Scania’s new L series low cab trucks will hit our streets this summer and for the casual observer, they may take some getting used to. But looks aren’t everything, and for the distribution market, I genuinely think they offer a great solution.
The same can be said of Mercedes’ Econic and I think if operators specified the best truck for their business rather than worrying too much about the second user, we could see more low-height, easy entry trucks on our streets.
Yes, it can be argued that these trucks don’t look easy on the eye, but they are not meant to be eye candy! They offer a practical solution to a busier distribution world.
Knowing the build quality you get from a Scania, I think the L series will soon win friends and not just in the traditional dustcart and utilities market. For the likes of builder’s merchants, parcel deliveries, shop deliveries… in fact any urban distribution application, low cabs have a place and the L series is a sensible solution to an obvious issue.
One criticism levied at the Econic is it feels like you are driving a bus. The cab feels spartan, utilitarian, or whatever. It lacks that ‘comfort feel of its Antos compatriot. That’s partly because of the cab door, which is, to all intents and purposes, a bus style folding door.
But that is because the Econic has – in the main – been used for those markets where lavish, comfy cabs are just not necessary.
But it’s not hard to improve a cab’s interior. For the Econic, if that is addressed, be it as an option to make the cab feel more like a truck cab for those who want it, then it could be easier to ‘sell’ a low entry cab to drivers. Scania has done that with the L series, as has Volvo with its low FE, and I genuinely believe low cabs will gain in popularity and soon won’t look so out of place.
The industry must move with the times, and this is one example of it doing so. Be prepared distribution truckers, your next truck may be quite a bit lower. Which is good news for those who are getting hacked off with climbing in and out of cabs with three steps every day!