Iveco Trucks Stralis AD450

By: Dave Cox, Photography by: Dave Cox

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The Iveco Stralis AD450 is the truck for anyone who need big rig performance with the ability to get around tight spots.

Iveco Trucks Stralis AD450
The Iveco Stralis AD450. It's the little truck with plenty of 'big' going for it.
  • Clean, uncluttered interior
  • Smooth gear changes
  • ISRI driver's seat
  • Smooth and comfortable to drive
  • Suspension reacts quickly

Craig Skevington, operations manager for NZL Transport in Mt Maunganui, was looking for a truck that could handle the pace of stop-start all day and be able to pull and push a swinglift into tight places around the Tauranga/Bay of Plenty area, picking up and dropping off 20' and 40' containers. That's where the Iveco Stralis AD (Active Day) 450 comes in.

Engine and power

The truck has a 13-litre Cursor Euro4 engine rated at 450hp, which meets emission standards by running the AdBlue system SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction). This is mated up to a 16-speed Iveco Eurotronic ll gearbox, giving you the option of manual or auto control.

It runs the Iveco eight-bag air suspension (four air bags per axle) with ECAS (Electronically Controlled Air Suspension) and Meritor MT23-155 rear axles. The front suspension consists of parabolic leaf springs with anti roll bar.
Braking is supplied by disc brakes all round, backed up by the engine's ITB (Iveco Turbo brake).

Cab visibility

There is no problem accessing the driver's seat with a long grab handle mounted either side of a wide door opening. When seated it was a bit of a stretch to reach the door.

The driving position was ergonomic - I felt very comfortable on the tried and tested, top-of-the-line ISRI fully adjustable air suspension seat.

The mirrors are heated and electric-adjustable, giving excellent vision. The mirror glass has been replaced by flat glass because of the sensitive nature of the job. Unfortunately, because of the mirror position just back from the "A" pillar, there is a big blind spot.

The interior

The dash has changed slightly from the semi wrap-around, but is very functional and looks smart in a grey and silver finish. All the main switches and gauges are in easy reach.

The instrument panel is illuminated in what the brand calls ICD (Iveco Colour Display). This system gives the driver the ability to scroll through a menu controlled by a switch on the steering wheel, giving a read out of pretty much everything you need to know about the truck, from trip times and data to diagnostics and information on settings. It also shows displays for oil, temp, air - right down to your radio frequency and volume.

The standard storage seems to be two small lockers situated in the overhead console starting from the centre and one above the passenger. There is also a little glove compartment in front of the passenger. There is nothing immediately handy, however, where the driver can keep essentials like logbooks, manifest sheets, maps, a couple of pies and a can of coke.

Gear shift

Gear selection on the new Stralis is very easy. Situated on the dash, just above the park brake, are three switches: R, N and D. Bearing in mind that the Stralis has no clutch pedal, all you have to do is flick the D switch, release the park brake, push the accelerator pedal and away you go. When stopping it's the same - depress the brake pedal until you come to a stop then flick the N switch and apply the park brake.

If you want to operate the truck in manual mode, move a stork that protrudes from the right-hand side of the steering column either up or down in a sequential sequence, going either higher or lower in the gears.

The ride

There is a nice feel to the steering wheel and a very smooth response when put to work. Iveco's eight-bag air suspension ECAS stood out. When picking up or putting down 25-tonne containers there is a huge weight transfer as the container is swung. The reaction and response from the air suspension was rapid and very quick to compensate for the shift in weight.

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