Super safe R 560 put to the test

Super safe R 560 put to the test

Feb 15, 2016  Mechanical engineering 

Super safe R 560 put to the test
(Photo by: Scania)

Scania’s most sophisticated logistics tractor in China, the R 560, has been a dream come true for drivers since it first arrived on the scene some years ago.

In mid-July, China’s first 50th Anniversary R 560 Active Safety Support Edition tractor was officially delivered to Chengdu Xiangying Logistics, where it was immediately put into operation on the challenging Chengu to Hangzhou route.

It´s evening when the R 560 Active Safety Support Edition truck is fully loaded with cargo ahead of setting out from Chengdu in central China on a typical journey. It will travel 1,961 kilometres to Hangzhou on the country’s east coast, and before the trip even gets underway, the vehicle has already clocked up 16,263 kilometres. This has all been achieved in less than a month of operation and before the end of the vehicle’s run-in period. Its two drivers, Chen and Li, are both highly experienced and hold Scania fuel-saving training certificates.

The cargo for this journey is primarily clothing, and the total weight for the vehicle and the cargo is 42 tonnes. Featuring the standard configuration of this year’s upgrade, the vehicle has excellent sound insulation, with double-glazing keeping the interior of the cab quiet, even at high speeds.

Packed with safety features

One third of the roads from Chengdu to Hangzhou are through mountains, and road safety in such areas is something that no logistics company can take lightly. Safety is one of this R 560’s strongest features. Numerous active and passive safety-devices enable the drivers to negotiate mountain roads with ease. The newly configured Scania R4100D hydraulic retarder has eliminated the need for common water spray devices when driving on mountain roads, allowing the truck to descend smoothly.

In the early hours of the morning, the mountain roads are quiet and it’s the ideal time for the retarder to come into play. The drivers can select from five gear positions, depending on the length of the descent. This greatly improves safety while reducing brake wear. The drivers just need to lightly move the operating lever to start the retarder, and operation is silent in the cab. The truck simply slows down rapidly, as if being halted by a large invisible hand.

When a driver feels weary, he can climb into the sleeper for a rest. The Streamline cab has sleeper bunk beds as standard, and when not in use, the upper bunk can be folded away to create more space for the lower one. Thanks to the R-series’ flat-floor cabs and the extra space afforded by the high ceilings, the luggage of three people can be stored inside with ease. A 1.8 meter-tall person can stand inside the cab without any difficulty.

Eats up mountain roads

While speed limits on expressways prevent the R 560 from showing its full capabilities for smooth, fluid driving, uphill stretches show the performance abilities of the V8 engine. The R 560’s excellent power-match ability means it can overtake vehicles with ease. Its 2,700 Nm of torque pushes some 40 tonnes of vehicle body easily and smoothly. Thanks to this, Driver Chen believes it should be called the king of mountain roads.

“If we were driving another truck on these kinds of inclines, we might need to downshift to gear position 8 or lower in order to travel uphill. However, the R 560 can maintain a high gear at high speed due to its strong power output.”

Scania’s ACC adaptive cruise system comes as standard on the R 560 Active Safety Support Edition model and significantly reduces driving intensity. Driver Chen demonstrates that a driver first sets the desired following-distance relative to the vehicle in front, using operating keys on the steering wheel. The computer then takes over operation of everything except the steering wheel. When the vehicle in front applies its brakes, the R 560 automatically enables its hydraulic retarder to decelerate using its exhaust brake. As for the more advanced Scania advanced emergency braking (AEB) system, the drivers say have not yet had the opportunity to try it.

Power and fuel efficiency

After 31 hours of driving, Chen and Li arrive at Hangzhou at 5am on 2 August. Some people have expressed concern about the potential fuel consumption of the R 560. However, big horsepower doesn’t necessarily mean high fuel consumption. The average speed for the whole journey was 68 km/h, while the average fuel consumption per hundred kilometres was 34.29 litres. Such fuel consumption is considered good for a new truck that has not passed its running-in period.

Driver Chen says that its fuel consumption could be even lower if other factors such as traffic jams were excluded. The team achieved 29.38 litres average fuel consumption per hundred kilometres on the last journey when driving the truck fully loaded.

R 560 Active Safety Support Edition configuration

Engine: Scania 16-litre V8 diesel engine, SCR exhaust aftertreatment

Output power: 560 hp / 1,900 revs/min

Maximum torque: 2,700 Nm / 1,100-1,400 revs/min

Transmission: Scania GRS905R 12 + 2-speed automated manual transmission

Rear axle ratio: 2.59

Via Scania
Image,video ©: Scania