Not a lot of people know this, but I’m a big fan of mangled proverbs. Like: “What doesn’t kill you, will make you hope you’d never been born.” And how about: “You can lead a horse to water….but a pencil must be lead.”
They’re a couple of gems I’ve picked up along the way, but it’s the plain, straightout version of another old saying – that one about teaching an old dog new tricks – that comes to mind during our latest Giti Big Test….of a new Rotorua Forest Haulage Scania R 620 B8x4NA truck and trailer unit.
Now I’m not saying for one moment that this Scania’s driver, Roger Cross, is long in the tooth….even though he has been trucking for over 40 years.
It’s just that, apparently, this new Scania is teaching this veteran driver new eco-driving skills. And, better still, it’s keeping score of how well he’s going!
It has been some time since I last drove a Scania – so long, in fact, that the last one had three footpedals.
We catch up with Rotorua Forest Haulage’s R 620 nine-axle curtainsider unit in Auckland, after it’s delivered a load of timber from the Bay of Plenty.
First impressions are that it is a good looker: The Roadmaster body and trailer pop with some awesome livery on the curtains, tied into the RFH fleet colours on the cab and its Peterson lights gleaming as the sun rises.
A short ride with regular driver Roger Cross behind the wheel is valuable: He has owned and driven his own trucks and has been driving trucks for many years…and he also likes to use the technology that trucks like this have in them….which a lot of drivers seem to shy away from.
Even without any specific driver training on the technology, he clearly has got his head around it all and lets the truck “drive itself” through the Auckland morning rush-hour traffic, using the Scania’s adaptive cruise control.