As a child, Wayne Auchmuty couldn’t find what he was looking for, so as an adult he built it. The design engineer from Lecarrow, Co Roscommon, spent much of his childhood in the cab of his father’s truck, and always wanted a scaled down truck that he could call his own.
The desire stayed with him, and in 2008 Wayne contacted Scania in Sweden to enquire about getting a licence to develop a high-spec model of their trucks as a ride-on toy. Scania encouraged Wayne, who had only just graduated from college, to get back to them when he was in a position to work on his concept.
Wayne did so in 2015 after he had established his own company, Lakeside Engineering Design, and Scania gave him a single use licence to develop a prototype. After he delivered the prototype, Scania granted a licence to produce it as an official toy and his new company, Scaled Rigs, was born late last year.
Scaled Rigs then posted a high-quality video of their ride-on truck modelled on the Scania S730 on Facebook to test market interest. “We were hoping to sell maybe 30 pieces in a year, but we had 50 orders within eight weeks,” Wayne says. “We started production in March this year and have been flat out since.”
The keen interest in the product is all the more remarkable as it costs €4,500 ex works – reflecting the premium design and build of the toy which is powered by a 24-volt battery and has a stainless-steel laser cut and fabricated chassis as well as the all-important Scania V8 engine noise. “We went for quality in everything and people see that when they get them,” says Wayne. “It’s more akin to a mobility scooter in its driveline than it is to a kid’s toy.”
As Wayne expected, most of the first wave of customers have been truck companies but a theme park in Norway is looking to buy 12 Scaled Rigs trucks, and other theme and holiday parks have also expressed interest.
Meanwhile, Mercedes has asked Scaled Rigs to develop a toy truck based on the Mercedes Actros and they are also building one for Vlastuin in Holland, who make the American bullnose version of the Scania truck.
Trailers and accessories are also in demand, and the company has just signed agreements with retailers in Holland, Germany, Poland, Italy, Ireland, the UK, France and Belgium.