The Iveco brand has had mixed fortunes in the Australian truck market, but is now unveiling the next stage of the Acco. The latest refresh sees the introduction of the X-Way model range and a completely new look for an old favourite. Tim Giles was there when the new trucks were unveiled.
The Iveco organisation is one which has to balance a number of different options across its offering. It now has new International trucks on the market, plus a hangover from the old International brand, but still selling well, in the Acco, as well as a completely new range of European heavy duty trucks, the X-Way.
While some models like the Acco continue to sell well, some of the newer editions to the Iveco offering coming from Europe have struggled to make an impact. For Iveco, the move over to the X-Way is an opportunity to break new ground and have better penetration in a truck market that is growing fast.
One of the issues for the Iveco offering as a whole is the concept of the trucks as being a single brand. Many people understand there is an International brand, but then would describe the Acco as something separate and would have regarded the Powerstar as another type of truck. This would seem to leave the Iveco Stralis and Eurocargo as the only recognisable Ivecos in recent years.
The introduction of the X-Way range will give the brand an opportunity to unify the brand into a more contiguous whole. This is being helped, in part, by one of the major changes taking place, the redesign of the Acco.
The New Acco
The basic layout and cab of the Acco design has been the same since 1972. Many features have been changed over the course of time between then and now but the basic skeleton on which the truck is built remains unchanged.
Now, the entire truck is to be redesigned from the ground up. Iveco engineers have no choice, the next round of exhaust emission regulations will render the current design obsolete. The team at Iveco have had to go back to the drawing board and come up with a truck which can meet all of the needs of the current customer base, at the same time as meeting the environmental regulations of the future.
The introduction of the X-Way models gives Iveco the ideal chance to work from an all-new base to create a truck which will have the opportunity become well-known as a garbage collection vehicle, a concrete agitator and a robust tipper, the new Acco.
The parameters are clear and the close relationship between Iveco and the garbage and concrete operators of Australia means there is plenty of communication and feedback to make the new Acco able to handle the task with the same productivity and ease of use as the current model.
The truck will be built in the Iveco facility at Dandenong in Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs. It will be available as both a 6×4 and an 8×4 with specific wheelbases developed to suit each vocation in which it has succeeded in the past.
The model is currently in an evaluation phase where the basic model is being taken from the core design and then adapted across platforms to suit each vocation.
At its core the truck uses the basic X-Way chassis design and an adapted cabin from the same truck. Iveco front axles on a two leaf parabolic suspension will be matched with a Meritor rear-end suspended on the Iveco eight bag air suspension. Of course, traction control and diff locks will be included.
Another major change will be the fitting of the Cursor 9 engine rated at either 310 or 360hp, replacing the current Cummins ISL and offering higher power ratings. This engine uses Iveco’s Hi-eSCR technology cleaning up the emissions with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and not using Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) at all. The two engines put out 1300 and 1650Nm of torque respectively and will drive the back end through an Allison 3200 fully auto six speed transmission. Again, these torque ratings are an increase on those currently available with Cummins power.
These are the aspects which will be radically different, but there are a number of requirements which will be matched in the new Acco. The wheelbase and chassis dimensions are vital when fitting equipment like garbage compactors. Final tare weight is still to be determined, but is expected to be very close to the original, depending on spec.
These compactors have been honed over the years to do the job in the most efficient manner. The new chassis must be able to accommodate the body at the same ride height, length and fitting points. Wheelbase and turning circle are also vitally important in narrow suburban streets. The new Acco will either match or exceed the requirements of the garbage contractors. Wheel cut is expected to be much improved in the new Acco.
The new cabin can be fitted with dual controls in the same way as the current Acco. The cabin itself will be roomier and taller with better visibility for the driver all round. Climate control will also be available along with the other comforts of a modern 21st century cabin, a distinct upgrade from the 1972 design.
There are all the other trappings of the modern truck included in the standard specs of the new Acco. There will be Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Braking System (EBS), Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), axle load indicator, electronic battery cut-out and L.E.D daytime running lamps and rear L.E.D lights.
“To replace a transport legend is no mean feat, so extensive local development has been undertaken in preparation for the next chapter of the Acco’s product life,” said Bruce Healy, Australia Business Director. “In developing the new Acco, Iveco has combined many of the much-loved attributes of the previous model with cutting-edge technology borrowed from the Stralis X-Way platform, it’s been a joint effort between our local engineering department and the design team at Iveco’s European headquarters.
“Iveco is also very pleased to report that the Acco will continue to be manufactured right here in Australia at our Dandenong, Melbourne facility alongside our other truck models, the Stralis X-Way and Stralis AS-L.”