Scania’s heavy-duty XT range is aimed at operators who take their trucks off-road, or haul the heaviest loads. We take a P410 XT tipper for a fully loaded workout.
Go along any motorway or dual-carriageway and you can’t fail to notice the number of New Generation Scanias out there, plying their trade. It’s fair to say the Södertälje manufacture’s two-year overhaul of its complete range, which concluded last year, has been a success and has caught the approval of hauliers.
The range started with the R- and S-series, and was soon followed by the G and then P, culminating with the L-series low-entry town trucks. But in among that was also the XT range. These are the trucks that have thicker chassis for the more demanding applications – and you could have an XT on any Scania range, including the L.
We’ve seen all sorts of XTs: R500XTs for shifting bulk household waste, S730XTs for heavy haulage, even P230XTs as skip-loaders. Scania builds what you want, and that includes XT versions.
But the most common versions of the XT are perhaps 8×4 tippers, both as P and G models. Engine wise, they are mostly the 410 or 450 bhp models, though 370s and 500s are available. No doubt someone will soon buy a G540XT as an 8×4 tipper.
With this in mind, Scania had a P410XT in its press fleet and Trucking was only too keen to get behind the wheel and take it for a spin around the Midlands.
The truck we had was a typical construction specification. The XT denotes a heavy-duty chassis compared with a standard P-series eight-wheeler, which means there is a marginal difference in unladen weight, but nothing to worry anyone other than the most desperate for payload – and they probably don’t go off-road. The truck had a wheelbase that was 5150 mm long and was of course sporting a double-drive rear bogie. That said, Scania will build an 8×2 P410XT if the customer wants it.
Under the day cab was Scania’s DC13 141 12.7-litre straight-six engine which delivers 410 bhp at 1900 rpm, and offers a torque output of 2150 Nm. The truck uses SCR technology. There is a good range of alternative engine options under the cab for a Scania 8×4, and they are the 360 bhp version of the 9-litre engine; the EGR version of the 410; plus the 450 bhp, 500 bhp – and now 540 bhp – versions of the popular 13-litre engine. It’s perhaps fair to say most operators will plump for the 410 bhp version, and our observations of trucks on the road would seem to bear that out.
Scania also offers a broad range of cabs. There are six cab options alone on the P version, and the same on the R and G series. The truck we had to drive had the low-height extended day cab, but you can have it with a normal-height extended day cab, a short day cab and three types of sleeper cab – normal height, high-roof and low flat roof.
It is worth remembering that with this one engine, you can have the G-, R- and S-cab as well, of which the G is also a perfect fit for tipper work. For tipper drivers doing multiple nights away, of which admittedly there are more these days, then the R-cab will be worth considering. All are available as XT variants.
The transmission used on our test machine was Scania’s GRS905 12-speed Opticruise automatic ’box, which also has two additional crawler gears. The K432 62 frictionless automatic clutch was fitted, and ratio range was 11.32 to 1:1.
The front axles were the 7500 kg capacity AM600S and the rear drive axles were 10,500 kg capacity AD400SZ. Leaf suspension was on the front and rear. This gives the truck a GVW of 36,000 kg, though of course it is limited to 32,000 kg in the UK.
On the road
Our day’s drive started with collecting the truck from Scania’s Milton Keynes offices, and after our initial walk-round checks were complete, we headed straight to a local quarry. Here we were able to ‘borrow’ 20 tonnes of gravel to give the truck a fully loaded workout for the day.
While loading we were able to see the benefits of some of the safety features on the truck, including a vital rear-view camera – very helpful for when working in quarries, yards and other construction sites. Features like this help the driver position the truck exactly where they want it first time, thus saving time, fuel and tyre wear.
Once loaded, we headed to the weighbridge. After confirming we were on the nose so far as GVW was concerned, we left the quarry and headed for the open road.
The start of the test route was to take the M1 northbound, which enabled us to have a lengthy run of sustained fast driving at 56 mph on the 47 miles to Junction 21 near Leicester. As one would expect on the M1 not long after the morning rush hour, there was still a sizeable flow of traffic, plus the mandatory roadworks and their average speed cameras. No problem: just set cruise control at 50 mph and sit back and enjoy the ride. Well, that was until we caught up with the inevitable stop-start, nose-to-tail traffic jam that is par for the course on the M1 south of Rugby these days.
