluminum body delivers 60 kilograms less weight, is even 15 centimeters shorter than its predecessor and is ultimately to blame for an extra percentage of fuel savings. Due to the overdrive function, the engine speed drops to 850 when driving on the highway, where it nevertheless only maintains six cylinders, but due to the high torque of 2,700 newton meters at 1,000 and 1,300 rpm, the legal top speed of 80 kilometers is easily maintained. per hour.
Of course, the Vrhnika slope did not go at such low speeds, but with the active cruise control, which according to topographic data for three kilometers ahead recalculates the operation of the drive train and adjusts for maximum efficiency, before the slope remained in overdrive mode, speeds ran at 1,050. It all went to the top at such a pace, but it is true that the speed dropped to 70 kilometers per hour due to the slower trucks driving ahead. Michael admitted that the feeling is different than, for example, driving in 12th gear, and new drivers feel that the truck will turn it off. It feels like driving a car with too low engine speed, but due to enough torque it drives easily at constant speed.
Higher power, lower mass
The six-cylinder engine is primarily intended for customers who need a lot of power, but at the same time, the lowest possible weight of the truck is important to them. It is a major alternative to the smaller V8 engine, which has 20 “horsepower” less. Compared to its predecessor, the engine has ten “horsepower” more, but with the 13-liter engines it shares all other features, including a turbocharger with a fixed geometry of the blades and only cleaning using the SCR system.
Even up to eight backwards
I have a few more words to say about the Gearbox. In most transmissions, the reverse gear wheel rotates the main shaft in the opposite direction when driving. The opposite is true of the new transmission, where a planetary gear is used on the output shaft, and the reversal is activated by locking the planetary wheel magnification. This solution allows for eight reverse gears up to a top speed of up to 54 kilometers per hour. Although everyone has only one rear derailleur as standard, such a solution of a larger number of rear derailleurs is particularly suitable for construction trucks that have to drive backwards for a longer period of time (for example when constructing a tunnel).