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Scania LS 141 with HMF trailer Erik Mortensen, Skive

Trucks & Construction - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 6/2019 vom 15.11.2019

The colorful and attractive Scania LS 141 short hood in the livery of Erik Mortensen, Skive has a special place in René Tanner’s internationally-oriented collection …

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Bildquelle: Trucks & Construction, Ausgabe 6/2019

The Scania LS 141 with front hood is a real classic and even today has many admirers and fans. The Dane Erik Mortensen is on the road with it for Jumbo Transport AS.

A fog bank obscures our look onto the idyllic lake. A light wind blows through the edged parking lot. Slowly the morning awakes and the fogged-up windows announce yet another fall day.

The alarm shrills, the stocky Dane rubs the sleep from his eyes and slowly crawls out of his ...

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... bunk. He opens the side curtain a bit and takes a peep outside. While he slips into his jeans on the driver’s seat he cranks down the squeaking side window. The fresh morning air blows refreshingly onto his face. A further look into the rear mirror and he opens the driver’s door which protests with a squeal. A smell of stale air and a bit of mustiness escapes the driver’s cabin as he lowers himself outside. A wonderful landscape, so quiet and dreamy, the ideal place to fill his rest period he thinks as he rummages for the gas stove in the storage box. Nothing happens without a coffee first.

While the water begins to boil, Erik shaves using the mirror on a sighting pole and glancing once in a while at the side of the loaded truck and trailer set. There it stands, leaning slightly to the right with its total length of 19 m. A truly impressive sight and a very special one at that.

The coffee cup stands steaming on the dashboard as Erik Mortensen, owner-operator from Skive, starts the engine. He pushes the characteristic Bosch ignition key into the starter keyhole with a click then the red control lamp in the combination instrument starts to flicker, tick and to light up. The indicators for oil pressure, tank, voltage as well as the air reserve indicator move gingerly into the level control setting. Waiting a moment, he then pushes the black starter button on the dashboard and with only one try he starts up the 375 hp. It is as if the trigger on a 45 gun has been pulled when the mighty 8 cylinder starts to turn over. A loud roaring sound begins, sounding like mighty oak trees being felled very slowly with a buzz saw. Shortly thereafter every sound is accompanied by the rattling noise of the centrifugal filter.

When Erik exits the driver’s cabin he feels as though it is swinging along every time a piston moves in the engine block. The air from the compressor streams through the lines to fill the air tanks and the trailer’s air suspension rises hesitantly to the drive position. The biting, light blue exhaust fumes accompany him has he goes to the rear of the vehicle to check on tires, hook-ups and the VBG coupling. Somewhere, an airline whistles. He cleans the trailing lights, checks the customs seal and takes a look at the truck parked behind him. It is a Norwegian FB89 truck and trailer set, driving for Continental Longtraders from Tonsberg, on its way home. Once the Volvo has reached its destination, Erik will have another two hours of driving ahead.

Observe the weathering streaks on the tank.

Rear and trailer coupling with unique details.

The conversion of the cabin was very extensive.

The prototype had only a two-axle trailer, but a little artistic license has to be.

Checking while he walks, he returns to the cabin, closes the storage box and climbs up the three steps to the cabin with the help of the handrails. He leisurely tidies up his cot and puts the last bits and pieces away. He takes a new speedometer disc out, fills it out and inserts it into the trip recorder. After a last sip of coffee, he engages the second gear, the air hissing as he releases air from the air suspension tank, and he lets the clutch in carefully. The loaded truck and trailer set starts with a little jerk to the right and shaking slowly, takes up speed. The engine sound mounts, the roaring noise increasing in volume and disturbing the morning’s silence as the 141 picks up speed. Erik carefully shifts the gears in the small group; success is noted by the banging sound from the open exhaust pipe, a standard feature among Scandinavian trucks. Now the driver shifts into the larger set of gears, gives the transmission enough time, and when he feels it right, based on knowledge from of many hours of driving, moves the stick into the next gear. He increases his speed again and the wind blows along the sides and gingerly tugs on the tarps covering the load. Despite its high weight, the truck and trailer set pick up speed effortlessly. Sitting high up, Erik, bent slightly forwards, looks in the rearview mirror and sees the trailer bouncing over uneven patches in the ground in tandem with the truck. The last of the morning dew is disappearing from the front window screen. Time to light a cigarette and enjoy the winding road. Passing small, sleepy villages and huge fields of wheat, this time his trip goes high to the north of Norway. The approximately 28-ton load of stone bits he is transporting is from Jumbo Transport AS in Århus. He drives regularly for them in all of Scandinavia and the Benelux countries.

Scania L-LS-LT

While most truck builders shelved building trucks with short hoods in the early 70s, Scania kept the concept. In 1972, two years after the 1969 introduction of the rustic LB 140, the LS (LS = Lastbilar-Släpaxla) was introduced. The demand for vehicles with engine hoods was undeniable and the Scandinavian forestry business also clung to traditional trucks with hoods. Designed as pure forestry vehicles, the 140 became quickly a favorite and was used in all segments of industry. The driver’s cabin was taken over from the smaller 80s series because its narrower width fit better to the newly constructed fiberglass engine hood. With the introduction of the 1er series, an LS 141 that had been redesigned in many details was also offered. A sleeper cabin was never a factory option on all types. It is estimated that about 3,800 of the L 140-141-145 series have been built.

The Scania LS 141 with its trailer from HMF is very impressive.

Mario van Lint

For my kit conversion I used a Heavy-Goods kit of the 6x4 version with a long sleeper cabin for a long-distance freight truck to achieve a similar impression. A photograph of the original helped of course, but here and there I wanted to live out my own fantasy and that is why the trailer has been built with three axles.

Among the substantial changes I had to make to the kit were the extensions of the chassis with handbent aluminum U profiles made from 0.3 mm sheet stock and a new rear axle for the 6x2 version. The driver’s cabin had to shortened by 2.0 mm. All of the upper chassis add-ons were made from 2.0 mm plastic sheet stock and the fenders were scratch-built from 0.3 mm aluminum sheet stock. The tarp is made from writing paper; it was my first try making realisticlooking tarp covers, recognizable by the missing customs seals. The paint job was done with paint from spray cans. I bleached out and aged the color by treating it with a slightly thinned varnish remover mixed with Revell thinner which took overcoming some hesitation on my part.

As with most scratch building projects, I fell back to using several detail pieces from Tekno and other makers. If you want to find such items my highly recommended trip is to visit the model swap meet in the Dutch town of Houten. This is Europe’s largest model swap meet and is held six times a year by NAMAC ( For truck fans an absolute El Dorado and always worthwhile a visit to discover new things.

René Tanner is an independent truck driver of a DAF CF and is one of the best truck model builders.