Compact crane truck specially configured for tight turns

Dutch crane truck specialists Gaffert recently started operating an ultra-short Scania S 520 8×2/*6. This four-axle configuration with three steered axles allows the truck to manoeuvre in tight industrial environments, as well as gain an exemption from the 72-tonne road transport weight limit.

“We wanted a heavy tractor unit for normal road speeds to carry an 85 tonne-metre crane with an excellent weight distribution,” says owner Theo Gaffert. “Scania was the only manufacturer that could deliver the truck directly from factory assembly. Scania also offers has the lowest chassis in the market and that’s important to us.”

Emotions figure in purchase, but profitability counts more
There was a certain emotional element involved, admits Gaffert. “When we ordered the truck, we celebrated our company’s 80-year anniversary. What could be better than a V8? We also knew that it would be delivered during the Scania V8 jubilee year.”

While emotions are good, Gaffert adds that operating a profitable vehicle is even better. “When I discovered that the fuel consumption for the 520 hp V8 was nearly the same as for the six-cylinder 500 hp, it was an easy decision.”

Challenging configuration required inventive solutions
The wheelbase is 3,950 millimetres measured from the front axle to the driven axle. Of the four axles, three are steered – two in front and one behind the drive axle.

“By using a 10-tonne front axle we have a beautiful weight distribution with the crane placed very close to the cab wall”, explains Gaffert. “There are only 15 centimetres left between the cabin and crane, which we use for the hydraulic tank. Despite this short space, we added two chrome exhausts. After all, looks also matter.” With the ultra-short configuration, placing all components on the chassis was challenging. “To obtain the best result, we designed some components ourselves, such as the custom-built fuel tank and our own mudguards.”

Gaffert now not only has an impressive V8, but also superb lifting equipment. “The combination of a short turning radius with great lifting capacity makes this truck extremely suitable for working in industrial buildings. We are often called on to help lift new machines and hoist equipment into place.”