IVECO Stralis X-Way AT340 - Tipper truck review

iveco-stralis-x-way-at340

Jump to: Highlights, Specifications, In the cab

Don’t be put off by its initial toylike appearance – the IVECO Stralis X-Way is one for serious grown-ups.

When we first encounter this IVECO Stralis X-Way, it is amid a line-up of rivals, and to be honest, with its high ground clearance, low-roof and narrow sleeper cab, it looks a bit like an overgrown Tonka toy. On closer inspection, that appearance proves deceptive.

Once inside the Active Time cab, the environment is light and airy, perhaps too much so, but we’ll come back to that. There’s no really obvious clue as to where the missing 8in of width has gone, although the substitution of the wrap-around central dash of wider versions with the flat dash in the Active Time is almost certainly involved. It’s not a particularly onerous trade-off, though, as the space released is a noticeable benefit, and it means the infotainment screen is visible from the passenger seat.

The very existence of the X-Way variant of the Stralis is to save weight for payload-conscious construction operators. Carefully considered optimisation of core component specification obviously plays a part in this, but the IVECO goes further. Wherever you look, there are little weight-saving hacks that all add up. For example, while it might be easier to make the partitions in the under-bunk storage from plywood or MDF, the X-Way has a beautifully crafted sheet of drilled aluminium. The end result is an 8x4 tipper which, bodied and with full tanks and a realistically shaped driver, has a payload of 20 tonnes with enough capacity left over for a week’s worth of essentials that are easily stored. Not that we’d want to actually spend a night in this example. While the side and rear cab glazing certainly helps visibility while tipping, the apparent lack of provision for curtains on the rear wall means you’d be unlikely to oversleep past dawn. However, a brief test suggests that the bunk itself would be perfectly comfortable for sleeping. While it’s a good height for sitting on, headroom is limited and the otherwise welcome cool box and storage bins under the bunk would interfere with your legs.

The interior is largely black and grey, with none of the shoddy plastics that once defined IVECO. Controls have a pleasant feel, but some, like the push-button gear selection, need learning if you’re new to IVECO. Nothing challenging – just different. Conventional dials dominate the colourful, high-resolution digital dash display.

The Cursor engine range has always impressed with its ability to punch above its weight.

This current Euro-6 Hi-SCR example, a 9-litre rated at that capacity’s highest output, 400hp, is no exception. That power certainly feels more than adequate for 32 tonnes, and it is delivered smoothly and quietly. At top speed on a dual-carriageway, the greatest noise comes from the tyres, and that isn’t enough to be a problem.

The 12-speed ZF TraXon is as smooth as ever, with its speedy decision-making ability meaning there is little to be gained by trying to outguess it. The TraXon’s off-road mode also helps by optimising shift strategy and providing a rocking function.

Highlights

  • Well-engineered weight-saving design features.
  • Compact cab still provides generous accommodation.
  • Excellent turning circle enhances on-site manoeuvrability.
  • Greatly improved quality of interior trim.
  • Electronic instrument panel is attractive and functional.

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Generally, the dynamics are good – you get a smooth ride, secure handling and reassuring brakes. When it comes to on-site ability, the Stralis X-Way is available in three options. ON provides the standard level, ON+ adds mildly enhanced off-road protection, while the OFF package as fitted to our test truck is for regular use on challenging sites – this includes raised ground clearance and a 25-degree approach angle. If you frequently operate in seriously arduous conditions, IVECO offers a hydraulically driven front-axle option. While it is not the only manufacturer to do so, IVECO certainly seems to be the most active in supplying it in the UK.

Vehicle specifications

  • Make - IVECO
  • Model - Stralis X-Way AT340
  • Chassis layout - 8x4
  • Cab type (as tested) - AT low-roof sleeper
  • Cab floor height from ground - 1,530mm
  • First step height - 500mm
  • Engine - FPT Cursor 9, 8.7-litre
  • Power - 394hp at 2,300rpm
  • Torque - 1,700Nm at 1,200rpm
  • Transmission - ZF TraXon 12-speed with off-road software
  • Body manufacturer and type - Wilcox
  • Tipping gear - Edbro CX15 front end
  • Sheeting system - Dawbarn
  • Weighing system - VPG
  • Kerb weight* - 9,079kg
  • Net body / payload allowance - 22,921kg
  • Fuel / AdBlue tanks** - 290/50 litres
  • Steering turns - 6.2
  • Turning circle - 18.4m
  • Noise – tickover - 47.6dB(A)

*basic chassis with day or extended day cab, no driver, empty tanks **as tested

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You do not need a tape measure to realise that the X-Way’s manoeuvrability is good – its steering lock is visibly tighter than the sector norm, looking a bit like a black cab on full lock. While you might not want to use it all on the road in the interest of tyre life, it’s very helpful on site. Overall, the steering is light enough to be helpful at manoeuvring speed without being too light at higher speeds and on country roads.

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When we reach our load’s destination, everything is easily within reach. The tailgate lock and PTO switch are on the dash, with the tipping lever on the engine hump. Personally, we find this to be a convenient location, rather than buried somewhere behind your right hip which seems to be the current trend. There is a reversing camera fitted, but slightly surprisingly, it has a standalone display screwed to the dash, although the comprehensive infotainment/sat-nav unit has a camera input available that isn’t used.

The Stralis X-Way may not be every tipper operator’s first choice, but that is probably more down to perception and prejudice than its ability. Do yourself a favour and get a demonstrator for a week or two – you might be pleasantly surprised.

Volvo Trucks teams up with DFDS for VERA trial

VERA, Volvo Truck’s autonomous, electric and connected vehicle, will undertake its first operation in collaboration with DFDS Group, transporting goods from its logistics centre to a port terminal in Gothenburg.

Mikael Karlsson, vice president of autonomous solutions at Volvo Trucks, said: “Now we have the opportunity to implement VERA in an ideal setting and further develop her potential for similar operations.”

The operation will show how VERA can be used in the working world to enable a connected system for an efficient, flexible and sustainable flow of goods from DFDS’ logistics centre for global distribution, to the port.

“It will be moving containerised goods with mixed cargo, and if this test goes well, we aim to scale-up the solution,” Karlsson added.

Although a date for the test is yet to be set, Volvo Trucks hopes to implement a connected system of several VERA monitored by one control room after it has been carried out.

Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS said: “This collaboration will help us develop a long-term solution for receiving autonomous vehicles arriving at our gates, benefitting our customers, the environment and our business.”

CM covered VERA’s launch at the Manufacturers Innovation Summit in Berlin last September. Designed specifically for short-distance journeys, it’s powered by a driveline derived from Volvo’s eFL and eFE, giving it a range of over 100km with a top speed of 25mph.

After the trial, Volvo hopes to further develop VERA’s technology and exploring how it can be used within existing infrastructures before it’s fully-operational, stating it could support “today’s transport solutions”.