WHEN Cars, Bikes & Trucks got a chance to be part of the Scania’s New Truck Generation test-and-drive session, it did not occur to this writer that she would be able to get behind the wheel.
The massive G410 New Truck Generation may not be as intimidating as the S460, but to call it a small giant would be an understatement.
All invited media members were given a chance to drive the G410A6X2 around Maeps in Serdang, but this writer tried to caution the host that the biggest vehicle that she had ever driven was only a World War 2 Russian tank across a few hectares of muddy English terrain.
Undeterred, Scania felt that their trucks would suit any kind of driver including those who only drive to the grocery store and nursery in a rusty, tiny classic Mini.
Opening the truck door itself posed to be a challenge when you’re only 5’4”. Maybe it’s not that you can’t reach the handle, but more of not having the nerve to actually pull the lever down.
Climbing into the massive G410A6X2 cabin was easy enough for anyone who had climbed up a tree house, and the driver’s seat looked as cozy as in any car.
Once seated, the winged dashboard distinguishes the driver’s domain from the passenger and delivers a myriad of controls and instruments. By adjusting the seat, one can easily find a niche spot where these controls become easily accessible while having a clear view of the side mirrors.
In the cabin, one as short as this writer could easily stand upright to marvel at the many compartments, sockets and holders. The resting nook at the back of the driver and passenger seats was essentially a single bed with screens on its side and included several overhead compartments and plugs.
On the G410A6X2, the accessory sockets included a 24-Volt socket, USB ports and SD card slots.
Igniting the engine and releasing the handbrakes felt familiar: it was not much different from doing it in a car.
Although this commercial vehicle had 14 gears, including two for reversing, the instructor on board advised to stick to auto transmission. With a press on the right pedal, the beast hummed and we were on the move.
The route selected for the new drivers was one with quite a number of tight corners and hilly stretches, and unexpectedly, I had a lot of fun navigating. With guidance from the seasoned instructor, we managed to enjoy a few kilometres of the green Serdang view and got out of tight spots with minimal fumble.
When we passed an especially patchy area, the driver’s seat bobbed gently to absorb shocks and the steering wheel provided feedback to ensure that drivers remained alert to the track conditions.
All in all, driving the truck could be summed up as similar enough to driving a car but yet not quite the same, especially when one is reminded of the massive load at the back by the existence of multiple mirrors.
The most useful of these gave the driver a perfect view of both sides and front of the truck.
Scania has gone beyond making the vehicle roadworthy by incorporating many safety features.
For example, the anti-lock braking system (ABS) now comes as a standard feature. Other available add-ons include Electronic Stability Program (ESP), lane departure warning, advanced emergency braking system and camera sensors.
We especially appreciated the roll-over curtain side airbags, which looked almost like a life raft or floatie. The award-winning system will detect if the cabin tilts unnaturally and trigger the airbag to protect the driver.
The fact that the New Truck Generation features a modular design means buyers can pick and choose those features to suit their needs, and Scania also caters to many other add-ons, ranging from storage compartments to electrical sockets, apart from industrial specific features.
The test-and-drive session, which was held over several days, hosted about 300 guests.
Scania Southeast Asia managing director Marie Sjôdin Enstrôm said the development of the truck’s powertrain itself was an accumulation of 10 years of research.
“As a business, Scania has been at the forefront of providing sustainable transport solutions to our customers. Our New Truck Generation will serve as the vehicle to carry the momentum of economic progress with reduced carbon footprint as we work towards our new 2050 commitment of achieving net-zero emissions,” he said.
“Our guests definitely saw the features that we could offer, felt the performance of the truck and now believe that this truck can help lower operating cost, increase revenue and profitability for their businesses.”
Now, we wonder if the giant among giant S cabs will be a more exciting ride.