At least it gave us a chance to see how the truck performed when pulling away, and it did so very well. In addition, we found the engine brake also performed very well indeed.
Once the M6 had tailed off near Rugby, we were treated to a clear and unhindered section of 56 mph running for about an hour until we could leave the M1 at Junction 21 and take the M69 towards Coventry. We only used this road for a couple of junctions before leaving at Junction 1 and taking the A5 southbound. There was time to pause for a quick tea break and some sunny pictures at the Rugby Truckstop at Dunsmore.
The return to Milton Keynes was via a mix of secondary and town roads, including a good couple of hills, and the fully loaded Scania performed admirably. We encountered plenty of dual-carriageway and a good mix of twisty single-carriage roads that only enabled us to reach the legal 50 mph in short blasts. The steering was excellent and the truck handled very well indeed, and it was only when confronted by the steepest of any gradient that it noticeably slowed down. But in our opinion, 410 bhp is ideal for just about any tipper operation – though if dealing with hills is a big part of your operation, you might want to consider stepping up to the P450.
We were all set to rejoin the M1 at Junction 16 for the last leg back to Milton Keynes when, as we crossed the roundabout above the junction, we could see it was nose-to-tail after an accident. A hasty detour saw us return via Northampton and then back to the quarry to tip the load.
Just the job
We couldn’t find much at all to fault the new Scania cabs on. Despite sitting higher to give better clearance when operating off-road, entry is still easy – the rear step is flexible so it will stand up to the rigours of quarry work that much better, and is unlikely to be knocked off. Even inside the P-cab, the smallest in the range, there is still plenty of room and the extended day cab is great for the space it provides for PPE and other equipment. It can even have a fold-down bunk for occasional nights out.
Moving around the cab is OK for its size, and while cross-cab moving is not the easiest due to the engine hump, it’s still possible. The truck also had the passenger-side lower door window for improved visibility when running in towns and cities.
The XT models are aimed at operators who have a sizeable about of off-road driving in their daily work – quarries, landfill sites, muckaway, construction sites, road works and other places away from regular tarmac driving. As such, XTs have features aimed at ‘protecting’ the truck when off-road. For example, the headlights are protected by grilles and there is a foldaway under-bumper step to allow the driver easy access to cleaning the windscreen. Outside there is a storage ‘cupboard’ which is roomy enough to keep the dirtiest gear out of the cab. The mirrors are also of a much sturdier design than a normal New Gen Scania, and they are well protected.
Truck manufacturers are taking the construction sector very seriously indeed at the moment, and accordingly there are a lot of alternatives in the market. This Scania is therefore in a very congested market and dealers will have to work hard to ensure they sell the vehicles.
The only things that may put customers off would be the lack of a suitable local dealer (or a sub-standard local dealer), and the comparatively high purchase price Scania usually commands compared with its rivals.
But buying the cheapest does not always guarantee you’ll earn the most money. The build quality of the product is generally superb and we’d be nitpicking to find faults. It drives well and is easy to handle. The New Gen Scanias also seem to be delivering on fuel economy when they are driven well. Despite its beefier chassis, the truck offers a decent payload and the 12.7-litre engine is rarely stretched.
Scanias also perform well at resale, with operators generally getting more back when they sell them on – and they often sell quicker than other brands. And of course, driver appeal is excellent as well.
For sheer earning potential, Scanias are fairly safe bet – assuming you can get a sensible deal from a good dealer.
Model: Scania P410 XT
• Design GVW/GCW: 36,000 kg / 32,000 kg
• Chassis: 5150 mm wheelbase
• Front axles: 7500 kg capacity each
• Rear axles: 21,000 kg bogie
• Gearbox: GRS905 12-speed Opticruise automatic transmission
• Engine: 12.7-litre DC13 141 straight-six
• Max power: 410 bhp @ 1900 rpm
• Max torque: 2150 Nm @ 1000-1300 rpm
• Cab: Extended day cab