John’s tilt at heavy haulin’
An advertising man takes on a mammoth task and succeeds
AN INNER-CITY cafe is not your usual truck stop, but John Tynan is not your usual truck driver. Tynan loves coffee and he knows the cafe, near Melbourne University, makes a good brew. Even better, it has a loading zone big enough to take his 8x4 Scania R Series tilttray truck.
Tynan’s love of coffee perhaps stems from 25 years in advertising. He reached the top, then lost his job seven years ago and had to find another. A panelbeater mate suggested he buy a tilt-tray truck.
‘‘He was looking to put on more tow trucks and suggested I could get a truck and carry cars for him,’’ Tynan says.
Tynan took up his mate’s suggestion, bought a new Hino tilt-tray and went to work as Tilt & Trade Transport.
His advertising experience helped him attract customers, but he decided to progress to a heavier 12-tonne Volvo FM9 and move earthmoving equipment.
‘‘There were few 12-tonners around and I was confident I could find the work to justify the move,’’ he says.
More recently he realised a move to an even bigger truck would reap greater rewards, and he decided to buy his current Scania R Series 8x4.
‘‘With the twin-steer you can carry more weight and, importantly, do it legally, which can be very hard to do when you carry heavy gear on a single-axle truck,’’ he says.
Tynan’s is one of a handful of twin-steer trucks operating in Melbourne, and he reckons his is the largest one around.
Now able to haul heavy excavators, rollers, buckets and rippers, Tynan works for major companies in the construction industry. The 33-tonne GVM twin-steer Scania is a longwheelbase unit bought directly from the factory to take a 9.5m tilt-tray body custombuilt by Jackson Motor Bodies.
It was the longest tilt-tray body Jacksons had built and has several innovations, among them a hydraulic ram system to move heavy equipment easily, swing-down steps to reach the load deck, and lights in the toolboxes.
Though he works mostly in and around Melbourne, he bought the Scania with a sleeper cab for jobs that take him a long way from home. The same thinking led him to buy a truck with extra power to make it easier to drive long distances.
The Scania six-cylinder engine is a 12-litre Euro 4 unit that uses compound turbocharging and EGR. When on song it punches out 353kW at 1900 revs and 2250Nm at 1100-1480 revs.
‘‘The 480 is a blessing on the highway. It has the performance needed and it’s getting better fuel economy than I got out of the 280kW Volvo I was driving,’’ Tynan says.
On a recent trip from Melbourne to Brisbane and return he got 1 litre/2.7km loaded and 1 litre/3.4km unloaded.
Scania’s 14-speed, three-pedal Opticruise auto shifting transmission makes life easier.
Underneath it has awesome disc brakes on all wheels, anti-skid electronics, and airbag front and rear suspension.
Importantly, Tynan’s Scania is equipped with the company’s optional weight-measuring system that gives him an instant readout on the dash of each axle weight.
‘‘I’m very conscious of running legal all the time. The weight system gives me a readout so I know exactly what axle weights I have and allows me to adjust it if needed,’’ he says.
Bigger the better: John Tynan’s Scania 8x4 tilt-tray.