Daily revver

Iveco has the right light restyled ve­hi­cle for busi­ness in ex­treme con­di­tions

Australian Transport News - - Contents - WORDS MATT WOOD

Iveco has the right light restyled ve­hi­cle for busi­ness in ex­treme con­di­tions

T he Iveco Daily 4x4 and I are pretty well ac­quainted. I’ve done more than a few kays in the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion and found it to be a pretty ca­pa­ble mud­slinger, al­beit one that is less at home on the road than other 4x4 light trucks out there.

This truck has a def­i­nite off-road bias. Down­sides were, how­ever, a cheap feel to the in­te­rior as well as a few rat­tles and squeaks.

An up­date last year saw the ar­rival of a new Euro 6, 3-litre power plant as well as a new cab and in­te­rior.

The pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion used EGR alone to bat­tle diesel emis­sions, this new ver­sion uses both SCR (it takes AdBlue) and EGR.

It’s no se­cret that I’m no fan of EGR at the best of times, much pre­fer­ring the me­chan­i­cal sim­plic­ity of SCR. How­ever, in Euro 6 guise, the SCR sys­tem does the bulk of the heavy lift ing leav­ing the EGR sys­tem with a much re­duced flow rate.

We re­cently tagged along with one of Daryl Beat­tie’s Ad­ven­ture Tours; this trip was across the Simp­son Desert.

My main job on this trip was to steer the big Euro­cargo 4x4 that serves as a mother ship for the guided dirt bike tour. While ev­ery­body else was do­ing their best to break their bones on bikes, I was wrestling with 13,500kg of off-road truck.

How­ever, af­ter three days at the wheel of the Euro­cargo, I man­aged to snaf­fle the keys to the lit­tle Daily and pointed it east to­wards Big Red.

Af­ter the truck, the Daily 4x4 felt like a sports car! Ad­mit­tedly the Daily didn’t re­ally have any load on board but this was the first time that I’d had a chance to drive the up­dated 4x4 in an off-road set­ting.

NEW LOOK

The restyle of the Daily has made a huge dif­fer­ence in­side and out. The in­te­rior plac­tics, while still hard and com­mer­cial, have much more of a qual­ity feel. Out­side, the Iveco has lost the wonky bug-eyed look of the pre­vi­ous model.

As you’d ex­pect of a truck, the Daily fea­tures an old-school live axles front and rear and sits on par­a­bolic leaf springs all-round. This makes it ex­tremely ca­pa­ble off road but she’s pretty rough on road with­out a load on the back.

This lit­tle truck just flew up the dunes. Light tare weight and a de­cent set of 37-inch mud ter­rain tyres com­bined with low tyre pres­sures re­ally made it at home in the desert. The Daily has high, in­ter­me­di­ate and low range, but in this ter­rain there was rarely any need for any­thing other than high range with the cen­tre diff-locked.

The Daily uses a 3-litre turbo-diesel en­gine for power and makes 170hp (125kW) and 400Nm of torque. This up­dated power plant does have a habit of be­ing a lit­tle laggy even though peak torque is from 1250rpm, but keep the tacho nee­dle at around 3000rpm (peak power) and the turbo spin­ning and it will have a fair old crack at most things.

While for the most part the Iveco donk is pretty un­stressed, per­haps the big­gest ad­van­tage of the Daily is that it has a gear for all oc­ca­sions.

In the desert, though, the Daily was a re­laxed drive. A cou­ple of times I grabbed the rear diff lock to make crest­ing of a cou­ple of dunes a lit­tle more dig­ni­fied. Oth­er­wise it was a walk in the park. A na­tional park to be ex­act.

BIG RED

Af­ter run­ning amok in the desert sand and clay pans for a few hours I crested a dune to find Big Red await­ing me. I nailed the go pedal un­der the gaze of the wait­ing bik­ers on top of the fa­mous dune. And to my em­bar­rass­ment, I didn’t make it to the top first go. I could see the ner­vous look on the face of Iveco’s Joel Reid as he watched me make another at­tempt. If I hadn’t man­aged to get this tough off-roader to the top they may still be search­ing for my body.

Re­ally, it just came down to speed and tyre pres­sures and the Daily scrab­bled to the top of the dune. The close-gated gear shift in the Daily made it very easy to slip into the wrong gear when try­ing to grab a cog in a hurry.

The Birdsville Pub was a wel­come sight af­ter a few days in the desert. It had been a great trip. I’ve had a cou­ple of big nights in the Birdsville Pub in the past but this one took the cake. I’d go into more de­tail but, hey, what hap­pens on the road stays on the road.

Above: The Daily 4x4 just ate the dunes and was a heap of fun

Above: The lit­tle Iveco Daily 4x4 along­side a Euro­cargo. This thing’s no slouch in the sand

Right: Break­ing camp at Oo­raminna Sta­tion near the Simp­son Desert be­fore strik­ing east

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