Acco on the attack
The Aussie icon goes on and on, despite what some executives want, writesGRAHAMSMITH
IVECO produces and sells the Acco, but it doesn’t own it. It’s only the custodian of an enduring icon of Australian trucking. That’s the message that came through loud and clear when Iveco considered changing the Acco.
Owners told it to leave Acco alone and not change the things they love about it.
‘‘Acco owners are very patriotic. They tell us not to make changes until we talk to them,’’ Iveco product planner Kevin Taylor said when announcing the 2008 Acco.
The Acco’s demise has been forecast for some time, but the old truck continues to defy doom-andgloom predictions.
It sells the sort of numbers that make it very difficult for company managers to make the decision to kill it off, though many have wanted to put it down in recent years.
Originally designed in Australia by International, the Acco continues to be one of the most popular trucks for waste collection and disposal.
It also remains popular with the concrete industry.
But sales are stagnant and Iveco would prefer to see them on the rise.
The Acco was last updated almost a year ago when it became the first truck to come into line with ADR 80/02. This was many months before it became compulsory to meet the lower exhaust emission limits.
At the same time a new 6.5-tonne front axle was introduced, which brought with it new FUPS front underrun protection and confirmation of the compliance to the cab strength rule, ECE R29.
The chassis was changed as well as styling of the cab and interior.
In the latest changes, Iveco offers the option of Airtek airbag front suspension, which adds new sophistication to the old truck.
‘‘The aim was to provide best-inclass ride, improved handling and stability, with lower tare weight and smaller turning circle,’’ Taylor says.
‘‘The air suspension has been two years in development. It has been subjected to more than eight months’ intensive testing at the Anglesea proving ground and with customers in some of the most challenging applications possible.
‘‘Customers have had high praise for the ride and stability of the preproduction trucks they’ve evaluated. Many rated it better than rival European trucks they also operate.’’
The addition of the airbag front suspension reduces the wheel cut to 50 degrees. This reduces the turning circle by 2m. It also reduces tare weight by 120kg on an 8x4 truck.
The Acco story will continue well into the future. Iveco has held a forum with the waste industry, and plans to hold a similar one with the concrete industry soon.
You can’t keep a good truck down: the Acco is destined to be around for some years yet.