Warren Caves catches up with Marc Schipper and his latest IVECO Stralis – Images by Torque it Up.
Prior to its impending Australian launch, IVECO has a small number of Stralis ATi E6 models, with selected fleets around the country providing the manufacturer with performance data produced in real-world conditions.
Previewed at last year’s Brisbane Truck Show, the new Euro 6 models achieve compliance without the need for EGR engine technology, resulting in lower engine temperatures and removing the need for extra cooling capacity and reducing fan-on time.
By achieving Euro 6 compliance in this fashion, in conjunction with a common-rail, high-pressure fuel delivery system, fuel economy has improved, albeit with a small increase in exhaust treatment fluid (AdBlue/DEF) usage.
The E6 model now benefits from a larger displacement 11.1-litre Cursor, with common-rail fuel-injected engine design, up from the previous 10-litre powerplant. While power remains the same at 460 hp, there is an increase in torque of 50 Nm up to 2150 Nm. Despite the higher displacement and moderate torque increase the engine benefits from a lower stress duty cycle.
Also featured on the new engine are an electronically managed variable geometry turbocharger (EVGT) for improved efficiency and output, and IVECO’s new Hi SCR system, the same shared technology as in the recently released E6 Eurocargo models.
The Hi SCR system is a single aftertreatment system featuring passive DPF (diesel particulate filter). Claimed to be simple, lightweight and efficient, it results in reduced tare weight and lower fuel consumption, while providing improved engine braking by a factor of up to 30 percent. Additionally the Hi SCR system does not require driver-initiated regeneration.
For Ceva Logistics subcontractor, Marc Schipper, the purchase of one of the latest Stralis ATi E6 models has seen him clock up 180,000 km in 14 months on vehicle-carrying work through the east coast of Australia.
The new Stralis, Marc’s fourth IVECO, has left a positive impression on him so far.
“It’s easily the best model I’ve had yet. The cabin is spacious enough for the few nights each week I spend in the truck, the high-roof option I’ve got allows me to stand upright inside the cabin and access to the sleeping area is good,” said Marc. “I’ve also fitted a cabin cooler for those warmer nights. The slide-out fridge/freezer beneath the bed is great, and there is barely any engine noise within the cab”.
“I started in this job on a five-year plan, and, here I am, four trucks and 14 years later, still at it,” said Marc.
Marc transports cars, trucks and bus chassis on his bogie trailer, from ports to holding yards and car dealerships at GCM weights up to 31 tonnes. The prime mover and trailer combination has disc brakes all-round, and the trailer was itself specifically designed for carrying larger vehicles such as prime movers, trucks and bus chassis, making use of the adjustable ramp deck that enables trucks to be transported while still remaining under 4.6 metres high.
“This new model achieves considerably lower fuel consumption than my previous Stralis,” said Marc.
“I estimate that the figures being returned are around 3.1-3.2 km/l, and we run loaded all the time. The downside is the increased AdBlue/DEF usage; however, this is still offset by the cost saving on the fuel. I have fitted the extra fuel tank to the near side, but I don’t have the proportionally larger AdBlue tank, so I need to top that up before I’ve used all my available fuel,” he added.
Repairs and maintenance can really add up, so the 120,000 km oil drain intervals help keep that in check, and reduces the total cost of ownership. Marc says, “At 25,000 km intervals it goes in for a service check under the IVECO maintenance programme, and a download is carried out to evaluate the truck’s performance in real-world conditions”.
The Cursor engine combined with IVECO’s Eurotronic II AMT (automated manual transmission) according to Marc is a great mix. “Why would you want to change gears if you don’t have to? I can be in this truck for as long as 14 hours a day, yet when I get out at the end of my shift I still feel fresh,” said Marc.
Safety and technology has not been overlooked with the new Stralis either, with adaptive cruise control (ACC), lane departure warning system, active emergency braking (AEB) and daytime running lights. A dash-mounted touchscreen multimedia system, with satellite navigation, Bluetooth and steering-wheel-mounted controls are included. Marc said, “I have also added a 19-inch flatscreen TV in the bunk”.
The 90-degree opening doors and three points of contact available meet requirements for safety of entry and exit.
Unlike some earlier IVECO models, the batteries are located between the chassis rails to the rear of the differential, away from potential exhaust and engine heat, prolonging battery life.
“My last Stralis clocked up 950,000 km in the four and a half years I had it. Towards the end it was getting a little tired and my timeframe for ownership was drawing near, so it was time to update. I admit I was looking toward another brand when I was approached by IVECO to see if I wanted to go with the new model. Part of the reason was that they wanted an operator that did a lot of kilometres to take one for evaluation purposes. I was happy with the last one, so that’s how I ended up with the latest Stralis ATi E6, ” Marc explained.
There have only been a couple of minor hiccups with the truck so far, according to Marc. One was while driving along, and a passing truck flicked up a piece of cardboard from the road, which impacted the front of the truck at the emergency braking sensor instigating a rapid automatic braking response, which Marc says, “Nearly scared the life out of me”.
Upon reporting to IVECO an incident was logged and shortly after the truck was taken in for an adjustment to lessen the sensitivity of the sensor. The other incident saw a wayward Kangaroo impact the front of the truck resulting in damage to the front panels, which is why the Stralis now sports an aluminium bullbar for protection.
Ceva logistics requires its subcontractors to run with satellite tracking systems in their trucks to ensure regulatory compliance. Overspeed alert systems are in place with the first speed warning coming on at 103 km/h, and the second activating at 105 km/h, at which point it allows seven seconds to rectify. Marc reports that the truck doesn’t really roll off hills as the engine retarder is so efficient, so much so that he said he has to be very careful if running without weight over the drive axle, and has to remember to turn the retarder off to avoid instability issues, particularly in the wet.
“I really like the IVECO Stralis range, I have no problems with it at all, and this one is easily the best I’ve owned. The Stralis has really come of age,” concluded Marc.