At a glance
Make & Model: Scania 540S Highline
Engine: Scania DC13 12.7-litre six-cylinder, Euro 6D
Power: 540hp @ 1800rpm
Torque: 2700Nm @ 1000-1300rpm
Gearbox: 12-speed Opticruise automated manual
Operator: AAD Transport, Kirriemuir, Scotland
AAD Transport took in some of the very first 540hp Scanias recently, with a batch of top-spec 540S Highlines hitting the road for UK and European work
Your dear Editor was actually supposed to go and do some driving work in one of these smart new Scanias, but accidentally letting his Driver CPC expire due to Christmas deadline obligations and then having the payment for a new digital tacho card rejected (yeah cheers for that DVLA) meant that couldn’t happen. Not to worry, we’ll be getting to work in a 540 in due course. In the meantime we caught up with boss Alan Davie to get the details on the latest additions to a very smart fleet and call in to two drivers Leighton and Gary who share one of the trucks.
We’ve visited Alan a few times over the years, but this is the first time for T&D. If you remember back to 2018 and the Volvo FH 540 rear-steer tag we had on test for a week, that was worked for AAD on night tramping. It was the last work I did as a full-time driver/freelance writer before taking the T&D editor’s job. Since then, the haulage company has moved to a smart new purpose-built yard in Kirriemuir, Angus, and is now running a total of 33 trucks, mostly involved in the food supply chain but there’s also an extending flatbed trailer and extending step frame to cover other work that comes up.
The majority of the fleet consists of Volvo and Scania, with three Daf XF 530s, a Mercedes-Benz Actros Edition 1 630 and a new MAN TGX 510 making up the rest. Alan is happy to experiment with other makes of truck, and brought in the Actros and TGX (which is due to arrive imminently) to see how they would perform.
In general, the AAD standard spec is the most powerful six-cylinder engine on offer, with tag-axle, full air suspension plus a comprehensive interior spec including parking air con, rear cupboards, microwave, coffee maker, TV prep and full leather trim. “The guys are on the road, away from home all week working hard, and the amount of facilities on offer is a disgrace, so we spec the trucks with everything that can make life a bit easier,” explains Alan.
He established the company in 2012 starting off as an owner-driver, having driven a variety of trucks over the years, including a fondly remembered Scania 144 for Intake Transport with a set of twin Eminox stacks. The company grew steadily, and has worked hard to promote a modern image through using top quality equipment and keeping it immaculate.
Most of the trucks are white, with the exceptions being one of the Daf XFs which is in the 2020 silver demo colours and the Actros 1 which is also silver. “We got one of the Daf demonstrators from new as we needed a truck quickly. I do love how fresh the white looks on our trucks, but I have to say I like having the odd one in silver,” says Alan. There is one Scania V8 on the fleet, an S650 which is driven by longest-serving driver Brian Simpson. “I’d love a fleet full of V8s but we have to take fuel into consideration,” he smiles. Not to mention, the outstanding performance on offer from the 13-litre class these days.
Over the past couple of years, Volvo has been able to supply the highest spec six-pot, and Alan will also sometimes spec the Dual-Clutch transmission. There’s four FHs on the way, including two new models, all with the 540 engine. Alan has contemplated trying a turbo compound Volvo but he’s not quite convinced at this point.
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