NINE56 Goes for Scania as Tractor of First Choice

Fleet replacement and expansion to come in the form of Scania tractor units and rigid vehicles with our first Scania arriving this week.

20/02/2019 – 16:30 – Sheffield, UK

NINE56 Ltd has selected Scania (GB) as our new supplier of tractor units for fleet expansion and replacement going forward. The decision to change suppliers of vehicles comes after careful review of standards and consultation with our drivers.

Following a review of maintenance records in the wake of vehicle failure Nicholas Smith, Managing Director and Transport Manager at NINE56, took the decision to seek termination of the lease on one of our two Renault Trucks Range T 460 DXi Comfort tractor units. BRS, the supplier of the vehicle were agreeable to early termination following problems in the running of the hire and ‘Gentleman Jack‘, the eldest of our two trucks, was terminated on short notice.

Of course, with the planned end of the lease only 4 months away NINE56 Ltd was already engaged in a procurement programme to replace the tractor unit and had decided that the New Generation Scania S-Series was our truck of choice. Driver feedback on the tractor unit combined with build quality and economy projections make the Swiss machine the truck of choice. Additionally, previous experience with dealers in our area made the support offered by Scania (GB) at Sheffield high on our list of desired features in the new lease.

An ideal specification of tractor unit had already been chosen and quoted before the failings by BRS were highlighted but of course NINE56 Ltd are not the only company who have realised the value of a Scania. Build times on factory ordered units are running into 11 months so in the meantime, and faced with the imminent return of our Renault, a temporary solution was required.

Enter Chris Bellwood from Scania Rental who had already been working with NINE56 Ltd on finalising the specification for our S520 V8 6×2 tractor unit. On explanation of the situation with our current suppliers Christopher immediately sought and secured a truck which would fill the gap between Renault return and Scania arrival. Within a week, an account had been opened, a truck prepared and delivered to Kevin Knight and Nick Smith, the drivers selected to take care of the new vehicle.

On a 1 year/180,000km hire agreement, the new truck comes equipped with the 450hp, 2150Nm 13 Litre straight 6 engine mated to the exceptional 2 pedal OptiCruise™ transmission. The 6×2 pusher configuration gives us a Maximum Authorised Mass of 44 tonnes and the sliding fifth wheel allows us to flexibly adapt the vehicle to different loads and kingpin depths whilst maintianing a close coupled arrangement to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Safety is more than taken care of with the standard fitment of Automatic Emergency Braking System (AEBS) and Lane Departure Warning Systems. The AEBS uses radar to monitor vehicles in proximity to the truck and when it detects excessive closing speeds between the vehicle and other road users, alerts the driver and if necessary takes braking action without driver input. Additionally the truck benefits from SideScan sensors which alert the driver audibly to hidden risks in the near-side blind spot and a full three camera Brigade system with driver assistance monitor and recording for accidents and incidents on the road.

On the inside the highly advanced gearbox, high performance retarder and inbuilt driver coaching system ensure economical driving. The driver comfort front is well covered with one of the most flexible and customisable driving positions available in a truck in the UK, standard Bluetooth technology, twin bunks and a built in refrigerator/freezer. Night heater and night cooling modes on the automatic climate control system add to the driver comfort ensuring the interior temperature of the vehicle remains comfortable, no matter what the outside temperature does.

Despite all these advantages, the truck will only be with us for a short time while our ideal specification of vehicle is produced at the Scania factory and sent to the UK. With this in mind a cut down version of our eye-catching livery will be fitted to the vehicle this weekend. Our partners at Restart Signs and Graphics in Doncaster have already provided the decals for fitment and are working hard on making the replacement truck one of the most noticeable on the road.

Our Managing Director said; “We have long been a fan of Scania build quality and design but were not keen on the seating position of the previous model which meant that when we looked to replace our Mercedes-Benz in 2017 Scania was not in consideration. This time round, having driven the New Generation Scania before and been impressed by the improvements, Scania became the target to beat.

“No manufacturer could rival the quality, design and support offered by Scania and the Scania (GB) Sheffield team. Along with the helpful and supportive attitude of Christopher Bellwood and the Scania Rentals department, we decided to take the plunge and begin a fleet replacement programme which would see all our Renaults retired by the end of 2021 and Scania’s brought in to raise the profile of NINE56 Ltd as an operator to drivers, customers and competitors alike.

“We are thrilled to bits with the interim vehicle and look forward to the arrival of our S520 V8 on a 20-Plate. I strongly anticipate a long and happy relationship with Scania and with their service points in Sheffield and Worksop.”

Nicholas Smith and Kevin Knight, as our two most experienced drivers, will take on the driving duties while Carl Hankinson and newly qualified driver Dennis Gartsen have been transferred to ‘Angel‘, our sole remaining Renault and still, despite the new arrival, the pride of our fleet and lovingly referred to by our MD as ‘my baby’.