For more than six months, Daniel Pereira Casalinho has been hauling ice cream, vegetables and paper all over Europe in the world’s most powerful truck. The new Scania V8 has become king of the mountains on his routes.

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Compared to the trucks he has driven before, field test driver Daniel Pereira Casalinho saves time and fuel with such a powerful engine beneath his feet.

“I don’t know the output, but I can maintain a higher average speed than anybody else, since I can always pull out more horsepower when I really need it. With a full load, I drive 12-20 km/h faster than all other trucks on the slopes up towards Spain and over the Pyrenees,” Casalinho explained to Tachoblog.

Click below for more, including a video clip of the world’s most powerful truck – the Scania V8 powered R730…

During a journey from Portugal to Belgium or Italy, the experienced driver saves about two hours.

“The most fantastic thing is that I can always drive at low revs. In this truck I have never, not even on the steepest slope, needed to exceed 1,500 revs. The torque is almost unreal. It feels as if I’m silently gliding past all the other heavy trucks. As a professional driver, it fills me with enormous satisfaction to drive a truck like this.”

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Because of this exceptional torque and the extra horsepower, the haulage company that Casalinho drives for − Transportes Broliveira in Ourém, central Portugal − also saves a lot of fuel.

“Although I don’t yet have exact figures, on some trips this vehicle has been an amazing 5 litres per 100 kilometres more economical than many of our other trucks,” the company’s owner, Boaventura Verdasca de Almeida told Tachoblog.

Given the existing weight limits for haulage in Portugal, however, he sees emotional reasons as well as rational ones for investing in such a powerful truck.

“We have 160 Scania trucks in our fleet, which has improved the company’s image and helps us recruit the best drivers. The new V8 would undoubtedly further strengthen our image.”
Reduced environmental impact

Aside from a high standard of punctuality, the haulier’s customers are increasingly demanding that their goods shipments have the least possible environmental impact.

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“That is why we’re now investing in Scania vehicles with Euro 5 or EEV-compliant engines.”

Collaborating with Scania on actual field testing has several advantages to the haulier.

“We work with continuous improvements. Our ambition is that each new transport assignment will be better than the last. We try to learn something all the time,” Verdasca de Almeida says.

Casalinho feels that in the past six months he has learned considerably more than during his previous 23 years in the industry combined. A field test driver must have a high level of integrity, and sometimes use their talent for improvisation. The ability to keep a secret is paramount.

“Should something happen to this truck, I can’t just send for the nearest Scania service technician. Very few people have been told what’s inside. Scania’s research and development department has to give the go-ahead even for minor servicing. And of course it’s not a truck you just leave on the roadside.”

When socialising with colleagues around Europe, Casalinho has also been compelled to watch what he says.

“At truck stops, most Scania drivers and everyone familiar with V8s can hear that it’s not an ordinary V8 engine. So I need to be careful all the time and avoid answering questions. Then when I just glide past all the other trucks up long, difficult hills – with a full payload – of course everyone realises that this is not a 500 hp truck, as it says on the grille. By then, I’m already far away.”

Ever since Scania launched its first V8 in 1969, brute power in the form of high torque starting at low revs has been its most distinguishing characteristic. Torque, rather than horsepower, is what does the job for a truck driver.

The new V8 offers an unsurpassed torque rating of 3,500 Nm between 1,000 and 1,350 r/min. It achieves maximum output, 730 hp, at 1,900 r/min (see graphic).

“Looking at the Scania brand, the expectation is that we have the best performance,” says Robert Hedström, project coordinator for development of the new engine. “This is why we highlight torque. Torque is what makes a difference when driving up a steep hill in a 60-tonne rig.”

Well that must be enough reading, so here’s that clip of the (current) world’s most powerful truck the Scania R730 and its Scania V8 engine.

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