Paper and cardboard giant Visy is embracing Scania’s Driver Support System after its transport arm, Visy Logistics adding 59 new Scania’s to its fleet last year.

One of Visy Logistics drivers drivers, Tim Mason has been recording some outstanding performances and scores in the Scania Driver Support System regularly achieving 100 per cent.

The Visy Scanias have been in service for several months now and thanks to the sophisticated on-board systems fitted Visy Logistics has been able to see benefits early on in the vehicles’ working lives, thanks to the Driver Support System which monitors driving styles and performance and the Scania Communicator fleet monitoring system.

The Scania Driver Support system also offers tips and advice to drivers in real time prompting them to improve their driving efficiency.

According to the Scania Driver Support system, Tim Mason, based in Adelaide, is one of Australia’s best drivers, clocking up regular 100 per cent scores.

“I’m never below 99 per cent,” says Tim with quiet pride adding that he is is 100 per cent committed to safe efficient driving behind the wheel of his P 360 Scania prime mover.

This achievement is remarkable but born of 40-years as a professional driver, mostly in the United Kingdom, where he drove Swedish trucks throughout his career there.

Since arriving in Australia around 10 years ago, Tim has been working for Visy Logistics full-time for nine years, driving a variety of machines, until his boss told him he was getting a new Scania, news which made him very excited.

His new Scania P 360 is a 4×2 prime mover pulling a curtainsider full of palletised aluminium beer cans. Visy manufactured 1.6 billion aluminium beverage cans in 2016/17, providing hundreds of thousands of pallets of cans to be delivered to customers.

Tim makes four or five single-trailer deliveries from the Visy Logistics recycling plant to a brewery in Adelaide every working day, though he says the job does not become tedious, especially now he has his perfect driver score to preserve.

“Anticipation is the key,” Tim says of his high-scoring driving.

“You need to read the traffic and read the road. Early on I was taught driving consists of three parts; seeing, planning and action. If you get your anticipation right, everything else falls into place, and you shouldn’t need to use the service brakes, just the retarder,” he says.

“I started off driving an eight-speed manual transmission Japanese truck at Visy Logistics and then I moved to an American bonneted truck, but the Scania has Optimise gear-changing and the retarder, and one of the benefits is that at the end of the day you do feel fresher. You do not get out of the Scania aching.”

Tim is used to long days in the saddle having spent many years transporting tomatoes from the UK to Spain and returning with loads of oranges in his refrigerated single trailer.

Scania won the supply contract for the 59 new trucks against stiff competition and it was the Scania Total Transport Solution concept, which embodies the full suite of Scania Repair and Maintenance contracts that helped to secure the deal.

The fleet order consisted of 29 x P 360 4×2 prime movers, 13 x P 440 6×2 prime movers, 15 x R 560 V8 6×4 prime movers and 2 x P 310 8×2 rigid 16 pallet tautliners.

“I always said there were only two types of drivers, those who drove Scanias and those who wish they drove them,” Tim said.

“I know lots of guys here who drive American trucks. Once they have had a drive of my Scania they are converted.

“One of the best features is the visibility. You can see really well from the seat. It’s a comfortable truck and quiet, and for Visy, safety is very important. If you can see where you are and where the traffic is, you’re going to be safer,” he said.

“The Scania Driver Support system contributes as well to improving safety. If you’re not paying attention and have to brake sharply, the system prompts you to anticipate better next time. It also has a big impact on the driver score, so you have to work hard to regain the percentage, for example if you have a sharp braking event or you forget to switch the retarder to zero. So, you have to be paying attention behind the wheel all the time to get a good score.

“Fuel economy is very important to Visy as well, not only because of costs but emissions. I am able to get 3 km per litre from this single drive 360 hp Scania, although I’m not carrying very heavy loads. However, I do drive in traffic all day. It’s a two hour round trip, four or five times each day,” Tim said.

Tim’s employer and Scania recently rewarded Tim for his exemplary driving performance and they have communicated his achievements around the business.

“The Scania is a wonderful piece of equipment,” Tim said. “I’m the only one to drive this one, though my boss, Des Bishop, has driven it a couple of times.”

Des Bishop, Operations Manager at Visy Logistics South Australia says Tim is very focused on presenting a positive image, and he keeps the truck spotlessly clean.

“Tim has a great attitude to his driving and his job in general, and he keeps the truck very clean,” Des said.

“We believe that the care with which he drives will provide a longer working life for the truck, reducing wear and tear as well as running costs,” he said.

“We were very pleased to have been able to demonstrate to Visy Logistics how the Scania Total Transport Solution would be able to benefit their business in terms of cost reduction, and uptime improvement,” said Steven Alberse, Scania Australia’s Fleet Sales Manager.

“Visy Logistics took a holistic view of the fleet acquisition, focusing on the safety and efficiency the trucks can provide to their operations around Australia but also looking at maintenance costs and strategies as well as how Scania was able to provide excellent uptime.

“Now we have the trucks in service we are showing Visy Logistics the reality of Scania backing its products with excellent service.

“With drivers such as Tim Mason in South Australia as well, being so professional and committed to safe, efficient driving, we are delighted to see driver support scores of 99 and 100% from him on a regular basis. It is a credit to Tim as a driver and to his employer, Visy Logistics that such score and safe driving are encouraged,” Steven said.

“Scania commends Tim for his driving prowess and looks forward to seeing more Scania drivers emulate his achievements.

“By driving the Scania truck in a manner that generates 100% scores means the vehicle is performing at its most efficient and by a safe driver who is looking out for himself, his truck and his load, and other road users. And by driving so well, he is raising the profile and reputation of professional commercial drivers across Australia,” Steve said.