Scania's First Truck: Scania-Vabis 1 - A Blast from the Trucking Past

Put the pedal to the metal and let’s take a trip down memory lane to the early 1900s when the Scania-Vabis 1 truck hit the roads.

This truck was the real deal, a game-changer that put Sweden on the map as a force to be reckoned with in the transportation industry.

Back in the day, horse-drawn carriages were the norm, but the Scania-Vabis 1 truck changed all that.

According to Scania Heritage, citing a 1903 exhibition catalogue, this baby was powered by a 2-cylinder 12-horsepower engine placed under the driver’s seat.

The truck could reach speeds of up to 12 kilometres per hour. Yeah, you heard that right, 12 km/h! It may sound slow by today’s standards, but at the time, it was faster than a greased pig at a county fair.

Now, the Scania-Vabis 1 truck wasn’t your average truck. Nope, this bad boy was built on a modified chassis of a passenger car. With a payload capacity of only 1,500 kilograms, it was a small vehicle, measuring just 2.5 metres in length and 1.8 metres in width. But don’t let its size fool you, this truck was a real workhorse.

One of the funniest facts about the Scania-Vabis 1 is that the driver had to sit on a wooden bench and manually crank the engine to start it. That’s right, you had to use elbow grease to get this truck up and running. And if that wasn’t enough, the driver also had to manually shift the gears using a lever. That’s some old-school driving right there that many of our truckers today won’t grasp.

But wait, there’s more! The Scania-Vabis 1 didn’t have a roof or windshield. That’s right, this baby was an open-air truck. Now, that may have been fine in the summertime, but in the winter, the driver and passengers would have been freezing their buns off. Talk about roughing it!

Scania's First Truck: Scania-Vabis 1 - A Blast from the Trucking Past
Scania’s First Truck- The Scania-Vabis 1. Photo: Scania

Despite its quirks, the Scania-Vabis 1 was a hit in Sweden. It was the first vehicle of its kind to be powered by an internal combustion engine, and it was a major innovation in the transportation industry. It was used primarily for local transport and delivery of goods like timber and construction materials.

Fast forward to today, and Scania is one of the biggest names in the trucking industry. They produce high-quality vehicles that are reliable, fuel-efficient, and environmentally friendly. But it all started with the Scania-Vabis 1 truck, a real piece of history that paved the way for modern trucks and buses.

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The Scania-Vabis 1 may seem like a relic now, but back in the day, it was the real deal. From manually cranking the engine to driving without a roof, this truck had some serious character. And even though it was small and slow by today’s standards, it was a game-changer in the transportation industry. So, here’s to the Scania-Vabis 1 truck 🍻, a true legend of the road. Keep on truckin’!