Release Date: 24 November 2008
Release ID: 1218
Leaving nothing to chance has been Gunde Svan’s recipe for success, both as a skier and as a TV programme host. As General Manager of the Swedish national cross-country skiing team, this cross-country world champion and Olympic gold medallist is continuing in the same spirit. In preparation for the World Cup premiere in Gällivare, Sweden, on 22 November, he is joining forces with Scania to unveil an innovation that will help Sweden’s cross-country skiers achieve their full potential: A tailor-made ski waxing truck.
“I always see it as an advantage to be first. With this truck, we are assuming a leading position when it comes to waxing service. It will provide a mental advantage to our active team members, but above all it represents a more efficient waxing service and a substantially better working environment for our waxers. The truck is an innovation that will give our top Swedish team the world’s best waxing service. Hopefully it will take a few years before our competitors manage to copy this concept,” Mr Svan says.
With this unique truck, Scania is becoming a sponsor of the national cross-country ski team. Its agreement with the Swedish Ski Association runs for two years.
“Just like Scania, Swedish cross-country skiing has a strong international brand. World elite skiers stand for many qualities that correspond to the way our products are perceived,” says Erik Ljungberg, Scania’s Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations.
In preparation for this year’s skiing season, Mr Svan is investing in comprehensive solutions for his team, including expanded service to active team members in the form of access to coaches, ski waxers and other key functions. Understanding the importance of investing in such solutions is an attitude that corresponds well to Scania’s way of providing support to its customers.
“To enable all team members to perform at their best in competitions, there has to be an organisation behind the team that backs up its active members. A good service network is as important to Charlotte Kalla, Emil Jönsson and the other members of Ski Team Sweden as it is to Scania’s customers,” Mr Ljungberg says.
Specially built but using standard components
The truck attracts attention even from the outside − not only because it is painted in the colours of the Swedish flag and the national team logotype, but also because of its unusually large four-door cab, known as a Scania CrewCab. This cab is much appreciated by customers that need a truck with room for many passengers, for example fire brigades and other emergency response organisations.
Inside the three-plus metre long cab are seven seats, and upstairs are two bunks. Equipment such as a refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave oven make the cab both a comfortable workstation and a place for eating and relaxing.
Along the walls inside the truck’s nearly 20 square metre box body are plenty of storage spaces with room for waxes and equipment. There are also benches where seven service technicians can work with preparing the cross-country team members’ skis. At the very back is an ingeniously designed storage module with room for 400 pairs of skis. When the truck is parked, the module is pushed backward out of the box body, opening up the inside floor space.
The truck is also equipped with its own power generation system, making the rig self-sufficient in electricity for lighting, heating and ventilation in locations where no connection to the public grid is possible.
The skiing team’s head waxing technician, Larry Poromaa, is pleased with the design and convinced that the truck will be a great help, providing a competitive advantage.
“The truck will make a big difference. It will give us a working environment that beats anything seen before in connection with ski waxing. Those of us who handle the waxing will also be much more efficient and will be able to test many more skis, both between and during competitions. Handling of the team’s materials will be much smoother, and their skis will be spared from the damage that often occurs during transport. It’s great to be ahead of our competitors,” Mr Poromaa says.
The ski waxing truck is not only an innovation that will boost the level of service to the skiers on the Swedish national team, but Ski Team Sweden sponsors can also scale new heights − via a stairway leading up to an exclusive spectators’ deck on the roof of the mobile ski waxing cabin.
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