WHEN I climb on board a new truck I always try and pair my phone without asking for help to see how intuitive the systems are.
I accessed the phone part of the settings menu and all it said was "No Phone Connected."
I finally discovered it's done through the radio dial.
By the time I hit the road the weather had worsened and I was heading directly into near gale force winds.
The Scania felt the impact of that as expected, and accelerating up to cruising speed took longer than normal.
Pretty quickly I got the cruise control engaged and then managed my speed with the steering wheel buttons.
In this mode as I started down hills the retarder came on progressively, keeping me legal, then seamlessly re-engaged top gear at the bottom and powered away.
Scania's engine brake/retarder is without doubt the best auxiliary brake on the highway.
It has five stages, from mild retardant to 4,100Nm boat anchor.
Flicking it on with a single finger stretched below the steering wheel rim delivers complete control.
Outside of coming to a complete stop, I really never have to use the service brakes.
Given that the cab is based on the bigger units, the interior fit-out's very comfortable.
There's lots of storage space and plenty of air coming through the vents.
A toggle button on the steering column allows adjustment for tilt and telescope.
I had no trouble getting the seat right either. There are arm rests on both sides, and with them down and cruise engaged, the P440 was a sweet thing to wheel down the road.
Some of the roads were pretty rough and the Scania needed a firm hand, as does every articulated truck I take on this route, but the driver position made all that pretty easy.
The single trailer rig was set up like a classic supermarket distribution unit, and so I took the opportunity for lots of stops to duplicate the likely trip outline of a regional delivery run.
The Scania was always an easy truck to get into and out of, and a cosy refuge from the stormy rain that lashed the cab at times.
On the return run I allowed the AED to do its thing and keep me a set distance from the traffic.
Dead easy, even bringing me to a complete halt behind the traffic jam when the lane was blocked by a fallen tree.
Finally there are only two things I'd change. Firstly, as mentioned there are no cup or drink holders.
My drink bottle squeezed in the door pocket. Get yourself a coffee and you're going to have to finish it before you move off.
Secondly, there's no USB charging point. There are 12 and 24-volt points, plus an auxiliary port for the sound system. But most drivers use Bluetooth now and need to top up on phone power more often.
Distribution will always be a growing market sector. Scania is already doing well with the P Series, and the AEB will only make it safer.
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